Thursday, December 16, 2004


Restlessness bit me again today. Again I felt heavy feeling in my chest, a quickening of breath, my limbs itching for action, my eyes roving and seeking, my mind saying, "Anywhere but here..." Where does this come from, this constant need for change - an irrepressible wanderlust that makes you seek, to transform, to stretch yourselves beyond the boundaries? Is it a sign of fundamental insecurity or is it a need for expression of your innermost self?

Actually, this wandering need not always be for seeking, sometimes it is also running away from something. In fact, come to think about it, you don't even need to physically move about to be a wanderer. All you need to have is a restless spirit with a hunger for change.

I remember character of Vienne in film Chocolat. She inherited the wanderlust from her clan, they said. From village to village, town to town she wandered, her cute little daughter in tow, seeking something which even she could not define. She found it finally or gave up, I could not figure out which, and blew the ashes of the past to the wind, much to the delight of her daughter who was tired of their constant moving from place to place.

Is this what happens to all the wanderers of the world? Or is it just for a lucky few, others being consigned to their restlessness for life?

I think people deal with it in different ways, some just resign to life and suppress that itch for change, others choose to run. There is a legend in India about a musk deer who runs till it dies in search of the source of the perfume that has been haunting it. The scent actually comes from the musk gland located in the deer's own body. Those who run behind that elusive desire for change are actually like that musk deer. More they run, the farther their goal seems to be. Desires are like sun rays that come through cracks in the roof. They form a sparkling circle, beckoning you to hold them, but when you try they slip away from your palm leaving behind a shadow.

This need for change is actually good or bad depending on how you choose to live with it. On one hand it is rejuvenating. It urges you to reinvent yourselves again and again. But if you let it decay into expectation and desperation, it can haunt you and gnaw at your heart.

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to sink like sediment at some point, to plant oneself saying,"This is where I belong, this is where my journey ends!" The idea of being steeped and satisfied, plump and settled seems romantic at times. But the wanderer in me will never die. She may only lay quiet for a while. Then again, invariably, she will wake me up and cajole me into seeking what is there beyond.

Thursday, December 9, 2004

You and I

When was it that I saw you first? When did I realize you were there? Did I try, hesitantly at first, to ask you to fulfill my childhood dreams? You probably listened, for I remember that warm feeling of being cared for. You have been there, always. I cried you listened; I asked you provided. Sometimes you gave right away, sometimes when I felt that all roads were blocked and there was nowhere to go but to your feet, and I would just fall at them devastated, entreating, beseeching you to help. You came then, you always did. On your face you wore peculiar smile -half kindness, half mirth.

I sometimes wondered, do you mock at my weakness - my ignorance about you? But I hid nothing from you, not even the worst, and never will. In any case you would know it all but to tell you myself meant building an attachment with you. Sometimes you were an understanding mother, sometimes a long lost father. You have been a doting brother, a gentle guardian from past. You were a creator, I was the muse; you were the torturer, I, a victim. You were the destroyer and I lost it all. I loved you, I trusted you, I hated you, despised you. You have done it all, you seen it all. Yet you smiled, yet you came.

Today I stand on the crossroads again. Again, I am struggling for something which comes easily for some and seems trivial to others. I am alone and, again, I am lost. I have been in such a state many times before and every time you have given me a new lesson in surrender. A little of me has merged into you each time. Little by little, piece by piece, that mighty ice of ego has melted and I have come closer to you.

There is still a long way to go. A long tortuous path has to be led to know that you are me and I am you and this is the way it has been, always. I am still a child, you are still a father. I still struggle and cry and hope and pray. I have not yet acquired the quiet acceptance of an adult - a serene ability to accept your wish - to say it is what it is. I am not ready to look at you in the eye yet. I don't have the courage to jump, unperturbed, into the chasm that would lead me to you. For a while I will hesitate. For a while you will have to come for me. You will have to to raise me when I have fallen, to dust my bruised knees and nudge me to move on.

But dear lord, trust me, wait for me, I will come. I will come to you.

Wednesday, December 1, 2004

I proposed, you accepted

And it was all over

Just like that

All that was between us

Was mummified in a moment

Crystallized into memories

To be admired later

Those dreams, so vibrant then

Are still colorful

But the color is morbid now

For they are just specimens

That we might watch later

Through a glass of future

Knowing well that they are dead

And now are on a post

Those markers of beautiful time

But will the spur of that moment

Fill this daunting void?

Do such moments have power

To sustain this endless life?

And who will answer those questions

That haunt me through the night?

Would you have stopped

And looked back just once?

What would you have done

If you had seen me there

Crouched in anguish

That passed through me like a sword

Looking away to hide

What my eyes really had to say?

I feel the distance now

As you drift away

Whether you feel it or not

I will never know

But I don’t have the means

To bridge this yawning gap

That hope left behind

When it took my love away