Thursday, 18 July 2013

I Am Around You

It is dark. The corridor looks like a long tunnel. There's discreet light, coming from under the door at the end of the passageway. And this serves as my guiding light - to the world beyond the door. I try to look behind. Nothing. Pitch dark. I continue ahead, daunted by the strange silence. It is a unique corridor. Something that I have never seen before. There are no doors on either side. Just walls. And I am trapped between them. I feel they are squeezing. I push my hands on them. No signs of movement. They are frozen. The carpet is old. My right foot is entangled in it. I stumble and I fall down. I get up, with heavy breaths. The air in the passage is soaked with the smell of cigarette ash. I look up. The door is still there. And I am closer now. I hear someone screaming for help. The voice is coming from behind the door. Wait. This sounds like my own voice. This is my own voice. I run to the door. I grab the door-knob with my hand, and turn it open. Blinding light, as I wrap my eyes with my arm. And the room is filled with a song. I have heard this one before, "Nothing Else Matters".

I wake up on my bed. It's cold. The room is filled with light. I turn to my left to switch off the alarm on my mobile phone. So this is where the music was coming from. There is a lamp on the side table, and a photo frame. I look into it closely. Anne is in my arms. And she is happy. She looks vivacious. I turn to my right, and there she is - still cuddling in the blanket. Her brown hair partly covering her face. I stroke my fingers gently through her hair to catch a glimpse.

"Wake up honey.", I kiss her cheek as I speak.

"Morning sweetheart. Just a little more." she whines, as she tries to catch another moment with her sleep.

"You know, I always look up to this moment. Watching you protest as I wake you up. You always look so beautiful, as the first light of the day falls on your pretty face. Pure, untouched, unaberrated piece of joy."

"And I love you", she says. Her eyes still closed. She is smiling yet trying to hide it. Like a child unsure how to react to some words of appreciation.

"Go take a shower and get ready. I will get up and prepare the breakfast.", she says from under the blanket.

So I go ahead. I like the morning shower. It always energises me. And wakes me up from the last bits of sleep that the night must have hidden somewhere within my eyes. I come out and put on some soft music. That is how my day begins. I go to my closet, and pull out a shirt and a trouser. It's a weekday and I need to be in formals. All dressed, I head for the kitchen, where I would find the centre of my life. There she is, right next to stove. I curl my arms around her when she kisses me happily.

"You smell fresh."

"I am always fresh", I know this annoys her pleasantly. I catch the headlines of the newspaper as I sit down on the dining table.

"There you are. Your breakfast." She sits next to me. "Would you be late from work today?"

"I guess so. I have a client presentation tomorrow, and there needs to be some final touch done today."

She frowns, "You know I am working from home all this month. It gets really boring at home when you are away."

"I will try to be back at the earliest Anny, I promise."

"You seem disturbed. Anything bothering you?", Anne asked

"Nothing much. I just had a bad dream last night." I was not being true. She knew it too, but she didn't question.

A cozy farewell and I left for office. Not that I was not being totally true. The dream had become a common occurrence for some time now. But that the dream was an allusion to a bigger trauma that I was battling for months together. I wouldn't ever cross the door, and it sent chills down my body. I never felt like leaving home. I wouldn't know when I would see her again. Whether I would ever see her again.

I drove to office, and I went straight to my cabin. Some big clients, a bigger opportunity, and a deal to seal. The world of advertising is difficult, and no matter how dull or irrelevant the ad is, the client's only concern is better customer response and higher sales. I was the head of a team, and naturally, the responsibilities were always higher.

A busy day at work, I hardly got time to call Anne. Towards the evening, I got her call on my desk-phone. "Don't forget your appointment with Dr. Reicken." Anne had been my guardian since the last five years. I wouldn't have accomplished a simple task without her intervention. And I excelled at missing dates and appointments when it came to personal matters.

I told her I wouldn't, though deep within I knew I was reluctant to indulge into the psychotherapy act. Dr. Reicken was my psychiatrist. I reached his office 10 minutes prior to the appointment. The waiting room was all lit up. Some incandescent bulbs in the ceiling, a beautifully carved vase with floral prints in blue and yellow on white background placed in a corner of the room. The aroma of some fresh flowers, mostly tulips, in the vase appealed to my olfactory.

I was seated on a couch next to the vase looking at a scanned image of the brain put on the wall to the left of me. It was the side view of the human brain. Black and white scanned image, highlighting a small semi-circular part. Under it was mentioned, Anterior Cingulate Cortex. I was gazing at the image, lost in some thoughts for I do not know how long when someone patted me on my shoulder. I turned back to see it was the receptionist. A lady in her mid-forties, she was nicely dressed- a black formal skirt, teamed up with a white shirt with stripes of blue. And a black shoe with short heels.

"Sir, it's your turn. Dr. Reicken has been calling out for you."

"Oh yeah, I am sorry. I wonder where I was lost."

I went straight into his cabin. It was a huge room. The wall on the left had racks piled with books. The racks ran across the entire length of the wall, and so did the books. On the right, there was big glass window, completely curtained. Blue and white floral prints. "This man has a taste for flowers", I thought to myself. He was seated behind a huge table, mostly clean. Some papers, a couple of books scattered randomly, and a mug of coffee. I sat in front of him across the table.

"Good Evening Doctor."

"Good evening Rob. How are you today?", he asked.

"No better. Tired with work, ruptured by my life. What could have changed since our last meeting?"

"Still the dream?", he queried.

"It remains the same.", I answered.

"Take the couch." So I did, no matter how much I hated sitting on the couch answering his questions, trying to see through me. I was an object under observation.

"Does Anne know of this? Did you discuss this with her? "

"She has an idea, yes. But she blames it on my hectic work life, and suggests that I should take a break"

"But does she exactly know what you are going through?", he asked.

"How do you expect me to tell this to her?", I could feel my tone rising, and my hands trembling. "That I am not sure if she truly exists or not? That there are days when I see her next to me in my life and everything seems normal, and then there are those dark days when she is not! I don't see her doc. She is gone. I am never sure when I go to sleep what the next day would be like. Whether she would be on the bed when I wake up, or whether I would wake up lonely, all to myself. With no traces of Anne. Can you imagine Doc what it would be like to sleep? Would you even be able to sleep? Even with all the tranquilizers that you have prescribed to me?  What can I tell her Dr. Reicken?"

I could feel the droplets of moisture on my forehead. But I was indifferent about them. My nerve was rising.

"I understand son, it is difficult. I have asked you in the past to visit me on such days of absence but you have never done that."

This was the trigger. "Enough Doc. I think I should leave"

And I left, even without listening to his reaction. He uttered some words which sounded muffled, and never reached my ears. Maybe they did, but I must have turned deaf towards them.

I took my car from the parking lot and drove home. The last three months had been a torturous turbulence. I woke up, one day, in my bed only to find Anne was there no more to be found. Her traces everywhere. The hint of her smell. Her clothes in the closet - some washed, neatly kept, some unwashed left for laundry. Her shoes, accessories, cosmetics, books - everything right in the place they used to be. But she was not there. Simply. At first, I thought, she might be out for something and should return in time. But it never happened. I tried calling her friends, my friends; her office - only to find out none had a clue, or was it that they were reluctant to discuss it with me? I would have gone insane. I kept calling her on her cellphone. No response. Was she upset with me? Had she abandoned me? Had life abandoned me?

I kept sitting on the couch that day even after midnight,  looking at the entrance, hoping to find her way back in. And I didn't know when I dozed off. And when I woke up, she was there - like an angel, my angel. Sitting on the floor right next to me. Holding my hand, placing it on her chest. I could feel her heart beating. I could myself breathe. And her breath, on my palm.

"Where had you been? I was so worried all day long.", I couldn't even speak, or control my words.

She was calm, and smiling, " I was right here. Next to you. What's wrong? You were sleeping like a baby. I didn't want to wake you up."

"No, you had left. And I couldn't find you. Where did you go?", I didn't know what was wrong.

"I was very much here. It must have been a bad dream.", she calmed me down. My hand still in hers, and her head on my chest. How soothing could it be to find her back around me. I couldn't have been more thankful.

"Now get up and get ready for work. You wouldn't want to get late for work, would you?", she said.

I could still feel the sweat on my forehead. She wiped it off. "Get ready!"

It must really have been a bad dream. I was glad she was there. I got up, and the day started as usual. I didn't discuss my horror with her in details, and continued with the day. And in the evening after work, when I was dreading to go back home, and hoping to find her in the house, she was still there. Like a lovely flower, that had just blossomed, and would never wither away. Until this day, I had never been so relaxed to see her. We had a lovely night - Of love and conversations.

And the next morning, the horror reigned my home again. She was gone.

And since then, this has been returning to me. Like the arm of a pendulum. One day swinging into happiness, and the other day diving into the dark horror. There would be days together when she would be around - like nothing ever happened, and then there would stretches of lonely days and nights. I would fear going home all alone to myself. The loneliness would haunt me. The house would haunt me. Her absence would haunt me.

I reach home, and there she is standing in the moonlit portico. Dressed in a lilac top, and a blue jeans. Her hazel eyes are complementing her brown hair. Long, straight brown hair. Her lean frame has never been a hindrance for her in overpowering me. How beautiful she is. Oh, that smile. It drives me crazy.

"Come here. Look at the sky. It's beautiful tonight. And the breeze is carrying the songs of love. Come here.", she said.

And I go straight to her. Not a word to speak, and embrace her in my arms. Pure peace. Pure joy. We spend hours looking at the sky, and talking. Of the stars, and the breeze, and the love that we share.

"How I wish we could lay like this in each other's arms forever!", I said, "I love you."

"I love you too, honey", she said as she turned sideways to wrap herself up in my arms.

And then there was silence. No sound except for the whispering of the silent winds. The sky glittered with a thousand stars.

"Who are they - the stars? Are they really there?", I wondered aloud.

"They are moments," she said, "of love and pain, of joy and grief, of company and solitude."

I looked at her as she continued to speak gazing at the sky.

"Look at them. They are in thousands.", she continued, "and if you connect them together, they make up a life. Your Life. My Life. Our Life. I wish there were a million more of them. Because then it would mean, we had a million more moments of togetherness."

"But do these moments really exist Anny?"

"Yes, honey. Just like the stars do. You can see them, feel them but you can't hold them. This conversation of ours Rob - is this real? And can you hold on to it? It's this moment that matters Rob, and I don't care if it's not real. What really matters is that we are with each other at this very moment. This would be another star tomorrow honey", she smiled.

And then we had some more conversation before we went inside to sleep. I held her tightly in my arms, afraid of losing her the next day. She kissed me, and said, "I am around you. I always will be."

The next day I woke up perplexed by the same dream. Anne was gone.

I would have looked around but in vain. I knew she wasn't there. I would have cursed myself for sleeping off, for letting her go. But I knew nothing would have helped. She had vanished, just the way she did every time before.

I got ready and went to the office for the client presentation. Had it not been for Stu, my assistant on the project, it would have gone awry. After the presentation, Stu came up to me and asked if I was alright. I couldn't mention anything to him, except that I wasn't feeling well.

"I am done for the day Stu. I will see you tomorrow.", I said as I lifted my laptop, and headed towards the lift.

I got into my car, and headed towards home when the words of Anne reverberated in my mind, "Don't forget your appointment with Dr. Reicken". I had to meet the doctor again and I hated it. But I had promised Anne, and I wouldn't hurt her. So, I took a U-turn, and went to the doctor's clinic.

The clinic looked the same like the previous visit. The same vase, same flowers, and the same brain image. But I had never seen it before in daylight, or at least I didn't remember so. The light suffocated me. There was something uncomfortable about it. As if it was unravelling a truth- one that I couldn't apprehend or rather didn't want to apprehend.

The receptionist wasn't expecting me at this hour, but the doctor seemed to be free, she said, and that I could meet him. So I went inside his room.

"Good Afternoon Rob", he said.

"It's very bright, Doctor. I don't like it.".

"I am sorry Rob. I didn't expect you here.", he said as he drew the curtains.

"You have been away for long Rob. How are you doing?"

"But I was here last evening doc!", I exclaimed.

"How have been Rob? Our last meeting wasn't particularly a comfortable one."

"Yes, I am sorry about last evening doc. I didn't meant to..."

"I am not talking about last evening Rob. You haven't been here for a month."

I was still perplexed, not knowing what to say.

"I need you to listen carefully to me Rob", Dr. Reicken said, as he said down next to me.

"The last time I tried, but you never stayed back to listen it entirely. I need you to focus."

And it all started spinning in my head. I somehow knew all that I was about to hear. Déjà vu

"Anne is gone Rob. She is no more. The two of you...", he paused, "You met an accident on the 20th of Jan. Its been four months. It was a major one. You had been in coma for a month Rob. Anne wasn't lucky enough. "

"Or the way I see it, she was fortunate of the two. So the pain resides with you, and you alone."

I knew all of it, I thought. Yet I also knew this was all a lie. Anne had been with me all through it, all these days.

"But Anne's there doc. She is very much there with me, if not all the time. She is there, I know"

"I do understand Rob. It's called Cognitive Dissonance. The mind, you see, my child, has a mapping. And this map tries to pull together pieces, to make things comfortable - to make the life livable. It rationalises things, and portrays them the way we want to see them. And it behaves in this fashion more adamantly when we meet a sudden trauma, something which is too much for us to take."

"What you see is not real Rob. Anne isn't there. She isn't coming back."

"What if this is not real doc? All of this. You?"

"Well, it's for you to perceive Rob. And see things."

"It's okay doc. I don't need to be helped.", I interrupted.

"But only you can help yourselves. I cannot."

"Thanks doc. I will get hold of myself.", I said, as I got up from the couch and walked towards the door..

"Rob", Dr. Reicken called as I was about to close the door behind me. I halted without looking back.

"You cannot always live a deluded life." I didn't respond.

As I got into my car, a plethora of vague thoughts rushed through my head. But I kept driving. Unaware of my surroundings. Unaware of the world. Unaware of my bodily existence. As if none of this was real. None of it existed. I must not have met the doc. A bad dream.

I was still lost when I reached home. I was pulling the bag out of my car, when I heard that voice. That one voice, which had meant everything to me, and that could soothe every inch of pain.

"Come on in, I had been waiting. All along."

"Me too honey," as I turned back. There she was. Long brown hair, and those lovely hazel eyes. In a short black dress. My world had been the same, I thought. Happy.

"How have you been", she asked as she kissed me.

"I am fine now", I replied smilingly.

And we went inside. Into our world. Unchanged. Undisturbed. Oblivious of anything beyond. Or behind.

"Can I take a quick shower", I asked.

"Sure do. But hurry. The dinner's waiting.", she said happily.

And happily I went into the shower. I tried to think of the accident but I couldn't remember any of it. I tried to look for any bruises on my head. None.

Was this not real? Was Anne not real? I did not know. What if the accident was my harsh reality? What if Anne never survived it? I could feel myself tremble and sweat under the shower which pierced like shrapnel through my body.

I did not want to think beyond it. I did not want to know.

The only thing I knew was that Anne was there with me at this very moment. And she had mentioned it to me, "It’s this moment that matters."
What happens beyond this moment is something that I can't control. But something that I can do is live this.

The doc said I will have to find out the truth. What if the truth is too much to bear?

There are times when we have to choose between truth and happiness.

And I chose Anne.

"Are you coming?", I heard her voice.

"Yeah, another minute."

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

I See You

I was still sunken in my thoughts when I felt the pat on my shoulder. "Mister, do you want to get down? This is the last stop."

"Oh yes Sir. Thank you", I said, as I collected my bag and tried to get up. It was a difficult task though. I couldn't feel the strength in my knees. What could she possibly mean? "I See You". I could hear the words echo in my brain.

I could hear the bus roaring off meddling through the silence of the night, as I started walking from the bus stop. It was pretty late, a little over eleven. I had to stay back late at work today for some unfinished tasks - a friendly gesture to the client. And during the course of the work, I had completely forgotten I had to collect my car from the service station. The guy had called in as a reminder, that the workshop would close by 8. I missed. And that's when I decided to take on the city bus service tonight.

I had never commuted by bus on this route before - from office to home. It naturally took me some time and a little struggle with the native language to identify the right bus. Well, I finally found the right one, I had to chase it a little before I hopped on. My home was some 20 miles away, and so it would have taken around an hour to reach.

The bus was not crowded. It was already late and most of the people must have been home by then - having their dinner, watching television, discussing the day bygone with their beloveds. I took the window seat not very far from the rear exit. I wanted to see how the city looked like from such a height. It had been a while, a couple of years actually since I had last boarded a bus. I preferred driving my car and listening to my music. Music - Yes, it was missing. So I pulled out my IPod from my bag, and tuned it in.

When did she board the bus? Was she sitting right there when I came in? Didn't I notice her? How could I not notice her? I was bewildered as I walked towards home. As it is, I had missed my bus stop, and I would have to walk another mile. It was a spring night. Cool and silent. The winds swept across my face, and I could feel the fresh air. Air filled with the aroma of newly blossomed flowers. I had not had a walk in a long time I realized. I could feel myself today. That I lived. That I was alive.

Yes, I did notice her. When she turned her face towards me, or to look outside the window perhaps. She was sitting two rows ahead of me, across the aisle. She was a familiar face. Like everyone else I had known. Fair. Long straight hair. Black. Combed backwards. A long face, Greek nose, and a small chin. A hint of gloss on her lips. She was wearing a white shirt and a pair of denims. A laptop bag by her side on floor with a slacked sling hanging from her right shoulder mostly suggesting that she was returning from work. Nothing about her was unique. Except her eyes. Her eyes were remarkable. They were big black eyes. Carved out perfectly. And neatly done. Mascara maybe. And they were gleaming - with some unknown energy. Drawing me towards them. I couldn't look away. I was stuck. Then she broke the connection. She looked away. 

I kept on recollecting the events as I walked. A young couple walked past me holding hands. It must have been a post-dinner stroll. They seemed content - happy in each-other's company. I felt glad for them, or did I just miss someone? How long has this longing not been unearthed? Was there someone walking along with me? I looked around. No one. I continued. I didn't want to think about me. It was her baffling me at this moment. Did she have something to say to me? Did she know me? What was her name? Why can't I remember her name? She had turned her face away. So what happened next?

"Faith.", she said, "do you have it?".

"Faith. In what?", I asked.

"In anything. In good maybe."

"Well, I lost it. Long time ago. I believe it doesn't last."

She was silent for sometime. I looked at her in anticipation. She was looking away. Searching for something. I could hear her breathe. Deep, long, heavy breaths.

"And that keeps you unhappy.", she asked.

"At least it doesn't keep me deluded."

"Delusions are good. You can find solace in the present. You can't always find the truth. And even when you do, the truth might be too much to bear. What do you do then? You see, sometimes truth alone does not suffice. Sometimes, the faith needs to be rewarded."

I listened to her in amusement. I used to believe in this. When did I lose it?

"So what keeps you moving?", she interrupted.

I put my hands in my trousers’ pocket as I continued to walk. I could feel something in my right pocket. I took it out. IPod! What was my IPod doing there? I usually keep it in my bag. IPod. Yes, that was it. That's where it started. I remember now. She had turned away, and I had gone back to my music thinking about those black eyes. I wouldn't know how long it must have been but then I felt someone standing next to my seat. I turned left and raised my head. It was her. She moved a strand of hair off her face with her left hand. Her eyes gazing me. I could see her lips moving. But why couldn't I hear her? The music, I realized. I tried to pause it but my fingers would fumble. It took me a while to accomplish the challenge. And then I turned towards her.

"Do you mind if I sit here?", she repeated. It took me a while to reply. "Oh please. Why not!"

I took my bag which was until now occupying the empty seat next to me and moved it to the row in front of me.

"Here. You may as so please." I said.

"Thank you.", she replied, as she sat down gently, while putting down her bag next to mine. It took a couple of moments before she finally settled down. And it took me a little more time to come to terms with whatever was happening around me.

Beautiful she was. And beautiful was the fragrance that draped her. Heart notes of clematis. I have known this fragrance. Where? Who used to wear it? I have known this for sure. But where had it vanished? Where did I feel it before? It was intoxicating, and I was losing myself. Diving into retrospection.

And then I heard the voice again, which brought me back to consciousness.

"How are you?", she asked.

I would not talk. I tried to speak but the words would fall flat. And finally I spoke,

"Not bad. How about you?"

She smiled. "The music. What are you listening to?"

"It's an instrumental piece. By an Argentine."


"He's called Gustavo..".

"Santaolala?", she exclaimed almost interrupting me.

"Yes," I asked with equal excitement, "Have you heard him before?"

She nodded, "He is brilliant I think. Which piece are you listening to?", she queried.

"Well, it's an enduring sad piece. When our wings our cut. That's what it's called."

"Hmmm. I have heard it before, and I really like it. What do you make out of it?". She was looking straight at me.

Silence. I had forgotten the surroundings for some time since she had come in. Until now. The bus was not well-lit. Just a few dim bulbs. The transparent cases covering the bulbs had turned grey with scratches and dust further blocking the light. I looked out of the window. It was dark. The bus sliced through the darkness. The tall trees flanking the roads appeared like giant knights guarding the night. Gruesome and merciless.

"You never answered my question."

"Sorry?", I asked

."Yeah, the music. What do you think of?"

"I feel trapped. I try hard to break free. But I am caged. I cry but my voices can't be heard. I am drowning. But no one comes to rescue. Nobody cares. I am alienated. A feeling of despondency; of longing.  "

"And what is this longing for?" she asked.

"I don't know"

"But it's buried within you, isn't it? Happiness?"

"Maybe. Peace perhaps.", I replied.

"There is more to you than meets the eye.", she said.

I was baffled. "What do you mean?"

"You already know the answer."

"I don't.", I was still surprised.

"That happiness or peace cannot be sought after. It comes along.". She was calm.

"And what do you propose?". I was being sarcastic.

She held her calm, unperturbed by the words of sarcasm. "I don't. Nothing. It's what I believe."

"What?", I was curious.

She let that go unheard. "Faith. Do you have it?", she asked.

And there I was. Walking towards my home. Or had I lost my way? It did not seem to bother me. I continued to take my steps towards the unknown. In the dark. I looked at the sky. The moon could not be sighted. Yet the sky was beautiful. A clear sky. And thousands of stars. Glittering. Silent yet smiling. How far can they be and yet they can accompany you - in the loneliest moments. "This is what companionship is about", I thought to myself. I felt connected.

"So what keeps you moving?", her thoughts reverberated through my mind.. 

There was a pause. I did not know. I had not thought about it. For a long time. I was living an unconscious life. I had given up - to my family, to the society, to everyone around me, to myself. I was not steering my life. I no more waded through the water. I flowed with the current.

"You see, there has to be something that drives you. Anything. Anything at all.", she continued, " There has to be a meaning to your life. You need not search for the answer. You have to find the question. And that lies engraved within you."

"I believe I had known it. I somehow lost it somewhere.", I felt a tear roll down my right eye, as I said this. I turned towards the window to hide it.

"You never lost it.", I felt her hand on my left shoulder. "You just lost the path. You need to get back."

And as I turned my eyes towards her hand, I noticed the shining ring on her ring finger.  

"So you are married?", I asked.

"Does it matter?", she replied.

"Engaged?", I was anxious.

"The answer remains the same.", she smiled.

"You at least have a name, right?", I continued bewildered.

"Would that help?", she asked.

"Still...", I did not know what to say. .

"Let's just say my name is Inoo. If at all, it helps."

"I know that name.", I remarked.

"That's my stop. I'd better get down."

"Wait," I exclaimed, "Will I ever see you again?"

"It doesn't matter." She smiled as I looked at her with astonishment.

"I See You."

She got down.

I would have got down as well, had I been left with some reflex to react. But I was numb. By the time, I gathered myself back, the bus was speeding away. I tried to look behind in the dark. But it was too late.

I had reached my apartment. The watchman came over. "Oh, it's you Sir. Pretty late?"

"Yeah. I was just stuck with some work.”, I replied as I walked towards the stairs.

"A girl came in looking for you about an hour back.", he said. I stopped.

"A friend?", I queried.

"No Sir," he said, " Never seen her before."

"What did she look like?", I interrogated.

"I didn't notice well Sir, but those eyes. I can't forget them. They were remarkable Sir."

"Never Mind". I said. It took me a while before I could go up the stairs.


Friday, 18 November 2011

Down The Memory Lane

Last Monday, it was Children's day and I called up my nephew, a Fifth grader to wish him after returing from office. The conversation was light and innocent and it led me to the reminiscences of the vivacity of my school days. I went back through my personal diary of those days, when I had just graduated from school and joined junior college. Here is one of the writings that I found:

Getting up early in the morning and preparing for school was something that I always hated. The cool breeze at the dawn, the chirping of the birds and the occassional voices of the shaggy lady cleaning the roads tempt you to sleep for another hour or two. This was the time when I covered myself in the sheet from head to toe. The bed seemed to be the most cozy place in the world and I swear I was always ready to pay any possible price for letting me to sleep for one more hour - just one hour is all I asked for.

With eyes half-closed, I used to peep out of the sheet that covered me like a shroud and then convince myself that I could sleep for ten more minutes, then five more and so on. Anyways, I had to go to school. I used to get up reluctantly with eyes closed cursing the Sun, the morning, the school, and everything around me including the washbasin, toothbrush and bathroom. After getting ready, I used to drag myself to the school dreaming all the time of the day when I would be relieved of this hellish duty.

Things have changed since then. Its been almost a year since I last got up early in the morning to go to school. No. Not because I have been kicked out of school, but because I have graduated from school (and I have fetched good marks as well), and I have joined junior college where I don't have to reach early for classes.

For the first few days after the board exams, I slept very happily in the morning with absolute peace. But now being in the bed till late causes anguish. I get up early to go out and feel the cold breeze, to hear the chirping birds and to see the shaggy yet complacent women cleaning the roads and singing to themselves. Now I quite often feel the longing within myself to get back to school.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Not A Review - RockStar

This is not a love story. This is not a biopic of a rockstar either. This is something bigger. Something beyond the visualization of a normal human mind- of thoughts, dreams, solitude, peace and true love. This movie needs to be seen beyond the obvious, to be heard beyond the spoken.

The protagonist lives in a world of his own - a world devoid of societal opinions, in a cocoon insulated from the worldy care. He is a freely wandering soul - careless, undaunted. He cannot be chained down, grovelling in the dust. He is not born to do it.He has to fly - soar high. He does not need anyone. Because he is in search of something more meaningful. Because he is in search of himself. He is not a conformist. He dares to go against the norms laid down by the society. And when you do so, it is natural for the society not to understand you.

The story reminds me of the Jonathan Livingston seagull - the gull who sought against the conventions of the seagull society to find a deeper purpose in life. And to do what he loves doing.

The movie looks ahead of the moral boundaries of right and wrong. Morality is a societal concept. And as Nietszche has rightly said, "You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist." The protagonist is lost within himself. He does not know the difference between right-doing and wrong-doing. He knows passion. He feels love.

The movie depicts love beyond the realms of institutional marriage. True love is not bounded by conditions, and thoughts of right and wrong. It does not have expectations of reciprocity. It need not be directed towards someone. Love in itself is a sense of completion. It cannot be fathomed.

As for the society, such souls have always been considered insane. But who defines insanity? Is it about not walking with the herd? Or is it about deriving peace from selfless love?

And just so as to quote Rumi completely:
"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I will meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about
language, ideas, even the phrase each other
doesn't make any sense."

I don't expect you to understand this. This is not a review. Its a perception. I am not a critic. This is just my view.