Monday, November 24, 2008

The Same

Checks the mirror one more time. Everything appears in order. Is pleased. Runs index finger of right hand over blue tie dotted with red spots, the size of a paracetamol tablet. Loves the tie; wife’s first gift. Has worn it twice in seven years. First wedding anniversary and first (and only so far) child. Sorry, reverse the order. Never worn it since wife died four years ago. Till today, that is. Today is the third time; promotion party in office.

Climbs down nine flights of stairs, whistling. There’s plenty of time yet. Good for health too. Meets nobody during the journey. Emerges from the building; watchman salutes. Smiles back. Gets into car, a off-white Honda City, bought a year ago. Tears past the watchman, who remains unperturbed out of habit, and onto the road that is one of many that approach the bridge that takes all of them across the great river.

The evening traffic lies thick upon the bridge; a frozen river of proud automobiles, aspiring automobiles and public transport systems, indistinguishable from each other and inseparable from their lights when viewed from the sky. Gently rolls the Honda City into this river, and becomes part of it. A drop. When summer comes, the ice melts. Slowly at first, tiny droplets that trickle down through the ice and the mountainside till the tipping point is reached. And then, suddenly, the mountains relinquish their hold. Scrambles down, in great bursts, in quest of serenity, hoping to reach it before the weather changes again. Each droplet, trying to outdo the other, unifies and strengthens. Not all can make it, however. Becomes ice again, waits for the next thaw, beside another, never seen before. Could it be her? In another birth? In another time?

Summer comes again.

Once on the plains, continues to rush for a while, filled with the mad glee of freedom and its pursuit of the ocean. But it is short lived. Soon, realizes that the path ends there. Once the ocean meets, the gaiety must end. For there lies the ultimate stillness. Slows down, enjoying the ride, delaying the inevitable.

Hates the moon. The moon enters and speeds up and slows down, inflates and deflates, at will, with its mere presence. Why this compulsion? Why must something so far away, and so completely detached, be allowed to exert such control?

Cities are wonderful companions. Makes friends with each new city that passes. The city lights up the countenance so much. Sparkles with joy. The city, too, can see so much of itself in its reflection. And love it. For it is the only one it will ever see. Makes them wobble and twinkle, merrier and prettier than they really are. Nothing wrong with spreading some happiness around! Passes by busy, bustling streets and railway tracks, through ports and under bridges. Maybe passing under the same bridge above which still waits in the car. To each city, promises to return. And does. Only a little different.

The finale, like ever, is anti climactic. Strains against the pull till the ocean comes into view. Then, the defenses are dropped, desire lost. The last distance is made in resignation, without resistance. Struggles, one final time, when they finally meet, and then disappears.

Loves the moon. It is the only thing that brings some action, some pace. A change, predictable and refreshing. There’s something to it after all!


Shrinath said...

Lost you after the third paragraph, but that comparison to a frozen river was brilliant!
(I assume this is what you do at work while not meeting pretty ad-sales ladies :))

gnothi seauton said...

an expirimental piece im assuming..quite transcendental it was....but the shift in narrative between the ice and the thaw and the droplets and the serence ocean to the city and its lights and reflection was a little jarring..but liked the way it ended with the moon linking things up neatly..could have been edited to be a little tighter..and a little less vague at times...would have packed a greater punch..good piece nonetheless..