When I failed you

When I failed you

1 November 2018

fly -hd-wallpapers com
Courtesy hd-wallpapers.com

 

My love,

It is not often that I am at a loss for words as words are usually all that I have. I realised though that the ocean between us has made it difficult to communicate so I thought I should write what I feel. Perhaps you will read this one day or perhaps you are reading it just as I post it. I am not even sure that I will post it or that there will ever be a mailman to carry such a terrible weight of unrequited love and loss. There are places no human can go, not even in the mind. There are places that are better left to the domain of the untouched. There are places where my mind hovers in between disbelief and grief.

Do you remember the beginning ? Neither of us had questioned then the essence of what we shared. The unbearable lightness of your touch that grew into a lingering and then intense shared ecstasy. When I am alone, I revel in the memory of that touch, soothing and intense all at once. When I am alone, I feel your presence again lurking in the corners of my grief-stricken mind. When I am alone, I know that you will always be there if not in body then at least in soul. I know it is only the physical form of you that I have lost but even this weighs upon my heart filling me with a yearning that cannot be placated.

I tread often the winding path of broken memories trying to retrace how we got to this point of no return. I know that you had placed so much faith in my reaching the limits of the known and pushing beyond them to open the gates to the unknown. It was not just an esoteric experience, it was a matter of testing whether we were ready or not for the next stage. I know you placed so much faith in my abilities that you had been testing. So much was in stake and yet, despite all my love for you, I failed you. I remember you telling me that when you love someone you would do anything to be with them. I did everything I possibly could but yet I failed you and you vanished from my life.

There are days when the weather is mild and a soft breeze caresses my face startling me into the thought that you might be back, that if I open my eyes you would be there smiling at me again. Then I commit the mistake of actually opening them into the void of your absence. I sigh but at the same time feel your presence in your absence. It is like your absence negates itself because of the strength of the memories you left and the lingering presence of your soul that remains imprinted upon mine. Then there are days when all I wish for is for the sun to never rise again so that I may close my eyes to never open them again on a world where I can no longer see your smile.

When I think of it, it looked like such an easy test to know oneself and to act upon that knowledge. Little did I know that our human frailty blinds us to our true selves and that even when we think we know ourselves we are never able to really act upon that knowledge to the fullest extent required if our knowledge of ourselves is even slightly incomplete. You were expecting me to spread my wings and fly but I only saw them as a paper thin parchment, a relic of a past glory that would never be resumed. I tried to fly but was weighed down by the extent of my disbelief after a brief instant of taking off. In that fleeting moment of flight, I saw what it was like to be truly free.

Al Ghazali said « Never have I dealt with anything more difficult than my own soul which sometimes helps me and sometimes opposes me ». I never knew how right that quote was before my soul got entangled with yours and I was made to test the boundaries of my own limitations while my soul urged me onward, beyond the unthinkable. I never knew that the contentment I once derived from living a simple life would be erased by the smouldering memories of the time we shared together. I never knew that I would live to see a day where I would be without you in my life.

Today, I look upon those moments of our shared hope with the unflinching eye of sobriety. Yet my sobriety hurts me like that of a perpetually drunken sailor would if he were to stop drinking all at once. My withdrawal symptoms are not visible to the world, they are etched in my heart and mind where I shiver alone, shaking with the grief of your loss. I live my life in a fever-clad nightmare tossing and turning in my mind, yearning to relive that shared hope once more. I live my life in the unhappily pregnant moment of realisation that I failed you.

A million gaps compose my essence now making it impossible for me to be whole again. When you were there, you were the matter between my gaps binding me together and allowing me to move around in the world with a sense of purpose. All purpose disappeared when I failed you. I keep repeating to myself that in another life we will be together again but that litany does nothing to thwart the agony of your absence. I move from one paradoxical situation to another not sure whether I should laugh or cry or perhaps do both at once to finally relieve the perpetual tension that my heart relives.

One day, I will have grown strong enough to pass your test. I know now that there is no turning back from that test. Once started, it must be completed. I know that the day will come and even if you are no longer around to watch me do it, I will fly. I have chosen the spot and the time of the year. It will be at the peak of the Mount Kailash and just before the snow starts melting. I will gather my strength, my memories of you and of our time together and I will spread out my wings and fly. The wind will echo through my outstretched wings and the snow will carry my shadow to its destiny.

The next spring, the letter is found by her mother who cries at the thought of the agony her daughter went through without a soul knowing about it. Her daughter had never returned from her trip to the Mount Kailash. Nobody knows what happened as a body was never found. Perhaps she had finally been able to fly away to a better world in her own way. Perhaps one day her body would be found under a heap of snow. Perhaps she had decided to go on a very long trip elsewhere without telling anyone where she was going.

The mother raises the letter to her lips and closes her eyes. Behind her eyelids she can clearly see the image of her daughter flying against the backdrop of the beautiful Mount Kailash. A tear rolls from her cheek and falls on the letter causing the ink to blot. The blot looks like the peak of a snowy mountain. The mother slowly opens her eyes and seeing the blot smiles a wane smile. It is like a message from her daughter telling her that everything is alright and that she is indeed flying, high above the Mount Kailash, her faith in herself and her knowledge of herself at their peak.

 

O Fly On – Coldplay

The end of the rain

The end of the rain
1 August 2018

woman in rain shutterstock com
Courtesy shutterstock.com

The rain was falling heavily on the roof of the car. From time to time a coconut, its stem  loosened from the tree it had clung to, fell onto the roof of the car causing a more audible thud than the falling rain. The air that had recently been hot and heavy grew cooler. The driver turned off the air conditioning and opened the windows. Some rain fell into the car and onto her lap, startling her and making her leave her daydreaming.

She looked around her and her eyes met the landscape of heaped piles of rubbish and slowly filling sewages. The rain had freed the stench of the sewages that had been slightly more discreet earlier. It reached her nostrils and she felt overpowered by the stench. The driver caught her look and reassured her that the pouring rain would soon cleanse the sewage. He smiled at her nodding his head in the typical way that all Indians did, a halfway between a yes and a no that was difficult to decipher for anyone who was not from the country.

The light turned red and the taxi came to a standstill. She looked back at the sewages and the piles of garbage. She still wondered at how she had reached here with what seemed to be no real purpose or mission other than making her father happy. She was not sure this was how it was meant to be. She struggled inwards against the feeling of hopelessness that gnawed at her heart.

Outside beggars were busy grappling with their tatters trying to cover and shield themselves from the pouring rain. Some stood stoically beside the windows of those drivers who had opened them and stonily asked for money, their faces devoid of any sense of expectation of mercy. A few vendors shook some toys and other gadgets in front of the windows, yelling the prices across. Their faces held the hope that some of the children in the back seats would help the parents in the front seat make a positive decision in their favour. She watched as their faces fell when the lights turned green and the cars resumed their rush across the streets.

Somewhere at the back of her mind she could feel an analogy forming between those vendors, the beggars and herself. They were all hoping for something that simply did not seem to be coming their way. She looked out at the beggars making their way through the swerving cars. They seemed in no hurry to get out of the way and there were no policemen coming to mend the situation. It had always surprised her to notice that there were so few policemen at the points of great turbulence although there were several hanging around in groups laughing and exchanging pleasantries where there seemed to be no traffic problems at all.

She smiled a wry smile at the thought that where she had indeed seen a policeman at a point of turbulence where beggars and other vendors had been obstructing traffic, he simply did not seem to be concerned. Another oddity, at least for her, was the regular crossing of cows which made their way across the street oblivious of the traffic. Some of the cows actually simply stayed in the middle of the street and the drivers artfully drove around them thanks no doubt to years of experience doing that. The drivers were not so kind though to the stray dogs which sometimes ended up in the middle of the road or on its sides as roadkill.

Her mind strayed back to the times when she had been musing on the meaning of life and the equivalence of all beings. It had seemed to her earlier that all beings had to be equal for there to be a proper energetic balance in the world. She realised now that in practice it was going to be very difficult to achieve such a state of being because nobody seemed to be willing to consider what they coined as lesser beings as their equal. She realised that she too was not yet at that stage.

It then occurred to her that perhaps beyond the desire of her father, this was what had brought her to this country. Practice what you preach she told herself inwards ironically She had indeed always embraced the theory that all beings were alike but in her daily life in a country where she was not confronted with the reality of all these beings swarming together in the same context it had seemed easier. Now that everything was let loose and seemingly at par, she realised that it was not so easy to live that concept in its entirety.

She thought about the dog she had lost in her old location and how much more it had seemed feasible to consider herself as equal to it while it seemed much more difficult
with the dirty stray dogs in this country. She knew that with the practice of the stillness of the mind she could extract herself from the context and reach a feeling of inward peace but somehow she felt that she must go through this sense of uneasiness stirred by the filling sewages and their stench and reach inward peace while experiencing all of this. Perhaps this was one of the reasons she was here, to be at the heart of a turbulent, dirty city and yet feel the sense of inner peace pervading her.

She giggled at the thought that she might be stuck here a long time as she did not feel capable of attaining that inner peace within this context if she were not to extract herself from it mentally. The rising stench slowly sobered her and she watched again the whizzing landscape of beggars, vendors, piles of rubbish, flowing sewages and cars. The rain had gradually gone down to a trickle and she gratefully noticed that the sewages had not started overflowing. She had heard horror stories of people having to wade through sewage water to reach their destination and she really did not feel up to such a feat.

She relaxed into her seat and stared at the sky which was clearing up seemingly at the same speed that her thoughts were. She felt great satisfaction at having reached the realisation of one of the reasons she was here. There were surely other reasons and she felt that some of them were tied to the acquisition of empirical knowledge and acceptance of some of the theories she had embraced earlier purely in the form of a thought process.

She felt that once she was able to experience these matters and reach the same conclusions as in her thought process, she would no longer have to be in that context because context as a concept would no longer hold any meaning for her. It was a necessary stage in the journey towards identifying within her the traceless and placeless. Just as it was necessary to be in a context that exacerbated something to be able to say that one had truly overcome its effect on oneself, it was also necessary to be in a context that challenged one’s beliefs to be able to say that one truly held those beliefs as valid. She now was on the right path in the journey of self-discovery. Know thyself she thought and within her welled a feeling of having overcome a stage towards that end. She smiled at the sun that peeped from behind the clouds signaling the end of the rain.

 

Return of the rains – Karunesh