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Sunday, September 29, 2013

It happened one afternoon...

She has been walking for hours now in search of life. With no cars on the road, or a gas station or even a tavern in the vicinity, the winding road next to the thick forest looms as a threat in front of her. It's especially hot for this time of the year.

She knew the moment her car broke down, that it's going to be a long day. "Hello...hello...can you hear me?", the cell phone breaks down. What a surpirse! She curses herself for not charging it. "May be I can use the car charger for the time being..." she wonders. "Nope, the battery is down...no luck there"! "What a deserted road", she panics, "how will I ever get out of here!" The road stretches in front of her like a lazy Sunday newspaper on a verandah full of sunlight...one must spend hours exploring every inch of the newspaper, there is no way out of it. The blue skies, the dry sun taunt her ruthlessly.

The day started off as usual, with her morning alarm snoozed thrice before she gave up and got dressed. The Prada handbag, the Gucci shoes and the Burberry walked out of the apartment with her in great precision. Her day looked fine too, couple of meetings in the morning, one lunch appointment and one late afternoon presentation. She decided to take the presentation off the count, no one listens after 3 PM anyways, so it was a pretty relaxed day ahead for her.

"What made me take the detour from the Interstate?" she wondered. It was her regular drive of 15 miles to the office, why did she take that turn? The trees suddenly grew closer and closer. They covered the path as she tried to walk further down the road in search of life. They started talking amongst themselves, "I am gonna take her", one said, while another one brushed its branches against her mascared face and smiled as she grimaced in pain. They conspired to pull her off from the ground to the top and then smash her off to the ground while the sun decided to burn her down. They poked her, the rocks came on her way and they threw her off her feet.

She got up, brushed off the dust and walked ahead steadfast, "I was walking on a road, how am I on this trail now? Why can't I see anyone?" she kept wondering. The wind whispered and decided on their next move. The storm came gushing by, dust, dry leaves, sand, they all blinded her, her Burberry torn, her Gucci dirty, she trudged along. They conspired, the wind, the sun and the trees. They all planned to take her down. With a force that she had never felt before, she found herself being heralded to the ground, broken twigs punctured her face, red spots blotted her Burberry,

She decided to retrace her path back to the car. One tiny step at a time, she dragged her thirsty, hungry, injured self back to the car. She figured, may be some other car will pass by and she can stop that for help. The steps that she took so callously away from the car are now the ones that she needs to remember, follow and reach her destination. She cursed those who did not respond to her many pleas, "what kind of people are they? what's wrong?"

Through the clearing she could see her car, there were few other cars around, and people have come out of their cars. "Finally, finally, I will be okay!" she exclaimed in joy! The last few steps were easy to take, she rushed to the gathering and pushed and shoved her way through. They failed to notice her. "this is my car, she exclaimed, I need help, I need water, I need rest...oh thank god! you all are here..." her voice trailed off.

The broken glasses had red spots too she noted, the Burberry was torn here too she saw. She found dust all over the Gucci, even a heel broken. The car looks wrecked,she remembers leaving it in perfect condition!! Who did that to her car? And who are they trying to take out of the car? She is right here, "Hey help me, idiots!" She shouts. Inch by inch they drag the lifeless body out of the car...she watches in great despair as her voice trails off and her eyes stare at her own body, limp, cold, red, broken and distraught.

The door bell rings. Once. Twice. She turns back. The dry winter day slowly breaks down into pieces on the carpet as she walks towards the door. The sweat dries up fast as she tries to reharse the smile and the lunch menu in her mind. One last look at the fast moving Interstate 20 outside her window as it takes away with it the car, the long walk, the Prada, the thick forest and the dry leaves...Tomorrow she will visit the depths of the Pacific she tells herself...as her 6-year old daughter walks in.

Anyone can weave a story, be a story teller, be a poet, be a dreamer...anyone can...all one needs are some windows, some faraway trees, some lonely path winding away to the distance in their minds...just some windows in their minds...and they all have a story to tell...she knows, with a smile.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Of packing and unpacking a lifetime...

I know this is going to be a controversial topic, way more controversial opinion that I have ever put down in the expressionless cyberspace. But it's been nudging me for a while to be explored and I finally am taking the plunge. Before I forge ahead with my blabber, I really want to appeal to the unfortunate folks who are actually reading this piece that I am not being judgmental  nor am I trying to paint every story using one brush, I am, but, merely curious to comprehend how this certain aspect of human relationships, that I am about to write, works. Now that I have made enough disclaimers, let me get to the point.

I have been very fortunate in my life to have had known people from different backgrounds, having weird lifestyles, making unconventional choices, courageous and chivalrous people who are living life to the fullest and some of them have been truly kind enough to accept me as a part of their lives, to allow me to witness their lives and learn from them. It is from their lives that I have drawn inspiration.

Couple of years back when I came out of my marriage, I looked back and thought that's the best I had lived, most I had loved someone, most I had fought with someone and had been as intimate as I can ever be with anyone. We knew each other for over 17 years, and that seemed like a lifetime of experience for me, good enough for one life, even after considering the high life expectancy these days.

However, soon I realised that that's not enough at all. I have half of my lifetime ahead of me, and my near and dear ones, especially my mother insisted that I get married again. That demand literally translated to me as follows: I need to pack my likes, dislikes, my nuances, my mood swings, my occasional nicotine, my love for onion, my burps and other bodily decibels, my unwanted hair growth or hair loss and my bad temper, my kohl eyes, my passion for travel, my love for life, my fierce independence and my “mild” snoring, pack all of that and put those in someone else's cupboard, toilet, bed and living room, again, in the same lifetime.

Now that is a challenge for me. How do I do that? How can I pack and unpack myself in front of someone else? Again? More importantly, this time around I need to do it in superfast speed. I do not have 17 years to slowly unpack. I have merely couple of more years to unleash a lifelong of irritable existence syndromes on to an unsuspecting soul and expect that person to give me a lifetime commitment of care and comfort, that's what my near and dear ones think I need. Hmmm...so if I am not comfortable, then what do I do? I unpack myself in parts? I always wait before producing decibels? For the rest of my life? I hide the onion in a Prada purse and eat it alone and then use Listerine? I do not share my stupidest fears and my craziest dreams? Or is it that I get into a relationship and then hope like the Bollywood movies that love/comfort will blossom someday and then I will eat my onions in front of him?

This brings me to the controversial question, finally. How does one do it? Second time around? I can understand when someone has come out of a brief marriage, an abusive marriage, a marriage that scarred them...they need healing and they can very well find their healing and their comfort in someone else. But I belong to the old school, where it takes a while to really love someone and be comfortable with their decibel-producing capabilities. How can that be achieved in super-fast speed? And believe me it is super-fast!! My mother became tech-savvy, bought herself a tab and opened up an online account for me in one of the matrimonial sites. And I have actually been told off by some of those “expressing interests” because of my ‘slow’ response. I am sure, they are all running against time, at my age and need to find that special someone and their special nuances at their earliest.

It seems impossible and unfathomable for me to really need someone so desperately in my life, that at this age and stage of my life I am ready to hide my onion and eat it later followed by a Listerine wash. So going back to the original question, how does one do it? What is it that makes them feel that it is okay to unpack themselves, share a bed for the rest of their lives with someone, someone whom they definitely do not know as well as they did the first time around? How is it that one finds comfort in fast-forwarding information download of more than three decades on to someone and at the same time process their information all in less than a year? What broadband do they use?

Jokes apart, I admire people living life to the fullest, taking their chances and fighting their odds. But I am curious to know how do they deal with this particular quandary, if they face one such? I am sure those of you who are reading my blog, have known people around you who have had similar experiences, what were your observations? Even if you haven't, what are your thoughts given a situation like this?