The dusk was embracing the evening sky like a monster devouring the Sun. The coward Sun seemed to be running away, knowing its time had come for the day. Although there was an undercurrent of the impending darkness, the battlefield was devoid of bloodshed. Rather, it was an easel of the artist’s wand. The sky was filled with untitled colours bringing joy to the Lucky Un-blinds. A splish of the dark amoebic clouds. A splash of the bright teddy bears. A splosh of the grayish streak. The chirping, symmetrical birds. The dazzling silver lining. The lost grounds of the dark East and the still-fighting Orange-ish West. A serene picture of Nature leading its own unnoticed life. Unnoticed except of course by me. From the terrace.
The terrace is one of my favourite spots. It’s the only place where I can relate to the expansive Nature and Universe. It shuts out the materialistic belongings and the family strings. It is like being with the Divine. I talk and no one talks back! The silence all around transcends the atmosphere into one that of an ethereal realm.
Ethereal realm. Now that’s a good phrase. First four letters of the succeeding word are the last four letters of the preceding word. Describing a catchy phrase itself often becomes a catchy rhyme. Catchy rhymes reminds me of the Calvin & Hobbes jokes I heard today. Calvin: “What if somebody calls us ‘A pair of pathetic peripatetics’?!” Hobbes is stupefied for a moment and then replies: “I have never heard of anyone taking the trouble to rhyme weird insults!!” Damn funny!
I placed myself on a stone block and locked my knees together and continued to gaze at the sky. The weather was getting perplexed with the departure of the Sun. It knows neither to torch the sunny heat nor to spread the fingers of the chilly night. The slight zephyr comes to its rescue. For a moment, there is nothing going on in my mind. It is just blank. A mattress of nothingness.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, comes the thought of a conversation I had with a friend recently. We were discussing Mr and Mrs Iyer. Invariably, whenever one discusses this movie, the topic always goes to ‘That scene in the train.’ It is without doubt one of the moving scenes a film patron can ever see on the tinsel screen. They HAVE TO kiss. How can they not kiss? It seems so so right for them to kiss. It is inappropriate and incomplete and incorrect for them not to kiss!! And yet they do not.
Why is it inappropriate for anyone to like more than one person at a given point of time? And even if it is not inappropriate, why is it inappropriate to display affection? Is it a rule to love just one person? What is love? Why would there be a feeling of jealousy? Possessiveness? To love someone else also is to be betrayed? Betrayed of what? Trust? But the only reason the affair with the third person was kept in wraps is to stop the feeling of jealousy. Surely not to betray trust. It all gets complicated.
Perhaps its just a matter of ethics. Yet one cannot help what one feels. Many of my friends had affairs other than those with just their boyfriends. They are truly perplexed why they liked two people at the same time. And yet, they really did like. Each was special in his own way. Legally incorrect? Ethically wrong? Medically dangerous? Some things of the heart just cannot be explained. Ultimately they were forced to choose one. However difficult it was.
Perhaps this train of thought led to the invention of polygamy and polyandry policies. Words of ridicule in school but actually heavy. Not that I am talking about relationships of the West where the flesh matters more than the heart.
One man : one woman. That remains the legal, happy and easy policy but yet there are cases all around where the quirk of the heart beats all unemotional policies. Policies which state that liking someone else in heart other than your husband is a crime. Looks good on paper. But that’s all.
Lord Rama suspected Sita during her stay in Lanka. Or did he just want to prove to people that his wife was purity personified? Either way, I always have it against him that he shouldn’t have asked Sita to enter the pyre. Asking wife to sit on fire just to prove her chastity is ungodliness. It’s a character that I somehow cannot bring myself to respect. Somewhat akin to Lord Krishna convincing Arjuna to kill his own Master. Now what kind of a Godly character is that! To encourage killing one's own guru! My mind boggles!!
But, reining the mind back, the world gender ratio is hardly at one man : one woman. The males are more than females. Whats the upshot? Some men are finding it harder and harder to find girls. Especially sons of farmers in the villages, continuing the tradition of farming, and not lured by the fortunes of the big cities. Girls in villages do not want village guys when there are eligible village guys who have gone abroad and earning heavily. After all, who does not want riches? Who wants to be the wife of a farmer when one can roam around in posh cars across the continent with a dab of the best perfume?
At the same time, if all the sons of farmers immigrate to the big cities, be it for riches or for, subsequently, girls, then what happens to farming? Agriculture? Now that’s a global issue! A time has come when the sons of farmers are desperately giving money to get girls as daughters-in-law. There has been a complete reversal of roles. Vadhu-dakshina is more prominent now than Vara-dakshina. The dowry given by the groom.
A mosquito bite brings me back from my thoughts. So small a fly yet so powerful. And so annoying. A small lump comes on my skin and I try to run it off unnecessarily. A futile attempt. Yet, it is somehow needed. Very much needed. There are things in this world which we do and keep doing, although we know it is futile. Just to be satisfied.
The darkness now had enveloped completely. The stars were trying to peep through the bright streetlights. ‘Constellation’ becomes a mere word in cities. Like ‘siblings’, if people adopt the new trend of ‘just one kid.’ Blame it on ‘cost of living.’
And so, my thoughts go on and on, carving its own solitudinal soliloquy when suddenly from out of nowhere, my mom calls “Harsha!” That one word, with its associated frequency and volume implies that dinner is ready and that I have been dreaming for a long time and that I need to go down.
And so I will. Tata.