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It's all okay

She is back at work, and finds that life is finally in order.
It's been two days since she has had to part with someone she loves most. This separation is real, and sometimes unreal. Every night in her room by the lamp, she feels the light turn to dark melancholy, acutely catalysed by his telling absence. And, then, sometimes, he is ever so near, ever so around, over phone and otherwise, telling her how days are coming along and how much he is enjoying this and that part of this course he has enrolled in. Only this morning, she remembers telling him how men and women shall never know what happiness, misery or failure feels like until they have experienced it. That is why, she insisted, every human being born has to and must avail of every opportunity thrown their way by providence or by dint of their own mini enterprises, so that they can explore and know what they enjoy and what they can not put up with.
For years, he had derided the idea of pursuing such a course, almost pleading that he is not a corporate suit guy; that he is more of a revolutionary in his own right, trying to follow something he has believed in. In a way, his disdain for the course was much understood and natural. And, his claim to a mini revolution not unwarranted. If you come from a family of bureaucrats and choose to get into a profession where you earn a modest salary for crazy hours of work and get down to doing every single task yourself (include paying electricity bills and getting the car serviced), it's surely a revolting enterprise to be undertaken, if not revolutionary. Families such as his, used to peons and servants, take it too harshly that their children have to ``suffer'' like this. Even a corporate job isn't enough for them since here too, you do everything yourself, though the money is good. But money isn't what they have valued so much.
Anyway, what she has always believed in is in the strength of one's own notion of happiness - if you are happy, nothing else matters and everyone else comes around to adjusting. This is what she is telling him. It's been long since both of them have broken away from the bureaucratic fixation of their families so it's not difficult to hold on to their own beliefs.
So, the promise of future and the thrill of the present is keeping them happy. Life, as they see it, is interesting only when it promises change in more substantial ways than the ones nature promises - seasons, ageing, time. There are certain changes she has strived to bring to herself. Mostly behavioral - like not reacting to hatred or jealously or ugly competition, or people who upset/annoy.
This morning, her phone missed repeated calls from people she hasn't wished to speak to for days. Any other day, she would have grieved the fateful circumstance which led her to resort to such stoic measures. But today, she just cleared the log and went off to sleep.
Across the years that passed and the ones that are to come, life's promise - to enthral, amaze and educate, has stayed.

Comments

Anil P said…
And the next dawn repeats it all over again, challenging a re-engagement until, over time, it becomes second nature.
Pall Sin said…
hmm....time shall unfold its own secrets.

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आमंत्रण

वो बुलाता है मुझे
आओ पल्लो, वो बुलाता है
उसकी आवाज़ समंदर चीर के
दिल के कल तक आती है
मैं नदिया सा उमड़ती हूँ, थोड़ा हिचकती हूँ
वो फिर बुलाता है - आओ पल्लो
आओ, संम्भल के आना, इस दौर की गलियों में मुड़ो
तो ज़रा देख के मुड़ना
कीचड़ जैसे अपमान हैं, फिसल न जाना
वो कह देंगे तुम्हें बेअकल,
तुम डर मत जाना.
तुम धीमा चलना, ज़माने की रफ़्तार तेज़ है
वो भागते हैं आंधी सा, पर बंध जाते हैं अतीत में
तुम आगे देखना, देखो सर ऊंचा रखना
इस अन्धकार में देखना ज़रूरी है
ज़रूरी है आशा भी, तुम दीपक लेकर आना
पाँव तले धरती है, तुम ओस की बूँद सा बरसना
थोड़ा थोड़ा देना जीवन, थोड़ा थोड़ा सपने देखना
बड़ी क्रांति किसे चाहिए, थोड़े थोड़े से घड़ा भरता है,
पल्लो, जब तुम्हारे सपने धरती से बड़े हो जाएँ
तो डरना, बहुत डरना पर अभी आओ,
 धरती पे आसमान जैसा धीरज रखकर
आ जाओ.
वो बहुत इलज़ाम लगते हैं पर तुमने किसका लहू पिया है
क्रांति के नाम पे लहू सामान धरती मिलेगी सफर में,
सदियों से उनके दाग उन्हें डरा नहीं सके
पर तुम डरना, बेशक डरना
ये भविष्य की अतीत पर जीत है -
तुम्हारा आना, डूबते हुए सूरज जैसा उनकी मतधारा को
नए भारत का ह्रदय दिखाना।
कई बार लगता…

Shame

If I were ink,
I would have fallen
on your white shirt -
in dots as big
as the tip of the nib.
would you still have thought
i were just a colour,
worth a scribble,
a useless reason for a bath?

Life at the LSE

LSE. (c) P.S.



In the long queue outside the Wrights bar at lunch hour every day, an overwhelming sense of equality grips me. It is here that I stand in unison with many to avail the benefits of scholarship: a jelly-filled dough nut for 60 pence and a steaming can of hot chocolate for another 60. Let truth be told: on any given day, this is the best I can afford for lunch on days I choose not to cook. In the inviting lunch joints on Kingsway next to the LSE, a modest lunch pack usually comes for 5 pounds. That counts to 500 in the currency of my country. I still haven’t stopped calculating every time I look at a menu. Almost always, I turn away and walk back to the Wrights Bar. The people at the Bar know me by face now – a hard-earned recognition in the middle of the madness of college life; an unintended happiness in a city where everyone’s time, including mine, comes at a premium.
Sometimes, I share a treat with a friend and classmate from A…