Thursday, August 26, 2010

Still Waters

In the constant state of flux that life is in, there is always a fear of losing out if we stop, if we don’t make that one call on our list, if we don’t work, if we sit around and do nothing. I, for one, can’t deal with not working for more than two days. It just freaks me out. I can’t sit still, I constantly complain about losing the precious time of my life and can’t help dwelling on the fact that I am not growing any younger. If I am not working, I have to write something atleast or see, like six films a day or do read a book or just keep at something until it is done. I even prefer completing my camera report books to relaxing. I guess I am a certified workaholic lunatic.

Last week, the Monday was no different than one of these restless break days. My hard working self was troubled as usual and the Monday blues weren’t helping either. Imagine having Monday blues even when you don’t have a 9-to-5 job or a five day week… Anyways I was at the window of my bedroom looking out at the non intimidating vastness of the sky against the meritless insolence of the high rises. Just then a crow caught my eye as it flew down from the 14th floor of a high rise to its 5th floor. It fluttered around a bit, pecked at a few potted plants and then flew down to the 3 ft swimming pool in the center of our housing complex that had recently filled up with muddy water. I kept watching as this crow touched the tip of the water and flew away…I didn’t follow it any more…instead I began to stare at the blue color of the swimming pool that permeated through the brown mud in the water. So strong was the blue that the brown couldn’t keep it down. Memories of the water camp that I visited almost five years back came flooding in to drown me.

There in the midst of the summer, on the outskirts of Bangalore we frolicked in the waters by the beachside all throughout the day. This remote, idyllic place loitered just outside of a wilderness that we had trekked through on the previous day. It was so much fun that I refused to come out of it even when it was time to go back to the camp before the darkness fell. But one of my friends lured me out with the promise of showing me something spectacular that happened only at the moment of sunset. There was no time to lose he said; he looked so excited that I couldn’t refuse him. I reluctantly dragged my feet up a small hill after him. He was a good trekker; he kept leading on while I tried hard to keep my balance amidst the flailing stones and pebbles. At one point I seriously considered going back to my merry, effortless frolicking but he kept edging me on.

I was almost uninspired for this hike until nature decided to set me up for competition. Suddenly the sun began to set rapidly as if the other side of the world was exorcising the night and the overall ambient light dropped like it were on a high impedance dimmer. I took the cue; I was racing against time. In my imaginary movie - like rendition of my life, I began rushing dramatically to catch up with my friend; background score (ref: Carmina Burana) running in my head, fierce expression on my face, ‘against all odds’ suddenly becoming the catch phrase of my life et all. Soon I caught up with my friend and then we raced together to the top of the hill. As we neared it, the sun had almost set. A minute later, we were standing on the flat top plain of the hill but the light had been just whip lashed from the sky. Almost. I turned to look at my friend, both of us still trying to catch our breath. He looked at me for a moment, smiled and then looked back at the horizon. In a split second, the light on his face brightened up. I turned to look towards the sea as the sun spilled out in its one last minute of eternal golden glory. In that moment, the sea became a resplendent green blue like a seamless sheet of floating diamonds and the sun ever so gently touched the diamonds but not the sea and made them sparkle; the sky became a canvas of all the beautiful magentas, oranges and pinks master stroked into each other lovingly, the air became heavy with the silence of the unspeakable beauty, the birds stopped chirping as if to gaze in wonder and my heart altogether forgot to breathe. I felt a lasting sense of peace, I smelled inspiration, tasted belief; things I couldn’t describe but only know inside. And then just like that, in the next moment the sun set. And everything went back to the time before that moment.

I turned back towards my friend. He was staring at the ground, still trying to catch his breath. He then looked up at me and said, “I am sorry, we missed it I guess.” I couldn’t understand, what did we miss? Then we walked back to our camp base without a single word, as if nothing had happened.

But till date that one moment exists in me like no other. And the deep blue of our swimming pool brought back the memories of that still life etched in time dwelling inside of me; a token of a miracle, an impossibility, an improbability; one of nature’s spectacles meant for the exclusive audience of me, my own personal brand of elixir. Was that the first night of the many dreams of celluloid I have had ever since? Maybe it was. Maybe not. I don’t know why but I feel that those still waters run deeper inside me than I can ever comprehend because I felt at peace thinking about them. I stayed relaxed all through that Monday and for the first time not working seemed much more productive than working itself. Just being still made sense and at the end of that day, I wrote much better than before….

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey,
Good to see some new lines. Hope you are going well.

Arul :)

opuj74d said...

IS VERY GOOD..............................