I had almost trekked for 6 hours on an uncharted path by now. And it reached to a meadow after a climb of some steep and some not so steep slopes. I was quite exhausted by now. I could see a big tree, the only standing tree by the end of it. I thought I’d reach this tree before bringing the ceremonial end to my summit. Uncharacteristic to the topography, it was huge with its branches extending to all directions more than its height and its broad leaves giving me an impression of a banyan tree. But it looked different; certainly it felt different. Without giving much thought to it anymore, I decided to take some rest under its welcoming shade. The lush green grass, the cool wind and the enthralling view from the top made me do something wild, which I wouldn’t have otherwise. I undressed myself and left everything behind before entering the abode of its shade and lied down on the grass stark naked.
“Never had I felt more free. Never had I been this comfortable before.”
I woke up from my short nap to find Brownie sitting in front, facing me. Seeing me wake up, she wiggled her nose, before taking her short steps forward.
My breathing fastened as the idea of finding her again after so many years was too much for me to cope with. Tears of joy started rolling from my eyes as I forwarded my index finger close to her nose. She paused a bit sniffing my hand before jumping in joy in all possible directions…
“Tick Tick” I called her to come close. And she came and sat next to me as I started scratching her in between her ears. She was always very fond of it and continues to be so as she closed her eyes as I did that.
Suddenly I got reminded of her departure from this world…
I closed my eyes to stop this thought.
But guess, it was too late by now.
And She was gone.
I started climbing down the mountain and somewhere in between in search for answers, I found a cave next to a spring. I drank some water from it and dared to enter it. A yogi sat in his yogic posture at the far end of the cave. I slowly but steadily approached him. He opened his eyes and he smiled at me as if he had measured and judged all my questions in that split second. I simply went close to him and sat there. We didn’t exchange any words nor it was meant to be exchanged. He brought his index finger forward towards my forehead as I closed my eyes.
“Silence finds it’s meaning only amidst the chaos. Sanity comes because we have all been insane before…
You saw there what you wished for…
Nothing was ever taken from you, nothing can ever be taken from you.”
Has this ever happened to you? You wake up in the morning like any other day and all of a sudden you realize nothing around you including yourself makes any sense.
Your face seems to carry a smile that’s not your own; your day is consumed by some work that seems mundane and forced; your etiquette constantly struggling to cope up with the contrast chatters in your head that continue to tirelessly mock you for what you have become.
This does happen to me from time to time. Sometimes it’s my clothes, sometimes it’s my skin… sometimes it’s my reflection in the mirror giving me impressions of an alien world where I continue to exist. It’s always something or other, trying really hard to be me.
I wonder how it would be to LIVE for a change than to continue to exist. Free from all dos and don’ts, from all expectations, from all rituals and customs.
Animals get to live life freely, true to their innate nature. Ain’t they? A dog continues to be a pack member, while a cat continues to be a solitary animal. They don’t trade their basic traits for the sake of getting better acceptability.
Guess, that’s why I don’t see as many suicidal animals as many suicidal human beings around me. First and foremost, they continue to fight to survive, no matter the circumstance, which is something I wish to experience again.
Why can’t we be just us! Is it that difficult?
Maybe yes or maybe no. But, I won’t get to know. Cause I simply flew all my life wherever, in whatever skin life took me in. Without raising any questions. Guess, ‘not raising questions’ has now become my only faithful trait as an independent individual. And, I have grown old now. My childhood seems hazy and alien; like some old movie that I remember only in bits and pieces.
And in my last days, close to my end of the line, if someone asks me to give a title to the story of my life, it would be, “A cat who is still trying to be a dog.”
Kisi kitab pe rakhe sukhe fool ki tarah,
Tum bhi kahin kho se gaye ho…
Rang tumhare fike pad gaye he aur,
Khusboo tumhari iss zindagi ki mazhab me kahin kho si gayi he…
Bas reh gayi he to,
Me aur meri yaadein!
Aab, isme bhi me tumhe sabasi kyun du!
Kyun itne saalo ke bad vi… apne khayali baaton me tumhise shikayat karun!
Bas bahot hui ye nadani…
Magar fir ek shayar ko padhne wale ki manjoori se jyada kya hi chahiye!
Aab itni door ek saath chal die he to aur kuchh pal sahi…
Kuchh aur hum, aur humari yaadein hi sahi!