03 July, 2014

To look back a stranger

 It's bright and sunny, the poolside is awash with tanning beauties and I'm resisting the urge to sneak away for a quick puff. On a whim, I realize many of us as children often dreamed of having a day in our life like this. The Sunday's rest: blue skies, blue waters, deck-chairs, barbeque and sun-tan.



  Reminded of a snatch of conversation that draws me back about three years ago. Too tired and dulled by the sun to trace the thread that connects the present to that time.

 "You know - most of what you do is so that you can talk about it later." T's crazy-eyed gaze, always challenging, always alluring. I knew she was half-crazy, that's why I wanted her.

 Feigned chuckle. "Huh?"

"Yes. Years later, when you're a lonely lonely old man, you would sit like some ridiculous  feudal zamindar and tell the youngsters that whatever they did, you had done before. Writing, poetry, trekking, debate, drama, painting. A bit of everything, but nothing in reality. Ami ekkale shob korechi. Just so that you can do your 'been there, done that' shit. That's your real reason."

 T had a habit of painting pictures with her words. Probably a side-effect of her Murakami obsession and usual  daze.

 It was comforting to cut off that conversation with cheap chilled beer (a delicacy not to be scoffed at in a sweltering Calcutta summer). And blame her madness upon something that came disconcertingly close to the truth.

 

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