Tuesday, December 13, 2011
It started with a journey in the middle of the night. A night, so terribly cold that my entire body had gone numb. I seriously thought I could die (No Really !) Travelling in a tempo traveller without a heater is not THAT a good idea after all. And after eight hours of journey on the Delhi Jaipur Highway, I made it. I was finally at Ajmer, a city which mesmerized me with its small alleys, kachori stalls, women selling colourful bangles off the streets and architecture which takes you several century back. Be it broken beams, elaborate gateways or monuments , you cannot help but gape at those pristine structures which stand as a testimony to times, old and new. And yes, there was a man peeing away to glory, facing one of the gateways. (:/) How disgusting.
Anyway,Ajmer Sharif. My first visit to an Islamic or should I say Sufi Shrine. The roads leading up to the Dargah were filled with people wearing skull caps and with children and handicapped men seeking for alms. There were shops on both sides selling clothes, shoes, sweets and what not.I made my way to the shrine touching the silver walls and the beautiful engravings which were truly a treat to the eyes. As we stood in line in the premises to enter the main building, there were religious guards coming up ordering women to cover their heads completely. After standing under the desert sun for over half an hour with people about cribbing shafts of hair, I thought it might not be my day after all. And then I saw him.
The last time I looked in that direction there were men and women with huge brooms cleaning the open space in front of the dargah. But now, there were a host of people sitting with harmoniums, dhols all ready to sing. And amongst them sat he, eyes dreamy, with ruffled hair peeping out from underneath his skull cap. The next time I saw him was after coming out of the Dargah. He was clapping his hands , singing loudly following the lead of the main singer. And almost immediately I knew that he could not sing. His voice was so out of tune that I almost smiled as I turned to look at him. To my surprise, he was looking straight at me without even bothering to blink. Meanwhile, several members of the group I came with apparently got lost so I took the extra time out for shamelessly gawking at handsome stranger who continued to stare at me off and on.
He stood up once. Looking brusque yet vulnerable. And boy he was tall. AND considering the typical girl I am, I couldn't hep but notice that his peach color kurta happened to seamlessly fit his muscular self. What I could not understand was that even when I feigned a smile , he continued to look at me, expressionless. The writer in me was intrigued. I thought, - "There must be a story behind such a young man being in a Dargah trying to serve the Lord while most people his age dream of conquering the world entire." As I left the premises, I could feel his eyes, following me. I looked back for the last time, and walked out, with the sound of music getting drowned by the cacophony of the urban squalor.
Prior to this experience, I had a certain discord with God. But now I felt as if he exists. Primarily because it is always easier to relate when you find someone closer to your age group completely surrendering himself in the presence of almighty. True, his benign self can't be restricted to some supposed shrine, as he resides in every individual who is in search of new things, places and a new self. But for someone like me, who is a dreamer, who gets lost in bright daylight, who is often found to stare at strangers for inspiration finding or at least looking out for GOD was certainly not on my to do lists. But now I feel it should. For he is the God of small things,of fond memories, incessant cravings, of greed, lust, passion, hunger, strife and such varied emotions which makes life so special. No wonder every religious book in the world talks about the same thing. "To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget."
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Mom - I still don't understand what do you see in that guy.
Daughter - I don't either .
Mom - Now what do you mean by that.
Daughter - He calls me retarded ...
Mom - What ? Retarded ? And you still ?
Daughter - Yes Mother, I still like him.
Mom - Why May I ask ?
Daughter - Erm, because he is uncouth and he is improper. He is unlike other guys. When we go to some place he grabs his seat even before I have reached mine. He eats with his mouth full. Because he keeps on talking endlessly. Because in spite of all that he is still cares about me, and I can see that.
Mom - How ? I don't understand.
Daughter- I do mother. I just feel protected in his presence.
Mom- And you like this guy.
Daughter - Yes. I like the fact that he often falls down while dashing towards a table, playing , " Lets see who gets there first." I like the fact that I have to bend across the table to wipe that extra mayo off is lips. I love it when we walk down the road , making fun of each other instead of being too mushy or cheesy about it all the time. We aren't all that practical but it feels nice to be with each other. He tickles me , I pull his hair . We wrestle we fight. But at the end of the day, he plants a kiss on my forehead saying, - " Gosh. Life wouldn't have been LIFE without you.
Mom - You are clearly infatuated with this guy. What makes you think he is not using you ?
Daughter - What makes you think he is ? I think, I might have been using him because in all my life , I have never been this happy. I have used him to ensure myself, to hope that someday he will come, take me in his arms and tell me how much he loves me.I used him Ma, to be poetic in the most mundane of circumstances thinking of the life we may have together. I have used the moments I have spent with him to reaffirm on the fact that if it does not work out between us, I will have plenty of memories to live by.
Mom - How can you be so philosophic about everything ?
Daughter - What about you and dad Mom ? You both have been the most pragmatic of people knowing exactly what you wanted from each other. But destiny had something else in store for you. I haven't seen my father in ten years but that does not deter my spirit from trying to find love. It is not the duration it is those funny, fragile, embarrassing and sensitive moments which makes life so special.I have and I will continue to believe, one day , some day , It will be my day. My day of falling in love, irrevocably without bothering what the future lay in store for us.
Meanwhile the mother gets up from her seat, turn on the other side trying desperately to hide her tears mumbling the words,-" We weren't all that practical you know." , wondering how quick her little girl has grown up.