After a long time of ten years, I revisited the place where I grew up. Remnants of a misplaces childhood. Scattered. In narrow gullies occurring at unexpected turns on the road. In the soot laden buildings that look haunted. In the once flowery garden that hasn't been tended to in a decade.
People still live there. There's the old Shiva temple that still has its red-yellow lights glowing in the evenings. There's the Mosque which comes alive with a long drawn breath of freshness only during Ramzan. There are ghosts of people, walking absentmindedly with expressionless faces.
I met my neighbours. Aunty, Uncle and 3 people who I called 'friends' before I called anyone else that. These are friends who have seen me walk around in my diapers. Friends I celebrated everything and nothing with. Christmas, Diwali, Ramzan, New Years... everything existed for us kids, just so we could celebrate it. Every firecracker in the sky was for us to see. Every blade of grass, just for us to walk on. The world and everything in it was our plaything. An excuse for rejoicing.
When I went back to their place, nothing in that house had changed. It still felt warm, it still smelt of fresh herbs and there was the familiar aroma of jasmine incense. Somewhere in the kitchen, a broth was boiling. "For you, beta", aunty said. I said I was famished. I wasn't, I had just eaten a stomachful outside but I wouldn't miss eating that food for the world.
There were no hugs, there was no "So great to meet you after such a long time!". We just sat down and talked. I looked at my friends with a gleam in my eyes, which was reciprocated. A common friend was married with a baby. My granny passed away. Their cousin's husband too. I graduated. The eldest of my friends has a job. Her sister is the same height as me. She always had the same height as me. Their brother was tall as an old bamboo plant.
It felt like I had just seen them yesterday. Roads, faces and skies, never forgotten. Always cherished.
As I left, they saw me out to the door. Nobody said goodbye.
There comes a time when all you can speak of, you can say only paradoxically.
Glasses shatter into several fragments. Each, having its own reality. What it held, spreads across the floor in no particular direction. But there is a pattern. When you walk, the tiniest pieces inch into your skin and in some corner of your mind, you feel the pain but for the most part of it, you just don't care. You're numb, but you're not.
Your head feels dizzy, you still keep walking in endless circles of resignation, desperation. You go where your feet take you. You can't feel the ground. But you're aware. Yes. You're aware of every step that you take. Your tactile sense have never been so sharp before.
When you close your eyes you can see the abyss of darkness that you've just fallen into. You can get out just by opening your eyes. But does that make it any different? Does it straighten the knots of the fix that you're in?
Eventually you see lines, colours, shapes. They grow over each other, fumbling in the dark, fighting for a purpose. Maybe they're trying to get out. Maybe they're not. maybe there is no purpose. Open your eyes, they're saying. I can hear them. Open your eyes. Their voices are getting louder. But I don't want to. I want to stay locked. Maybe there is freedom inside. The further I stay from them, the better.
If you shut your eyes fiercely you can see how your mind looks. It is no organ, it has no flesh, no blood, no tissues. You can't understand the form but it's your mind. It somehow feels all too familiar. You stare into it. Trying to understand the disputes, the disturbances, the shambles of all order.
Shambles. Chaos. Realization. Now you smile. Hah.
In a movie called Pi (I saw it a long time ago) a mathematician said: It's not the number. It's the meaning. It's the syntax. It's what's between the numbers.
In an old book, in which the pages are all yellow, the words are all crisp yet distant, I created a snow bowl. Small, white snow flakes keep falling upon a bright little house. If you look closely, you can see a little girl peering out of the window, up at the sky. She wants to know where all the snow is coming from.
I then saw that it was getting too cold inside the world I made, so I put the book away. You see, it only exists when the book is open.
I was shot. I didn't feel pain... only moments fleeting. I didn't feel my last breath. Only the sudden awareness of something lifting off of my body. Maybe this is what they call the soul. I couldn't tell where I was going but it didn't look like heaven or hell. It was just a vast expanse of nothing. It wasn't dark... it was blue. It wasn't the sky, there were no stars. I could feel my true form... crooked lips and bulkier eyes. I was bouncing in the air... I could see but I couldn't speak.
They say your entire life flashes before your eyes when you die. I didn't see anything. My death was seamless. It didn't feel any different to me except that I couldn't touch anyone. I was just there... an entity that could still go anywhere, do whatever. The clock hadn't moved any faster.
I didn't feel hunger, I didn't feel thirst, I didn't feel the want for human touch. I didn't desire the pleasures of the flesh. I was feeling just as I would feel on a normal Monday morning when nobody would be around me.
It didn't feel like it was the end. Death just felt like... life. My life.
How does it feel to live someone else's memory? To see what they saw? To feel what they felt? How does it feel when all their emotions seep into you? The agony, the exhaustion, the frustration, the pure unadulterated joy?
I didn't know I could feel this close to someone. I didn't know you could actually see things through someone else's eyes. Turns out you can.
When go walk long enough, you reach a place beyond which words have little or no meaning. In this place you can only talk with your eyes. Often, you're alone in this place. But if you're lucky enough... someone who can hear you will be walking with you.
I don't know if there's anyone out there walking with me. But I know I have heard one voice. I have felt unsaid feelings.
I'm certain it won't happen but I know that I'll keep walking until that someone decides to turn around and see me.
You probably shouldn't read this post if you already think I am nuts. If you don't you shouldn't read it anyway because you will soon think that I'm nuts.
OK you've decided to read this then... don't hate me and don't say I didn't warn you :-|
Sometimes when I look at the sea of faces that I am surrounded with, I feel like I don't belong. Everything is superficial. When I see a thousand people walk, I see thousand stories. They walk like puppets. I feel like a puppet too sometimes. I feel like there are invisible strings attached to our bodies... someone is tugging at them, controlling what I should do, what I should think and feel. I fight this "puppeteer" all the time. But I don't think a lot of people do. Everybody just wants to tolerate everything. Be a witness but never testify to anything. KNOW that something isn't right but push that feeling so far back into their heads that it doesn't resurface at all... So they can live without guilt, without remorse, without tension.
Why do people discuss other people? Isn't there enough for a person to ponder about one's own self? About the vastness of the labrynth that this universe is... about how you *know* that you're part of that labrynth but you can't place yourself save your life? Why are thoughts limited to things that are direct, empirical? Isn't there anything left to feel beyond our senses of touch, sight, taste, smell and sound? Why can't everyone just be content with their own conscience? Why weigh and measure that of the others?
I just must be going insane but I don't care because I'd rather be insane than a puppet with a head made of wood.