Sunset Boulevard

Genesis 6:
When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, [2]the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose.

[NOTE] – The daughters of humans were beautiful.

Beautiful to me is sunset. And sunsets are my favourite part of the day. I’m always drawn to it. There is no better end of the day than watching a great sunset. I’d love it better sometimes when it rained just before that. The sight of the cotton candy clouds, along with the double rainbow in the somewhat copper-coloured sky, that fresh, earthy smell of rain and the calmness, the placidity and how it makes me feel like I’m in another realm. A rather spiritual one, filled with mystery, away from the forces of darkness.

I used to sit in a tree to watch the sunset. I was between 3 to 6 years of age where I was always doing and experiencing things by myself. I was the only child at that time and often left alone as both my parents had to go to work. My dad would come check on me whenever he can in the afternoon as his office was nearer and he had a motorcycle. He’d get me juice or buy me snacks. I would only see my mom at sunset. She and my dad would arrive with style on his motorcycle. I always imagine them in slow motion, entering the vicinity like superheroes on their superbikes – ready to shoot the enemies of the world and punch them silly.

I would wave at my mom sometimes from the tree. She would scold me for climbing up high. The funny thing is, a couple of years later, I developed this fear of heights.

We stayed in a community flat, or rather a hostel actually, where the kitchen and bathrooms are shared. In our room, I remember we had a medium sized radio and a small TV – both with a sticker of my name on them. My dad would label all his belongings with my name. My favourite would be that yellow Suzuki GSX-R750 SRAD he had at that time. A big-ass sticker of my name slapped on it. He does that still, even today. But instead of stickers, my name is fossilised in agreements, grants, and whatnot. And this is more of a lifetime responsibility – not wealth.

[REWIND] – At that time, it was only the three of us. I don’t quite remember what we usually do at night [dad would write songs or play his guitar] but after sunset, we’d all go to the kitchen and everyone would somehow cook dinner around the same time.

Moms cooking, dads chatting about and smoking [my dad doesn’t] while the kids would play. I would just watch them. Or have a chat with my mom. Perhaps I was always that kind of person – an observer, a listener and would talk to only certain people. I don’t share my toys as I didn’t have much and I don’t really play them or bring them out from our room anyways. But I had a stuffed dog. It was brown and I used to ride on it like it’s my very own limited edition Suzuki. I do have a best friend at that time though, after we moved out to another place. Our moms were colleagues. They’re Pakistani and I’d eat at their house almost every day.

There’s something very calming about the setting sun. Where we lived at that time, there’s a huge football field, tennis court, and there were big trees surrounding us, a rather spacious carpark because there were probably less than 10 people had a car and the best part is, there was also a ‘barok‘ there. I would sit in there, observe my surrounding, watch people come home from work, watch the kids running around and running away from their moms, I’d see dads washing their cars and motorcycles, I’d see younger adults playing football, smoking and joking around, when I see a few people having intense conversation, I would walk pass them or sit not so far away from them.

And that’s what beautiful about sunset for me at that time. Not so much of the beautiful sky… But life and routine. My relationship with my dad and my bond with my mom. My fresh experience of people before they call it a night – listening to and understanding how they go about their day, how work was, how they look at world issues and how things are changing around them.

Sunset is obviously one of the biggest cliches in photography. On weekends, we’d spend our sunset at a park not so far away. I remember my dad took a photo of me and my mom sitting on a bench overlooking the lake. The sky was beautiful. He also took a photo of me jumping and running with his basic, cheap Kodak camera. I don’t remember if we had a photo of the three of us. It was not a ‘selfie’ and ‘wefie’ era yet so, we didn’t know how to take that kind of photo.

The best and most beautiful sunset I saw and experienced was with my parents between the year 1989 and 1993. Then life happens. But sunsets are always special to me. Today, I’d drive watching the sunset on my way home, listening to Michael’s voice notes if not talking on the phone with my mom.

Sunset is romantic and it slows down time. I used to kiss my first boyfriend under the tree at sunset. It was always emotional and made me wonder if we were going to be together forever. Nope – that ship sank.

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator.”

People always say that God’s greatest masterpiece of creation that He has ever made is you. For me, sunset comes right after that.

To whom it may concern,

One day, I want to watch that last sliver disappear below the skyline with you. I want to experience this gorgeous life’s gift with you. Even if we were to meet just once, I want to share that calming, beautiful moment with you. There’s never one sunset the same. Ours will always be special.

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