Sometimes I cannot write and at times like that life happens. So maybe I should not always write to let life happen to me. It sounds stupid and lazy because I don’t know shit about my life. It has been slow and fast at the same time. Paradoxical.
I am a Hippopotamus with my eyes just above the surface of water watching deer, monkeys and giraffes drinking from the lake as they go on with their life. They have stuffs to do: application forms to fill, exams to take and classes to go to. They know their grounds. Submerged in the deep, treading through the dirty water, I cannot even find a ground to stand on. Where is my ground?
I am trying to find one. In the lake. Because I love the lake. I love treading, floating and swimming even though I mess up and drown sometimes. Water is where I belong. When the air blows soft ripples on the surface, I feel alive. Little things make me feel alive. I like the solid ground as well. It has grasses where I can sleep in and I have lots of terrestrial friends who love me. They have excellent GPS system on their brain and they help me navigate through the forest. I get lost everywhere which is sometimes a good thing because I have made lots of new friends in places where I got lost. They know their grounds too and they know it so well! However, I am always searching for misplaced pieces of puzzles; always squabbling with myself; always intruding the crocodiles. So I have more chances of being eaten by a crafty crocodile than finding a ground!!
Sometimes I dream of being a Hippogriff like Buckbeak because he can fly. Buckbeak is a war hero and lives in the Forbidden Forest. I know it is hard to believe, but he visits when I ask him nicely. He doesn’t believe in grounds because he has wings and he can go anywhere he wants. He is proud but polite. He found me when I was absent-mindedly thinking about the shape of clouds. He loves solitude and so do I. We stare at each other silently and he goes away with a gush of wind. And I stay. But now, I am leaving too. I am going on an adventure in search of realms that never existed. It is going to be a long ride and I have no expectations. I plan to embrace everything that comes along the way. Far from the hullabaloo of my crowded forest, I am going to swim in strange waters and hear strange stories. Regardless of grounds and knowledge, I hope to find my sleepy soul.
“About time I wrote something”, thought a wandering mind on a breezy morning. It was easier to think then. It was much easier to make a cinema out of the scenarios that went on. Naked trees somehow inspired vulnerability. I wanted to sit on the footpath and scribble shamelessly on the ground about how happy I was at that moment. I have always had a thing for silent roads. They let you soak up all the calm and space that you need. That is when the entropy comes in. Total randomness of thoughts, inaudible and lively and everything in between. Rational even but not always.
There were no ends to the words that flowed this morning as I was walking, no ends to the metaphors that came up. I think blankets beckon the stringent side of me who does not hear whispers of that morning soul. It craves for foreign words instead. And the rational papers made up of logical points. It seeks answers to all the questions asked in the day. I also have a thing for answers. The folders of questions open up making it impossible for the Kopfkino to go on. It never stops entirely though. In fact, I have doubts on entirety of the Universe. Nothing is ever complete. Everyone’s life looks like an unfinished Venn diagram. And that is how, the night becomes a bane to all the calmness and sleep becomes “Leises Leiden”.
So the stories of the mind end when there is a desire to be something more than the story. The road to reality is painfully crowded and noisy. It smells of cigarettes, sweat, and thousand other unpleasant stuffs. I am homesick for words, for lies and for sleep. They are all within my reach. There is a drawer full of books behind the bed, adorned with words and bewitching lies. The magical worlds, soulful poems and tragedies laden with blood and tears. Lies. Then there is sleep in my eyes which I ignore most nights in the pursuit of time. I am homesick for time too. I need more. I need more easy breezy mornings in still silent roads, I need a slow-paced hour to fall in love and I need a couple of hours more between 4 AM to 5 AM because that is when real sleep occurs. Before that, the sleep is a werewolf, a metamorphosis of restless voices and visions.
In between the deafening reality, sometimes, I can hear my Scorpion twin scribbling away all my thoughts back in the 1950s. Only that she was one of the most eloquent, innovative and intelligent minds and I am not even close. As ingenious as she was, she writes in her journal, “…… to know that it’s four twenty three o’clock by the watch you got for graduation and that in three days you have your first midyear exam and that you’d much rather read anything but what you have to, but you do have to, and you will, although you’ve already wasted two hours writing Stream-of-consciousness stuff in here when your stream isn’t even much to brag about, after all.” I wasted three hours writing this stream of semi-consciousness. But thanks to her, I wrote fearlessly after a long time.
Grandma told me a story when I was young. She said that there was a girl taken away by wolves. The king wolf then turned out to be a young prince and they lived happily ever after…. I imagined myself being that girl and waited for the “Tiiihoooo” sound which grandma said, was made by wolves. The sound never came. The wolf didn’t show up but my obsession with the wolf story didn’t falter. The story is large enough to fill a page and I feel lazy to write it down. I have listened to this story, so many times, with so many variations, from so many grandmas. And I still wonder about it. The wolf and the girl. The night and Tihooo sound. That’s what stories do to me from childhood. I get obsessed. I get chained.
More than the story, I associate myself with my grandmas telling me this story. When my great-grandma told me this story for the first time, I had spilled hot water on my knees. This was the story that shut me up for a night. Tihoooooo… I remember imagining the sound right next to the front door of my old house….. Tihoooo and wolf and the prince. This was the first story I ever heard. And I remember each and every grandma’s version of the story. They were so happy when they told it and so full of joy as if it really happened.
Stories…. they still have the same effect on me. I believe them so blindly and I live them so faithfully. People say that I live in fictions more than I live in reality. But what if I say that fictions seem real than reality ever is? In reality I’d be learning complex cycles of amino acids and in fictions, I’d be turning them into witty magic charms and laughing at its silliness. I get all possessed by the stories. I irritate people with stories. I get into fights for stories. I have been to cities that never existed and as weird as it sounds, I love the characters, more than I’ll ever love real people. Yes I sound absurd, mad and to some people even lifeless. But to me it’s like a single world is not enough. I live in multiple universes and I rejoice every moment. And it all started with TIHOOOOOOO!
There are times you forget that you are living. The only thing you realize is that you are breathing. The only thing you feel is the scorching sun burning your body and sweat plastered in your clothes that stick like rice cakes. This was one of those weeks. However, I wouldn’t say it was a bad week. I got many things done. For example: we organized Science Awareness Day in one of the schools in the community. We taught students about miracles of Science and we taught them how to extract DNA from a banana. They were an amazing bunch of students. Enthusiastic and diligent. I loved every moment of that day!
Bad things happened on Thursday. Someone stole my purse in the crowded Zebra Crossing. It had all my belongings and money. It would have been alright if it was just my money. But it had the money of our organization too. Total of Rs. 4000 and my ID cards and bills, all got lost in a moment. I felt devastated, scared and vulnerable. I don’t know what I would have done if Rabbu wasn’t there. Rabbu is one of my best friends. And she was there with me on Thursday. She has been there this whole week. We have been doing the official works together. She is one of the kindest souls I know and I would literally be lost if she wasn’t there. We went to the police station to file a complaint. It was overwhelming. The security cameras in the road faced the other direction, so it is kind of impossible to track the thief but they said that the lost identity cards sometimes turn up in the station. Someone brings them in eventually. I don’t know if anybody will bring mine. The whole event happened so fast. I was sad and angry. Angry at the sinful thief and angry at myself for not thinking about the safety of my purse. I wanted to cry but there was work to be done. Rabbu held my hand the whole time. We somehow managed to go through the official works. While heading to the next office, Rabbu asked me not to blame myself for things that happened, because she knew I was. She was still holding my hand and we were walking towards the bus station to catch another bus. I realized how lucky I was to have such a friend who understands so compassionately, the unsaid, invisible words and feelings. That was the moment, the anger somehow faded bit by bit. I was still sad. But sadness and anger are different. Anger is like a heavy bag you carry around your shoulder. Sadness is just sadness like happiness is just happiness.
The office was located in a silent part of the city. It was a strange place. It rained as we reached the red building full of files and old looking young people. It was as if the sun allowed the clouds to take over the sky to relieve all the heat for a moment. It was as if the sun knew that we were having a bad day. The rain made the whole place look beautiful. We had to wait for an hour but we made it through by stalking celebrities on Instagram. We were extremely hungry so we had puff with tea as we loudly wondered about how the thief was using the money. The sadness seemed to wash away with hunger. We were refreshed again and thankfully, the work for the day was done. I ended up at Rabbu’s home again and we ate and watched F.R.I.E.N.D.S. episode where it ends with one of Phoebe’s iconic lines “He’s her lobster!” I went home with mixed feelings.
So many things had happened in a day and I was indebted to so many people: the police-woman who wrote the complaint and was so polite and assuring; our senior who sent the required money immediately and helped us through the whole process of the work; the chartered accountant who answered each of our repeated questions; the rain and the small house across the red building that felt like a tender hug. And most importantly, Rabbu, who stood by me through everything understanding my silences and smiles. I am grateful that she is in my life. In some ways, she has always been there: as an unknown childhood neighbor to a best friend, we might have a history and lineage we don’t even know about. I do regret that I lost my belongings and money but I don’t feel hatred for the thief anymore because that one bad thing made me notice so many other good things in the world. And I am thankful for all those good things in the world.
It’s been a while since we talked. And I miss you because we used to talk every single day about every single thing in the world. I used to call you when I needed to vent about thunder or sun or creepy people or anything minute that happened in the day and you used to do the same. We used to laugh so much. About everything and nothing. Do you remember all the places we wanted to go to try out the food? We haven’t gone to any of them. The chips place and the matka kulfi place in Patan. We haven’t even gone swimming this summer. And believe me, I can live without eating banana chips and kulfi or swimming but it breaks my heart a little when I don’t get to talk about stuffs with you like I used to. I know you are busy. Life is probably throwing lemons at you and you are busy making lemonade out of it. I am so very proud of you for the works you are doing and for everything you are achieving. I know you will do great in life. You will make all your dreams come true. And I know that things change. They will always change. I just cannot believe that they changed so suddenly.
In a few days, I will be heading out to god knows where with so many different people. It will be a whole new world for me. When I got the news today, I was very excited. Do you know I read the letter ten times? I don’t know if I should be this happy. But I wanted to do this forever. In the interview, they asked me about my weaknesses. I told them that I was too emotional. And as I am writing this letter, I know that this weakness is going to be the death of me. I mean, you call a person if you miss them, not write a letter! It doesn’t even make sense. Nothing really makes sense.
I try to write a lot these days. There are words and words and words that get crowded in my head. I feel so grateful for being able to write and read. I am also grateful for being able to hope. The part of my brain where “existential crisis” keeps blinking with a red light, hopes mercilessly about everything there is to hope for. It hopes that you and I will talk like we used to again. I understand that you probably need a lot of space right now. And you probably don’t need a whining presence in your life to talk about all the superficial details. It’s just that I miss you a lot. And it’s okay to not miss me as much. I know there are probably a thousand things to worry about right now. I want to say that I’ll be there for you but I don’t know how to be there. I don’t even know where you are. You’ll probably say that you are right here. And then proceed to tell me that I am over thinking and there’s nothing to worry about. You’ll probably say that you are just tired and you’ll talk to me when things get normal. Maybe I am. I always over think and over react.
And maybe, I will over miss just this once. You are my person. And I get to miss my person.
Once upon a time, in a world where nothing was complete and nothing was perfect, walked a person who was both complete and perfect. However, since the world around her was so broken, she felt like she was supposed to be broken too. Hence, everyday she started breaking pieces of herself to fix things around her. She never realized that the things she wanted to repair were so far gone that nothing and no-one could ever fix them. Each day, she became smaller and smaller. Each day, she was wrecked a little bit more. On a chilly December morning, she was walking by a road full of fallen stars. She felt lost, alone and hollow. She did not even notice that the sky and the earth had somehow changed their positions. The earth was as clear and blue as the perfect night sky and the sky was green that smelled of mud. She had no idea where she was going. Each step she took, it felt lighter as if she was flying. Suddenly, her feet were not in the sky looking earth anymore. She was floating somewhere in between. The world she tried to repair with pieces of herself looked so unfamiliar and distant. Nobody tried to stop her and nobody held her hands to make her stay. She floated for what seemed like hours and at a point where oceans became rolling balloons and clouds became mountains, she stopped. There was a low hum of music and its waves were thrashing the Cloud Mountains. Everything else was perfectly still except the rolling ocean that was moving very swiftly towards her. At any minute, it could crash into her and it did. She was now inside the blue water but the thing was she did not feel alone, lost and hollow anymore. Somehow, she felt complete again even though she was far from it. The parts of her were still missing. A wreck she was but a happy one because she knew where she belonged now. All she needed to do was swim and everything would fix itself. In case it did not, things would still be okay. She enjoyed the low hum of waves crashing the mountains made up of clouds while her ocean rolled away.
Moral of the story: We might be floating in this undeniable mess of things and waiting for our rolling oceans to crash into. I desperately want to stop floating and start rolling.
Other moral: I am good at making things up. hahaha