Friday, April 15, 2011
Inside That Baggage
Those hard, sharp, bitter stones. Grains actually.
Inside the baggage. The size of a pouch.
They hurt. Chafed my back.
I had been carrying them for years now.
As time progressed, the pouch gained weight. Of a baggage. The composition of the stones inside was such.
There was more to them. Once you put them inside and closed the pouch, their time stopped ticking. As far as you were concerned, of course.
Therefore they would remain things of the present and never become the past. Your present.
And with time, they gained weight.
So the sooner you threw them away, before they became heavier and heavier, the better off you were. But (here is the catch), for you to throw them away, they had to become things of the past. If you thought of them as things of the present, you could not throw them.
So how would these stones become things of the past? You had to open the pouch. And look inside. For a few seconds. Then, they would catch up in time and become as old, as grown, as they were. Like a movie fast forwarded.
Again, not all of them. Not the ones that had frozen in time. But most of them.
And…, this solution to the riddle, was a secret. It revealed itself to the less intelligent ones. Or it was discovered by sheer accident. The more intelligent would miss it. More often than not.
There was a third possibility too.
So this pouch of mine, gained weight. And the dead weight had become part of my parcel.
I had gotten so used to the baggage, it did not seem to matter. But once in a way, when I turned my attention to it, it became suddenly heavy and I had to drag my feet in order to keep moving.
One fine day, just like that, I opened the bag. It had to be an accident. For I certainly belonged to the league of the more intelligent.
And lo! there were flowers inside. And two stones. Frozen in time.
Stone turning into flowers! This was unheard of!
Opening the pouch, aging them and casting them away would have been good enough. But flowers? (The third possibility…)
But where went all the stones?
I distinctly remember picking them up and putting them inside.
That’s what I did whenever a stone was pelted at me.
The ones I deserved, I would not pick up.
But the ones I didn’t deserve, I definitely gathered, to carry with me. in my pouch.
Where went those stones?
The stones had long transmuted/turned into flowers.
Time had, surely stopped for them; but only as far as I was concerned.
Within the pouch, they had grown - and turned into flowers.
So they had been exerting no weight actually.
But I had felt the weight all along, no doubt. Because, to me they were stones still.
I was not aware of the transmutation happening inside.
All I knew was that I had put in the stones myself and they were there.
How I had been needlessly carrying their weight all these years!
if only I had opened the bag before!
Now I was free.
How light I felt! What a relief it was! And what a pleasant surprise the flowers were!
Now I have only two stones to carry. The rest that turned into flowers shall adorn me and their fragrance will permeate the air all around.
It was an accident.
I met all of them. One evening.
The ones that had hurt me, offended me and made me cry. Years ago. None of which I deserved. I had dropped them into my baggage and closed it.
And they had stopped in time. My time. They had remained the hurtful, evil, malicious people. Everyone said, throw away the baggage. How could I? You throw away the baggage if it is a matter of the past. If it is your present, you cant throw away your present. And once you shut the baggage, shut the people from your life, turn your face away, they remain forever the grotesque people they were when you last saw them. Because after that, you shut the door. Tight.
If you open the baggage and peek inside, you may see that they have changed. They may not be your best friends still, but they are no longer wearing that grotesque expression.
And then, when you see their present, that part of them you were carrying in the baggage becomes a thing of the past and you can cast them away.
But some of them, those people that never change, will still stare back at you with the same malice. Those, you will carry with you, but they will be few in number.
But what happened to me, was the third possibility.
That evening, they were smiling and waving.
They had changed so much. They had grown so much. They had mellowed with time!
Some of them stood with their arms stretched out towards me.
I don’t know how long they had been standing like that. Waiting for me to open the door I had shut on them. Tight.
If only I had looked back earlier, I would have known.
But now, I had done better than just throwing away the baggage. I had flowers to call mine.
What a respite from the festering wounds caused by all that chafing.
It was an experience! A blessing.
But what’s with the riddle revealing itself to the less intelligent only??
That has to do with transcending intellect. The intellect spawns arguments about some people never changing. It admits (of course, since it is intelligent) that time morphs everyone, but then (there again!), the core, the basic character remains the same, a crow does not turn a peacock; snakes, though they may grow old, remain snakes… The realm of the more intelligent is full of ideas such as these…
The meeting with flowers happens to those who transcend intellect, give the crow, the snake and the peacock, an equal chance and accept them all.
For the rest like me, accidents save our lives.