It is a strange thing that is happening to my body. Over a week has passed since my trip across the globe and I am still fighting the effects of jet lag. My avoidance of afternoon naps to enable nights of longer sleep duration have not panned out so far. I end up waking up a few hours before the sun is up, much before the sounds of the street begin to pick up, even earlier than the wake up calls of the birds. But this state of affairs did also offer an opportunity. I was awake early enough to be able to go up to the third floor terrace of the house to greet the sunrise and the dawning of the new day. Armed with information about the expected time of sunrise in Chennai, I ascended the stairs to the top of the house yesterday just before the dawn was due.
This first picture of the bright light in the skies turned out to be a show well before the actual sunrise. The colors in the sky disappeared very quickly.
Store fronts began to open and set up on the street. This is a little cafe.
This is a little store front right across the road.The banana leaves you see in the picture will probably be used for packing food that is sold. Later in the morning, the owner will wash the store front and complete the Kolam, the auspicious floor design on the ground in front of the home that is a tradition of South India.The milk packets for sale have already arrived are in the yellow crate.
Another false sunrise appeared in the sky shortly after the first one. It was brighter still than the first burst of light, and could be seen in a slightly different direction from that first light show. This time the light appeared over a building next to the terrace I was standing on.
This is the way the sky looked when you turned away from the sunrise phenomenon.
The color in the sky in the direction of the sunrise lost its intensity fairly quickly after the second burst of color.
The next distinct indication of the continuation of the sunrise was the light of the sun falling directly on a building that lay across from the rising sun.
It was a peaceful scene. Birds could be seen flying high across the sky in little groups. They seemed to have a sense of purpose. They flew in straight lines from one edge of the horizon to the other. From below me, on the street, arose the sounds of an awakening city.
But I still could not see the sun. It was hidden by the building in front of me. I could see the faint flare of light, somewhat like an aura, at the level of the building as the process continued.
The picture below shows the final phase of the whole transformation.
I departed the terrace at this point. My experience of the magic of this sunrise was now complete.