The magic hour

As the sun’s rays start receding, a gentle breeze fills our verandah. My state of mind at this instant is similar to that of the children in my apartment. Boys and girls of all sizes rushing down the stairs, eager to join their friends. Eager to jump, form huddles, run around aimlessly, whisper and hatch plans.

The best time of the day is here.

A sunset in Kerala. Clicked by: Bharat

Ending the day’s cycle, Kerala
Clicked by: Bharat

Most people consider mornings to be the best time of the day to be productive, soak in the quiet atmosphere and to be purposeful. But there’s rarely a relaxing moment. Night crawlers will vouch for the opposite. I’m quite sure only those who indulge in siestas have an affinity towards afternoons. Afternoons make me restless. I wait for early evenings. For me it’s a sign of completion of the day’s cycle – winding up tasks, taking walks with music plugged in, people watching or looking at cars rushing back home. The sky too, turns into an enviable palette of hues.

Wherever I’ve traveled, evenings have been special. Whether it was the sunset from a rooftop sitting area in the middle of a field in Punjab, with the accompanying hot chai and pakodas or watching the city of Florence look like a goddess from the Piazza Michael Angelo square – evenings hold a charm in every travel destination.

Florence, in all its sunset grandeur.

In my hometown Kolkata, evenings mean puchka and jhaal muri. The 4-8 PM slot is brisk business time for snack sellers and many a chaatwaalahs have a line of eager foodies patiently waiting for their turn.

During my days in an advertising agency, early evenings meant gossip sessions over green chilli maggi. While we juniors were cooped in office waiting for artworks to close, dreading another email from clients, we’d take some time off and hang out in the cafeteria. I shudder at the prospect of eating any more maggi.

Food, travel and merriment aside, evenings signify the day’s closure – a time to start unwinding. When one can ideally take a break from multitasking or prioritizing. Yes, there will be pressing deadlines, traffic to chase or delayed meetings. But, as the golden hours glide into evenings, it is the universe’s way of telling you: slow down.