It was a cloudy evening. The last of the day’s sunlight penetrated the grey dome above and bathed the day in a diffused yellow light. The atmosphere could not get more vintage than this and this was exactly my kind of atmosphere. As I walked along in a half delirium, I noticed that there were several other people in the surrounding houses gaping at the orange sky. Looked like I was not the only one whom the weather had bewitched. But who would have thought that a simple stroll down the lane could evoke something as scandalous as this piece of writing.
Since I was aimlessly wandering around the streets, walking for once and not in my car or on my bike, several sights caught my eyes for the first time. Quite a shame, since I often prided myself as an observant person. I guess the apparent lack of automobiles supporting my behind had finally revealed the fact that I wasn’t as quiet and observant as I thought myself to be. This often tends to happen when we venture to take a walk, albeit the wires and the phones and the smartness of it all. When our eyes are free to wander to a higher level than that of the glaring slab of technology we wield in our palms, we notice things that have never demanded our attention before.
We see the colours of paint on the buildings, the lush greenery engulfing the houses (by which, of course, I mean the plethora of dilapidated pots scattered around each featuring withering flora and plant life in desperate need of hydration). Most importantly, what catches our attention in a rather physically unsettling manner is the sheer height of the buildings. Cue now, the instances where you have attempted to take in the entirety of a building and ended up with a sprained neck. I am no lawyer, but with my limited knowledge of our laws I do recollect a law that clearly prohibits buildings over four or five storeys from being constructed on a site of a particular dimension. In an extreme and somewhat twisted form of obedience, I spotted a six storey building standing tall on thirty by forty site. What amazed me further was the iron rods extending higher from the top of the building in hopes of further elongation!
After all, we know that the earth’s surface is depleting. We know that all our religious heads are advising more offspring as the solution to all the evil problems that are haunting the world. We know that there is no hope for our blissfully ignorant future generations. So we do the most sane thing there is to do. We invade. We invade all possible nooks and corners. We invade farmlands, beaches and forests to an extent where elephants and blue whales are looking up at the sky and wishing for wings. And that is when we saw it too! The sky! Now we finally understand all those statements which proclaimed the sky to be boundless and space to be infinite. Its purpose being simple-real estate!
Now there was just one thing that stood in our way, blocking vertical nirvana; the aforementioned law. But in our land, we have a panacea to cure all things illegal and this worked miracles for this little hiccough too. The good old bribe. A little hush money and it’s all sunshine and rainbows again, though they are not as visible as they were before through all those clothes hung out to dry on the terrace now.
Now that the law was out of way, we could move on to upgrade our houses. A profusion of locks, grills and sensors are the current must-haves in trend right now. This secure facility provides a sense of warmth and security against God knows what kinds of criminals roam the streets these days. This increasing insecurity may or may not be a result of paranoia about crooks out there who are obviously more conniving than us. Ergo, the people whom I mentioned earlier staring at the skies were actually individuals sheathed behind layers and layers of protective artillery. To a person on the other side, it would look like a highly secure facility restraining dangerous animals or deranged felons staring into space with their slack mouths. The concept of neighbourhood and its curtailing emotions of affection are long lost on the present society.
Our porches extend hallway onto the roads, the space between buildings are micro molecular. Our aerially gifted contemporaries are also finding it hard these days with window panes and cloth lines obstructing their migratory routes. Maybe our tryst with concrete will end when our attics collide with revolving satellites. With these random thoughts about spatial collisions, human annihilation and a likely apocalypse, I stepped into my own house, locked the gates and proceeded to make myself a cup of coffee.