Alone time

sunlit-cafeOn the Sunday morning of the Orionid meteor shower, the young bloke, our protagonist, was sitting in a sweet sunlit spot at the local café. He was cradling a hot steaming cup of coffee. After a delicious sip of the fresh brew, he lets his ink-pen glide with delight over the crisp roughness of his journal page. A fleeting glimpse of the day’s entry before he turned the page read,

“Off today. Might go for a ride up the hill. Life’s a little mellow. And yes, ex got married, and brother’s having a daughter.”

He took another sip, wondering if he got anything more to write. You could almost see that he wanted the idyll to stretch a moment longer- the morning, coffee, journal entry. But his mind couldn’t thread thoughts any further and a lugubrious silence seemed to falls within. He closed his journal and looked afar, lost in thought while thinking nothing. A voice beckoned him to the present, to which he heard himself reply, ‘of course’. The owner of the voice, a girl, sat across and opened her book titled ‘The unbearable lightness of being’.

Yes, he had read it. He greatly admired the adroitness with which the author manages to capture subtle emotions and convey with deft nuance ineffable moments. Yet the philosophy touted, he thought were a bit airy. The premise wherein the central character of the novel could continue loving his wife only through his infidelity, for one, was stretching credulity a bit too far. While our guy was having this mini book club discussion inside his head, the girl looks up at him, smiles in acknowledgement, and turns to the next page.

Yes, she was beautiful. Though more than beauty, what caught him in enrapture was the unassuming charm of a beautiful girl who doesn’t yet know how beautiful she is. He longed to listen to her thoughts, see how beautiful they were. But that would require holding an actual conversation. And therein lays the complication. It’s easier to not start a conversation than otherwise, despite the possible merits of the latter. What would he say? How should he start? What if she replies in a monosyllable and the conversation comes to an abrupt uncomfortable end? The sheer enormity of untoward possibilities compelled him to quit the ordeal, finish his coffee, and go fetch his mountain bike. As he was unlocking it, unbeknown to him, the curious gaze of the girl lingered on him awhile. Not looking back, he began to pedal at a brisk pace.

He rode out the city toward the hills. The sun was up and the cold of the night had begun to dispel. He rode taking it all in, the green of the hillside, the blue of the sky, and the springy lightness the memory of the girl from the café seemed to evoke. After a couple hours, he reached the lake with a green grassy mound that seemed the perfect site to pitch his tent. He munches through the sandwich with the quiet of forest and the occasional plop of a frog diving into the water forming a backdrop to the silence in his heart, which lay sober and subdued in his sweaty steaming body. He decided to go for a swim and wash up. The cool wetness of the water felt welcome against his skin. He dries himself and lies down in his tent for a nap.

The Sun makes its day’s sojourn across the sky and nears the horizon. His nap is disturbed by a voice. Yes, it’s the same voice. The one from the cafe. But no, it isn’t addressed to him. In fact, it isn’t anywhere near either. He steps out his tent to find a little party on the opposite shore of the lake, with a bonfire and good old bonhomie. Yes, she was in the midst of the group, and he could catch sight of her smiling face from across the pond. Suddenly he longed for her company. He longed for any company. He wanted to go talk to her. Hear her speak. Hear anyone speak. Having conversations with self makes cracking jokes a difficult if not impossible ordeal. And that intolerable monotony of familiar landscape and known tunes inside one’s head is another minor detail he had come to detest. He wanted to experience the mental landscape of someone else. His mind wavers in uncertainty. He wants to go over, sit by the fire, have a beer, and hang out. He wants to participate in life. He makes up his mind. Gathers his stuff. Ties his tent to the back of his bike and begins to pedal, just when a brilliant streak of pure whiteness flashes across the sky in an arch to disappear in a blip near the horizon. It is soon followed by few more. And then many more. He looks up in awe, in admiration, in happy cheer. It’s the Orionid.

He turns his bike and sets out to ride in the direction of the falling rocks from the very heavens. He doesn’t feel as mellow. He feels fine. In fact, he would attest that he feels happy. Hard to argue when we can see a stupid smile pasted across his face. He knows he is riding opposite to where the girl is. He knows it will get him further away from her. But he is fine with it, for he isn’t unhappy anymore. He doesn’t feel in need for a human connection, at least, this moment. He has a distraction to keep him occupied, the Orionid. And he rides away toward the horizon.

As he is gaining speed, though the girl from the café on the other side of the shore gets smaller and smaller, she just manages to catch a glimpse of the sweet guy from the café, the one who was sipping coffee and scribbling into his journal, now ride away, further from her. She should have spoken to him at the café. When she had the chance. She wanted to. And as the noise of the people gathered around tugs her back to the moment, she returns her gaze to the sky streaked in dazzling white with the Orionid shower. And wonders where he is pedaling away to.

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Sunday Service To Self

Sunday’s are among the most significant of human discoveries. A day where you live your day with you and only you in it. I woke up at noon. Sleep never seems as restful as on a Sunday morning. I gathered self and slowly, savoring each moment of my lazy demeanor  switched some music on and got the newspaper.

Having treated self with coffee and food, I read my courses in peace for sometime. It was about 4 or 5 in the eve when I felt my eyes grow heavy, and telling me that they need some respite. So I placed a bookmark and closed my book. An impulsive thought beamed within and I, in calm cheer, fetched my purse and left home.

I caught the very next train. The platform was sporting a feeble population of commuters, almost countable. The train ride was nice and calm. No hawkers, no beggars and no office-going commuters showing their sleepy dark-circles.

I got down at the station that leads to my college and started off. I entered through the gate and the environment inside was just pristine quite. I could see just one or two people walking across. The huge trees on either side, lulling in slow motion in the breeze that was strolling through. A sparse mattress of yellowing leaves was scattered on ground and I walked through, in the breeze, in the rustle of the leaves to the stone bench that sits at the fag end.

3278378871_143333e0eeI sat upon and eased my back, resting against the back rest. I thought of nothing. I aspired nothing. I wanted nothing. I feared nothing. I was just there, with my senses sensing the beautiful calm lull around and my heart feeling restful.

I remained there till late. It was nice. All along. The quiet, the peace, the calm, the lone contentment. Yes, the lone contentment. So much have I messed my life with. Knowing people, striking relationship with them, and making them love you. Have done it all in want of love. Yet always telling self that am sufficient and need nothing from this world.

So much have I faked to self. But then, had the truth that I tried faking be real instead. Had I been content alone, lone, in self. Power corrupts, very succinct and true. It indeed does. But not up till you have a motive in heart, though honourable.

I retrieved the mobile that I had in my pocket. The contact book has so many names. So many relations I have woven. And I water. This small block of plastic, how much in touch with others it puts me. And how many times I have wished mobiles were not invented!

The lull is still there, and so is the breeze. But the night is falling quick. I still hold self alone in there. The trees, their leaves, the department buildings, the stone bench and me. Just me. Lone. Alone. How much I wish that moment to stretch till long, real long… Content, lone. Lone contentment.

SANG A SOUL IN SILENCE…

 

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Searched for quiet a soul subdued

in the environ that boomed and blared

With the cluttered chatter, and howl and batter

Seated in turmoil was I.

 

Receded not much later

did I to a recline secluded

Within the confines of my settlement

slept, lived and worked I.

 

But the stillness caused to creep in

lassitude, malaise, reluctance and misery

And I wept sullen and saddened

at the inability of self to have self involved.

 

Now separate from either sit I

in the confines of my metaphysical reality

And wonder if there’s a place of solace

silent, solemn, yet active and enrapturing. 

The Lively Little- One

loving-nature-12902157In the early hours of morning, when the grass is still wet with the dew of the night before and the mud moist, I saw the impressions of two small little paws. The paw-prints of a young little kid early up from his bed. The imprints formed a track, with the kid definitely not walking with a pre-set destination in mind.

I let my eyes follow the trail. It went straight for a few yards, then slowly turned left, a few paces, a sharp turn right, another couple steps, a slight turn to right, a few paces… And it was not very long after when I spotted the kid himself.

He was sitting on the grass under a tree. The Sun had just crossed the horizon and the pond beside glistened with rays as the beings inside stirred to life. The kid had his legs stretched, and was peacefully plucking some blades of grass from between his knees. He then took one fleshy blade, and bit it between his pearly white teeth, and the succulence inside sprinkled forth into his mouth.

He was busy alone. All the while speaking to himself and to the inanimate things around. After a while he went to the pond and sat at its bank. He let a finger into the water and a wave of chill passed over his body and he gasped in pleasant cheer. Then he slowly let his legs inside, knee deep and beamed a big wonderful smile as he felt the chill lick against his skin.

The fishes inside did not, it seems, feel afraid. They started zooming around his legs and the kid started conversing with them. He put a few pebbles into the pond and the still surface split into lively ripples, each following the other in circles of increasing size. And at one time, as if by an impulse of enthusiasm, he put a big stone to form a big ripple and it fell in with a heavy sound that put him to giggle.

frog-lotus-leaf-19623594The ripples had set the lotus leaves afloat on the surface of the pond into a stroll. As one green leaf with beads of water drifted near within reach, the kid tried to catch hold of it. As he was about to clasp it in his palm, he saw something moving. He hesitated. Then he saw something again on the leaf move, but could not decide what it had been. Not bothering much he touched the big leaf, and just then a small but fat green frog which had been perching on the leaf all the while dived off. And the kid clapped in amazement.

With the heat of the day building, the fishes retreated to cooler bottoms. So bored alone our kid sets in search of things more interesting. He goes to the tree beside and sits under, resting his back against its trunk, leaning comfortably against a root of the big green tree that had grown over-ground.

He took up a rock and started drawing lines in the mud. He intersected the lines. Made circles. Squares. Triangles. Then he tried a free hand drawing of the fish he had seen. Having made one, he made a couple more to give the lonely fish some company. Satisfied, he then drew that leaf and tried to draw something which may resemble the frog. Slowly and slowly, as he kept scribbling, his scribbles, went from lines to figures then into bizarre and curvy caricatures as he slipped down and down and fell into a nice sleep.

I looked down at the wonderful kid, curled up, sleeping in the tree’s lap, under its soothing shade. A slick of his hair bent over his forehead as a breeze blew through. He was sleeping so content. I could see a calm smile on his lips all the while. It felt like the whole nature kept a natural quiet peppered with the occasional cooing of the birds and the diving of frogs into the pond beside.

I know not when that the sky started growing dim. The evening twilight. The kid slowly wakes up. He stretches his arms with his fist clenched and yawns a mighty yawn making a childish squeak. Then he stands up. He slowly dusts his pants and goes up to the pond. He looks in and beams a smile at his own reflection. Then he takes a palm full of water and splashes it against his face. He feels a slight rumble in his stomach and he then takes a palm full of water, slowly and carefully, trying not to spill them, to his lips, and tilts his head back and the palm up letting the water pour into his mouth. He has a couple more and then stands up.

___family_by_SAMLIMHe knows he must leave. He is afraid of dark, that gloomy part of the day that caps the beautiful day to close. Just as he waves the pond a longing goodbye he hears a flutter of wings. He jumps with joy. He sees a pair of birds fly past and make a big circle of the tree that he had slept under and they then settle upon a branch. He now notices a brown cosy nest. He had not seen it before. As the mama bird perches at the edge of the nest, cute little birdlings start squeaking and jumping about, pushing and bouncing against each other. The mama bird gives them a sweet caring look, that tells how much she loves them and how much she missed them all day.

Then she slowly brings out the worms she had stored in her crop and holds them out as the birdlings suck them in into their tummy. Our kid looks at it all and smiles. In his heart, at some little corner, he feels a patch moisten. A slick of tear forms on his eyes. His ramble seems not to cross the knot in his throat. He just looks on, longingly.

And finally as the forthcoming night urges him to retreat, he just brings his palms close and cups his mouth, like when someone tells something into others ears. And in an airy voice, the kid tells to the birdlings, “Your mother is so sweet. Don’t lose her, Ok!”. And then winks. And starts back on his jumpy gait homewards. Where he knows, food, bed and a heater to warm the room awaits. A heater to warm the room. Wish he had mom to warm his heart. Wish. Wish he had her…