Good Morning Manipal
Away from the jostle and tussle of city life, Manipal mornings bring a serene modicum of calm that you can dip into, before facing the day. But more than this, they also bring in their wake new opportunities for personal amelioration; a new slate over which you can begin afresh; a second chance to take on the challenges that life poses. This is an ongoing series that depicts the same.
Locked away behind our closed eyelids are the unfinished dreams abruptly halted by the sun’s rays. It pours in through our bedroom windows, making us wonder why it is so hard to remember the exact story of our dreams. You face the entity that has disturbed your sleep and see the sunrise. Who cares about that dream anyway? What a beautiful morning.
You try wiping the sleep from your eyes, but it doesn’t rub away. Watching the red petals on the flower unfurl in the morning light, you ponder upon how relentlessly it blooms each morning. It doesn’t whine or complain. It just does. It makes you wonder why we’re allowed to think at all. Why do we make decisions? Why weren’t we pre-programmed to do certain tasks at certain times without fail? Why does this biochemically engineered organic robot have such philosophical thoughts only when it’s half asleep?
What is it about adults and newspapers in the morning? As we grow older, we seem so keen to know about the outside world. To read and learn about events that we have no control over. To consume information about horrific and terrifying events that shock and bewilder us. Maybe adults are so desensitized to cartoons and movies that they need a real life event to spark a reaction. I guess we all need some sort of drama in our lives.
Your friend nudges your shoulder. Look, he says. There’s an extremely aesthetically pleasing specimen of the opposite sex at your 3 o’clock. Play it cool you tell yourself. Casually turning to your right, you take a peek. There’s a puddle between you and the embodiment of perfection. You can see but a silhouette because a beam of golden light is reflecting onto your retinas. And oh, what a silhouette. You keep walking, trying desperately to attain a good vantage point from which you can appreciate this person properly. But the sun is stubborn, and by the time you’ve found a spot the person is gone. You’re upset, but secretly the mystery excites you.
The sunlight always finds some way to get to you. Even the slightest gap, crack or crevice leaves your defenses wide open to attack. And if you thought you were safe at night, it has an iridescent white backup plan. As a kid we were taught that light doesn’t bend. But does it really need to? The all-powerful sun in the sky lights up your space regardless. Everything you see around you is being gently kissed by the sun’s lulling blanket of light. A sense of security and clarity. There’s no uncertainty when the sun’s out. A bead of sweat rolls down your neck as you walk to class. You pull out your umbrella and thank your stars that light can’t bend.
You’ve woken up earlier than usual today. It’s still slightly dark out but you decide to take a walk. The ATM sits there, innocently. Its light is on, daring you to defy its importance at this hour. It comforts you and you gravitate towards it. What is it about the cool, blue light that attracts you? Is it fear of the uncertainty that the dark brings? Is it the air-conditioning? Perhaps. But it’s more likely because you know you’ll get hundred rupee notes at this time.
Photographer- Samar Dikshit
Writers- Manu J Naik, Shagun Nevatia