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The Hour Had Changed..

by Sihi Manoj
(Bangalore, India)

The two days of the week that I eagerly started seeking for were Saturday and Sunday. Eventually started off with a purpose to help my friend Shanky with a nice company, our trips to Alliance Française began with a goal to learn a new language and make new friends.


Association to AFB dates back to only a mere 6 months, by late June. I agreed to accompany him so that I can come out of a routine/mundane lifestyle that corporate blessed me with. The hour had changed….

Six months into the discourse, here I am in a mood of introspection at early December with a different level of satisfaction in my knowledge of French as a language.

Just last evening I was again target of the teacher, but this time I was confused if it was praise for my English or scolding for my French. “Your English is too complicated for French. Forget English when you come here.” I was thinking should I accept it as a compliment or a critic. Making me feel little off-beat and leaving me to the urge of quitting the classes, I spent my evening very low-key. Without expectations and with lesser enthusiasm, I reached the class today. And this class, I grasped every bit that was taught and I did enjoy..! The hour had changed…

Times when I have struggled to find some space and time for me; I had started getting engulfed in the same tidal emotion that I was in since the beginning of this week. And here at this tropical cover like campus at AFB, I’m lucky to see and experience the hour that followed.

As I started seeping little deep into my thoughts of how to spend time till Rajneesh would join me, the talks on next table between two ladies and a young boy alerted me of their presence. Added to this, my mobile rang and a minute of conversation added an item in my mobile and grey cells’ reminder.

Slowly my neighbouring table had become silent and the seater’s had left, leaving a young guy engrossed in reading a book at the table after this and me as the only one’s here. A lady walked in and poured some cat food in a disposable cup and called for the thin kittens, for which the kitty’s only got repelled by scare of being beaten. The lady however left with a sight of relief upon the young kitten being able to reach the cup and eat. The hour had changed…

Karthik, the café Boy and his brother made me feel of a third person’s presence with their heavy steps on the stairs adjoining the table I was seated at. Just when I turned to see who it was, Karthik smiled and asked “Haven’t left yet?” I replied a no with a nod.

Moments later, a charming girl joined the young guy. Verbally pampering the young cats and continuing to capture the kitty’s actions, she spilled “ohhhhhhhhhh..! Sho sweet...” With all of this done, they took leave of the place too.

Gloriously now, it was much deeper silence and my companions on this beautifully cold afternoon in early December were colder breeze, birds, butterflies, trees and more life-less tables and chairs beckoning my serene space all for my myself. The hour had indeed changed….

The breeze, birds, butterflies, trees all entertained me with a rhythmic song. Birds took it off first with their lovely chirps on some of the green thick branches around me, and the trees followed with a lively hustle of the leaves. A far away cry was what followed from an infant for her mother in a near by construction site. The delicate flutter of beautiful miniature butterflies helping them for the quintessential forward navigation to reach for the nectar played next.

The silent flowers then contributed by dancing to the rhythm and smiling joyously for every breeze. The kittens meowed and shared the lunch. And a triumphant shell horn seemingly originating from a far-off land completed the song. The free falling ripen leaves following their random trajectory concluded the performance and just as they reached the ground, they rustled with the joy of union.

Indeed what a delight for my not-demanding ears and my delight-craving eyes. A performance in itself..! Emanating peace, joy and love the performance transcended me to a level beyond words can describe. The hour had changed….

While I was still in my trance, a sudden and slow noise, exponentially growing in magnitude of youthful, naughty kids running into AFB building and shouting for their friends brought me back to my chair indicating the commencement of group activity. With kids accompanied their mothers, aunts etc. Pulling myself back amidst people, I was forcefully jolted back into present. Adding to the number, the youths started occupying the tables and started conversing in French. All of this pointing and explaining, how the hour changed again..!!

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