For the most part of our lives, we are constantly engaged in some sort of chaos. There are very few moments of stillness in our hands where we can absorb whatever is happening around. Two lives pass through each other like two trains running in opposite directions, too fast to see what is going on in the other’s cabin.
Memories, however, always seem to unfold in slow motion whenever we peak in the past. There is an extra sensitivity and consciousness towards the passing of time in some of us. Sometimes, in any moment I would snap back myself in thoughts about how this very moment will be added in the timeline of memories after a long while from now. Remembering, is the only way we know to preserve the past and not let it dissipate into nothingness. Life, the greatest thing there to behold every meaning to everything, itself is transient.
One summer vacation at home, I was sitting beside mum and grandma surrounding a heater with a tea pot over it. It was that hour of work-less-ness before night, just after darkness has taken over the day; the moment when all the birds return to their homes. Every one to stay the night were coming in one by one, the kids heavily dressed in layers of sand and dust and leaving again. Me, I was in the stillness of being at home sitting beside them, talking shortly and freely without any discussion. If you notice, there is this very short state of confusion when the day has just elapsed and the night has just dawned. In this confusion one likes to just sit and let the night completely spread to begin with things to do. Our moment was just that. At this point, I was lying by their side, with my head on grandma’s lap and watching mother do some chores. I twisted a little to look up and saw her face; an old lady lost in some deep thoughts, her palm gently brushing from my hairs to my cheek. We were all quiet for some time, there wasn’t anything to be said. She was lost in a thought of her own from almost an eighty years of life. I realize that it would be impossible for anyone to strike a close guess about what she was wondering. It could have been anything about tomorrow, or about all the deep unending yesterdays she has lived. There were no strains of worry on her face, it certainly was nothing unpleasant, neither anything overwhelming. Just a thought, just a memory.
The picturesque moment I was lost in seemed to last so long. My eyes had softly rested on her. I was reading her face like an old painting, trying to draw out meanings from the wrinkles that seemed like brushstrokes of an experienced artist. There are stories behind this painting, and no one shall hear it once she is gone. Death silently sits on the shoulders of old age like a falcon. Along with withering away of this painting, a part of so many of us will wither away too, because she carries our stories too. I have been walked around so much carried on her shoulder when I was tooth-aching child crying inconsolably. It was heavy to realise that someone made of so many stories must disappear in the air just like that. Given the silent corner of everyone’s lives she takes; it will be a silent moment of loss. At that age, one does not demand love, they are accustomed to absorbing every feeling silently, without complaints. The bones must feel tired to handle any emotional strain at that tender age. However, for me, I will feel like a piece of my universe has been taken away with her. Currently, there is not much I can do to prolong our proximity. We take part in such a race of life where there is no going ahead without leaving something behind. I see her, walking away on a road, disappearing slowly in the fog, fading away from existence, to reveal nothingness once the fog subsides. Gone, just like that.
I paused in the moment, trying to absorb it all in my skin that it may never dissipate away as long as I live, for as long as I needed it. All my focus shifted from everywhere else to the universe between the touch of her fingers and my skin.
There are scriptures embarked on my skin were she has touched.