After a good lunch with my classmates at one of the posh cafes in Delhi, where I ended up paying more than I ate, a close friend and I were broke to go home on our own.Fortunately, her mom’s office was right across the street from where we were, and we waited for her to get free as a free ride was the only possible solution.
The office was the kind which was located in the clusters of homes throughout that area. It is usually the trend there, with either the entire structure housing the office, or a floor dedicated to the workplace with the rest being a functional home to someone.
It was a beautiful area. Huge, flowering trees surrounded the central green square around which the houses were closely situated. It was quiet, with occasional sound of birds chirping, leaves rustling and a car honk sounding off some distant road. The houses were white with staccatos of brick lining somewhere, or glass and wooden punctuations, inviting people inside and showing them out. Occasionally, you would see someone look outside through those punctuations. Lost in thought, having tea, or reading a book (those are my favorite kinds).
This ensued a photography session between my friend and I. We just couldn’t get enough of the place. I chose my favorite wall, and her camera clicked away. After 50 photos, an old man walked towards the gate before which we stood. He was wrinkled, but happy. He had a walking stick, but the other hand was occupied in holding bags full of fresh fruits. He was having a hard time explaining what exactly he wanted to do and found the whole situation tough to handle. We understood and smiling at him, we moved from his way.
I couldn’t resist myself from complimenting his house, and blurted how serene and beautiful it was. He found the whole situation embarrassing and nodded his head as a way of acknowledging my words. And just like that, he went away.
On our way back home in the car, it struck me how similar the man and his house were. Shy, peaceful and quiet, yet active and full of life, he had a strong personality. He didn’t fear showing his flaws. In the same way, that white plastered house bared it all. Chipped paint, stained glass and deteriorated bricks. But it still stood tall, and let all the planters and trees decorate it, as if it were some piece of art.
For a lot of people, it would seem that it is hiding like it’s owner. After all, the house is a reflection of its master. But I feel, like a treasure, it is waiting to be discovered by someone who would value it, just like the old man’s wise, occasional words would be waiting patiently to become a person’s morals.