Terracing in the Times of Corona

By Saptaparni Sadhu

Have you visited your terrace lately?

If you have not, go! Slather some Odomos on your limbs and go watch the sunsets which seem to be happier in recent times. The mad frenzy of purple, orange and reddish hues that adorn the skies…you are missing them for nothing.

But this is not the only reason I am coaxing you to take those stairs. Half an hour on your terrace, especially now, has the potential to improve your mental health, which is prone to be in a precarious condition amidst this lockdown. The psychological impact of not being bound by walls for a few minutes every day may enable, in the long run, a healthier mind space for when you go back into your room and drown yourself in the phone or your other lockdown chores.

Let me incentivize you here. Now that our pollution levels are at an all-time low, the stars are more visible than ever. As I gazed at them yesterday, I was reminded of my childhood when we went up to the terrace every evening with a tumbler full of spiced puffed rice dressed with mustard oil and onion. The skies used to twinkle like they do again these days. I stayed there trying to draw out constellations and fetching out human faces and rabbit ears as I joined the dots with the tip of my fingers.

And while trying out these newfound joys of terrace-walking again, I noticed my neighbours had also taken to their own terraces…roaming about like phantoms from one end of their periphery to the other. I actually saw a few of them, rather saw their silhouettes, for the first time ever. 

The empty terraces too had their own characters on display. Yellow-coloured birds perched precariously on a water pipe, shrubs of hibiscus and lemon trees entwined in a corner, forgotten clothes left to dry on thin polyester strings – my suburban terrace gifts me these views. Your city terraces might have their own idiosyncrasies. I may not be seeing tall mountains or foamy sea waves now, but these little nooks of the everyday which had somehow got lost in all the melee are only now coming into my notice. Terrace tourism should be a concrete thing. Going by all the rooftop cafes popping up all across the city, I am probably not overestimating the potential of this space.

I could have just written this article in a line – “Go walk on your terrace, folks.” But now that I have taken the pain to jot down points and enumerate the joys of this endangered activity, the least you, my reader, can do is go walk on your terrace. I deserve this much, reader.

Saptaparni Sadhu is a content editor at a corporate firm and a student of Literature. She is also a trained Odissi dancer and an occasional poet. She isn’t sure if she likes waffles.

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