Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Beeti Hui Galiyon Se...
Beeti Hui Galiyon Se… Phirse Guzarna Yaara Seeli Seeli…
This old melody by Lata from the movie Lekin is a haunting one.
The experience of revisiting places of the past can churn much philosophy out of even those who dwell on the lower planes of self awareness.
One of these days, a woman of 28, traversed those roads that she had lived by twelve years ago.
An apartment painted in ivory and sea green on a tree lined street.
The tulasi plant in front of every house. Rangoli designs at every doorstep.
Old trees that formed an arch above the road.
A mendicant playing the shehnai went from door to door, receiving alms.
The place itself had not changed much but remained what it had been. And therefore it reflected with a more pronounced effect those changes that had come upon her person over the years that had passed.
There she saw a girl walking those roads and lanes without taking particular notice of her surroundings.
Her mind was elsewhere.
The girl was making plans for her future. There was very little doubt and much certainty.
She was dreaming. She was a girl of sixteen.
In her world, there was black and there was white. And almost everything belonged to one category or another.
The choices, therefore, were pretty simple.
Life had only two dimensions, perhaps three.
To define life was a possible undertaking and there were some definitions.
She had seen very little. And hence, she knew a lot.
The woman stood there and watched the girl of sixteen walking away with a spring in her step, down that road of tantalization, at the end of which was disillusionment.
There was a philosophical, poignant smile on the woman’s face and a faraway look in her eyes.
She shed a silent tear for the girl of sixteen.
She shed a tear for herself who had to let go all the castles built in air to make humbler dwellings out of stone and mortar.
A woman of 28 smiled affectionately at a girl of sixteen.
A woman of experience smiled at a girl of innocence.
A woman who had encountered destiny smiled poignantly at a girl who knew free will.
A woman who had seen the vicissitudes of life smiled at the naivety of a girl who was busy drawing accurate plans for her future.
A woman of 28, traversed those roads, one of these days, only to revisit herself, a girl of sixteen.
Someone rightly said ‘There are more preposterous vicissitudes in life than a single philosophy can conjecture’.
The woman of 28 looked back in retrospection at all those vicissitudes that lay strewn on that road…
As the girl of sixteen continued her walk down that road……
There were ups and downs, curves and bends…all unforeseen.
Dimensions of life became manifold.
More knowledge was acquired and the picture became less clear.
Black and white remained but there were way too many shades of gray.
Who could define life?
A drift in the plane of existence.
A shift in the plane of awareness.
Many amendments to a constitution.
A world gained and a world lost.
Some dreams that had taken flight but never found landing…
Others that had landed without taking off…
Those seeds that never sprouted…
And those flowering trees which had never been planted…
Proposals of man and disposals of God…
But more importantly, disposals of man superseded by proposals of God.
The setting of the story changed. So did the place and time.
But the story itself remained the same.
Love. Longing. And living.
And through all this changing time and weather, if someone had endured, it was her.
Through all this changing time and weather, if something had endured, it was her heart.
For it remained where it was born. At the age of sixteen and forever on that road of tantalization, at the end of which was disillusionment.