In search of my Clover

Clover is supposed to bring good luck to the person who is about to embark upon a journey towards a particular goal. This is a tiny bit of information which I came across while re-watching the first season of Honey and Clover. I don’t know if I can consider love to be a goal here. No, I don’t think I can. No matter how many trials and ordeals one goes through, if the person concerned does not have the bent of mind and heart to look towards you with the same kind of affection, your trials will only yield errors and if you are headstrong enough to not accept it, it shall only transform into an endless cycle for you.

I met you for the first time in 2008. Honey and Clover had started airing on Animax in the same year. Of course, I did not know what love meant at that time. It would be a gross misconception to hold that I know the meaning of love even now, but it is no longer an equivalent to a happy ending for me. I remember myself failing completely at making a meaning out of that show as I was failing completely at making a meaning not only out of those complicated problems in my Math textbook but also of my feelings for you. I knew that I was leaving my age of innocence behind to enter into the age of experience, but I did not know that the stability which I had so far would wither away through the emotional desire which I was subconsciously developing for you. My life changed after meeting you, but you left after the lapse of that year when I had finally accepted the harsh fact with a boulder on my chest and tears in my eyes that I was in love with you. But amidst the hoard of instances of my immaturity, I was mature enough to realise at that tender age that my love for you was doomed and it would never achieve a successful fruition. My best friend told me to wait till my ‘infatuation’ wilted down with the passage of time. I trusted her, but at the same time, you would just not stop flashing in my head. Every moment of smile, every moment of anger, every moment of anxiousness, every moment of awkward eye contact, every moment which bespoke my emotional dependence on you. Too much to hold in this heart which was tender at that time. At a time when it was struggling with loneliness, avoidance, negligence and the merciless and ruthless world of peers and adults.

You left behind a pathetic trail of longing, despondency, wishful thinking and sad smiles for me to deal with. Loneliness was the foremost of them. The years passed by and I was growing. I internally wished to grow out of you and everything which involved you. But those passing smiles and the presumed short conversations which extended themselves when we ran into each other exulted me again only to leave me dejected in the end. As I was watching Honey and Clover the other night, there was a line which went like, “If love is supposed to be happy and colourful, then why is my love so sad and despicable?” I had never related to it so well before when I had watched it in 2016. I used to colour my love for you then with a tinge of romantic sadness and I cherished that. But I was dawned upon by the realization that this love which is unrequited and one-sided has only caused tears, waves of sadness and piteous thoughts under a pleasant guise.

 I was in deep thought about what the ferris-wheel in that show might symbolize and how I could connect myself with it until Takemoto(one of the characters) stated that it was meant to take one to the zenith of happiness as one cut across the sky with his/her beloved. But then one had to gradually descend down to the painful reality which love perhaps brings with itself. I used to have my moments of reaching the zenith with you too. But unfortunately, those moments solely belonged to me. Remember the sound of the beating dhaaks on the night of Dashami? Remember how we used to sit still together as the world faded into the background, but only the crimson face of the Goddess and the melodious strength with which the dhaaks were being beaten; with the sweet-scented smoke shaping itself into rings and waves around us till we couldn’t see the other faces anymore but each other? Remember how you used to clasp my hand tightly lest I should fall into the chilled water while watching the immersed face of the Goddess as I prayed and waved goodbye to her? Don’t you think those were my moments of elevation with you? The autumnal time of the year when my feelings were at their prime. That time of the year which marked its end for me and the awaiting of another autumn to reach the pinnacle again.

You left with a tone of finality in 2021 and I suffered a predictable yet unpredictable apocalypse. I wished that I could undo all the moments which I had shared with you. Those moments of elation seem achingly beautiful now. Too beautiful for me to ever want to remember them. Back in 2018, I was almost convinced that I had fallen out of love with you. But I guess a new city did not mean a new me. I could sever away many ties, but I retained a few feelings which were painful. I did not realize that some of those feelings were still reserved for you. The ethereal moments would not come back in their physical shape anymore. I can only view vast tracts of wastelands in front of me now. But you know what? I am still in search of my clover and my goal which is wallowing in misery and misfortune.

Extracted out of my diary

I try my best to not travel back in time. Travelling back has never quite been the option for me. That is also the reason why I have severed ties with people along the way and formed new ties with the hope of finding myself once again. That bloody child from Macbeth is me who has this tendency to make prophecies about my future self and hold certain displeasing images before me which peel off all the positive aspects only to show me that sloppy mass which lack symmetry. There are times when I have imagined scenarios whereby all my ambitions have cracked themselves open and exposed their ugly kernel in the face of horrible disasters. I have never wanted to be a part of race, but I have realised that life itself is a race and we cannot help but run. There are some who get tired along the way and decide to end the race through their own volition and ‘coward’ is how they are labelled. Our body is a prison house but the soul is not charged for spreading its thoughts beyond the physical limits. So, it should not be barred from putting a permanent end to the wrecking prison cell whose bars shall anyhow grow infirm with time and leave nothing but a few remote memories and the soul would die too.

The bloody child is sitting somewhere near trying to gesticulate and dictate my future in turn. But it has no clue that ‘future’ is as much of an intangible and immaterial concept as it itself is. Its phantom-like existence is not taking itself anywhere and it is going to die with the mind, body and soul. Take the jalopy and undertake the journey and make sure that the bloody child fades out of your perception.

– Prateeti

-01/03/2021

-1:42 am

Penning down a Connection

It’s one of those nights again when the sudden surge to pen down or rather ramble if you will has risen up during the process of listening to U2’s ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’. A few hours back, in the evening, I was engaged in a conversation with this guy I had matched with on a dating site. The relationship has transcended through the course of six months beyond the mere realm of immediate flirtation to that of a mutual connection which has again outdistanced the romantic and the physical domain. In simpler terms, I can never articulate in concrete words the kind of relationship I share with this person.

Through twenty-four years of thorough experience, I have deduced that the most cherished people whom you meet as you progress in your journey flicker away like those cherished moments. Yet, you hold on to them, cling to them. I have set myself free from these chains of expectations and desire which is the reason why I enjoy virtually being with this person like a free bird. This is rare. But I would like to believe that I am rare too no matter how distorted, grotesque and macabre I appear to the world outside. I would also like to view my connection with this person from this angle because in no way I can trivialize it which I tend to. Life may be meaningless as those existentialists and absurdists tend to put it. But you would definitely not want to disbelieve that you were born for a reason and relationships have a lasting significance. I am no exception there as well.

So as I am sitting in my closed up room, scribbling down my passing thoughts and reflections punctuated with feelings of satisfaction and melancholy, I would like to say that this solid bond flows like liquid and flows endlessly like music beyond time, space and place. And, we shall keep on reminding each other of songs left back in the past, whether remote or recent. Whether we shall remind each other through texts or in one corner of an empty room when we are not in direct touch anymore.

Full Stops.

Pandemic – the word which has become a part of the common vocabulary of 2020. Is it an intrusion of the unknown into the fairly known? Or is it an eye-opener? The latter is unknown to me but how ironic can it be that I am somewhat familiar with the unknown?… Or the concept of it. But familiarity again does not guarantee the compression of shock at the new turn of events. What has life come to? Or were we too blinded by our own personal concerns to look at the greater concern before the advent of pandemic?

Were we thinkers before? Or has thought acquired a new dimension? Have we come out of the ‘normative’? But where does ‘I’ go in the midst of ‘we’? The experience is collective, but what about the individual sub-experiences? Will the I be labeled as ‘abnormal’ by the superimposed ‘We’? Is the mask actually taking the mouth away from the eyesight? Is it actually choking the voice? Has it all turned out to be like this or has this been lurking in the background in an apparently subservient position?

Will the question marks never end as full stops?




Escape or Relief

 

The year was 2001 when the four year old me would come back from school in that dilapidated four wheeled van. Those were the days of peace(now that I think about them) when adulthood would not gnaw at your heart and the trivial worries would be taken care of by parents. Yes those were the days of vitality, vibrancy, whirling round and energy. Those were the days when Bollywood songs and jingles would be on the tip of your tongue. And your infant eyes never fully absorbed that billboard reading ‘DIL CHAHTA HAI’. But you would always saunter around humming and at times bursting out with “Koi kahe kehta rahe/ Itna bhi…” and making a nonsensical babble out of those spirited lines. You never realized that the way your uncle expressed with joy and satisfaction,“ I came here after watching an amazing movie. It’s a must-watch” would ring in your ears even today and bring back those beautiful memories out of the haze and mist of the exhaustion of today. Old days you know.

The year is 2019. And I am in my early twenties unsure about what to do with myself and where to go and where to be after a few months and one somber December evening I sat down to be carried back to those soulful days of 2001 with ‘DIL CHAHTA HAI’. Revelations! Memories! Tears! Ecstacy! Oh what not! I can only articulate them as mixed feelings maybe. Yes, Akash, Sameer and Siddharth – a closely knit group of friends and not a mammoth association involving deceits, back-biting and meaningless complications. How did I not notice that Sameer, Akash and Sid are actually symbolic of the three phases of my life till today?  My early teenage years subscribed to Sameer’s gullibility, his easy-going nature which got him into troubles and his boyish belief in the existence of true love.  The eighteen year old me felt an intimate connection with Akash who not only unlearned but gibed his friends about the farce of love. But my early twenties learned to calm down and took notice of Sid’s quietude which was overshadowed by commotion created by Sameer’s whining and Akash’s mischief. I conformed to Sid’s reclusion and shut the world off because I am a social misfit whose perceptions and feelings are not meant to be deciphered and dissected.

Oh how ardently your juvenile heart wished to enact that scene of casually looking at the vast sea with two of your best friends only to view the ship receding into the horizon … away from the eye-sight! But do you not think that your association is fading away like that ship not only from your view but also from your life? How you boiled with spirit and gaiety and drew up an elaborate plan of undertaking a road trip with your closest buddies when your teenage self had watched the movie! But do you realize that you have already undertaken a journey of twenty-three years which has witnessed pains, losses, tears, derision, demoralization but also those affectionate pats on your back, those friendly hugs and those midnight rants? Yes, comedy and tragedy coexist and the film instantiates that. Love is around and eliminate those Rohits and Priyas in whom peace cannot be discerned. Fall in love by crossing boundaries – who has been vested with the sole right of interrogation?

On 2020, I am setting out for 2001… Not as a means of escape, but as a way of relief.1565509404-8276

Time…Abstract?

close up photography of vintage watch
Photo by Matej on Pexels.com

Time, yes time, you have been told that time is an abstract concept. I do not even minutely question this much-believed notion- your tactility betrays you when you want to feel the physicality of time, your optics smirk at you when you want to see time, your sense of smell seduces you when you sniff time out of a needle to get intoxicated by its sweet ever-lasting presence exuding a semblance of eternity, your aural senses greet you with that shrill laughter when you want to desperately listen to those muffled calls of your beloved and beat your chest appealing to Time to transport you to that day and age. Yes, Time is an abstract concept. Your whole corporeality is shrouded in Time, yet it is an Enigma…How quaint can it be that that you can only comprehend time through your weak eye-sight, your smooth cheeks eventually growing into wrinkles, your limbs which relinquish their strength involuntarily in the final phase of your journey in this time-bound river? But you bow down to have your whole being flickered away only to acquire lifelessness, deathlessness and hence timelessness.

Time is abstract.