10th January, 10 pm, as I unlocked the door of my flat in Manna Ash, after a lovely dinner with my closest friend, I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw. A pink lovely sweat shirt, a pretty face peeped out of her half open door and greeted me with a warm smile. Slowly another door opened, with a cheerful expression peered a mohawk, the glee of the refreshing Christmas break reflected on his happy face. Engrossed in conversation, we were clueless about our unconscious increase in volume till it made the third door of the flat open. A bright red robe with a glorious smile joined the confab. Almost contradicting the colour of her attire, she went on to describe her white cat in the white snow back home over new years. As the bubbly chitchat progressed, a very familiar voice emanated from the only door which was shut. It was our hissing vacuum cleaner. Instantaneously, the door flung open as the everyday cursing made its way through the corridor. In a second peered hilarious Mr Brit American or Mr American Brit. (The order you see is extremely important). The customary complaints of green greased shower curtains and the smell of puke were spouted out. And wow! I felt at home.
Four heads, four expressions through four partially open doors, all of a sudden! It was a sight indeed. Everyone was back 'home' from Christmas and I was moving out. The blue dusty carpets, the clogged drain and the blaring fire alarms had become so much a part of my everyday life. My soft toys had found a home in 7B4, my flat in Manna Ash.
Manna Ash, my house for a whole beautiful year in London. A house away from home but made me feel so much at home. The view of the London Eye as I would peep out of the kitchen window, the noisy lots at Imbibe (the pub downstairs) where occasional squeals erupted on saturday nights and of course, the swiping of cards a zillion times and a zillion DOORS!
DOORS! How I despised them when I had to lug heavy grocery bags and huge portfolios and push and pull open a zillion of them to get home. Now they seemed unexpectedly pleasant, just the day before I was leaving Manna Ash. I could not believe when my friend said that she missed me when we were not in the same city, just by hearing a familiar tune which reminded her of the tune of my lift door in my building back home in Bombay. But, now I could relate.
When I entered my new house at Acorn walk, everything was perfect. The most beautiful people and a cozy house. Could not ask for anything better! But, it just was one clockwise turn of that long metal object, and I was home.
I missed the DOORS.
I missed Manna Ash.