What if the life you are living is very different from the life you wanted to live? What if you wanted opulence, flamboyance and adventure and ended up with meagerness, mediocrity and the staleness of routine? How many of us wonder if we got it all wrong and that this was not the way it was meant to be? I do that, every now and then, wanting to believe that I can push the boundaries a bit further apart, while the real reason is that it is a convenient way to invent a purpose to my loneliness.
It is pelting down outside, the sounds of tiny pebble-sized raindrops overwhelm even Dylan crooning Make You Feel My love. After the ocean, the thing I miss most about home is the rainy season. I would watch it fall incessantly on the handful of trees in our courtyard and the muddy brown streams rushing down on the road below. Later I would head for the terrace, under the pretext of cleaning up the choked drains, where I would ‘accidentally’ let go of my umbrella and be soaked from head to toe, watching the whirlpools form around the outlets.
Sometimes I feel so much at peace with everything. It then feels almost as if I have died and gone to another world, without any complaints, regrets and with nothing left to do. Then there are other times when I feel anything but complete, inconsequential and struggling for time, effort and ability to do a million things that I know I will never be able to do. Where is the time? Where is the energy for all this? What all will I be able to finish? How many more miles do I have to run? How much more do I have to do?
Then there are times like now. Times when I want to just give up on everything. It is not my battle, it is not my cause and it is not for me to affect, if at all I can effect anything. It is not my world, nor is it my reality. I am just a spectator, a passerby and an unpublicised interlude in a drama that enacts itself on the other side of the window, in which my own clandestine reflection, interwoven with my vision, is my only possible contribution.
It has stopped raining now, a pleasant lull before the splotchy business starts all over again, I can hear the solitary bird chirp outside. Is this not what I value and want the most? To be honest, I do not know anymore. The last time I cried in front of anyone was because I was afraid of having gone so much over the line now that I cannot recognise perfection, even if it is right in front of me. I have ceased to have any impulsive responses to anything, I have been reduced to a handful of constructs, each with its own pre-determined responses to circumstances.