Do people die? Of being alone?
We regret to inform you of the passing of Gulab Sundari. She died of being alone.
She felt alone in the shower, in school, with kids, while cooking, while driving, while drawing, while talking, colouring, reading. She felt alone while laughing. Alone while being loved. Alone in her thoughts, alone in her memories. Always wondering if the things that happened really happened the way she remembered them.
One day. Just one day of not being alone.
Do you remember crying? Processing, feeling each disappointment, breaking apart with every bit of paper that you tore up?
Do you remember waiting? Waiting for a one? That kind of love, that exact sharing protocol, seamless, interested, communicative? Do remember the eagerness to open yourself up? The rush to share, to feel what he felt?
Do you remember shushing yourself? Making your mind quiet? Squishing yourself into roles you never thought existed?
Do you not see how it is time?
Everything and everyone you can.
I can feel something change. The axis’ of my being are shifting.
I want to step out. Be more. Be more true to me. I have learnt, in the last decade, how to be someone else. For the ones I love, I can be something else. For me, I want to be me.
-you won’t understand, you’re too old.
-yeah? ten years back I watched Friends, and now I watch TBBT.
-knowing short forms won’t make you cool. your hair, your smile, the way you reassure me, everyone, that is cool. i can let go of almost all inhibitions when i see you, think of you. it is weird. i want to know more, have more.
I wish I could construct a romance out of thin air. take a couple of hints from the atmosphere and build build build. the way my heart skips a tiny beat. and the way it sinks into a bottomless pit. a vertiginous pit of grave consequences and of L.I.F.E I wish life were a series of many colored bubbles.
and then wisdom reminds me, it is. there are so many colours, facets, aspects, gems, and treasures around us if we care to pick and choose. but it is never easy. i want more, and other things. and in the pursuit of those, imagine the loss of what i have built.
the question remains, have i really built what i have? is it not simply a consequence of everything that just had to happen nonetheless?
The anger comes in waves.
I am angry with him. I have never asked him to do anything for me. Just this once, just this one thing. I have been struggling with it for years. This is completely out of my comfort zone, and I ask him to do it. He refuses.
I imagine other scenarios. Other people. Other someone who would do this. But would he hold my hand through the rest of it? Laugh with me on the worst of days? He might, he might not.
The anger comes and I drown in it.
I meet them at the grocery store, at the dairy shop, at the school. I meet them in car parking spots.. And I say thank you. What do they say in return? These helpers, attendants, their whole lives start from deprivation, malnutrition, neglect. They scrape together a living. Work at these stores, clubs, shops, parking lots, grocery, vegetable stores. They help me pick my bags and walk me to the car. I say thank you, and they say thank you.
I wonder at the sentiment. Do they wish, ever, that they were walking to the car, and I was carrying their bags? When they utter the words, are they in fact feeling, with all of their being, bitterness?
When they say thank you, in response to a thank you, I wonder if they know that the answer should’ve been a ‘welcome’.
I look outside the window, and all I can see is loneliness. The pine tree is alone. Out of its natural habitat, it struggles to survive here in this strange unforgiving gamut of temperature and weather changes. The palm tree is alone. The hibiscus plant is bursting at the seams, tripping over itself, trying to outdo itself with the number of flowers bursting for attention. The champa tree, in competition, has outdone itself with fragrant bunches of white and yellow blooms. The gardenia rules the fragrant world at night. With its single bloom, it fills the whole room with an ethereal fragrance. Tropical, sweet with a certain je-ne-sais-quoi.
The gentle breeze has forsaken us, as has the electricity. Nothing stirs, no tiny little sunbird comes to my balcony. No tiny delicate butterflies fluttering here. Only a blanket of humidity envelopes every single living creature, plant, vehicle. You could swim in it.
It’s so still you could hear the grass grow in the humidity under the warm sunlight.
A faraway airplane roars across the silent sky. It leaves no trail.