Saturday, February 08, 2014

Forty days and forty nights

Its forty days. And forty nights. Feels like its forty years. But to count, its just forty days and forty nights. Just over a month. Spread over my mental landscape like a barren desert with distant oases- forty days and forty nights. Forty countable time periods… just forty of them. But if you count the drops of tears that I shed during those forty… I am left with no words to recount what they were for me. But there is a swelling within which always threatens to explore. A swelling so full of pain, agony, love and loneliness. So life-like I guess. I listen to Lionel Richie, Hariharan… and go down into the abyss of reflection about my state.

When I get up in the morning, I ask myself- ‘what's next?’ There’s no answer I know. But what if there is… Forty mornings have heard this question, but none heard its answer.

The forty were spent on trains, buses, dingy lodge rooms, red hot Hyderabad streets, cheap hotel tables, verandas of old buildings, at the ends of long and never ending queues, and lost in thoughts about what is the meaning of all these… Whenever I turned around hearing a ‘no’ or a ‘sorry’, I went back into thoughts about meaning. Of late, I wonder if I am searching for a job or meaning…

In one of my literature classes there were discussions of meaning making, and life as a process of meaning making. Now I understand what it all meant. It is true. Life is meaning making. Whenever I went down the narrow fissure of despair, there came a voice from within that told me to wait till the meaning is revealed. A long wait for a revelation- LIFE.

But it sucks to learn that its not easy to wait indefinitely. While you wait at a hotel table, you know your food is being cooked. When you wait in the railway booking queue, you know your turn is this far. But when you wait for meaning, you don’t know till when or if at all! That’s what sucks…

Once, in a cave-like lodge room in Ernakulam, I was amazed by the dedication with which scores of mosquitoes kept on trying to suck me dry of my blood. I wondered why I lack that kind of enthusiasm about my own life. Then I realized that whatever happened to me was the outcome of what I have within. There is nothing unexpected and unplanned in life. Even death and accidents could be expected and planned. One should be prepared for anything. One should be prepared to attempt till one’s prey is sucked dry of blood- just like those Ernakulam mosquitoes.

So its forty days and forty nights now. Forty days and forty nights of itinerant existence, address-less-ness, anxiety, and uncertainty.

Today, sitting in the chill and heights of my room, I can see these forty days and nights laid out like a collage on the busy streets and tall buildings around. Dark and bright, they hold up their ups and downs for me to see. Forty pieces of them. Forty pairs of them. One for each day and night. I can hear people, smell spoilt food, see frowns and smiles of people I love/d on those forty pieces of collage- sort of jigsaw puzzle I would say. From this height, I can see they take a shape… a definite shape of something which I can’t make out… Probably I will have to wait. For another revelation of kinds.. I am reminded of my literature class again, and the sweetest of all teachers I had… Unfolding meaning. Meaning making. LIFE.

Yes, I realize. It is life. The unfolding. The revelation. LIFE. Life in a crucible of love, pain and loneliness. That’s what it is- Life in forty days and forty nights.