31 December, this year, as on all other years was pretty uneventful. It was like the dead of winter and I was on my seventh glass of chai for the day. For me, evenings in the cold season have always been synonymous with some kind of a quietude, a passivity almost bordering on depression. That day was no different. With my hands cupped around the glass (that’s how paharis prefer their tea), and my eyes fixed on Ruskin’s “A Little Book of Happiness” lying on the table, I listened to Kishore Kumar crooning on the radio.
“Aane waala pal, jaane waala hai…”
I wasn’t celebrating, really. It was a nexus between Kishore Da and Ruskin to give me the New Year feel! That’s when it hit me that the new decade was around the corner. Ten years had passed, as goes the cliché, in the blink of an eye. Honestly, it’s only when you think of something in retrospect, that you realize it’s over. My daughter was born in 2010, when my boy was a mere four-year-old. From four to fourteen; from holding their hands that I could comfortably wrap up in mine to looking up at them from my tiny frame of five-feet nothing- yes, life has changed!
Change, they say, is the only constant. I would like to admit here that I have always feared any form of transition. I’m such a “my comfort-zone” person, so cocooned that I’d rather spend an entire life with the same set of doors and windows and my staple diet of dal-chawal. And yet, I moved into six different cities in the past ten years, setting up a home seven different times! From the Shivaliks to the Kanchenjunga to the Nilgiris- I literally moved (to) mountains. Someone once told me that what happens in our lives is determined by the desire, we harbour inside us. I laughed it off. My past decade was anything but that!
However, reason will always want to reason out everything. But to me the ‘Theory of Everything’ remains a hypothetical concept. How else, would they explain my long-standing relationship with AA (Alopecia etc.) that started in the last decade and at present stands at ‘status complicated’. AA chased me for long, falling in and out of love with me. Everyone had an explanation to offer about it, and yet nobody could explain anything. That’s the thing about auto-immune disorders. I wanted to snub it, but couldn’t. Because it came out of me. I finally owned it and we made peace.
The decade also saw a lot of buzz around peace- world peace and inner peace. The latter was on my mind too. However, I always found it very obscure. I spent two years in Rajasthan in the last decade. Whenever we drove in the afternoons there, we would see dancing illusions of water on the roads. They call it a Highway Mirage. I would always corelate it with peace. I was struggling with AA and was on a quest for inner calm. The quest hasn’t ended with the decade, though. I don’t know if it ever ends. And thus, all the thoughts about obscurity.
Anyway, the pursuit took me all the way to the Red Sea and to the Egyptian Pyramids. We always seek answers outside before we finally turn inward. If there was any kind of answer I brought back home from there, it was the realization that I am just a speck in the scheme of this universe. But Oh! A SPECK I am!!
The Pyramids were also symbolic of another kind of revelation- of the foolish belief that makes us live like we would never die. It was all quite exasperating and did nothing much for the queasiness underneath. So next, when the decade was mid-way, I picked up the pen and turned it into ‘A Hundred Quills’, which happens to be the name of my blog.
But my story of the last decade doesn’t end here. I did so much more than just this. Rather, a lot more than ever before. I went out in the open often, to smell nature; trekked to hill tops to touch the skies; played board games; gained, lost and again gained all the weight back; I failed too; dealt with the pain of family and friends; lost people; lost love and found love; burst into tears laughing and cried at the drop of a hat. In short, I lived.
I remember shards of life from the ten years gone by and will do so forever. Some parts, I’ve probably forgotten. I always wonder, whether you actually live the moments that you forget. Maybe not. Because if you did, you would always remember them. They were probably the times when you just existed…
“This post is a part of ‘DECADE Blog Hop’ #DecadeHop organised by #RRxMM Rashi Roy and Manas Mukul. The Event is sponsored by Glo and co-sponsored by Beyond The Box, Wedding Clap, The Colaba Store and Sanity Daily in association with authors Piyusha Vir and Richa S Mukherjee”