Beside this window I spent nine years of my waking hours. Or minutes - being a last-minute-you-really-can't-afford-to-sleep-anymore kind of late riser I've never really got the time to enjoy a beautiful morning.
Every weekday at 5:45 my dad would wake me up when he left for work. Amma is probably the most optimistic person on the planet - all through these nine years I've asked her everyday to wake me up at 6 am. And she's done it whenever I asked her to - and continued it every 15 minutes till I finally wake up at half past seven, twenty minutes before the school bus is scheduled to pick me up at my doorstep. Most mornings are a blur to me. Three minutes dashing in and out of the shower, five minutes searching desparately for ironed clothes, twenty seconds in front of the dressing table trying to look presentable, one minute gulping down breakfast with no respect for what was served. To this day I consider it among my top achievements that in nine years, I can still count with one finger the number of times I've missed the school bus.
But the window is special. On those lazy mornings on the weekend when I'd just woken up, I'd prop my pillow against the head of the bed and stare for hours at the backyard. Somewhere along that timeframe there was a mulberry tree that grew just next to the wall. I remember the excitement when one day, after having learnt metamorphosis in biology, I saw among the deep red and the green of the tree, a fat green caterpillar. This was my obsession for weeks, till it finally disappeared leaving the thin shell of its cocoon behind.
On the days India played cricket and I got to stay home and watch, I always watched it by the window. The window was my little lucky charm for the Indian cricket team. The match would start off with the windows closed, and the room in darkness. And then it all depended on how we played. If we kept losing wickets or were getting trashed on the field, the two panels of the window would open by varying amounts - casting those "lucky shadows" about the room. The challenge was to get the shadows just right - like the stars being in place or something.
There are other memories. On the road behind our backyard, the neighbour taking his two cows out to the field. Somedays, a battered white Ambassador car visiting our backies. Other days, the crows pecking at all the ripe mangoes that always made Ammachy so angry. In the evenings, Amma watering her precious cinammon plants.
I no longer live or sleep by my window of nine years. The house has undergone a massive refurnishing since then, making it lots more beautiful and almost unrecognizable to someone seeing it after a while. But when I go visiting, this is my favourite room of all. The room with my window - because when I look out through it I can almost see the mulberry tree with its green and deep red mulberries, leaves half gnawed through by the caterpillar infestation. I guess that sometimes, all of us wish we can go back to a simpler time.