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Bitter Sweet Nothings

March 31, 2013 Leave a comment

Call it shayari, call it the stray tendrils of thoughts escaping from a multi-tasking mind. But sometimes, words come together in such amazing ways. I do not sit down to write something, or do not make efforts to sculpt an idea into a readable form always. Sometimes, sentences just flow through my head.

And I am callous enough to dismiss them. I am foolish enough to pen them down and then save them in a folder named “Incomplete”, hoping that someday I will be able to finish the thought.

But lately, I have realized that these little titbits are worthy of their own existence. They are not stillborn creations, they are not crippled writings. They have a right to live, and to be given due appreciation. They are no different from their other brethren, whom I polish at length before publishing.

So, here are these thoughts, these lines, which so frequently beg me to give them life, but never see the light of day.

1. Words are powerful in all their avatars- they are wizards, warriors, healers, enthrallers….But they cannot take the place of companionable silence- the true manifestation of love and
contentment.
________________

2. the tendrils of thought find themselves sneakily spreading out from an overactive mind trying helplessly to control them.

_______________

3. your mysterious smile,

the promises it makes,

the hearts it breaks,

the innocence it fakes,

the earth beneath my feet it shakes

I give it all it takes

not to fall to my knees and surrender

to your mysterious smile

____

4. Ek raat mujhs chaand ne kaha,

Tu dekhta to mujhe hai

Par khayalon mein koi aur rehta hai

Kya tumhein meri koi kadar nahin?

Kya tumhein, wafa ki kadar nahin?

Maina kaha, tumhari patthar-dil muskurahat ko dekh kar

Ek aur haseen chehra yaad aajata hai

Jise hamare pyaar ki kadar nahin

Aur jisne hume, wafa ko bekadar karna sikhaya hai…

_____

5. Humne tumse ye vaada kiya

Ki tumhaare pyaar ko pane ke liye

Jalte sholon par challenge

Kaanton par, aur sheeshe par bhi challenge

Lekin tujhe paakar rahenge.

Par tumne to hame aise aazmaaya,

ki aaj bhi hum toote, bhikhare khabon ki sej par

tadapte hain, bilakhtein hai

Na jeete hain, na marte hain

_____

6. Kehte hain ki dard jeene ka tareek sikhata hai

Lekin tumhare jaane ke dard ne

Hum jeete ji marna sikhaaya

_____

7. Jab seene ke dard ko hotho ki muskaan se chupaana parta hai,

To har muskurahat dil par khanjar maarti hai.

Zamaana sochta hai, ki hume gir kar utthne ka hunar aata hai

jabki sach to yeh hai

Ki tumhari yaadein marne to deti nahin,

Aur meri tanhayi har pal jeene ki aas ko marti hai

____

8. Zindagi mein ab yeh mukaam aaya hai

Ki apne hi aansoo amrit ban chuke hain

More to come…..

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Categories: Mirages Tags: , ,

The Dreams Meister

November 19, 2012 4 comments

…the isle is full of noises,
Sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears; and sometime voices
That, if I then had waked after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again; and then in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open, and show riches
Ready to drop upon me, that when I waked
I cried to dream again.

Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Act 3, Scene 2

I fall asleep after a long, tiring, chaotic day. Amazingly, my brain finds the energy and resources to dream.

I find myself standing at the shore of… a sea? An ocean? I never could tell the difference. The landscape is bluish grey- I suspect that if I search the cloudy skies I will find a moon lurking somewhere. The trees are dark silhouettes, as are the huge rocks lazing around, oblivious to the brutal caress of waves. Déjà vu, my dreams have brought me here before. Something reminds me that those prior episodes have always taken place between the cool sands, so I begin to turn away from the water in anticipation of what will happen tonight.

But something catches my eye and I keep looking at the watery horizons. A form begins to take shape in the distance- It is a boat. I strive to catch a glimpse of the rower. They draw near.

A stray star escapes the hold of the wispy clouds and sends its rays streaming down. Something like a celestial Morse code. It- the starlight- is caught in the abyss of his eyes and they gleam. I recognize him with a start. It is him again! Those eyes, they have the power to hurt and heal. In the waking world, I could never look at them longer than a couple of seconds, because…..I just couldn’t. They subjugate me and make me bow my head in front of him. Or at least look away, if I am feeling too rebellious.

But in Dream Land, I can gaze into them to my heart’s content. I can feel the fire, breathe in the passion, let the compassion soothe me and let the raw desire undo me. I can look into his eyes, because I know, that when I wake up, there will be no harm done. In the real world, that is.

As he draws closer, I see a tiny smile flit upon those lips- the bottom one shaped like a crescent moon and the upper, like the dual masts of a pirate’s vessel. This describes him perfectly- a lethal combination of cold elegance and brutal power. How often had those lips loved me in the Dream Land! How often had they wrecked havoc upon me in the real world!

But tonight, they just beckoned me to take his outstretched hand and enter into his boat. As my second foot is about to disconnect from land, a doubt washes over me. What am I doing? Why am I going into unchartered waters? With him of all the people! His clasp on my hand tightens a bit, he has sensed the hesitation. What? Have you started analyzing your dreams while you are still within in them? He appears to be only half-mocking. I know he is referring to my pathological, obsessive tendency to analyze every word, every action in the real world. There, he claims that this is the main reason for my unhappiness and discontent.

I do not know whether it is the naked accusation in his words, or the hint of amusement in his eyes which finally undoes me. But I step into his boat. He gently draws me closer to him and lightly skims my spine. So straight, he murmurs, such regal posture. Makes you tower over everyone else, my midget. I ignore the words and the sensations and draw away from his touch and go to sit in a corner of the boat. He rows into the night, beyond the misty shroud which obscures everything, except for his eyes. Are they beyond the reach of even otherworldly powers?

The mist clears, and I find myself in a land of unspeakable mystery. I could swear that a cadence permeated the air; but when I strained too hard to listen, it seemed to disappear. I catch a glimpse of his face and feels his eyes telling me, do not analyze! My Meister commands me to feel, and, for the first time in my life, I allow myself to feel completely.

Your eyes…

What about them?

Don’t laugh at me.

Why should I? Laughter was once the embodiment of joy and pleasure. Humans have whored her and turned her into a veil for their insecurity, fears, anxiety and anticipation. But I still laugh for the old, pure reasons.

Your eyes…

This time he is silent, he waits for me to continue. I do.

One day, before you were born, the most innocent and beautiful of all angels woke up and stretched to dispel the last remnants of sleep. The sweat from her brow fell, and carried with it the pure aura of the heavens, and drifted further away. It touched God’s feet and absorbed his power. It swam through the ether, carrying a part of all the secrets that have ever existed in each and every one of the worlds. It survived the fire of Hades, and became embellished with the cruelty that abides there. It absorbed the whispered reverberations of your mother’s prayer and entered the real world to be a part of her wishes.

It became a part of you. Your eyes.

The silence stretched for eternity. Around us, a cacophony of colours executed a mystical dance. Strange life forms glided past. Alien worlds were close enough for me to touch. We passed through a wall of fire, unscathed.

He spoke.

You love me so much…even though you never say.

Why should I allow you to hurt me more?

Why don’t you trust me and have faith in me?

I can’t!

He got up from his place and sat next to me. In his arms, I found the ultimate contentment, joy and peace and knew that I could never let go.

He spoke.

Nothing is perfect, neither you, nor I. But we have to have faith in one another, if we want to live together. Where there is love, there will always be hurt, anger, resentment, pain, fury and a million reasons to break away. Love, by itself is not enough to overcome these. Love and faith together make the unshakeable foundation of a happy life.

I looked into his eyes once again- those enchanting pools of glory and power. I tried to say something, but felt as though I was being sucked into a vortex. I cried out, trying to hold on to him, but he pushed me away.

I awoke, groggily, left with nothing but fading fragments of my dream.

He came into focus. He was angry and irritated, shouting at me.

For once, I felt no hurt, no pain. Only a sudden rush of emotion and power. He must have felt it too, for he stopped in mid sentence and stared at me.

“Are you okay,” he asked.

“I love you” I replied.

He stared at me, speechless.

“I have loved you as long as I can remember and will always do so. Please get used to it. We have our differences, but I am sure we can work them out. I agree, I am too analytical and insecure and have a great difficulty in trusting you. But I promise you that I will learn to trust you and quit challenging you at every step. In return, I want you to treat me with respect and keep my opinions and preferences into account while planning something which will affect both of us.”

He stared at me, speechless.

After a while, he crossed the room and held me tight in his arms, breathing hard. I felt his hot tears wetting my hair. I heard his unspoken promises and relaxed. Love and faith together would keep our relationship secure forever.

My dreams had come true.

Categories: Mirages Tags: , , ,

A Prelude To Silence

She sauntered along the sidewalk- a petite girl of indeterminate years. Happily humming to herself, she allowed her beatific smile to bring sunshine into people’s lives. And a little further ahead, dear Helios gracefully swam below the horizon, bidding adieu to yet another day and ushering in yet another night. She sighed inwardly. It had been a tiring but rewarding week and she was looking forward to the next forty-eight hours which, probably since the era of the troglodyte, had the designation of being “off” for the work-weary. She planned to drop in at her parents’ for a surprise visit. Or should it be at her sister’s? Her smile broadened as she thought of her hyperactive nieces and longed to be with them. Deep down within another longing begged for her attention. Maybe it was time for her also to settle down. She blushed crimson as she thought of Anton, and then her expression softened to one of fondness as she remembered his love and care. Truly, a passer by watching her would have been mesmerised by the panorama of wonderful feelings that bejewel an innocent soul.

Nobody ever, even for a moment blamed her for what happened next. The evidence was out and obvious that the truck driver had way too much alcohol in his blood. Compounded by a lack of several nights sleep, he recklessly turned a corner- the same corner from which she was approaching.

Nobody remembered her screams. Many still claim that the silent warrior that she always had been, she had probably just stared in surprise and horror as the truck barged into her. She lay there on the road, limbs akimbo, her groceries and files scattered around her, her cell phone showing “Mom Calling”. Mothers, they say, have been cursed with the burden of premonition. It adds to their worries without ameliorating their problems. And to one side lay her beloved laptop- the one that her parents had given her as a graduation present, the one that she called her darling baby. Her pretty face was caked with blood. An ambulance was called for. She was rushed to the nearest hospital.

The movies would have us believe that it always rains at funerals, but the truth is they are mostly sunny, as if Mother Nature is trying to console us saying that “life goes on”. It was the kind of a day she would have adored- warm and bright. She was a hot weather person, her mood soured by rains and winters. Her beloved family and friends stood sobbing at the brink of the dark gaping hole that was soon to entomb her forever. There was no one who was not stricken by her passing away. Her youth made it all the more unbelievable. The girl who had never hurt a soul in her life was now the cause for so much pain and anguish. It was perhaps the cruellest irony of life.

After the funeral, the distraught onlookers gradually dispersed and went on their way to begin a new life with a cavernous void. One person lingered back, unnoticed. Still unable to let go. Still unwilling to start afresh. He whispered her name. The wind carried it away to the heavens, piercing the bosom of the newly freed spirit. She was as helpless as her inamorato, the one with whom she had woven a thousand dreams and accrued a myriad of shy, sweet memories. Long before they could take their marriage vows, death had done them apart.

With a sigh, Anton turned and walked out of the cemetery. She would never want him to be so heartbroken, he knew this much. And the world expected him to be a man. He did not, even for a second think about going to console her parents. He had just become numb inside, moving as though mechanised. He walked the long distance to his apartment, oblivious to the world around him. He wanted to be alone in this twilight zone between past and future. He wanted to shut out the fact that his soulmate had left him to muddle through life on his own.

It was only a few days later that her parents discovered a compact disk in her bedroom, with a note saying that should anything happen to her, it should be given to Anton. It hurt a lot in so many ways. He wondered if he had ever realised exactly how much she loved him. He wondered if he had ever told her exactly how much he loved her. There would never be any answers. He poured himself a drink and lit a cigarette. He had given it up for her, but now that she was gone, his own life had lost its meaning. He booted his laptop, unwilling to read her last words, yet eager to get the ordeal over with. He switched off his cell phone, dimmed the lights and pulled down the shutters. There would be no intrusion on his grief today.

The disc contained a single word document, very heavy. He swallowed before opening it. He loved her writings. This one would be difficult. He closed his eyes, praying for strength. Then he left-clicked twice and, with tears blurring his vision, he read the first page.

Footprints of a Wandering Spirit

When the soul embarks on a one-way trip…

It was her personal diary. It was her soul, that she had left for him.

Categories: Mirages

Choices

Me: We cannot continue like this. The feelings will get stronger and then it will be difficult to forget each other. This must stop.

I speak in a controlled voice despite my tears. He stares into space as he brushes them away.

He: Yes.

We sit in silence. The clock strikes 11. We exchange a look. He gets up, puts on his clothes and with a final hug, leaves.

***

At work, we are professional as usual. No one is aware of the changes that have taken place. Women still ogle at him, men still hit on me. I spend the day trying hard not to hate myself for doing the right thing. I start questioning the definition of “right”. I try to conquer the pain, the sense of loss. I dread the advent of twilight. It is inevitable. I gather up my things, steeling myself for a lonely evening, for a lonely life. I reach my room; straighten a few things on my table. On an impulse, I sweep the floor and clean up the cupboard. Numb. Robotic. I peel off my clothes, toss them into the laundry basket. I take a long shower, pampering myself, washing off the memories of his touch, his stubble, his naughty tongue, his reassuring whispers, the sweet tang of his body. Later, I make a cup of strong coffee and open the door of my book rack. I choose the metaphysical Franz Kafka. I quash all hope and longing that he will come back. I will not all myself to be hurt any further. Few minutes pass by. There is a knock on the door. I open it, expecting the washer man. I am wrong. He walks in. the nerves in my head are threatening to burst.

***

As I lie ensconced in his warm embrace, looking at the now cold coffee and the abandoned Kafka, I realise that we make our own concepts of right and wrong. It is all about choices. I chose an ancient concept of morality and a broken heart. Then, I decided to opt for love instead. I may have offended some God in some distant corner of the universe, but, if I die tonight, I will die a happy person.

Categories: Mirages

Mahogany Nights

May 10, 2009 2 comments

Slowly the sky turns crimson. The sun tiredly drifts into the inviting embrace of the sea. The waves shuffle restlessly, as if urging the sun to hurry. Chirping birds head home, tired children hang on to their parents and trudge towards the sweet confines of their beds.

And then I take over, with my army of twinkling stars- the dear jewels. It’s time for me to smile upon the terrain below, tonight I’m called crescent by the inhabitants there. I do not capture as many people’s imagination in this form, as I do when I am rotund and cratered and “full”. But wait, my intentions are not to talk about myself; I want to share what I see.

He was a well-built swarthy young boy, had an excellent dressing sense and that too the kind that comes instinctively, not by standing in front of the mirror for hours. He had beautiful eyes, soft brown, that held a tinge of red when sleep threatened to break his resolve. He worked late into the nights, you see. He had a scar on his forehead, a legacy of a naughty childhood, and a dimple in only one cheek. Perfect teeth accentuated bow-shaped bottom lip and caused many a female heart to flutter.

And his hands…the tender harshness that can characterise only the hands of a human male. The strong fingers that trembled just a bit as he strummed his guitar. His guitar was made of mahogany. He never sang, never even hummed, never even shut his eyes in a moment of inner turmoil. Would stare straight at the sea, unreadable, unreachable. He would fill the night air with his music and then, slave to the luminous dials of his watch, he would saunter off into the darkness.

She was a lady of many shades. Rainbow girl- I liked to call her. Very moody. What she showed or expressed was always different from, if not opposite to, what was in her mind. She was engaged in a silent battle with the world around her during the day; during the night, she wanted to be with the only person she loved the most-herself. She wore her hair in a tight bun during the day, it flew loose during the night. Daytime witnessed her in shirts and trousers, she graced the dark beaches in a floral-print skirt. She would hum quietly to herself and compose verses in her head. She had a poet’s heart, you see.

A nervous girl who exuded self-confidence. An introvert who was the life of every party. A broken hearted lass whose jokes evoked the loudest laughter. She hated interacting with people; she was loved by all. Short, buck-toothed, yet cute. There were times when she looked almost pretty.

They met as a result of professional obligations. She respected him (was younger to him by four years), trusted him but was wary of his quiet nature. She did not have an overwhelming desire to please him, but cringed inwardly every time she did something stupid in front of him. And as luck would have it, he was always the one to point her mistakes. But he was kind to her; he taught her with patience and gentleness and was too preoccupied by his own problems to care. He thought of her as a kid, made fun of her and then gave her serious advice. Of each other’s personal lives they knew naught.

It was a pleasantly warm night that chose to epilogue a hectic day. Both of them had slogged for hours without any results. The atmosphere at work had also been tense. I need to unwind, they said to themselves, and headed for the beloved beach with its cathartic magic.

He was softly strumming his guitar, trying to block out the stress and tension of life. She was scribbling furiously on a piece of paper (was pretty good at writing even in semi-darkness), trying to cleanse her mind of the day’s grime. A gentle zephyr played with her wanton locks and carried the faint sound of his music into her ears. She heeded not, at first. The wind tried harder; and then, in a weak moment yanked her paper out of her fingers and blew it whence the music emanated. She gave a cry of despair and ran after it. Her steps slowed all of a sudden. Was it a guitar?

He played on absently. Why does life have to be so malicious all the time? He was not a warrior, for God’s sake. Suddenly, he felt tired inwardly. He wished that a ship would sail out of the ocean depths and carry him away from the messy intricacies of civilized society. His thoughts were rudely interrupted by a sheet of paper that brushed across his face. What the-

She edged closer, carefully. Hell, he’s got my paper. I have to approach him now. Hey wait a second, I know him-

“I thought I recognised your dirty handwriting.” She jumped at the sound of his voice and then flushed crimson when he laughed. “You scared me,” she stuttered.

He smiled. “Dark horse writes pretty well.”
“Dark horse plays his guitar very well.”

He looked down at the paper in his hand. She cleared her throat “Can I have my paper back?” “No. You will run away then.”

He’s joking, of course, she thought, but sat down beside him nonetheless.

“I come here often to get the day out of my system. Nature and music soothe my brain.”
“Nature inspires me to write.”

They sat in silence for a few seconds, each busy with his/ her own thoughts. Suddenly, she felt that she might be intruding upon his privacy and got up immediately. “Well, good night then. See you on Monday.”

He jumped up to his feet. “Hey! What’s the rush? I mean, it’s not very late, we could talk or something.”
She hesitated and then ventured timidly, “I thought you wanted to be alone.”

He smiled that benign smile of his, which always made her feel like a child. “What I want is some sensible company. I think you can provide it.” His smile turned naughty, “And besides, I still haven’t returned your paper.”

From then on, they happened to meet regularly. They liked each other’s company. Gradually, they shared more than just professional opinions and a cup of coffee. She shared her writings with him. He played his guitar for her. Once, she bullied him into singing her favourite song. From then on, the lonely guitar also had some company- the company of their voices. He taught her to play chess- she hated it, but she played for his sake. He set her poems to music. Slowly, their lives merged. Yet, the chasm still remained. They refrained from getting too personal. Or so they thought.

One night, he lay propped against a rock, his arm behind his head. She sat beside him, hugging her knees. They savoured the companionable silence of the night. The silence, which, tonight, was involved in a conspiracy with something that they could never fathom, that they had been trying to suppress. She looked up to find him gazing at her. She opened her mouth to speak, but no words came out. They gazed into each other’s eyes, fighting to smother that which refused to go away. They both spoke simultaneously:

“Shall we go for a coffee?”
“I’m hungry.”

They laughed, nervously, forcibly, and made their way to the nearest coffee shop. This time, they were wary of the silence and took pains to dispel it. During an awkward pause, the door of the shop opened and a couple-newly-wed- entered. Their faces were graced by the secret bliss that only lovers can stake a claim to.

“Ever thought of settling down?” he asked her abruptly, carefully avoiding her gaze. O, oh…she thought, her heart hammering wildly and replied haltingly, “Not really. I mean, it’s bound to happen sometime. I guess, when the right time and right person come, things will fall into place.”

He nodded, not commenting. She probed, “What about you?”

Outside, the trees slowed their rustling, as if holding their breath, the stars ceased to twinkle, afraid to miss even a blink. Time stood still. I hovered, peering through the window, my cratered countenance rapt with attention. Would he listen to his heart? Would he realise that she felt the same? If the world around them understood, it should be clear to them also.

He bowed his head and said softly, “I want to marry as per my family’s wishes. They haven’t stopped me from going my way, but I know that they will never be able to face the society if I opt for an inter-caste marriage. This is the reason why I have always kept away from relationships. I mean, if I develop a soft corner for a girl, and never even reveal it to her, it will still be hard for me.”

She swore silently that the sinking feeling in her stomach was the aftermath of the spicy chicken at dinner, nothing more. “My family is very liberal; many of my cousins, even my own sister and brother have married out of the community. But I feel that I will not be able to adjust in a culture different from my own. This is why I stay away from relationships. I know this sounds rather weird in today’s free world, however, it is always best to identify one’s limits and accept one’s limitations, rather than make a mistake and regret it forever.”

Having made these choices, having fooled themselves and each other, having quenched their true feelings for the sake of a scatter-brained society, that, in sooth, really did not care about them, they sat there in the dark, pretending to feel relieved after clearing up any “misunderstandings” that might have been there. Of course, the truth was that they were miserable as the darkest innards of Hades.

“What are you thinking?” he interrupted her reverie. She looked at him steadily. I’ll never know what is the right time to tell him what I really want to, she thought, and then said in a level voice, “I have applied for a transfer. Boss says I will probably go to Calcutta.”

He kept his face blank and expressionless as he said, “I have got a new job in Bangalore. I will be leaving next month.”

The next 45 days were jam-packed for both of them. They hardly spoke to each other except for the occasional hellos. Their encounters at the beach also became progressively less. Whether they were avoiding each other, or destiny willed them to stay apart, I do not know. Yet one night, when she was yearning for his company and he desperately longed for one last conversation, they happened to meet- exactly at the same spot where his music had seduced her poetry.

They haltingly exchanged greetings, made small talk, but avoided mentioning their impending departure. Avoided talking about the beautiful past they had created together. They made no plans to meet again, to keep in touch. They pretended to be the strangers that they had been when they had first met, while, in sooth, they were closer to each other than they would ever admit. Memories tugged at their heart-strings, begging them not to be so foolish. They stubbornly attributed everything to mere physical longing.

I pitied the young children as they struggled against their feelings. Why can’t humans understand that physical attraction, a need to hold and to be held passes away with time? Love is more persistent. It lingers and it hurts. It cannot be subdued. It needs to be shared. The sea stirred restlessly, the stars fidgeted in dismay. Why, oh why, are they throwing it all away? They walked slowly, sipping the last vestiges of the night. Occasionally their bodies bumped against each other.

A thin cloud obscures my view, as if sparing me the parting scene. Truth is, it is making me impatient rather than sad. I have seen so many humans stifling their feelings, fearing that they will lose a close friend, fooling themselves into believing that they are strong, swallowing the words that will unite them forever with their loved ones. I revert my attention back to the couple. They are gazing at the sea, at me, at the trees, at everything except at each other, which is so preposterous. If only they were to read each other’s eyes just once, they would see all they need, all they want to see.

“Well,” smiled the boy. “I better push off now. Still have lots of packing to do.”

“Sure,” her smile could not hide the trembling of her lips.

He shuffled uneasily and in a low broken voice said “Bye”

The girl finally looked up into his eyes “Don’t say bye. It is such a horribly final word”

“Okay then, see you.”

She kept standing as he walked past her. Neither of them looked back.

So you ask me now what became of them? Ah, my friend! What germinates in the silver moonlight does not always sail into the golden sunset. I do not have a tale of reunion to narrate. As I sauntered all over the earth, I would glance into their lives occasionally. They worked hard, achieved their goals and yes, got married and had kids. There were no remnants whatsoever of their friendship. However, both of them lived closed to the beach. They seldom went there alone, but when they did, there was no guitar, no poetry, only a well-concealed regret, born of suppressed memories. For the millionth time, I wished I could read human thoughts. But like you, I am left to wonder what happened to the feelings that blossomed during those lovely mahogany nights. A new couple is strolling along the beach. I hope that they are wiser, and luckier, so that their love thrives.

################################################################# The EndMahogany nights

Categories: Mirages

The Yesteryears

November 25, 2008 Leave a comment

Hmmm…. I am still under construction. My soul is being chiselled by circumstance, sculpted by nature and moulded by experience.

I was going through my Orkut scrapbook today, looking for a certain scrap. It was just a quick look, but, it brought back memories of a previous life. The friendly banters I had with one of my classmates- whom I now despise, my budding friendship with one of his cousins, my encrypted conversations with my sister, exchanging worries with her- she brooding about her marriage and me gloomy about my career…the lingering aura of an unbelievable past, when the present day was only a distant dream. I felt strange, reviving moments whose existence I had so easily forgotten. It was like coming across a stack of old letters in the attic, like getting your memory back after a bout of amnesia.

People with whom I was in regular touch then barely figure in my life today. The latest additions to my friend list are older, mature people with jobs and families. Even my conversations have transcended into the realm of grownups. Every utterance has become more calculated, more purposeful and teems with confidence. Have I changed so much over a period of two years? Incredible, and how. The metamorphosis was so subtle that the final result was startling. I have evolved. It makes me pause and think of how life converts us into the people were are meant to be. And believe me, it is not always a gain.

Time erodes a part of us; then, as if ashamed of its action, it covers the void with something else. Someday, curiosity, boredom or accident prompts us to examine the site of vandalism- which is so often our psyche- and we see the damage done.

Categories: Mirages

For better or for worse?

November 25, 2008 1 comment

I have been debating for quite some time the merits and demerits of marriage. The outcome of this musing- in due deference to my penchant for procrastination- was always left undecided under the guise of insufficient support for either the pros or the cons. External agencies, however, always vehemently assured me that marriage is a necessary evil. Last night I asked my sister her opinion. She is still undecided. I feel that her intellectual abilities are solely devoted to creativity and fantasies. She has never displayed any talent for handling reality.

In my lab today, I realised suddenly that we encounter a different brand of people after the cessation of student life. The latter blesses one with friends that can be truly trusted. These friends become a part of one’s existence, because, they all share the same life. But it is different when one enters the professional field. You do not have friends on an equal footing. There is competition, no matter how subtle or how healthy. People will do you small favours, but essentially, you are on your own.

In such circumstances, the one who never felt lonely due to a multitude of bosom buddies, suddenly becomes isolated from the rest of the world. Friends become engrossed in their own careers. Siblings have their own families to handle. Parents…how long will they be around. Senility or death, whichever comes first, will severe the ties.

I hate to think of myself marooned like this. Lately, I have experienced pangs of loneliness- a need to converse, a need to be with someone. Grudgingly, I have to admit, maybe marriage is not such a bad idea after all. But it also entails so many complications, especially for a woman. So many adjustments, so much compromise, so much of servitude. All this merely for a few decades of human company.

Categories: Mirages