In those old mohallas blue houses straddle some street corners. On my way across the Old city each day I latched onto as many mohallas as I could, walking the narrow lanes from morning to evening in the blazing Sun until I could walk no more.
One blue house in particular sat on the threshold of an ancient market, and each time that I walked past it I glanced at the door wondering if it was open. Sometimes it was, but not once did I see anyone at the door. So I never got to know who lived there. Somehow, in not being able to ‘put’ a face to the house I was left with a sense of the incomplete trailing in my wake each time that I made past the house.
One day as I rounded a bend in the mohalla a cart hitched to a lone Ox stood in the lane by the house, looking past the bend in the galli. From then on I rarely see an Ox without seeing a blue house on a street corner.
In time I’ll post my Rajasthan Diaries on days when colors beckon and footsteps sound past closed doors, even if no horse once rode past it to the sound of a war cry.