I read about the hotel manager who had lost his wife and children in the 26/11 incident; he had re-married and has a two year old child now. I tried to imagine what he must have felt holding his newborn, the morbid deja vu of life coming a full circle, the trying attempts to build a new life around the debris of an irreplaceable loss, battling flashbacks of holding other tiny hands or the pain of losing the woman he had committed to love for life. I mourned the fragility of life. Why do we ignore it? Why don’t we love with abandon? Why don’t we do what we really want to do? Why do we hold back? What do we really treasure? I am still trying to figure out the answers.
After his retirement my father works from home now, and I spend half an hour every day typing and mailing his daily work report because he is stubborn about not using the vile computer. Sometimes I find it tedious, and ask him what he would do when I’m not there. He asks cheekily was I planning to go somewhere in the near future, and I blush at the implied notion of matrimony. We grumble every evening, but when I see him jot down his reports on the black notebook that he carries everywhere, and know that in few minutes he would stand awkwardly beside my bed, clearing his throat and trying to gain my attention, I can’t help but smile. I like being useful to him in these little ways, and it brings a quiet satisfaction.
I don’t have a home there, but my heart lies in the hills. I want my voice to echo through pine trees, walk all day on narrow winding lanes, have clouds within reach, wiggle my toes over a log fire, drink umpteen cups of chai, let a wild wind beat against my face and redden the tip of my nose, wake up to the rain on a cold morning, snuggle under a cozy blanket, read late into the night, stargaze, watch the sun rise through a cleft in the distant mountains like the drawings of my childhood, lose myself, and find myself again, rejuvenated. I’ll be there in a fortnight and want to cram all these into a weekend. The anticipation is palpable!
I dared to dream an impossible dream and let it peep out into the sunshine of hope from the dark recesses of my heart. But then reason overshadowed it, sending it back to its dark depths and locking it for better measure. Now it beats wildly at odd hours, but I won’t let out my dream again, I already feel foolish that I had done so earlier. I don’t want it battered and bruised by a heart it can never touch. Why bother? I ignore it now.
These subdued grief, happiness, excitement, satisfaction, yearning is interpersed with nervousness about an upcoming exam. A quiet week at home doesn’t guarantee steady emotions!