Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Who Knew It Was Forever?
Sitting on a branch high above, Yaksha asked a thirsty Yudhishthira standing by the lake, looking up at him with joined palms, the last of his questions, ‘What is the most astonishing thing in this world?’
Yaksha owned the lake (or so he had stated) and forbade Yudhishthira from touching its waters. His younger brothers who had disregarded the warning lay in a row on the ground, still and lifeless. Dead.
Yudhishthira had given all the right answers before this.
“The most astonishing thing in this world, O Yaksha, is that we see people dying around us so often and we do not think it will happen to us one day. It does not once occur to us that we too will have to go. We live as if believing that we will live forever”.
Very true. It never once occurs to us that it may be our turn next. That it may be our turn to fall ill, to fail in the exam, to be robbed on the street, to get fired from our job, to lose a friendship, to lose a lover...to die.
But one day, life ends. Forever.
All throughout the drive, the road keeps forking and merging again. For a few moments, you lose sight of those fields, those hills, the windmills on them and then they all come into view when the forks merge. Again you lose sight of them when the road forks and again they are back there... you drive on like you will never leave that path or it’s sights...you never think for a moment the next fork could change everything...
But one of those forks is a final one. After that, there are two divergent paths, never to meet again. You search for those fields, for the hills and the windmills, but you have left them behind, never to pass them by.
There comes a point in the journey when the road forks forever.
Never to converge again.
In the course of the relationship, you fought and you patched up, you distanced yourself from him, sometimes in anger, sometimes just to torment him and then got close to him; you played mind games thinking you had all the time in the world to get real.
But there came a moment, when you turned your face away from him, thinking you would come together in time. Like always.
But this particular time, he didn’t come to you. You went on like you didn’t care, believing deep within that he wouldn’t be able to endure this silence any longer, that any moment now his steel resolve would melt and he would look at you with those eyes...
But he didn’t.
Days turned into weeks and weeks into months. It was you who melted in the end. And when you looked up at him you knew he had drifted away. Forever.
You looked back at that moment, when you had turned you face away, and wished life would give you a second chance.
We live as though life will go on forever.
We live our relationships as though we have all the time in the world.
We give all room and all time to our ego, pride, anger, impulses, to clashes and distances as though love can wait.
When it is all over, we look back at that one moment and ask ourselves if we should not have been less hasty and more deliberate; ask if the clock couldn’t be rewound to that moment, so we would get a second chance and do it right this time.
But the clock can never be rewound.
The song ‘Dil Mein Aag Lagaaye Sawan ka Mahina’ from a Rajesh Khanna film has a beautiful line that contains within it a philosophy about all those things in life that can never be the same again, for all we may cry...
‘Is mausam ke bichde shaayad mile kabhi na...’