The beautiful light of the moon came streaking in through the window and fell on my face. It woke me up. I checked the time; it was almost 2 am in the morning. My friend was fast asleep. I kept staring at the beautiful tree outside, whose leaves shined and glowed in the moonlight. At that very moment two things crossed my mind- Did Shah Jahan feel the same way as he watched the monument of love glowing in the moonlight with his old worn out eyes? Does moonlight still fall across my bed in my room in India?
My stream of thoughts were interrupted by a loud siren of an ambulance -the 6th since I came to London. I saw my friend stir a little and went back to sleep.
I didn’t realise how time flew. It felt like only a minute ago when we were out on the streets but now were both in bed; one sleeping soundly and one enjoying the beauty of the night. Images from our little night walk flashed in my mind’s eye.
It was still one of those days when the sun bid an early good-bye. After a tiring sightseeing, I went back to my hostel room. My friend and I were watching some random English movie when a quick glance reminded us that it was about time we went for dinner. After a quick dinner, we left to explore the streets of this beautiful city by night. We decided to keep it short and just take a walk around Fitzroy Street, but our adventurous side took away all our weariness and we extended our walk to a longer one.
It was around fifteen minutes to ten and the shops had just started to shut down for the day. Those that were already shut, still had lights on displaying their products in a surreal glow. Interestingly, I noticed that most of the shops around the street were furniture shops apart from various eateries and a customary (rather mandatory) Pret A Manger in every other street.
Even though the shops were shutting down, the roads still had a large crowd of people. The lights were switched on in almost every building that we passed through and it did not seem that it was almost 10pm. People of all nationalities and cultures intermingled in this big city. I had heard , read and used the adjective ‘cosmopolitan’ for the city quite a number of times myself; but that day, I realised the true meaning of the word.
Soon after, I came across this huge Graffiti. Even if this might not hold a lot of significance in the post, I added it as it reminded me of an old friend from Calcutta. He is a Graffiti artist himself and honestly, every time I see one, he is the first person who comes to my mind.
My walk took me to this pub called The Court. Though, we did not stop there, but I could not help but notice that the pub was so full inside that there were people sitting in the chilly wind outside enjoying a pint or two. It was then that I realised that the temperature had begun to fall and we had to head back. It was almost 10:30 pm.
But. . . .I also realised that given our tight schedule it would not be possible to come out exploring the streets for another night; and it would be a shame coming this far and not seeing the Parliament House glowing in the bright lights at night. That majestic scene which has never failed to be a part of all Bollywood and Hollywood movies justified the essence of London at night. Just the thought of having a glimpse of that scene filled me with a new enthusiasm. And thus my destination was decided and there was no looking back. . . .
While I stood there gazing at this sight, I did not realise the time, the temperature or even how long had I wanted to see this. A lot of mixed thoughts came to my mind- Harry Potter and his friends flew in their broomsticks with this background ; Sherlock Holmes lived in London; Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham was shot in London; Saifeena’s favourite holiday destination is London and so on. These strings of thoughts did not really have any relation to the ethereal moment I was experiencing; but I guess true Happiness does not come with a definition and an explanation of how a person should react.
A check on the watch let me know that we should be REALLY heading back. The day ahead had lots of interesting and amazing things in store for me and I did not want to sleep through it all or look dreary eyed.
On my way back, the streets had finally started emptying . It came to my mind that probably everyone finally found time to sleep unless they suffered from insomnia.
But the people who did not sleep were the neighbours of Fitzroy street. The pub was still full of people merry-making and chatting with their near and dear ones.
With the lights diminishing in the streets now, except for the street lights; every man on the road had their mobiles switched on which made their face glow in the dark.
I went to the hostel room and finally called it a day; but before sleeping I took some photos of the neighbourhood. . . . . Let me leave you today with those photos . . . Because the next Sunday would introduce you to my Adventures on Day 2. From the British Museum to the London Traffic and even getting lost in the city. . . 😛 Do come back for more next week. . . .