Friday, August 7, 2009

Our Disappearing Neighbors

South Asians wake up early--way to early for me! Every morning the city comes to life shortly after five in the morning. By six o'clock, the little lanes around our house are alive with people fetching water, and there is a great symphony of the sounds of dishes clanging together, dirty laundry being beaten against stones, and the loudest of all dogs barking for the sake of barking. By 6:30, some kids are already on their way to school or to their extra "tuitions" (study groups) before school. All this happens everyday without fail for about nine months a year, but during the monsoon things change.

We have had a very poor monsoon this year, but on those occasional days when it rains all night through the mid morning, a drastic change happens to the morning routine. Two days ago I was standing out on our terrace at about eight o'clock (the earliest I would ever like to be out of my house) as a light rain was continuing to fall on the city. As I looked around, I noticed every house had its doors and windows tightly closed up. Our neighborhood was quiet. There were no traffic sounds. No washing, cooking, or water fetching could be seen or heard, and even the dogs mercifully had ceased their barking. Plus, our naughtiest cat decided to take the morning off for a sleep-in as well!

Now that's what I call a good morning.

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