The birds had started making their way back home. I had sneaked into the fields. It was cooler there. I could see sunlight quickly receding towards the horizon. It was my favorite time of the day. Fresh from the afternoon sleep, I set for my destination. I had to come back before it was dark.
We had our summer vacations. And as a ritual, we were spending it at our Nani’s village. Most of my profound childhood memories are marked by this place. It was so beautiful and unpredictable. There were so many things that fascinated me. The fields beyond the mango farm was one of those things. I liked walking on the ridges of the irrigation canals. They connected the entire farm. I looked at the sky. The hues were shifting with every passing moment. All the different shades of red. I rushed forward as I crossed the jackfruit trees. It was the end of the farm, faced by a mini jungle of Bamboo trees. They made all kind of noise when the wind blew hard. The constant shatter and struggle, and yet they survived together for years. There was a hill to be found if you went a little deeper in the trees. Everyone at home told us the stories of snakes infesting that hill and how it was completely forbidden to go the Bamboo trees. I promised myself to keep that adventure for another day, and made my way around the trees. I kept walking for 10 minutes when I finally reached the fields.
It was a vast plain. There were patches of green and brown, stretching all the way to the horizon. A railway track cut across far away. A serpent was sliding over it. We called it “Paanch Pachhis ki Gaadi” (train of 5:25). It was one of those elements that made this place I used to so look forward to. Marching forward the field, looking over the few farms that appeared and faded away, I walked with the train whistling in the background. I could see that Babool tree. The lonely tree that stood in the west. With the Sun setting in the background, I imagined the tree with the Halo. Can trees have Halo? Though I was rushing towards the tree, it was not the tree that I was most interested in. It was the Maina’s nest on that tree. A raw structure of brown pulp, devoid of any green, the tree protruded out of the ground like a huge thorn. A thorn that was home to someone. I found it so ironic when I first found the place. But I realized later what it really was.
Everyday, as I make my way from home to office, I see a guy in a dusty, torn, black uniform, with a cap on his head, blowing a whistle after every 5 seconds. He stands at the exactly same place, a few inches from the divider, staring into the abyss, whistling. I have been seeing him do the same for the past 2 years now. At first, I mistook him for a security personnel. But as the time went by, I realized that there is a lot more to him than it meets the eye. Many times I wished to take a pause and see where he goes. But I did not intend to make him uncomfortable. Everyone living in that area seems to be used to his presence. No one bats a eye at the pointless continuous whistling. No one seems to believe that this could be changed or he needs some help. He seems content and focused. I wonder how long would he continue doing the same. I wonder what was his story.
About a 100 meters from where he stands, is an assembling point for police. I ride through a sea of cops in the morning, all of them sporting a smile, chuckling at each other’s jokes. Few years back, when I encountered a cop on my way, I used to get nervous at the very sight of him. Even when I had all the documents, I still got worried. Why? Because I had seen and heard many unpleasant stories in my childhood, involving police. Story of power, arrogance and torture. Stories of innocent people harassed, who approached the law rightfully. But that doesn’t hold true anymore. This city has changed my outlook. Now when I see them, I feel safe, not worried. Seeing them daily, on my way, is a part of routine. A very happy part.
On my route, I encounter busy signals. The one manned by multiple traffic cops and still not running efficiently. People here are, inadvertently, impatient and angry. And then there are a few crossroads, where no one follows the signal, and still there is no hustle. People here are more empathetic than others. Who are these people? The angry ones and the calm ones. Are they different? Not at all. The same red light which irritates you in the city, seems to lose its purpose when you are traveling. The object holds no significance. The situation does. Some turns will bring a smile to your face while the others were dampen your mood. You just need to keep riding, waiting for your happy turn.
Wishing everyone a very happy 2017.
It might be true that just a passing day isn’t going to make much of a difference to your everyday’s life. But a change in scheme of things would definitely help you start afresh. Plan to tick things out of your To Do list. Add new items to it. Finally take up that hobby you have been wanting to pursue for long. Write more. Read more.
Everytime you write 2016 and strike it off to correct it to 2017, it would come as a friendly reminder. Don’t stand still. Move. Evolve.
Magical Me. I started this blog almost 10 years back. What started as an experiment to get some Adsense revenue, quickly became my hobby. Blogging was cool back then, as it was not a mainstream thing. May be the most important factor that kept me going at that point of time.
Time passed by, as it always does. I had started enjoying writing by then. The interesting conversations with the friends in my sphere. It was a welcome getaway from the real world. And I found a new hobby.
Fast forward to today. I have been on and off here for quite some time. Writer’s block? No. Apathy? Maybe.
What has changed? Nothing. And everything.
A tender stroke of brush across the life’s canvas. A reservoir of beautiful memories. And a few unpleasant ones. I strongly believe that every single incident in one’s life, even the most insignificant, has a say in the way tomorrow will shape out to be. But I will save that story for later.
I was blinded by a light.
Too blinded to see the darkness that it was building in the hindsight.
My sub-conscious begged me to take cognizance of the same.
But I was too blinded by the light.
With time I started noticing the shadows the light had created all around me.
It was not until it started feeding off me.
It was not until I realized the light was artificial.
Fueled by the perception of false shine I had.
I knew I had to make a choice. To move towards truth, which was tough, or to be stuck in the false realm, which was comforting.
Then there came a few torch bearers.
A few good men who took the initiative to reach out to me.
They did not lead me out of the reach of the light. But they did show me the path.
For years now I have had conflict of thoughts.
A part of me still favored the light. It thought the light was innocent.
I felt weak many a times and succumbed to the false reality.
I gave in to the light.
Then I saw many others who were blinded by the light.
My guardian angels helped me see that.
For a long time I kept searching for the answers.
There came none.
I had never resisted the light for such a long time as I had done then.
I had to bred hatred towards the light in order to escape it.
I distant myself from it but the shine still occupied my mind.
I knew I had to completely kill that shine before it took control of me again.
I found a new light.
A light I can directly look into without being blinded.
A light that hid no lies.
A light that helped me discover myself.
A light that made me question everything, for my own good.
I came out a new person.
I no longer longed for the light, for the shine.
I moved forward with a confidence that was long lost.
I moved forward with my torch bearers. A few good men that never left my side.
I look at the idol of Lord Shiva and smile.
For I have discovered the truth. My truth.
And it is beautiful.