I have always been fascinated by trains. The image of the red serpent rushing across the fields, in my village in Ghazipur, is still very much ingrained in my memories. I never quite understood what captured my interest more – The Train or The Track? While I explored the whereabouts of the track, chasing birds and rodents around, the train was the last thing on my mind. And when it did arrive, it was the only thing I cared about.
The blurred vision of the carriages rushing along, while I kept count of the number of cars attached to engine. I used to always lose count. Thinking about the same, I cannot help asking this question – Why did I count the number of cars? Why did this exercise still pops up in mind when I see a train?
I believe it has to do with the time and culture of our times. The internet had not shortened the world and there were so many things we knew so little about. Things to do were limited but interesting. It was the time when you didn’t lose interest in a toy after playing with it just once. We had few needs and fewer wants. Train ride was one of those interesting things I used to look forward to all the time. And getting through to the window seat was one of the featured ambitions.
I think the pure joy that I experienced in those train rides has become a part of me. This interest was coupled with another important aspect of our life – Mathematics. I used to count everything – it was one of my favorite past-time. Have you noticed the numerical codes that you sometime see on television. Whenever that used to flash on TV, my mind used to rush off to another tangent altogether – I would add all the digits and check if it is a multiple of 3. I believe it was just practicing the computational capability of the brain. Anyways, this also stuck in and before I realized, I was checking if the trains have number of cars which are a multiple of 3 or not.
So, this is the story. Try thinking back yourself. And see if one of your childhood activities has been hitchhiking along with you, all this time, in your subconscious.
The old tree and the murky sky
Looked at me and asked the question
Who are you?
Not the name. Everyone knows the name.
Who are you underneath.
Do you know? They asked.
What makes you think I am answerable to you?
What gives you power over me?
The tree. You are old and weak.
You have no time left here.
The sky. It’s approaching twilight.
You will soon disappear into darkness.
Why should I listen to you?
I might be gone, but my seeds will remain.
I will leave behind more than I ever had in this life form, the tree said.
I looked at the sky. The emotionless canvas stretching towards infinity.
The darkness might consume me but I will still fight.
And rise from within it, like a phoenix, the sky chuckled at my contempt.
It was approaching twilight.
The tree already looked dead. The sky sad.
I was angry. My thoughts were not clear.
I could not stand it any more. I reached for the blinds.
One last glimpse out of the window before I shut the view.
There was a lot of movement outside.
Birds were making their way home.
No one would surely want you as their home, I laughed at the tree.
The tree did not respond. It was dead by now.
The only thing I could hear was incessant squawking.
A pandemonium of parrots rushed by, interrupting my moment of victory.
I looked on as they made their way into the holes in that tree.
The tree, which I thought was dead, looked at me and smiled.
Who are you, it asked one last time before falling into darkness.
Do you like when it sparkles, asked the sky.
I looked at the stars as they shone in my eyes.
The sky was looking spectacular.
Darkness did not consume it. Neither did it try to fight darkness.
It accepted the night the way it is and turned it into something beautiful.
My ego could not stand it any longer. I finally pulled the blinds.
The tree was not dead. The sky was not sad.
They were in a state of calm.
A state of calm I always strive to achieve.
Why do they talk to me?
How are they so composed while I am so angry?
What gives them the power to make good of such adversities?
The answers would come, I thought.
But only if I know the right questions to ask.
I could see it now. The reason for my anger. The cause behind my discontent.
It was not the sky. It was not the tree.
It was me asking that question to myself.
Who are you?
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.
“Like most misery, it started with apparent happiness.”
― Markus Zusak, The Book Thief
I will be waking up tomorrow not looking forward for a GoT episode. There will be rains though. Nothing else to look forward to. The morning will come and #mondaymotivation and #mondayblues will start trending next to each other. My excitement quota on Monday morning has been rather limited of late. There has been spikes but the overall mood tend to be rather gloomy.
Death. Is it a Friend? Is it an Enemy? Or is it neither? I recently read a book narrated by Death. The Book Thief. Death’s general tone, here, is more of a storytelling rather than a thriller. There is not a lot of anxiousness and excitement as you move forward. Yet I was glued to it till the very end.