Bucharest, on a December morning around 6 AM, before sunrise:
The alarm sounds – the snooze button saves the night. Does it twice, three times – before the bedlamp eliminates the darkness and gives premature birth to a new day.
The cold tiles of an empty bathroom surround me, as I take a shower, a feeble attempt to wash the heavy sleepiness away. I find company in an equally tired looking face while brushing teeth in front of the mirror. I switch on music to inhale some life into what hardly wants to become a day yet. A cup of coffee to the tunes of Iron & Wine provides for my five minutes of morning comfort before the apartment door is closing behind me and my solitary way to work starts.
It won’t be before seeing the smiling faces of my kids at school before this day reveals a friendly face.
India, 7 AM after sunrise at the ghats of the Tungabhadra river:
After waking up early I decide to enjoy the fresh morning air at the river ghats. Roosters crowing, the morning haze slowly vanishes as sunrays penetrate the lazy air. The riverbanks are crowded and as active as possible at this early hour though. Farmers, rickshaw drivers, temple pilgrims and whole families occupy the lowest steps of the ghats for their daily morning routine.
Men are shampooing their hair, chatting lightly, joking, jostling their neighbors, splashing water at each other. Children are crying from soap in their eyes as mothers are scrubbing their heads, women exchange news while slapping the soaked laundry on the stone steps. Old men are being helped into the water and are getting their backs scrubbed. The air is full of positive energy and those who finished their baths seem to not only own a refreshed body, but a refreshed soul as they walk by me, broadly smiling and wishing a good morning.
I am touched by their gentle faces, but can’t suppress some jealousy – once more I feel that in a triangle of luxury, simplicity and happiness, two corners are closer to each other, while the other one feels lonely.