There are times what everything stands still. A stillness that is so quiet, so threatening, it screams from the insides of the heart, tearing its way out, splitting open every inhibition, every restriction in its way. And it is still. The calm so untamed, so wild and so wanted. And you are still.
She sat by the window, staring at the road below. It was after sunset. Could have been six, seven or even eight o’clock. She didn’t care. She didn’t notice. The cup of coffee before her cooled in the evening air as a deep brown film formed on the top. The street below was crowded. Cars, buses, taxis, rickshaws, motorbikes, carts, pedestrians, dogs, hawkers and salesmen; were hooting, yelling, running, walking, barking, honking, scooting and flowing on the street. So many people who didn’t care about her, about each other and about a world beyond themselves.
She sat there, in a pool of her violent, raging calm staring at the obscenely orange street light that fell on the road. There was nothing soft, subtle or sophisticated about it. No attempt to mask what was real. Just the strong light.
Then, suddenly, as if someone had shaken her, she dropped the blank expression and turned to her coffee. As she sat on the window sill sipping on the cold, tasteless coffee, she tried to do all she could to dissolve the calm at the bottom of her stomach. She wanted to be busy. So busy that she could forget all that had happened that day…
He was lying on a hammock, hands loosely thrown on either side. He stared at the mesh of coconut leaves on the sky and the half moon sifting through the net. An incomplete moon, for incomplete lives and their incomplete stories. He pretended not to think for a while. He liked to believe that he was stoic. He knew he wasn’t. He was thinking, faster, louder, stronger than ever before. A million thoughts rushed through his mind. It was all noise, chaos, confusion. Yet it all seemed to fit in, like a symphony. A symphony of noise. He felt a strange sort of calm through the storming thoughts. The more he felt the noise, the more he enjoyed the peace.
In the moonlight he saw where he was, as if almost suddenly conscious of his own presence. The resort shone white. He realized that he had been hiding from his reality, a reality so extraordinary that it almost seemed like a novel, one that lonely people read in lazy afternoons. The resort was just his physical hideout. He had switched himself off from the world he knew in the city. But he slowly accepted that this remote beach only kept him away physically. He still didn’t stop thinking about her. All the time he kept thinking what she would be doing, and more importantly, did she think of him as often as he thought of her?
It was like he was nine years old again, sitting on Marine Drive, crying for the only friend he had, for the only purest love he had known. He wanted to cry again. But it was too late. For the fifteen years since that day, his world had conditioned him not to cry. Tears had dried somewhere deep inside, and he looked for them desperately.
Both of them, so far away, separated by space and a very long time felt a nearness to each other. She, in her calm, held a raging storm, he, in his storming thoughts, felt more at peace than ever before. It was like they fitted in like two pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. It was just that all of the other pieces were lost, over the past fifteen years, leaving them incomplete, and together.
3 weeks ago