View From My Window

View From My Window

Windows make up most of the south wall of my lobby. They are old-style, door length windows broken up into 2 panes. My house is on the third floor and faces another building. Before the lockdown, we used to go to office and return home only at night when it was dark outside. And weekends used to fly away in attending to errands and going out with friends. But during this lockdown, I sat to work on the table kept in my lobby. The window usually had curtains on but that day I opened them completely for natural light to come in and lighten my make-shift workspace.

It was the month of May and here in Bangalore, the monsoon arrives usually towards the end of May. As the day progressed, I would look out occasionally, spot moving clouds and sometimes get lost in the scenery only to be brought back to reality by the meeting notification from my laptop. That day, looking outside the window that I had till then taken for granted thinking, eh, it’s just a window with a normal apartment in front, I discovered a view so rich with life and change and process that I permanently discarded the curtains and sat there to work every day. I noticed the landscape change in front of me, day in and day out and one fine evening an idea struck my head, what if I photograph the change through the day and stitch together the shots taken at every hour of the day. And that’s how this picture came to life.

Here are two renditions of the timelapse photograph. The one on the left shows the scene at every hour of the day as you would see on the clock with the day starting at 9 AM and finishing at 9 PM. The one on the right comprises of strips that indicate a 2-hour window.

Notice the shadow on the building as you scroll through the images below

Over the next couple of weeks, through my camera, I tried to document the beautiful change and process that I was witnessing in the simplicity of nature. I captured a thunderstorm, I captured the pouring rain, I captured the dusk, and I captured dawn.
Sitting near the window, observing nature, instilled a sense of calm and freshness in me. The ever blowing breeze inspired life to the mundane scene. There were days with wide, clear blue skies and then were days when in the sky above, continual roil of distant summer lightning burned and flashed and illuminated the clouds. It seemed as if the lightning bugs were talking to the lightning, in a perfect call and response of flash and counterflash. And then it poured. Watching the raindrops accumulated on the window pane reminded me of the adage,

‘We’re as ephemeral as raindrops. We all fall, and we all land somewhere.’

Whenever there was a power cut the play of light and dark from dusk to dawn as observed from my window-side workspace would create a special atmosphere and experiential space that made me slip away from the ‘here and now’ and produced rich situations of daydreaming. It reinforced my belief that we do not live only in the objective world of external objects and activities. Each day we pass through multiple realities – we phase in and out between the actual world and imaginary realms. When the dawn approaches, in its semi-darkness, memories and insights arrive. The combination of idyllic landscape in front of me with the setting in darkness made my liberating mood even stronger. And I am writing this essay in one of such escapes.

This exercise of capturing the view from my window has been a philosophical journey for me. It made me understand the importance of practicing fika [fee-ka] – to take a moment to slow down and appreciate the good things in life. I hope we get out of this pandemic stronger and not take the little moments for granted which we used to, mostly because we assumed that there would be a thousand more.

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