When I see Greenpeace volunteers, or environmentalists talk about the subject of what humans have done to the nature, and how they should be trying to restore it, all that comes to my mind is – BULLSHIT! Nature doesn’t need us. Earth doesn’t need us. The fact of the matter remains, we are too small, too insignificant to even put a dent in the whole scheme of things. Fact of the matter is, Nature will survive, Earth will prosper, we won’t. Icebergs are melting, and we are worried because humans will drown. The seabed and trenches residing species won’t feel a thing. The cockroaches have lived more than anyone, and shall continue to do so (also the reason why I have immense respect and fear of them, no jokes). The wheel of life will recommence, nature shall reboot itself. We just may not. So when we tell others, or someone tells us, why we should litter less, use environment friendly products, car pool or do anything that even minutely contributes to a cleaner environment – let’s correct it and put it into perspective. Because we are doing Jack-shit for the planet, all we are trying to do is trying to avoid this vortex of garbage we have created for ourselves. Try and dig a little more perspective and a little less of your own graves. Do not worry for this third planet in the solar system, worry for yourself, your generations to come and the legacy you might not be able to leave when it all goes up in smog.
After 26 years of our torrid affair, I have to sadly breakup with you. I know it would sound cliché, but it’s definitely not you, it is me! I have loved you from the depths of my heart.. after all I have grown with you, just like you have, with me. First love is always special, and so are you to me. You have taught me everything I know and made me the person I am today, and I thank you for it all. But as fate would have it.. it happened over work, I met someone else. It started with just a casual friendship at the beginning. I liked it, and it liked me. We went out a couple of times.. and I assure you, it was all platonic. I used to go over, for a weekend or two, or some work.. you know. However, slowly & gradually, its charm just won me over! Yes, you are so more vibrant and colourful and warm.. it cannot beat you there. But it gives me the space and freedom I need.. I am bound in your lair, cozy and comfortable. You don’t challenge me any more, while it helps me aspire more, dream big and achieve better.. you did not let me. You made it so comfortable for me , that complacency set it in! I want that adventure back in my life.. So I bid you adieu. I might regret my decision, crave you, crave your warmth, crave your whole heartedness.. I might just beg to come back to you too, eventually. But I need to take a break from you, for now. And I know, out of all, you – my love Delhi – shall understand.
Signing off with a heavy, but excited heart, and twinkle in the eye and from the arms of my new lover Mumbai.
I am here now, that I always wanted.
Or is it an escape that I really didn’t need?
Sitting in the hall by myself I wonder,
what is it that you left, what is it that I miss.
Because I am here now, that I always wanted.
But something like a piece of my heart I can’t place.
That feeling of having lived enough exists
Like being an old, old soul with no consequence.
But, I sure am here now, that I always wanted.
And I do get to see those fancy balls and charmers aplenty
Glacial skies and all the time at my disposal
Promises of unending smiles and deep passions
And yes, I am here now, that I always wanted.
But the heart is wary of the surging seas
the rain no more is lively, but wet and cold
the grass still lush but is seems beyond the salty tides
Why am I here now, that I always wanted?
A resounding cry echoes in the lonely hall
that piece of heart seems amiss
which took along all senses, the ability to feel.
I am here now, did I always want it?
“But really what guides them (people) is what they’re afraid of. What they don’t want,” is one dialogue that insight-fully sums up And the Mountains Echoed, a heart-touching and complex tale crafted by Khaled Hosseini. I still have to go through the last 50 or so pages, but these last few pages are especially something I want to take my time reading. And the past few were so compelling that they forced me to stop reading and start writing. That is what a good book does to you. I look forward to as well as dread reading the remaining of the book (dreading because as all avid readers do, I have grown too attached to this book and do not want this to end).
Saying Hosseini is a master storyteller is stating the obvious. Also obvious is any compliment that I want to shower on him right now, or so it seems. A tale, no a saga of Pari Wahdati, who was first stripped from her brother in early childhood – a finger cut so the hand could be saved, and later from childhood itself on account of an alcoholic and narcissist adoptive mother. But this rejuvenating narrative is seamlessly pillared with several parallel plots that it would have been easy to get lost in them and lose track, had it not been for the wordsmanship and clever story building of Hosseini. While each plot supplements and ties seamlessly to the main story, it is also a complete and wholistic tale in itself, clad with complex characters who have been described with not just careful explanation but also subtle behavioral insinuations. The beauty lies in not the characters, but the austerity with which each of these has a significant self. No straightforward claims to saintliness or devilish act, neither indirect references for the same. Acquainted with the habit of drawing protagonists and a certain set of characters attached to the villain, it was, I’ll admit, an unexpected affair to read about such characters who effortlessly emulate the complexity of being humane. It also did arouse suspicion on more than one occasion on account of being the protagonist of a chronicle.
Drawing from the book, are some great insights. Insights you may ponder over for hours and hours and yet would want to think more. Yes, it’s one of those books. People do run from what they are afraid of, and they – we – build our lives according to things we do not want, rather than chasing or working for things that we do. Pari’s father did not want his family to die of hunger, so he sold his daughter. Nila was afraid of a restrained life, so she made sure nothing in the world stops her, not a bedridden husband, not an impressionable adopted daughter. And the obvious tell-tales of the Tinos residents – Thalia, Odie and Markos. What we often forget to do is make some room for the unknown and feared, befriend the change which distresses us so much. But the book also beautifully says what we all know – what’s inevitable will come to happen anyway. It’s an impressionable book and not one to be missed by any means.
UPDATE: Just finished reading it. It wasn’t the teary eyed happy end I’d hoped it would be, but it was a quenching end which did stir a plethora of emotions in me like the rest of the book did. No grand reunion there was of the brother and sister, but I felt the peace which Pari felt when that void, that longing disappeared.
The autumn air had a cheering effect on me then, or maybe it was someone else, but despite the stressing conversations at home, I had a rather bounce as I skipped my way to the class. Not that I particularly enjoyed the direction vectors and musings of periodic tables, but I did enjoy the time spent there. So another 4 hours filled with Organic chemistry and integration, I thought with a sigh as I stepped into the class.
But that thought had barely crossed my mind when skipped a beat. Now, I am a girl, given, but those things don’t happen to me! Not as much as they’re happening now a days to be fair. Rarely had I experienced such an irregularity in the rhythmic running of my heart, okay maybe once with that sweet volleyball senior player and maybe long ago my school captain. But this was different. Not the kind I wanna sit from afar and stare at him all day, but something that makes me wanna go up to him and sit with him kinda way. And sit, with him I did. Also, coz I have a feeling he saves the seat for me! Making me even more nervous. so i sit with him, big deal. Yeah, big deal! But rather than overstressing my brain with how to talk to him, I sheepishly diverted to solving that chemical equation I knew I would never be able to solve, not if I had half the blood running away from my brain.
Somehow, I’m not sure how though, I had passed those classes without embarrassing myself, ok let’s just say not embarrassing myself beyond tolerance. And those cutesy smiles, and seat savings had continued for a few weeks. I was late for class one day, really late, so unfortunately or fortunately, my seat was taken. I got a seat behind him though. Not long into the tedious tidings of kinetic and potential energy, when I received a ‘Hi’ scribbled across a tiny piece of paper. Ecstatic was an understatement, not to mention a smile that made me look like I had a coat hanger stuck in my mouth! I quickly scribbled a ‘Hi’ followed by a cute smiley face. And so followed a series of notes exchanged, ‘late?’ ‘had a thing at home. Did I miss much?’ ‘No, just me.’ The heart was fluttering like a butterfly, in an abyss of glee I had not known before. Needless to say studies were at an all time low.
Another week or two passed in those meaningless note chats, yet it seemed those were the only real conversations I had ever had with anyone. so I have found someone so perfect, sensitive, intellectual (well let’s not get too specific right now), and kinda reciprocating what I felt. And it felt wonderful. We scribbled about literature, and writing, and poems! Oh yes he wrote, and weirdly appreciated my quirky poems. and it wasn’t limited to scribbling anymore. We had progressed to talking before and after the class, most of it with a set of common friends though. Winter had never been so pretty before (and I still hate winter).
I was never an Einstein at physics or chemistry but that sem, I flunked in a class test. and it was a pretty major deal with my folks, considering it was my first ‘F’ in red. So as the drama unfolded at my school, home and eventually at the classes, the gloom had a toll on me. As the smileys stated to go from cheery to mehh, he of course sensed it, and he still started to become the sole reason for my visits to those melancholic basement. The next note said ‘Y so sad?’ and I had no reply. I looked at him, that dear dear boy, so sweet and innocent, you’d just wanna stare in his eyes all day, and I shook my head. I knew it might not really matter to him, the internal friction I was facing with myself then. I smiled at him in an attempt to brush it all off. don’t know what he saw in those watery eyes, his next note said ‘Ice Cream?’ and I thought, Ice cream, in this freaking weather, boy, are you out of your mind? I am freezing here as is. But now I wasn’t gonna write that was I? ‘Sure.’ was my reply. So, after over 6 months of scribbled note and some awkward conversations, here we were, ready for our first ice cream. The class got over about 15 mins before time and we were excited to go, I could see his face. But how do we get rid off (well those are the exact words I was thinking at least). Luck seemed to have been on our side, coz everybody had either someone picking them, or had to go to some other place. All by ourselves we were and we did have that ice cream. It seems like a cliche but we did end up walking hand in hand (but not into the sunset.. bbrrr.. it was dead dark).
I lay in the box waiting with heart,
It’s the numb overture to life that i experience now.
With no smile, no joy or even pain to be felt,
Without a reason, aim, ambition or vow,
I glide through life with no delight nor pain – but how?
The glumness of expression is best suited for the time,
Like silence befits a mourning crowd,
No desire lures me – nor lust nor dime,
But welcoming the sadistic seize – Im guilty of the crime!
That sight which brings forth the tears with glee,
That revives the heartbreak I dealt with for years,
To see that stake through my heart i plea,
For it could bring back the pain in me!