July 25, 2008

It’s Late in the Night…

… and I am unable to sleep. The sheep has been counted and put in the pen. Country, Tagore and Lounge music has failed to make any difference to this uncharacteristic insomniac night. I do not know why I am awake. I just know that sleep is a distant dream tonight.

Have you ever felt sad without ever realizing the rationale behind feeling sad? Have you ever stayed awake late into the night wondering what’s in store for you? Have you ever wondered if a life exists beyond careers and deadlines? And all this thoughts coming in when you should actually be singing drunken love songs for no one and every one? Why does peace come in only when facing the calm sea on a dark and lonely night on Marine Drive? Why does a shrub called hibiscus sound like a refuge?

I met someone the other day after three years. The last time he and I had been together, we had spoken about Camus and Kafka. After three years all we could do was exchange the latest gossip and talk about how work was. When did we change so much? When did the so called ‘unimportant’ things really become unimportant to us? When did we start speaking about the future with a life partner and not about the rocking time we had with friends? A few days back a friend asked me why we were running out of things to say to each other?

Anyone who knows me knows a little bit about my idiosyncrasies. They also know about my egotistical disregard for the mundane. I have always felt that to conform is to reject change. To conform is to give up living. Keep walking but not with the crowd - that’s what I have told everyone who cared to listen. Today evening I did something crazy. I wanted to test myself. I was waiting for a friend at the Churchgate Station. Mumbai was going back home and was hurrying towards the trains which were eagerly waiting to gobble the city up. I walked. I walked against the crowd. Towards the exit of Churchgate forcing my way through a never ending stream of humanity, determined to get back to their respective homes. I fought, I got pushed, I ducked, I dragged myself and with every moment I just wanted to turn back and follow the crowd. When I reached the end of the station, I didn’t know any longer what to do. I had not conformed and yet I was standing there all alone, no one to share my crazy victory with. Slowly I turned and became one with the crowd. There were no longer men and women around me. We were all rats running towards a tunnel and to be a better rat I just needed to prance a little bit more, be a little smarter than others and I would be the best rat that got the window seat on the train through the tunnel.

I conformed. Strangely when I walked back, I felt nice, no that’s not the word. I felt safe and the narcissist me didn’t like it’s reflection on the ticket window anymore. The fire in the belly dies down, someone had warned me a long time back. Rekindle, reignite, relive.

The radio suddenly has started playing Aa bhi ja. I want to sing along too, but I don’t know who I would be calling. Would anyone even understand? The world I know is in deep slumber waiting to wake up early one last time for this week. It’s Friday already.

Good night and may the sleep fairy kiss me asleep. Sometimes my dear friend, it’s good to not answer questions that trouble you.


Anonymous said...

How long since you have had chocolate, Banjo?

Madhurjya (Banjo) said...

@ Vivek - I knew it had to be the answer. So actually after a really long time had dark chocolates, pure dark chocolates.

Bliss :)