The following is my reminiscences of an innocent, fragile woman whom I met a few days ago ... the tired slouch of whose shoulders would speak volumes of the injustice, the fret and fever of the world that she had to undergo. Her quick inebrieted glances would reflect the fear and insecurity of a caged bird whose wings are long cut mercilessly. Groping through the despair and drudgery of her path uncertainly she proceeds ..... yet she hopes .... yet she longs to live and love! .......
The musings of my soul, a song unheard ---
I have always felt that life has been unfair to me! I have so often complained that life is passing and I deserve more! My thoughts are so much occupied with the unkind ways that life has dished out towards my direction! I am aware how the river of my life is flowing in frenzy towards abyss, only to be perished with all my half baked dreams and half fulfilled promises!
Then my eyes fall on this girl on the swing at the park. She is making the swing go way past safety. I keep observing her mesmerised. I realise she is a grown up woman! Her black hair streams out in rage as the swing sweeps forward. She kicks out her naked feet, her toenails shimmering and there is a peculiar carefree nonchalance in her gait that makes me envy her!
Up and down and up into the sky she swings. There is this arrogant wild abondon in her movements. I become one with her. When she is reaching the highest point of the arc, I remain poised in that weightless moment. A point higher and above the death and decay of the banal and the mundane. A place close to divine sublimity. A total quiet and serenity in my soul along with a parrot -green smell of my childhood. The woman and I stay tranfixed in the moment.
The woman is now looking sky ward, wrinkling her eyes, focussing on the ebb and flow of the horizon. She loves every minute of her momentary freedom and risk. Her eyes and her trinkling laughter is challenging the world to take it away from her and suddenly there is this peculiar confidence that otherwise is so rare in her! For she knows that this moment of living life with abundant joy and fervour is all her own, the only time she comes a winner.
I lean my body into the air along with her. My memories are now like some faded old black and white photographs. I hold them all tightly in my clasp -- my childhood friend's mother eloping and her helpless pain and uncontrollable sobs, that neighbor boy's love letter filled with filthy words that I failed to comprehend yet the taste of bitter goud in my mouth, Mom's anger towards Aunt, an widow staying with us and my helpless desparate urge to protect her, that forceful first kiss by an elderly uncle that made me puke literally, my best friend's dad - cancer - the morbid smell of that hospital room, my 17 yrs - chemistry teacher's lustful hand and Mom's ever busy schedule, -Goa Ramada - never ending misunderstandings, emotional abuse, my baby that I was forced to abort --- I clutch them all in my palm.
Suddenly, I come back to the woman and the yanking lift of her body into the air. And then I was airborne. Along with those memories since childhood I am gliding and soaring high. Now the wind carries me higher and I feel my life is just beginning! A realisation shocks me. I open my fist and let go of all those photographs into the wide. I see them falling like dead man's ashes one after the other.
For the first time the Earth's curvature appears like a smile to me. The woman on the swing teaches me this is what we do with grief. we lean into the air, swing up, be one with the divinity and open our grasp into the wide! And we live all over again with new dreams and new hopes.