A little voice wakes me just like everyday before the alarm goes off. I take a few minutes stretching and wondering about the position I am in – straight, on my back – one leg folded over another forming a four. The soft mountain of blanket stands in the center of the bed gathering the sheet as if stacking my unfinished dreams between them. I touch the soft creases, the depression on my pillow burdened with thoughts of past eight hours – so much goes on in my head without any awareness. I leave the dark bedroom with its soft snores, half-open mouths of my family and a fine mist of humidifier competing with the warmth of a nearby room heater.
In the adjoining living room, the shadows of back yard trees and shrubs have travelled inside, hiding a sickle moon behind them – filling the room with a sparkling hue. The little voice whispers – you are the sole witness of this moment, savor it. I halt and watch the silver branches with very few extension of leaves, responding to the slow but cold, crystalline whip of morning breeze. The uneven, dry, grass blades sway together as obedient, school kids, unsure if they are awake or shivering with scary visions in their slumber. I turn the light on in the kitchen and the big island comes alive – the upside down glasses of my ten-year old; the open books and scattered homework of my fourteen-year old and a paused game on the Mac, blinking helplessly for attention. Life has been on hold for past eight hours and is eager to be resumed – the little voice giggles. I gather the texts, fold the glasses and shut down the game. I gently touch the nearby indoor plant checking the water level – it has been growing slowly but steadily – an indicator of our life for past few years.
Outside, the day is breaking – the dark navy sky is beginning to dissolve in bright, auburn strikes followed by an ocean of blue air finding its way. I start the stove for my morning tea and hum a song. The little voice sings along.
I carry my cup of masala chai outside; the front door creaks as if stretching after being in the same position for too long. I pick up the newspaper and scan the headlines – they haven’t changed much as far as I can remember, though we haven’t gotten bored with reading the same things again and over. My little voice reminds me : we have stopped caring and we have stopped paying our dues.
I walk inside with the newspaper tucked under my arm and an empty cup, wiping the damp twigs underneath my slippers outside the door. The tall windows of my kitchen reflect a few panels of a thin fog, accumulated over the ground; stabbed by sunlight from every direction; reluctant to let go but ultimately giving in, illuminating my world.
It is time to wake up everyone, the little voice says and disappears. I smile and walk towards the bedroom.