In the realms of my hands cuddling as if its world is comprised of just the area within the cup of my hand. I came to me on a one fine morning when I was a kid, starting an unknown journey that I don’t know what would have been if not without it. After all I can’t find one instance when it was not there with me if not physically then in my thoughts. It was not long before the days passed when we were always together no matter what the weather or the place, it always came to me. The window sill where she sat while I crammed for my History exams or the treetop in the prayer grounds where it sat smiling while I collected awards and used to see it from the stage wondering would I have the same smile if it won’t be there clapping or those times when I just used to smile just at the sight of it in the morning while I waited for my school bus
I stroke its weathers gently trying to count them as the time passes softly before she flies away to a strange little bird world. After all life is transient and no matter how much we try we have to let go of the best of things and on the other hand no matter how much we try their memories continue to make us smile halfheartedly, longingly wishing how would it have been if only it had stayed.
The rays of the sun are piercing the body now as if trying to melt the outer core and exposing the innards, the innards that have been covered by multiple layers of happiness sorrow and the toughest of them all resolution. She looks towards me with gleaming eyes, bubbling with energy and raring to go. After all new place, life and people await her. I thought only humans feel elated at the prospects of new but here it was feeling excited about leaving the past and embracing something new. I look back at my past and see that I too have run away from people and situations but the fact was in the hindsight I knew she would be there overlooking me from somewhere behind the clouds above.
It flew spanning its small wings high in the sky circling above me getting ready for a long flight that will take it towards mountains that will be hard to scale, that will offer various hurdles and test its limits. I am skeptical about the future but my concerns wither away when I see its determination and enthusiasm.
So I smile one more time before saying adios to the bird who had been second to none and who I don’t want it to turn back to say final wishes because breaking the chains of past and unleashing the ropes of future is what helps in the journey of life.
This independence I let it fly to somewhere………far.
A few days back someone who holds just as much importance in my life as before and with whom I had no contact for quite sometime now accussed me of being partial to “men” and “boys”. That someone read all my blogs and found my stories soft on male. She texted me “Is it your sordid past you write about mister or are you really that selfish, if it is so stop accussing and prophesizing your sorrows. I wonder if you would ever tell the other side of the story”. So here it is, first time I am trying to write a story with a women’s point of view. I Hope it does justice to her thoughts:
The story begins:
She walks back towards her house in the uptown area of New York. The weather is good and summer is what every New Yorker looks forward to after a harsh winter. She decides to walk towards her house which is 6 blocks down from the next right from the upcoming signal. The gentle breeze blowing across her face forming swirls on her perfectly ironed skirt as if caressing it with a gentle pace that is not too fast and not very slow either, just perfect so as not to destroy the pleats formed on the front clothe. The momentary pleasures tend to wither away as soon as they are formed like a lover’s touch or the early morning glow of the rising sun, which leave you longing for more. Today she was in no mood to go home early. There is nothing expecting her at home at this hour anyway the kids won’t be back from the evening tuitions until an hour and Ric had already called that he would turn up late. So she decides to make the most of this opportunity today which is hard to come by her. She used to be a regular visitor to the beaches during her post graduation years at the NYU until her kids and husband took the better of her.
The gentle wind was threatening to gather some speed, with the met department already sounding an alarm of an approaching storm she knew the timing cannot be perfect. Coincidentally she found her legs turning towards the left instead of taking the right which was her usual way to home. A force pushed her towards the direction that she had stopped taking since that fateful day 16 years back. She knew she had to turn back from here, the way to her home was not so sandy, it was hard. It can’t be so irregular after all New York doesn’t have space for irregularities, here people and things are alike, perfect. She wouldn’t have been where she was if it was for the irregular. But today it was different, she thought. She stopped thinking right there “let me see where this force takes me“, as someone from her distant past echoed “you need to go with the force , at least sometimes, you always try to be so very hard“. Maybe she was hard but hardness was the weapon of a woman, a woman can’t succeed if she is not hard because this is the only attribute that God did not bestow a woman with, He made her soft and supple so that she could be caring and loving. “She” made herself as hard as a rock and pointed at the edges so as to succeed and make her mark. In her mind she knew she had succeeded after all her life here at New York was a testament to that, but what about her heart, well she never cared about what her heart felt as long as the mind had a control over it. She kept walking until the sounds of the violent waves hitting the shoreline rang in her ears. She found herself standing at the perfect spot, for others it was a rough weather but for her it was a perfect time to visit her favourite pastime of those childhood days of her life in Cochin, India.
She stared at the vast expanse of the raging Atlantic that was hitting the rocks with all its might. She stood at the little opening of rocks inside the ocean just when a shower of sea water hit her face thus enabling her escape the thoughts that were beginning to overpower her and snatched her from the past, the past that was grim, a past that was not so distant as the date suggests it to be. She lies down on the rocks and looks above towards the sky. The night was falling on her in the form of little coloured openings from the sky . Even the sky has openings that are only visible at night, she thought. The sun had set down and it appeared as if the orange was the new black. A little strand of hair was hindering her vision of stars and the. She does away with the involuntary thought of removing it and kept her gaze at the place beyond the dark among the stars and the memories of her sordid past begin encompassing her her vision , her mind …………to be continued
It is pouring outside. Keshav looks out of the window and sees the cloud that had blanketed the whole city. He remembered the day today “26 September” and is filled with a flood of feelings. His red diary is opened on the table beside his bed . He knew the clouds are here to stay and anyways there was no office today. So he begins turning the yellow pages of the diary looking for an entry from a particular day 8 years back……….
26 September 2014
26th September 2010, I remember it correctly. It was 4 years back this very day when I for the first time ever put my foot down, braced myself up and took a decision. A decision to chase the dream that was a consequence of a failure and a legacy. The legacy of a girl I ever loved. I never knew that decision would change me so much take so much and offer so less in return. But I soon found out the journey that I started with a companion, a journey that I had embarked on for the search of a better life for her, if not for the first few steps I would have to tread the entire journey all alone.
I had no idea if my decision to leave the thing at hand and start preparing for exams once again would bear any ripened fruit or at the least any fruit at all. That night I remember telling my father on phone “Father I want to prepare once again, I want to stand on my feet, shoulder my own burdens, give you back at least a piece of the future that you ever saw for me”. The next day I packed my bags and was out once again in the world where the competition was fierce and for each engineering seat at a coveted institution there were thousands of contenders. My father had warned me “Son, The competition out there is rising exponentially every year. When you couldn’t do it last year do you really think you will make it this year?”. Yes he was true the competition rose dramatically no doubt but so did my determination, when you combine determination with love you have a person who sees everything through a single perspective. That’s when your cognition goes out of the window and nothing can convince you to leave your stand neither father’s advice nor mother’s persuasions. Same happened with me.
Anyhow I did what I wanted, I went ahead on my decision only to find that my inspiration would leave me high and dry in the middle not offering even an explanation but just a “GOODBYE! It’s just not meant to be” card. At that point everything came crashing like a house that a person builds with so much care and affection is turned into rubble within seconds when the tornado strikes. I kept looking at the ceiling, with every deep breath I felt myself give away. But all this never made me regret my decision I collected whatever was left of me and told myself “buck up”. I made a promise not to love anyone but my parents and sister. I decided to be passive to everything from there on. I took a lifetime oath of being my only friend, and be as tough as a mountain not swayed by anything, I decided feelings will be only the last of things that I will base my decisions on and that’s when I embraced CHASTITY.
While coming to Kolkata for counseling, my mother was sitting beside me in the flight, after the flight took off she dozed off, deprived of sleep but not of determination to see her son get a seat in the college. I looked at that freckled face, eyes that drooped under the weight of my failures, a heart that asked me “life has come full circles, when will you hold the arms that had carried you and support us . It’s high time to start giving more and demanding less.” When she woke I told her “mother whatever branch I get I will take it.” I promised myself to be true to the core to myself, to never betray my parents.
Today exactly 4 years after I made that decision in Delhi , I have achieved what I promised myself and my parents. It’s not even a tad bit closer to offer anything in return for the times of distress, regret and bereavement that my parents went through for the whole of one year because of my decision that was the legacy of someone who had left me after just a first few steps.
In the College I refined myself constantly. My sole motive was to be good to everyone, to be near everyone but closer to no one. That is why when I write this excerpt from my life I have a glass beside me “celebrating my success to no one but myself and saying cheers once again 🙂 ”.
His lips curved upwards and he closed his eyes for a few minutes, trying to come out of the past memories. He shut the diary and got up. It was still pouring outside and he had a lot to do today.
The evening breeze was blowing caressing their face, the time was well past 6 in the evening and the red line of sunset had appeared on the horizon. The white boat was in the middle of the ocean now slowly drifting towards its goal.
”For how long” asked Jessica
“let’s see! I am super excited” answered Anuj, with this he left for home to complete the unfinished packing, his childhood dream of studying “film-making” as a professional course was to take flight the next day.
Jessica and Anuj used to sit by the sea for hours every day and watch the boats disappear at the horizon. The horizon to her was like a dream that existed only while it lasted, things that lost their essence just like a beautiful thought that engages you for a while and leaves you wondering
The time beside the seaside appears to have somewhat slowed down in pace just like the the strong wave stroking the sandy banks. The boat at the horizon slowly heading towards its goal where even the mighty heavens are waiting to embrace it in its arms. But what does a boat at the tethered to the shore know about this embracement, it is merely happy to be safely battling the waves.
Jessica smirked at the thought the analogy was too persistent to deny.
The white boat appeared as a dot on the big sheet of horizon.
Jessica’s father worked at the dock as an engineer. She came from a middle class family where your needs are fulfilled and wants are subdued where studying is not a hobby but a need. Her parents wanted her to complete her education and “settle down”, and in this case completing education meant “becoming an engineer” because according to them that is the shortest and the easiest way to lead a fulfilled life, it was her passport to a “settled life” which according to her father is the priority or rather should be the priority of everyone. Owing to her father’s concerted efforts, she had always been a top grader in her class thus fuelling her father’s engineering” ambitions for her to greater extents.
From the time immemorial she had been taught to answer the same thing whenever someone asked
“What would Jess like to become when she grows big like daddy?”
And without any hitch the reply was “An Engineer”.
Her knowledge about being a grown-up had been confined to eating unlimited chocolates and stashing umpteen number of cola bottles in the fridge at will. She was admired for being so career oriented at such a young age, and this made her proud and won her chocolates and was more than a reason for her to stick to that answer.
She was the son that her parents never had she was their only daughter and that made her the sole point of their attention and to sum it up means by which her father wished to live his unfulfilled dreams. This was all when she was a kid, now she was a grown up and on the verge of choosing a career path. For her it was no more about eating chocolates or earning accolades, but her parents still harbored the same ambitions and aspirations for her.
The thing about dreams , aspirations and hopes is that they are good until they become an obsession and unfulfilled dreams are worst because they can never be achieved by the current means that’s why they have been termed “unfulfilled” in the first place. But people relish them in their future and want to burden their own young ones with them, parents supplement this with a phrase “After all, If not you who else”? And this made Jess feel obliged as if it was the little she could do for them for being their daughter.
Yesterday as was her habit she was watching the sunset on the sea shore. While the sun went down each day at the same time, but that day she saw the blend of colors that accompanied this act of nature from blue to red, then orange and then a tinge of green as if nature was filling its canvas with beautiful hues and with each passing moment the old color dissolved into a new one and ultimately the blackness. It was as if someone had dropped stone in the unusually calm waters of her mind that had created ripples. She was transfixed, and pondered over what her expectations with her selves are and what does she want to end up being. She thought everything is changing constantly. Even the beautiful patterns formed in sand change with time, no matter how good they are or how artistic they are everything lives its course and is replaced by a newer version, so like everything else why doesn’t she have the muscle to change her decision of becoming an engineer, after all it wasn’t entirely a decision but a submission on her part. Like every time else this time too the answers were not very conclusive either she did not hear well or her inner voice had been subdued so much for so long that now even lending a deliberate ear to it received silence. Either way she failed to comprehend the sanctity of the realization. Night had come over, a black blanket printed with stars surrounded the earth.
A voice calls “its dinner time Jess, come home!” it was her father.
Jess tries to catch a glimpse of the sailing boat but by that time it was already out of sight owing to the “darkness” and the “distance”. She gets up and saunters towards her home.