On the terrace of one of the oldest buildings in the heart of the city of Hyderabad, is a view that most smoked up areas can’t beat. Despite the heavy rush of traffic and the constant, endless honking, the view from the top is unbeatable. One needs immense luck to be able to experience this beauty. But because I live in this building, I’ll try to do justice to its picturesqueness.
As you climb the stairs to the sixth floor, you will be welcomed by a vast area of plain ground that is bordered by water pipes and guarded by safety parapets.
The wondrous quality of this area is that its three edges show you three different views. As you move to the left, what you will see is tens and hundreds of posh buildings crowded around a wide main road. Here, there is a glimpse at a Pani Puri stall that has people always hovering around and a Frankie making cart that, in contrast, is always empty. Cars and bikes zoom past this road, some, occasionally stopping to ask for directions or to have some wonderful street food, while the others impatiently honk, irritated that their lives have come to a standstill for a minute.
On the right side of this terrace, if you lean over the wall a bit, you’ll see three small huts. This side is usually silent, except for the occasional cries of kids, rarely clothed and always hungry. These three families live in harmony, enjoying what little life has to offer to them. I say ‘little’, because in comparison, I’m sure we all have a lot more luxuries and are still trying hard to race against time, trying to find that something more. Greed consumes our souls.
The third view, the one that is right in front of you as you get on to the terrace, is that of a graveyard. Yes, you read correctly. A graveyard. With over thirty tombstones of various colours and sizes covering up one half of it, the other is lush with overgrown trees from seeds that nature planted. These trees add beauty to the already existing serenity of the whole area, creating a feeling of warmth and cosiness around the eeriness of the place.
The reason this is so very beautiful is because my terrace signifies the unity between the living and the dead. On one side, while I have the rich, on the other, I have the poor. Guarded by these two, in the centre, I have the dead.
Behind me, on the fourth side of this terrace, where my building lays, is another ladder, leading to the top where the water tank is. Upon hearing the sound of thunder in the sky, I rush up this ladder and dangling my legs off the edge, I sit on the tank.
Here, the true beauty starts.
It starts off slowly at first, like tiny drops of nothingness. But then, as the breeze accompanies it, it gathers magnitude. This sight is magnificent.
You can see the people on the roads run to take shelter from it, as it gently begins to shower on their vehicles. The vendors are irritated with their luck and are covering their food, muttering curses into the sky. Those on two-wheelers stop by the side, trying to squeeze into the bit of shelter available.
The clouds darken as an air of depression sets around the whole area. On the other side, the ladies of the huts are running around, dragging their children into their flimsily built shelters as they hurriedly remove all the clothes they’ve hung outside.
But in front of me, in the graveyard, everything is silent.
The trees there begin to sway, trying their best to protect the graves as my eyes rest on a blue gravestone. It’s hardly half the size of the rest. The thought of a child being in there makes me shudder. But I watch as the rain washes the dirt and grime away, making these stones shine and it makes me smile, knowing that nature is taking good care of them.
As everyone is trying frantically to escape nature’s tears, I sit atop, drenched, as I look on at the various contrasts.
From this height, I can see everything.
It makes me feel like I’m at the top of the world.
Because, after all, this is my world.
Shravya Gunipudi is a 20 year old CA Final Student with a Gold Medal in the Commerce stream. She has had numerous poems published in The Deccan Chronicle, has won multiple Story Contests and also has a blog of her own. It is her strongest belief that there is no greater form of expression than that of writing.