Waiting in a car, sheltered from the world, I am a princess. The streets are paved for me, my carriage is plush. I pause, looking casually at the shining lights – surely they burn as bright as this even if I am not looking. Or have they been charmed by my sight?

I pause in the glimmer turned to gloaming in the shadow of my covers. A tinkle,  smooth and rhythmic breaks into my thoughts. A brightly painted elephant, swathed in multicoloured malmal glides past. Four thin young boys swing back and forth on the seat in a game of dare known only to mahout boys. The elephant continues, its matronly gait unperturbed by these antics. The day may be done, but her footsteps know that steady and sure is the only way.

The traffic noise fades into the background. Ghostly cars whiz past soundlessly, as if from a future that has not been built yet. They are grey in the fuzzy halogen that greys even the stars above. No matter, for this is but a dream. I am awakened by the steady clip clop of hooves, horses pulling a chariot. The king of the day has been put to his chamber, his chariot of the day merrily celebrates its freedom. Jingling bells to clopping beats, untold stories waft past. Merging into the gloom, a bright red and white shadow left behind.

I look to the left, smelling the food. InDelhifood is never far away. Each flare either bad news or food. The gas light hisses, the steaming pots lie open casually next to the rhythmic slapping of paranthas on the pan. This is comfort food, the anda (egg) parantha of one’s youth. When time was eternal. Revisiting eternity in a moment of truce with time.