The City at Dawn

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I could feel myself burning, as if lying on a lake of fire. I could feel sweat gushing down my forehead, I could sense a lump in my throat. I tossed and turned to make myself comfortable, the mattress shrieked, making an irksome noise. It was impossible to sleep under such circumstances, the room made me suffocated. The sweat had made me thirsty. Finding myself among ashes and blaze of fire, I craved for water. It was water that could quench my thirst and put off that fire. So I reached for the jar beside my bed, it was empty. Wondering what time it was I looked for the table clock next to the jar. It displayed 3:45 AM.

It was strange that I had felt myself burning; when it was freezing outside.

I didn’t want to get out of bed, but I wanted to have water. I felt suffocated on bed, but it was too cold outside to get a jar from the kitchen. I was stuck in my own kind of purgatory; too cold outside, too hot inside.

However, my thirst won and I eventually had to leave that burning, yet comfy, bed.

Now that the sleep had already been disturbed, I lost all hope of regaining it. It was morning for me already although it was still 3 hours for my regular morning to begin. Half asleep, half awake; I was not sure how to spend those three long hours. Just when I was picking up a book from my shelf, an amusing thought crossed my mind. Despite of being in a metro city, a city that never sleeps, I had never seen how the city looked like at 3:45 AM. This curiosity made me brave enough to leave the warmth of the room and explore the beauty of the city. So I put on my jacket and went up to the terrace.

I had never been more thankful for my disturbed sleep. The splendor of the city, dimly lit, was a spectacle worth hundred such sleeps. As I looked around, I found several homes sleeping and the streetlights guarding them, wrapped in the blanket of chilly winds.

Although most of the city was sleeping, still there were few houses where the lights were on. I wondered what the reason might be, was there another soul whose sleep had been disturbed? Was there someone else curious like me? Maybe someone was waiting for their lover to come back home or perhaps someone was studying for their exams, or a mother nursing her sick child. As many lightened windows I could see, as many stories I could comprehend. While most of the vehicles were party to the deep slumber of the house, still there were some cars travelling around the city at dawn. Probably they were rushing to make it on time at the airport, to catch that early flight; or had planned to hit the road early to escape the hysteria surrounding the city.

As I was venturing into the stories revolving around the city life, I felt the frozen winds kissing my cheeks, whispering a secret into my ear. The heat that my body had felt earlier, now turned into a rosy blush. The warmth that I experienced in that chilly winter is beyond the words can explain. It was almost like I had entered into heaven from that purgatory.

Life indeed is a mystery. We may spend forever trying to complete the puzzle, but there is always some part of it that is left unscathed. Till yesterday I knew that the city lights at night looked at its best but after today’s experience I know that there is nothing better than a city engrossed in its sluggish slumber, kissed with a ray of  hope at dawn, reminding us that the next morning is another day and that every new day is a blank slate.

As I embraced the new ray of hope which had filled my soul, I realized that the book in my hand was waiting to be read. I had picked up Rumi from the shelf. Interestingly, the verses in the book were a reflection of what I had experienced moments ago. They read,

“The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you

Don’t go back to sleep!”

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