Alone. Fear of the dark? Not really. Just ignorance about my surroundings. Ignorance is bliss they say. Ignorance is peace . . .
Night-blindness kicked in, as well as the innumerable floaters that survived the first optical laser. I was invisible then to an invisible world.
Walked out onto the terrace. Still-warm flagstones. Wilting bouganvillea. Over-thorny rose-shrubs. Distant Byepass lights curving like a jewelled bow, aimed for the sky. The night-sky that entered my rooms for this evening, honoured guest in priviledged darkness.
Strode about, reciting well nigh' everything that came into my mind. Started of with the dear Bard of Avon: broken lines of "Passionate Pilgrim", "Oh pardon me thou bleeding piece of earth...", "Tomorrow, tomorrow and tomorrow . . . "
Then Tennyson's Ulysses, Gibran's The Prophet and the eternal Khayyam.
On to my mother-tongue. Tagore 's Golden Boat. A rough traslation (of my favourite lines) by this meagre hand would run thus:
Stacks and stacks of the paddy stalks
Tied in bundles: the harvest's done;
And then breaks the gathering storm
While alone I sit, anchorless . . .
Oh to what foreign land do you sail?
Come to the bank and moor your boat for a while
Go where you want to,give where you care to,
But come to the bank a moment,show your smile-
Take away my golden paddy when you sail...
...Alas, the boat is but small -
Filled from stem to stern
By my very own golden harvest;
Speeding away under stormy gusts
I sit by the bank, alone . . .
Then Jibonanondo, the first modernist Bengali poet.
Stock finished, I gobble supper blindly (not much of a choice, really) and retire to my lonesome bedroom.
A xenophilic friend calls, and it seems some angel forgot not to heed my prayers. For anything to break the spell of Darkness. I came to love the true isolation, then to rue it.