Of Peeping Toms , dusk lights and Dr Chang

On a lane in Hidustan Park , there is a superbly elegant house . A small iron gate , and a very short driveway lead to a low broad verandah and the tall double doors are almost always open. During the day the room is mostly in darkness except for an elongated patch where the sunlight streams in . The windows are tall and have glass panes set on the upper half and louvred shutters below . Inside is a three piece ensemble of an elegant sofa and two armchairs with a table set before them.

One can make out two portraits and paintings on the wall. At night the house looks beautiful . and The light from the overhead hanging lamp throws the cream walls and red furnishings and some other parts of the room into focus and casts long shadows elsewhere.

I normally see two older ladies maybe in their seventies , looking like my Pishi when I last saw her - tall and slim and white haired , impeccably dressed even if she was just sitting on the balcony at home . I always slow down , sometimes stop just to glance in . Its awful I know but I cannot resist it - theres something so calming yet unreal about that one circle of light with the two old ladies that turns me into a peeping tom.

Yesterday , in search of a dentist recommended by a well known medical practitioner , I went to Theatre Road . No 75 , he had said . I had expected a posh outfit but found myself in front of a run down one room clinic with "DR CHANG" on the board . Inside I found the good Dr Chang haggling with one lungi clad rickshaw seller over the price of extracting 2 teeth . 200 , the good doctor said .
Certainly not ! expostulated the rickshawpuller - pachas dega ( Rs 50/-) and so on and so forth . The other dentist sharing the room was the recommended one . Of course I ran . I didn't want my teeth extracted with the same forceps ( or whatever dentists use to pull out reluctant teeth by the root) with the same one used on said rickshaw puller , city of joy notwithstanding ( and yes I am dreadfully elitist about such things)

So we're back to square one - no dentist as of now .

Anyway Theatre Road was beautiful in the dusk glimmer with the lights coming on in the street and people's house and no I did not peep into anyone's house .


Rimi said...

I have this secret fetish for old staircases. It is about the only thing not directly relevant to me (unlike food, books, clothes) that I take an interest in.

And then one day the bus broke down at Shishu Mongol hospital, so I marched inside the bylane to avoid the traffic and mad emy way towards Deshapriya Park. You won't believe the prettiness of some the houses there! And of course, everytime I saw and open door, I stopped and tried to catch the shape and style of the staircase.

Dreadful peeping-tommery, but there you are :-) So glad I'm not the only one.

hillgrandmom said...

Theatre Road...brings back so many memories. My best friend lived/still lives (I think) there. Attack of nostalgia for Cal. sigh :(

NWRMK said...

I cannot resist looking into windows at night. I too love to see the house to see what is there...books, things whatever. I would be embarrassed to see any private moments but I do love seeing the inside of the package.

I am with you about the dentist ...want to make sure what goes in my mouth has been sterilized.

You story was so well written that I can imagine it all clearly.

dipali said...

I have a good dentist- will mail you his number.
Lovely post- there is always this fascination for what lies behind the lighted windows!

Shaapla said...

I really like how you almost always put pictures. And I love old houses too.

Spin said...

Close shave today, Stalky.

Bong Mom said...

I love houses and peeping into them :)

Mystic Margarita said...

Your description was so vivid, I can imagine the two elegant elderly ladies. Did they have a stylish bob hair style btw? I love looking into lighted windows at night - always hoped I'd catch someone murdering their wives in the act! Anyway, I guess that makes me a voyeur with a Hitchcock fetish! Wonder if they'll consider casting me if they decide to remake Rear Window!!

NWRMK said...

ohhhh, a photo of the house.

Sue said...

My dentist is good, even though she's expensive.

Let me know if you want her number.

J. Alfred Prufrock said...

Mmm yes, I so love looking through twilit windows into warm lamplight and trying to imagine the lives inside.

I notice the Daughter is cheeking you. Interesting.