MidReal Story

Sunrise Serendipity

Scenario: A happy morning in kolkata
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A happy morning in kolkata
It was the best time of the day.
The sky was still pink, the air fresh and cool.
The city was just beginning to stir, with people getting ready for work.
Kolkata was my city, and I loved it most in the morning.
I was a morning person.
I loved waking up to the smell of fresh coffee, the sound of the newspaper being delivered, the soft light of dawn tainting my room a golden hue.
My mother said it was because I was born just before sunrise that I loved it so much.
I had always loved mornings, but more so because it was less crowded then.
As a tour guide, I had learned to deal with crowds, but that didn’t mean I preferred them.
It was a Saturday, and I was looking forward to my day off.
I had plans to take my childhood friend Aarav to Prinsep Ghat.
We had known each other since we were children, and we shared a love for art.
As a photographer, Aarav liked to visit new places, find new angles, and click new pictures.
And as a tour guide, I loved to show him around.
I climbed up to my terrace and stretched out my arms.
The sun was just peeking over the horizon and would soon bathe the city in its warm glow.
It was a beautiful sight, a beautiful promise that it would be a beautiful day.
From there, I could see the Hooghly River, a tributary of the Ganges River that ran through Kolkata.
It was one of the reasons this city had been so important during the British Rule in India.
It had been strategically built at the mouth of this river so that they could control trade in and out of the country.
That’s what history books said anyway; most people didn’t care about history anymore.
But not me; not Kolkata.
The city wore its history like a badge of honor, and I loved that about it.
Kolkata was a vibrant city with beautiful colonial architecture, but it wasn’t just that; there was something about its people too.
They were always so full of life and energy, and I loved that too.
I looked out at the river and watched as a small boat made its way across it.
I could see some people already going about their business on the other side of the river and wondered what their day would hold for them.
Would they find something beautiful to be thankful for?
Would they find something to make them smile?
I hoped so.
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From where I stood, I had a clear view of Howrah Bridge with Victoria Memorial in the distance behind it.
Some of my favorite places in the city to take pictures of…and some of my client’s favorite places to have their pictures taken at when I was working.
The sky was now a beautiful shade of blue, a stark contrast to the pink it had been just a few minutes ago.
The sun was almost completely up now, and my heart swelled inside my chest at the beauty of it all.
It was moments like this that reminded me how much I loved my city.
Sometimes I got so caught up in trying to make a living that I forgot to live myself and to appreciate such little things that brought me so much joy.
“How can you not enjoy mornings when the sky looks like this?”
someone asked me from behind.
I didn’t need to turn around to know who it was; I would recognize that voice anywhere; I would recognize him anywhere.
“You’re up early, Aarav,” I said instead.
He came to stand beside me.
“Is there any other time to be up?”
I shrugged, still not turning to face him.
“Are you going to tell me or not?”
he asked impatiently.
“Tell you what?”
I asked, turning to face him now.
He narrowed his eyes at me.
“Are you going to tell me why you dragged me out of bed?”
“I didn’t drag you out of bed,” I said, but my smile gave me away.
He rolled his eyes, but he was smiling too.
“Why do you always do that?”
“Do what?”
“Come on, you know,” he said, nudging me with his elbow.
I laughed and nudged him back.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
We both laughed.
Aarav Sharma looked more like an artist than a photographer; with his tall, lean body, thick beard, and deep-set eyes, he reminded me of a young painter from the olden days.
But he loved taking pictures.
And he was good at it too.
“Are you going to tell me or not?”
he asked again.
I cocked my head to the side.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
He nudged me with his elbow again.
“I knew it!”
he said with a grin.
He didn’t say anything else, but he didn’t have to.
I knew what he meant, even if he wouldn’t say it out loud.
Aarav and I had known each other for as long as we both could remember.
We used to be in diapers when our moms met in the park.
They both had young children, and they both loved to talk, so they became best friends.
One day when we were babies, our moms had laid us down on the same blanket next to each other, and we were holding hands even before we could walk.
I guess that’s when our friendship really started.
We grew up together, and we did everything together.
Even though we were very different people, there was something special about our bond that made us almost inseparable.
It only got stronger as we grew older.
I had always been a bit of a wild child, always looking for adventure and leaving a trail of chaos wherever I went.
Aarav on the other hand had always been a quiet, introverted child who kept to himself.
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We weren’t really the kind of people who would have become friends if we hadn’t been thrown together by fate, but the more time we spent together, the more we realized that we actually complemented each other pretty well.
When we were kids, we would sneak out of the house early in the morning to go explore the hidden alleys and forgotten corners of Kolkata.
We would run through the streets as fast as our little legs could carry us, laughing and shouting at the top of our lungs.
We would climb over fences and walls, open gates that we weren’t supposed to, and go places that we weren’t allowed to go.
We would get scolded by our parents and lectured by our teachers, but it didn’t matter.
In those moments of freedom, nothing else mattered except the two of us and the adventure that lay ahead of us.
We would go to the park or the zoo or the market or the beach, or wherever else we felt like going that day.
We would eat street food and ice cream, ride bicycles and rickshaws, watch movies in the theater or plays in the auditorium.
We did everything together.
And even though we got into a lot of trouble for it, those memories are some of my happiest memories from my childhood.
We would run around like crazy people for hours at a time, until we were exhausted and out of breath, then we would sit down on a bench or under a tree to rest for a while.
I would talk about everything that came to my mind and Aarav would listen, watching me with his deep-set eyes, nodding every now and then to let me know he was listening.
And when I was done talking, he would take my hand in his, look at me with a smile in his eyes, and say something sweet that would make my heart race.
He had always been good at that; making me feel special even when I wasn’t feeling particularly special myself.
It’s one of the things I love most about him.
But even though I was the one who loved the limelight and the attention, he was the one who really made me feel special because he was the only one who could see me for who I really was, and he loved me for it anyway.
He had always been there for me, supporting me and encouraging me in everything I did, even when no one else would.
And I loved him for it more than I could put into words, but I knew that he didn’t like to talk about his feelings so I didn’t push him too much.
We were different in that way too; I was an open book, but he was more of a mystery, even to me.
Even though we had known each other for as long as we could remember, there were still things about him that I didn’t understand, and maybe that was one of the things that made him even more special to me, because he wasn’t like anyone else I knew.
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As I watched the sun rise over the river, turning the sky from pale pink to bright orange, I felt my heart swell with joy and excitement, and I knew that today was going to be a good day.
It must have been the hundredth time I had seen the sun rise over the river, but it never failed to take my breath away every single time I saw it, as if I was seeing it for the first time every time.
There was something magical about dawn in Kolkata that I just couldn’t get enough of, and I felt lucky to be able to see it so often from the terrace of my house, which offered the best view of the river in the entire city, if you asked me, but of course I would never say that out loud because that would make me sound like I was bragging, and no one likes a braggart.I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, savoring the moment for a few seconds longer before I reluctantly tore myself away from the view and went back inside to get ready for work.
It was almost time for me to leave for the day, and even though I would have been perfectly happy to spend the rest of the day on the terrace, watching the city wake up and come alive around me, I had a job to do and I couldn’t be late.
I put on a fresh pair of jeans and a plain white t-shirt, pulled my long black hair back into a ponytail, grabbed my backpack and camera, and ran out of the house to go meet the rest of the group at the meeting point.
I was leading a walking tour around North Kolkata that morning so I had a busy day ahead of me.
As soon as I stepped out of the house, Aarav came out of his house too and fell into step beside me.
“Hey,” he said quietly in his deep voice.
“Hey,” I said cheerfully.
“Are you coming with us this morning?”
He nodded and gave me a small smile.
“Of course,” he said.
“I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
I grinned at him and punched him in the arm playfully.
“I knew you wouldn’t,” I said smugly.
“There’s nothing you love more than taking pictures of this beautiful city at the crack of dawn.”
He laughed softly.
“Not as much as you love showing off your beautiful city to a group of curious tourists who are just as excited as you are to be here.”
I rolled my eyes good-naturedly.
“You know me too well,” I said with a grin.
“Or maybe you just really know yourself.”
He grinned back at me as we turned the corner and walked towards the meeting point together.
There were ten people in the group that morning: five men and five women ranging in age from their twenties to their sixties, with a mix of nationalities between them: two Indians, three Americans, one British, two French, one German, and one Japanese.
They came from different parts of the world and had different backgrounds and different perspectives on life, but they all shared one thing in common: they were passionate travelers who loved exploring new places and learning new things about different cultures.
And they were all really excited to be in Kolkata that morning.
I could tell by the way they looked at each other with wide eyes and big smiles as they waited for us at the meeting point.
I could feel their excitement in the air as we set off on our tour together.
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