Caught behind but not out!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

A penny for my thoughts


Raj decided to make a boat. It was not a very big boat but not a small one either. So it was a small big boat with masts and sails drawn to perfection. He was only ten years old but had a genius level instinct for carpentry and the consequence of this was the boat. He loved every moment that he spent with it. He usually used to let the boat sail on a lake and watch it graze past the lilies. It floated with a life of its own….with no direction, drifting the way the wind decided it would go. Suddenly he felt that there was something wrong….the boat did not have a sailor; someone who would steer the ship through the waters. So came into existence, the icon of his life. Tim the sailor. Tim was probably the bravest of the brave, the strongest of the strong and the most superlative of any other word that you can come up with. His courage saw no bounds as he took the ship across the darkest of lands to save the poor elfin creatures. And then there was this adventure where he dives into the water to find the Diamond of Shebha. Pirates and sword fights, wizards and magic………Tim did the impossible and Raj was proud of him. Raj said, “Tim, this is just the beginning …there will be a day when you shall sail the seas” Raj wondered if the sea was more exciting. The lake was a wonderful place with an audience of birds watching, the trees leaning over and trying to get a glimpse and the sun twinkling like a thousand stars along the water. But the sea was another world.

Raj detested time. It had the strange property of disappearing before you knew it was around. He hated it when the evening came since that meant he had to go home. Home was not too far away. A ten minute hop skip and jump past the bushes and across the creek. He never knew his parents. His uncle had always taken care of him. Every night, Raj told his uncle stories about Tim’s adventures on the sea. His uncle loved the boy very much and took care of him like the son he never had. It’s such irony that people have so little of what they want most.

Sree was a man in love. Don’t you know what it is? Oh that’s the time when roses are no longer red and violets are no longer blue….the moonlight is brighter than the sun and you always saw the stars not in the night, but in her eyes! Sree had his checklist right and so for all practical purposes one can conclude that he was in love. He was about twenty-one and that was a nice time to be in love. A little responsibility and someone to share it with. One day she had asked him to come to the beach. It was a nice warm, sunny day. He looked at it as an exciting prospect wherein they could enjoy the sight of the waters. Nature’s patterns are very interesting for anyone who happened to take notice. The water always comes and leaves, taunting tempting….you try to hold onto it but then it slips away, right through your fingers. And when you thought you had lost it, the waters smiling with glee come back for you to make another futile attempt. But that’s something that we as human beings relish….

He waited for her to come and in time he could see her approaching. His heart skipped a beat as she came closer. She smiled at him…. it had been a month since she had first seen him. A flood of memories…moments and she said, “Sree, I’m not sure if this is all going to work out. Things have sped past us at such a pace that I don’t know what to think of this whole thing.” He looked into her eyes, and said, just one word, “Love”. She turned away, saying “I am not sure what that is. Perhaps you need to wait… wait a bit more.”

Raj decided that he would take Tim to the sea. It was fairly close to the village. A lot longer than his usual ten minute walk but then he thought Tim was all set to ride the seas.
It was a warm, sunny day and Raj decided to start his day early. He knew that Bholu, the milkman always rode to the town where the sea was. “Bholu maama, I want to come to the town with you.”, said Raj. Bholu loved to talk. He didn’t care if the other person even heard what he had to say. He just needed another person around so that people didn’t think that he was crazy. Everyday, he saw trees and wished they could hear him as he passed them by…. ever since his wife died in the riots during the Emergency. He still remembered the night when he had stayed up waiting for her….it was a week before he knew of her death. He was quite pleased to take Raj along with him. There was a soul to accompany him through a few moments of his life.

Raj jumped onto the cart, which made its way through the town. And then came the sea. Raj bade farewell and promised he would make it home safely before nightfall. The sea was calling out from all directions and Raj wondered where Tim might want to sail to. Would he like to fight the Dragons that lived in the Far East or the demons that lived in the North Pole? Tim didn’t have much to say.

Sree looked at her …he didn’t have a reply for that one. He still held her hands. He didn’t want to let go. “I must leave now.” she said sounding rather unemotional. The words in Sree’s mind were like those that were part of a dictionary…. waiting to be used but they would just stay. Static. And with only a memory to hold onto…he still held her hands as she walked away….far away. He wondered what the last thing she said was.

Raj decided to get the boat sailing. Tim hopped onto the boat and stood still. Raj gave a standard salute to Tim. Tim was a hero….his hero. He would finally sail the seas. Raj told Tim not to be too long. He knew that sometimes Tim could go onto these long adventures where he is battling to save the innocent or save the land from the dreaded Mordors. There was quite a crowd on the sea on that day. Vendors of all kind, shouting out in all directions, were everywhere. But the world of Raj was very different. It was Tim, himself and the sea. Tim set out and as the waters came in. The ship sped away as the waters receded and floated away. Raj watched as the waters came in and went away, slipping out of his hands every time he tried to hold onto it.

Back in the village, Bholu had reached home after a long day’s work. The sun had been rather harsh during the day but the night was cool. His ride home took him past Raj’s home. Bholu saw Raj’s uncle standing outside and pacing around. It was a rather odd time for someone to be up in the village. Bholu asked, “Sahib, why are you awake at this time in the night?” He just gave him a blank stare and said, “I’m just waiting.”

The Sun took its everyday walk from East to West and returned to its dwelling somewhere deep in the waters. People became scarce as the hours went by. And as the darkness deepened, Sree stood by the waters wondering where his life would go from here. He realized after a while, that he was not alone….there was a boy sitting by the shore as well, watching the waters come and go. “Boy, what are you doing out so late in the night. Shouldn’t you be home sleeping?” Raj turned around to see who called out to him. He saw the man by the sea and realized he was not alone. He wondered if this man had a boat sailing by the sea too. “Sir, I cant hear you…what did you say?”, he asked. Sree got a little closer to him and said, “What are you doing out here at this hour?” Raj smiled and said, “I’m waiting….just waiting”

Amidst the colours of fall

Ode to Autumn

- John Keats

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'erbrimmed their clammy cells.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

The end of a day blog

This blog has gone without direction for sometime now. Its like many roads diverging in a wood and I have ended up taking all of them. Robert Frost would be unhappy with the way I have used his lines but then lets just say I'm entiteld to poetic license.

I just had this awfully unproductive day dwelling in the realms of solitude which at times can be such a rewarding experience but no!!! this definitely was not one of those days. Its the kind of day that one likes to get to a clock and turn the dials around.Turn them right where the day started and hope to retrace the path in a way that I would have liked to....

Then again in retrospect, I'm almost at the end of the day and trying to figure out what part of this entire day gave me the happiness to get by. Perhaps its the few hours of sleep that I got or was it the few moments of joy that I got when the cold wind rushed through my senses....what really gives me happiness is a really hard question to answer. I wonder if its a more generic question and ends up worrying others as well.

Anyways as I conclude this day trying to introspect, I think i will end with no answers. But then I'm glad I dont have any answers. I dont want any for in all this uncertainity I shall take joy in the mystery that is life.

Signing off...