This is an excerpt from my travel diary when I had been to a kind of remote village in the depths of India. I found it in one old bunch of papers and I think for a change, you could read it too.
Have you ever been on long trips in distant, raw lands and seen the people and their kids and wondered what would they be like? Have you ever shot by almost empty fields in your car and seen one kid playing in the soil, all by himself, amusing his heart to the brown earth? And have you ever thought of him for a moment before turning your melancholy gaze on the other side of the road to try and think of the beauty of the mountains instead? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in those fields and never get to know the electric cities? Have you ever brooded over what a narrow world would that kid live in and grow up and die in? And what a narrow world would his parents, brothers and friends and uncles and aunts be content in? And then, for a brief moment, have you imagined being that kid, in that land, a poor peasant’s boy who knows nothing of schools and wondered whom would you have grown up to be?
And has it saddened you? And the sight of that kid, now long gone, broken your heart and made you look around more intently to dig the life of those folks and find some raw happiness?
And then have you just turned your head and just let go and felt helpless? Have you?
It has been an exceptionally long day and though it hasn’t been really eventful, if eventful can be defined as something that people love to hear about, I feel like putting up this post today because I just want to talk to someone and I have chosen you, reader. I don’t know what am I going to rant because I once read somewhere about this thing called stream of consciousness and I had written something on those lines in Solitude and on this particular Sunday evening, I just feel like doing it again.
Right now I’m sitting in my room holding back my pee because I have decided that I’ll go to the bathroom only when I finish this post. That’s the kind of promise you make to yourself on a quiet evening when you’re sitting home like a jobless bloke and all your friends are smoking blunts and doing all things that are cool and you’re the only one left out.
‘Blunts’ reminds you of something. You get up and open your drawers and after a little frantic search for what you’re looking, you find it. ‘Keep Off The Grass’, a novel your mom bought for you. She might have got it for you without anything on her mind but you’re scared if she knows that you are on the grass and wants you to get over it. To put away that terrible thought, you put away the book and grab the first thing you see in the now unkempt drawer. It’s a book. Mansfield Park. Your ex-girlfriend gifted this one to you because once, very casually, you had told her that it’s on your to-read list. You open it and see her handwriting on the first blank page: “I hope every page of this book reminds you of me. Happy reading.”
Yeah I hope I do, you say. You haven’t even read one word out of it yet. It’s been over a year since its lying there, untouched. A lot has happened in the meantime. You have passed another year of college, you have made new friends, you have spent more time with them than you should, you have taken your girlfriend for granted, denied giving her your time and attention that she deserves, you have broken her heart and so, in turn, she has left you, breaking yours. There are a very few things left from the spoils of the relationship now and this book is one of those.
Then something dawns upon you. You probably have been a rough man like she used to say in the final days of your relationship. You look at yourself in the mirror for a moment, then you look at the book again. There is something going on in your mind. In one swift move, you grab your phone and call her. But this isn’t a movie or a novel, this is your real life and so, she doesn’t receive it. You have to call her thrice before realizing that she isn’t going to talk to you after all.
So all you’re left with now is this book and some images of her recurring in your mind. You still love her but is it too late? You don’t know. All you want to do at the moment is read this book and think about her. And just when you’re about to open it and begin reading, a feeling inside you says, “Shall we go to the washroom first?”