The winter sky clears sometimes on rare occasions, without even a wisp of a cloud anywhere. That’s when it turns an unnatural blue, so stark that one is immediately drawn to it. Nearer the horizon it is an arctic blue, lighter in shade, while higher up it is a deep cobalt blue.

I have no idea why they call a tint ‘cobalt blue’. In spite of my immensely powerful intellect, there still are a few stray scraps of knowledge that my intelligence quotient has let slip through the cracks. Sigh. Cobalt, the metal, is dirty grey in color actually. I suppose it is when cobalt combines with something else and forms a compound, it turns blue.

I could of course look it up on Wiki but I won’t. Instead, like Aristotle, I’ll just contemplate and the answer shall simply present itself to me. Since it is a Friday, I won’t object if a glass of Chardonnay is on the tiny coffee table next to me. Wine expedites contemplation.

Sometimes as I gaze out, I see a jet, high up at cruising altitude, crawling across – leaving behind a snow white twin contrail. If there is no turbulence in the upper atmosphere, the contrail bulges out just a wee bit but retains its shape a while. Are they going home, I wonder. Is anyone waiting at the other end, I feel like wanting to know.

Staring at the lonely horseman up in the sky that is fast disappearing from my field of view, I am reminded of Debabrata Biswas’s deep voice singing in its signature measured tone… shudhu jaoa asha , shudhu shrote bhasa… (life is a series of arrivals and departures and of trying not to swim against the flow).

(I did catch a plane flying across but by the time I stumbled down to the den and retrieved my camera, it was gone, so you’ll just have ta imagine it is there)

Of course, it is a given that when the weather is clear, the cold is especially bitter. I guess every silver lining has to have a chill to it.