I was sitting alone, how alone only I knew. Death came to my door. He saw me alone He walked into my mind. ‘You have kept your memories aside too’ He said, somewhat displeased ‘But I know your weakness, and I will conquer you still. You remain plural in love.’ He entered my heart. It was not dark, it had a mellow glow. Love was mine, but there was none besides. I was alone. The glow was love, but the love was of self. He said, ‘I cannot take you. I can only take you into a changed relationship, But I can operate only when you relate.’ I said, ‘Death, your master is Time, and Time’s validity lies in change. You create fear by pretending that you put an end to the sequence of change, But you can only bring about another becoming, not end it. Your writ runs only within relativity. Death, you cannot kill one who is alone; I died before you came.’ - Ramana Maharshi
18 June 2006
This is insanity.A rotten greedy autodriver tells me that he just wouldn’t give back my change and voila! There is nothing I can do about it! Shivering from head to foot with rage, all I could do was to swear under my breadth and feverishly note down the rickshaw’s number. A K L 11, M2666. The devil himself! What can I possibly do about it? Who would possibly care about the two rupees I lost to a quarelling auto driver?Who can I go to? A friend tells me that I could make a complaint with the police. But lets face it.I don not have the goddamn guts to approach the police.Therefore , im left here, scribbling in my blog…feeling meek, slow and small…..!
16 June 2006
And I called him....Friend.. A friend is somebody u can think of and suddenly smile... Its odd how our mind brings back to us things we thought we have forgotten..Things we havent thought about for years, memories , perhaps we never want to forget.A light breeze carried the smell of jasmine as i leafed through the pages of my old autograph.Observation has always been my habit and now, i watched the guy at a distance pulling back his hair.Of course i couldnt see his face,but his back looked somehow ...familiar?? i remember one of my teachers telling us that the minds eye is sharper than any arrow.Its target never fails to fall a prey.And then, he turned back.The warm, lucid eyes met my gaze... Ive read somewhere that each of us has a hidden place somewhere deep within ourselves ; A place where we go to get away ,. to think things through.. , to be alone , to be ourselves. This unique place where we confront our deepest feelings , becomes a storehouse of all our hopes , all our needs , all our dreams and even our unspoken fears . But now and then , whether by chance or by design, someone discovers a way into that place we thought was ours alone . And we allow that person to see , to feel , to share , all the reasons , all the uncertainity and all the emotions we've stored up there . that person adds new perspective to our hidden realm ; then quietly settles down in his own corner of our special place, where a bit of himself will stay forever . And we call that person a friend.. Justin . Thats what we used to call him.Charming, well built...hmmm.. handsome...?...er.. some friends at school used to think he was cute.Oh yes, he was proud ; yet, not vain. But of course, he used to brag a lot. The Achilles’ heel? There was a girl. A very pretty lass. She was his neighbour. a simple girl. He professed to have loved her all his life and was quite confident that she would accept him too. But our great Romeo was in for a disappointment.She was a sensible girl who knew that looks were not everything .Of course, the whole scene of rejection was greeted with peels of laughter and howling from us.And then again , it was fun teasing him. We were the best of friends . justin and i . He was the first friend i had among boys and perhaps the last i will ever have .It was the same with him too.I knew it. Some of our friends used to warn that our friendship would never last. I used to think that was a funny idea. But now , i wish… they were wrong. Now that i look back i dont remember exactly how we came to be friends .We were so very different though we seemed to be similar superficially. Yet, it was like in a dream. Too good to be true . It was almost as if , we were destined to be friends . We never shared the same ideas or thoughts. But we were never too busy to listen to what the other had to say. We learned together , laughed together , fought together , ... and then… we cried together.... Those were the days ive always loved to look back. The best pages from my memory of school life . We loved to go for walks. And this was a flower we picked up together. For some reason , unknown to even myself, i have preserved it.It was one of the little things i treasured all my life..The page still smelt of jasmine...scrolled in it were his favorite quote... " Written with a pen , Sealed with a kiss If u are my friend , please answer this : Are we friends or are we not ? U told me once but i forgot. So tell me now and tell me true, so i can say 'im here for you' of all the friends ive ever met, your the one i wont forget And if i die before you do, Ill go to heaven and wait for you..." They say the mirror has two sides. The fun loving, jovial, much adored justin framed just one side The darker shades of his life were yet to be discovered.He had had a rather disgraceful family background, but those were just some of the little things the world never knew and he never wanted them to know. Yet, he was a favorite at my house. We all had a lot of faith in him , and he was living up to it too .He was pretty protective about me. Just how protective he was , i had to wait and watch. As i said earlier,everything was more or less like a dream.Too good to be true.And like all dreams, this one was short lived too.As months bloomed into years, we were in the final year even before we realised it.And, i had a strange feeling of being possessed.Boy or girl, he never seemed to tolerate anyone getting close to me..even talking to me for that matter.When he was with me, i had to pay my full attention only to him.He was so much obessesed about me that he used brood over anything that was uttered against me.True or not, he never seemed to bother.But all that was just trifle matters. I used to take care to throw it out of his heart...but then there was something in his heart i never quite succeeded to throw out... Towards the end of school, i developed a unique friendship with a girl. I knew she was in desperate need of a friend and i wanted to help her..what i didnt know was that there was someone who was much more desperate to keep me to himself.Justin had taken a marked dislike over Nafisa.He might have liked her , had she been somebody elses friend. There was no end of stories he digged about her.Trying to convince me that she wasnt the right kind of friend for me.For some weeks he silently resented my friendship with her.Infact, brooded over it. But then the volcanoe finally erupted and then there was no stopping him.One dreadful day, he told me to make a choice.Either him or Nafisa.He told me quite casually.With the simplicity of having to choose between a a chocolate candy and a vanilla ice-cream.Yet , having known him for quite sometime, i didnt fail to notice the undertone of spite in his voice.For the first time in my life i felt that there was malice in those once benevolent deep brown eyes...and for the first time i doubted whether he had after all inherited the darker traits of his ancestors... In that juncture,it was not a choice that he had given me.And he knew it.All he wanted and expected me to say was that i valued him above Nafisa.It was with child like obstinacy that he stood his stand. He wanted me to assure him that he was my best friend. It was as simple as that.But i wouldnt for a moment gratify his ego. I was candid enough to tell him that i wouldnt break my friendship with her for the whole world . It was perhaps somethin he never expected.And then somethin snapped...and as i stood there watching him walk away from me, i knew that he would never be the same justin again...the last frail string of our once bonded friendship was broken. He must have thought that i was disloyal, but i never attempted at an explanation. Never did i attempt at a reconcilation, though i knew it was just a matter of compromise from both sides.And i never regretted it .No, i didnt call him back as he must have expected me to do. I guess ive loved the sky than the golden cage…. Yet lookin back , i wonder... was it worth cutting out such a great friend like him..?Didnt i miss all the fun we used to have?Had it been someone else, someone who wasnt so damn possessive , would i have gone back? Did i deep within my heart always wanted to run away from him?As i ponder over this question , i realise , i shall never know its answer.Or ... would i?oh... the vast blue sky... The days that followed this event was perhaps the most dreaded days of my life...i never relished the thought that there could be people who hated me.And the thought that my very best friend is now my worst enemy didnot make things any better.Every day brought a new story of venegance.To him i was a treasure he had lost and he regretted it.My nonchalant attitude infuriated him even more.And desperate times called for desperate measures. On a cloudy day, one of my friends told me that justin wanted to meet me in person, alone.And when i did meet him, we literally sat there without speakin to each other for over an hour waitin for the other to make the first move.In the long run , finally he spoke.'i thought u were my friend,' i heard him murmur….. "The difference between u and me is, u 'thought' so , but i, beleived it. Yet now, im convinced.Ive made a mistake.A gross mistake."Perhaps i sounded sarcastic when i made this retort. Nothing was said for another five minutes .Nothing was said about Nafisa, about our friendship..nothing. But those five minutes seemed to last for ages..never ending.And then once again, he broke the tense silence.All he said was, "Do you know what the doctors do when their patient has cancer?.............They cut out that part.".And when he walked away from me, i knew that he was walking away never to return again.... The dreadful monsoon atlast passed away...and it was spring again.I joined in a college down south for further studies and i heard that he had joined somewhere up north..That was six years ago.And that was the last time i had heard his voice .But i had no difficulty in recognising it again.He was still good looking....well dressed..he had certainly been successful in his life....yet his deep brown eyes had lost its brilliance.. I have no idea for how long i had been staring into his eyes.."i hope u havent forgotten me.."He seemed to say. Curiously, his voice somehow seemed too far away…distant....But i was extremely delighted. To see him. Right there, standing in front of me.It was like havin just discovered a treasure i thought was long lost...and he was different now, i could sense that...All the glorious memories of our past rushed back to me like a cool gush of breeze.We could make up.Yes, i knew it.Perhaps we were destined to meet after all these years to reconcile when we have realised our faults...The heavy cloak of guilt of having once abandoned and hurt a dear friend can atlast be removed and thrown away.Forever.But fate had other plans for us.. Just as he was walking towards me, another friend of mine suddenly stepped in the way with a gang with her. His voice was eclipsed in their loud gabber.I tried to make way through them .But even as i reached the other end,i found that he had faded away to an unknown background….once again.He had gone as unobtrusively as he had come.A loose page from my autograph flew by.. " Written with a pen , Sealed with a kiss If u are my friend , please answer this : Are we friends or are we not ? U told me once but i forgot. So tell me now and tell me true, so i can say 'im here for you' of all the friends ive ever met, your the one i wont forget And if i die before you do, Ill go to heaven and wait for you..." ... now i realise that perhaps, some things are never meant to be... ....and then, the sweet smell of jasmine faded away.
It was a lovely morning. The garden had bloomed into a beautiful chorus and the birds seemed to be singing along. It was my 12th birthday and I watched my lovely mother walk towards me, daring the radiance of the morning sun, as enchanting as the mist that shrouded her. I started walking towards her, slowly breaking into a run, straining my eyes to get a better look at the ethereal figure quickly fading before me. And then; a cold hand woke me from my dream, into the grey reality of my paradoxically special day. I was born to a lovely mother and an able, responsible father. A family that looked cheerful from the outside, but had sorrow lingering in every nook and corner of its household. Wise men said that a day would come when our misery would be brought to an end. That would be the day when the far off stars would change their arbitrary course. But that day never came; it was life, which took another course instead. The first child of the family was a boy. A boy who didn’t even live to be called by a name. But all was forgotten when an adorable, child with a seraphic smile was born to the delicate lady after many prayers. It seemed that there was nothing more that the family could ask for. Every moment was rather like a dream. And then ... something snapped. The dream was broken. Only to wake the family up into a nightmare. The child did not complete two years of life on earth........And that was perhaps the time when the actual doom fell. I was soon born into the family, only to be looked after by the maid-servants. They were my care-takers, my constant companions. It was from them, that I heard the stories of past glories of the once happy family though I had faint memories of rare happy moments I had shared with my mother. My mother had by then become mentally afflicted. She was almost oblivious to my existence. Two deaths were more than what her nerves could bear. Contrary to the doctor’s notion, my birth made very little contribution to her recovery. The doctors prescribed various pills for the sudden attacks of fits, but they did nothing more than reducing the frequency of the attacks. As days passed into months and months passed into years, the attacks began to take a sinister form. I was 8 years old when I found my mother lying unconscious, with her arm in the fire-place....the flames mercilessly licking life out of her pale white hands.... It is perhaps when the realities of life become bitter, that men tend to lean on the frail string of superstition. Having lost faith in modern science, a distraught husband soon brought an astrologer with a legendary knowledge of ayurveda into the scene. But destiny had other plans for the poor lady....she was driven from sanity to insanity. My vision was blurred when I left the dark chamber to which my once elegant mother was now confined. I had tried talking to her, only, I didn’t realize that I was listening to my mother's low tinkling voice for the last time....Before leaving the room, I turned around to see if there was any sign of recognition , of love, in my mother's eyes. But all that I saw in those still brilliant eyes was a cold stare, which went past me, through me...... staring into nothingness.... It was a Tuesday..............the day I completed 12 years of my life on earth and the first thing that greeted me that morning was not a birthday wish. It was raining when I was finally at my mother's bed side. I heard the doctors say that my mother was finally sane; she could understand what was being told. But it was too late now. She was in coma. My father managed to murmur in my ears that my mother had wished to see me, wanted to tell me something, but those words were never told......... The whole world seemed to shrink before my eyes, my mother lay there, motionless and still; I saw the light fading away from her eyes, shutting down the brilliance of life forever. As I stood there watching for any sign of life in the body before me, I remembered watching her in the chamber of solitude, her last words echoed in my mind, “Who are u............" It has been twenty years now. My dear father had been my friend, my family. Yet, some times I wonder what the dear lady would have wanted to tell me…Could it be a birthday wish for her little daughter? Or something else? I still see the dream I saw as a child. With the lovely lady walking towards me. But the melody had changed…it was now, perhaps, a requiem for the dream….