Sometimes the world turns stand still. It doesn't move an inch no matter how much you try hard! The emotions get replaced with a void - heavy with humdrum air and few of your past snap shots!
Sometimes a house where you have started crawling also takes the shape of an enormous jungle. Sometimes the broken fences and a room full of books become a slaughter chamber. Sometimes the green pastures at your back yard where you used to play with your lost childhood suddenly become unbearable. Sometimes, just sometimes you play-pause-rewind- replay the memories you thought you have flushed them all out of your system.
|Don't need a bandage, |
there's too much blood,
after a while, seems to roll right off.
...and then you meet her! The person who lives in the house. Her face bears no resemblance of someone you might have seen. Her eyes are inserted deep in her heavy tarnished glasses but no one ever even dared to steal the glint in her dark eyes. No one can fathom her age - it is more like age has refused to come to her. So she stays there like an old witch in a winter European castle. Alone. No thoughts. No feelings. No one left to blame. Just alone. When she smiled for the first time after I entered her house, it was more like those climbers which I just saw entwining her poor iron gates. One moment I thought she forgot how to smile. It gave me a shiver. Her webbed hands shivered while bringing me a glass of water. I was scared - scared to be eaten by someone as profoundly silent yet strong like her. I was in my late 20's then and there she was standing right in front of me - the mirror!
Yeah I was seeing myself in the house where I was born. The house which carries a plethora of my thoughts, my dreams, nightmares, love, hatred, confusion, solution - everything. And I am standing there alone in front of the mirror.
A long pause.
Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside them they’ve all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe.
Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgotten. And when I saw my reflection probably twenty years later than I am now! I couldn't help but laughed. Laughed like a lunatic - laughed as if am in a mental asylum where I am getting treated. If fate doesn’t make you laugh, then you just don’t get the joke - they say! Within a fraction of second my entire lifeless house comes to life. The house, full of children and their ever lasting pranks and banter. My mother along with my aunts in the kitchen or engaged in an afternoon gossip while knitting or sewing. My dad and uncles in the living room - discussing about the latest political upheaval over a cup of tea. My grandmother with her tooth less smile - the smile that still haunts me! At times I used to wonder how did she manage to smile so innocently every time. May her soul rest in peace - she even died with a touch of that unadulterated smile!
I watched them whirling inside my little room. the dim light added to the extravaganza and I had no clue what I was looking for till I found him. It is the Illusionist. He tore down my childhood like a brutal animal and presented me with a life that I will regret to have years later.
My head whirled. I wanted to rest.
But I was adamant. I wanted to witness. I wanted to undo my past. I felt like an intoxicated beast. With no exit on the other side of that cursed mirror. I saw the world tinted red. He kept on knitting lies after lies and I listened to him. As if he is my shepherd and I am his sole sheep. There was this song by Denver playing at the back ground - "Country roads, take me home... To the place, I belong..." and like a fool I was travelling with him. In my heart. I saw him drinking bottles after bottles my eyes glued to his stories that used to make me laugh or cry. I saw him flirting with women, fighting with the world, trying hard like a lion to prove his point. I saw him with a face of a skeleton! I was scared, feeling claustrophobic, I wanted to run away! But guess my feet were too grounded. I felt his touch - the feel which churns my stomach now. He played with me like a magician would do with his puppet. He attached his strings to my body - mind - soul and I danced to his tune.
The stage is set. The vaudevillians are ready. The musicians are all set with their instruments. People waiting outside the theatre to witness the grand finale of the show called “Illusive Love". The crowd cheered. Trumpets rolled and enter the Illusionist. His gelled hair, strong jaw-line, muscular hands and rugged fingers greeted them like a ring master. I still can't forget the barbaric cheer of the crowd that night. People brought me on stage - the Wizard's only toy! He snapped all the threads bit by bit while humming a Hindi retro song. I was tired; I wanted to tell him the things I never sensed I could tell. I wanted to close my eyes. But there I was lying lifeless on the floor. The hall emptied every one packed up their belongings except ME.
Like a trance I woke up from that dream. My cat purred around my legs - dinner time! I checked my mobile. What time is it? Then put it down. What’s the use of time when I have all the time to say good-bye!
There's someone at the door. I wanted to deny his existence. Still, half heartedly I opened the door to find him standing. My Dreamer - my little sylvan retreat! Who says only a place can carry that charm?! His deep, dark eyes and dimpled smile acts as a dagger to my poor little heart! He hugged me and all my stage act vanished in a flicker of a second! I was there, here. In my house, with the Dreamer.
It started raining while we clinked our glasses. "Abhi na jao chor kaar..." in the background. While we lifted the glass he smiled. I know what he wanted to say, " I have seen them all too."
...."ke dil abhiii...bhara nehi!”