This far and no further, I told myself at every step… I inched ahead and missed breath- at every milestone, the goal post shifted… And I kept moving on, just one step ahead to reach somewhere….
But every time I was on road I was walking in different directions reaching different milestones, one after the other…. Distinct expedition …mutually exclusive…
There is no way to retrace my steps… If I walked back, I will be lost.. So I keep moving ahead… waiting to discover or maybe, be discovered…
No I am not a wanderer or a nomad or a gypsy… I am the future, born today… I have no history My present is exploration of tomorrow.. I have crisscrossed the globe -that someone said has turned flat… But interestingly the earth is still round… moving in circles. I am curious and scared… Will the round earth be able to carry the flat world and still mange the twirl on its axis, go around the sun in endless cycles…. Or will it go off balance and the flat world will skid off… left to float on endless void…. unable to touch feet to ground!
I know what it means to float in void I have walked across childhood and puberty to adulthood… but there are no footprints of this journey, neither on earth nor on time. No it was not an aimless travel… It has been a journey…
A true journey… with landmarks and milestones… only destination was not known.
Now when I look at the horizon… The crimson sky kissing the brown earth.. The first twinkle of star appearing at one corner… The divisive line getting blurred at every blink… I see this road coming to end… And a journey begins.
After a long long time I pause take a deep breath look around and actually see...
The world that I thought, changes at every blink- had not changed at all!! The tree in whose shade I played hide and seek the lane in whose narrow confines I grew up the steps that take me to my home - the four wall quadrangle that stands amidst damp and dirt a window that gives me my piece of sky the floor, the ground on which I walk and the roof, the surety and security of a shelter- everything is as it always was....
All that is changed is the curtain on the windows the carpet on the floor ... the coat of color on the peeling plaster and, the way I have been looking at it all.
In the haste of daily routine I have changed the way I feel I have been looking and not seeing I have been speaking and not talking... I have been following a path and not walking.. I have been living and not been alive.
A pause, a brief pause, shows me where I am But what happens when the pause ends.. and I exhale the breath I have been holding so long?
the surge and the ebb the give and the take the blemishes and scars the silently waged wars
the hold and the bond the rose and the thorns the expectations and demands the prodding and commands
the proximity and seclusion the drag and forced inclusion the sharing and the dump the upheaval and the slump
the maneuvers and the plot the scheming and the slots the fixtures and disintegration the despair and phony celebration
flowing by the meandering curves the liquid emotions loose preserve succulent passions turn arid euphoria, exuberance, dead and buried
to go on then living a vow dragging relations somehow is a strain on nerves overwrought chasing mirage on terrains of draught
what happens to love ? does it evaporate? or it still survives, tied to the fate but even if love subsists it does not yet desist the damp from weakening the walls how long before they fall? It is just a patch, this love I wonder if it is enough.
At the crossroads, when the sun goes dim The paths seem to merge Horizon gets blurred A lone bird traversing the winds of change Lazily flies around
It crosses the river burgeoning with spilling clouds Or perhaps, the miser foresight of some greedy empire breaking the banks, charting new path the river flows through the tattered gear of skeletons alive; Sweeps through the mud floors, rugged and unkempt. And even soaks the thatch roofs- dead palm greens, sun burnt and smarting in heat. It eats up the grains, still unborn and mauls the lone pillar of a bridge, yet to be formed. It rushes and flows right through the agony of being at the mercy of nature, or probably at malevolence of the champions of grief! It dries out the hope already parched, and drenches eyes resigned to fate.
The lazy bird floats in between wet clouds And sopping expanse of earth- soaked to the soul. Assured of the cocoon its nest beholds it twitches at the homes buried in waves- of flowing wetness… of uncaring mercies… of hypocrite compassion and, the grudging duties, willfully delayed.
It drops a twig, it had no use to carry anymore. The dried piece of a dead plant flows down the heights caressing a child crying for care.
The smooth touch, surprises the child who then looks up at unsheltered skies and watches transfixed as the bird keeps flying not wet, not tied, not helpless – so free the sad eyes fill up with glee… if the bird can fly despite the wind, why can’t I swim, overcoming the tide… Childish dream, a juvenile resolve yet stronger than hope sweeter than promise dabbed with the salt of pain!
I hear the calling I hear it everyday I go on hearing it day after day after day… The call transported through a gush of wind Or sometimes through the heavy stillness of breezeless surroundings And often with a supple thud of quiet unseen droplets as an unknown destination beckons with luring pictures… broken in millions of tiny little dots, They keep pouring in one by one Dot by dot Drop by drop….
The calling tickles my ears touches the ear-drums - a soft but compelling touch and then fades off slowly… just as the myriad colors mingle into horizon and then become one in black obliqueness. Like the day it departs as the black ocean engulfs the sun and then returns again as bright beams conquer darkness and illuminate the sky, and the earth, and the world, and the cocoon I live in.
My ears have become accustomed to this knock this strange yet typical beat that has never been able to penetrate beyond the eardrums… or has it? This unannounced tap, every now and then annoys me and there is an inexplicable comfort in this annoyance- a sort of consolation that I am not abandoned… by the ghosts of desire and ambition and a quest beyond comprehension.. that my heart still beats to a tune, not known yet not completely unknown… The familiar alien exercises a magnetic pull.. But how far can a tie survive on magnetic pull alone…. Do magnets ever unite? There is just a tug-off-war… a pull, but not a hand to hold!
Dangling in between hope and despair fight to survive- if either wins, I loose. This tussle is my sustenance. Making a choice will close the deal… here or there… and I will be uprooted from my roots that go deep in this limitless terrain… nowhere What lies beyond this nowhere?
If only I heard the calling and not just let it resonate off… If only it could penetrate this hypocrite organ that keeps up the pretence of listening but actually just lets the voice go unheard If only it could reach my heart and ignite a passion.. a resolve… an impacifiable urge to follow this distant dream or mirage or illusion or fantasy… If only… If is a big word A big empty word filled to the brim with inconsequential buts An emptiness filled with solidified hollows…impregnable… complete… static… stoic
The calling Everyday, day after day after day breaks into a million pieces as it hits these rock solid hollows and the splinters prick my skin all over again and again and again… I keep on hearing this jingle of broken, scattered symphony on and on and on and on… Dangling between an engulfing conformity and an insuppressible desire to break free I just listen as the calling reverberates again and again and again and again….
My eyes touched the rain Through the tinted glass Of a speeding car….
Dry earth soaked in moist luxury Thirsty shrubs sucked the fluid with joy… moisture embraced all in wide abandon … drizzly caresses tickled even the turgid to grin…
Children jumped and ran wild… Rowing the damp idealism of paper boats… that surprisingly stayed afloat despite the wind, in muddy pools of fresh drops…
They stuck out their tongue, tasting the sweetness, falling in hapless heaps from generous sky. I smothered a sigh…
I was live on national network… Reporting the first showers of monsoon… how they surprised by early arrival, throwing the measured city life in wide disarray…
I read out the met department report… Generosity of clouds measured in centimeters… Broke the bad news: The dampness was here to stay… water logging, power cuts and traffic snarls, to be order of the day…
I painted a picture of gloom… When all around life was at bloom… I was bound by duty of relaying the plight Of a city on the move, immobilized by heavy down pour!!
Sitting in secluded and dry air-conditioned hole I peeped at the drenching surroundings… Longing to touch and be touched… by the love nature was spraying just a small bit beyond my outstretched hands…
I yearned to savor the sweetness saturating life around… but all I could taste was the salt of a solitary drop… rolling down my check kissing the corner of my lips… …My share of the bucketing monsoon!!