The air is full of the scent of the garden, and dhua, that beautiful hazy mix I always associate with evenings in my grandmother's house. Her sitting on the verandah in a beautiful silk blouse or dress, this scent wafting in from the outside, the shape of the Peepal tree dark against the sky. Bats taking wing. A dog barking in the distance. Not, at that time, the sounds of quite so much traffic. Though a dog does bark in the distance even now as I write this.
The sound of crickets.
The low light of beautiful lamps. Her music system, on which she played classical music every evening.
Part of what makes evenings here, now, so beautiful, is the memory of those evenings. A collection of sensations from my childhood that I loved, that have spilled over, unchanged, into my present.
My grandmother is everywhere in my life, still.
Like everyone else I love, I feel like there's a constant stream of thought connected to her at the back of my mind. Whatever else I might be doing.
But more tangibly than that, there's the sights, senses, smells and sensations that I first encountered with her that are still an everyday part of my experience.
Her red shawl, I still wear.
Her peach scarf, and her mauve scarf.
Yarley Orange Blossom perfume - the only perfume I've bought twice, replacing the bottle that ran out. Come to think of it, I don't know that she actually wore this. But she burst into my thoughts when I first smelt it.
Silk blouses in beautiful, hazy, pastel colours. Pearls, roses, butterflies, blue sky, darkening sky, lightening sky. Egg-shell blue walls, the sight of Russian script.
Everything beautiful, and soft reminds me of her.
Sometimes, this comforts me. I am still with her.
Sometimes, this makes me miss her intensely. I think she knew how I felt about her, because I went to her often, and made it clear that I never wanted to leave. But I never grew old enough to be able to articulate love for her, or tell her that I shared the love of these things.
No matter. She must know now.