“Your writing makes me feel a certain way”, he told me once. “Like I have lost something terribly important and don’t know what it is.”
I smiled then. He didn’t understand a great many things, but he understood this. And for then-just for a little while, that was enough.
I remember the word I had used. Irretrievable. Tonight, I go back to it and revisit it-more emphatically, more ardently than ever.
I don’t know what it is about life that I miss. About life as I once lived it-between the impatient banality of school days and the self-imposed almost-exile of today, I almost lived.
An August morning, last year- a crisp dawn I didn’t see giving in to torrential rain later. We snuck out of campus, three girls huddled under an umbrella and I shrieked in laughter as I hadn’t in long.
Which takes me back to a different monsoon, and how beautifully, how cruelly it blended into autumn.
A night when we were perched on the terrace, and the city twinkled around us with a certain dazzling glamour, yet a restrained dignity.
Were these moments as fairytale then, in the living, as they are in the reliving?
I do not know-but I know this, yesterday, a storm broke out in the afternoon,when I was home alone. It had been another blazing day of sunshine-and when it started raining, I squeezed my hands out of the balcony railings, I let the rain sprinkle over my arms, my face-and that, right there, was magic.
And I know how some days, when I am walking home early from college-in the afternoon, I am startled afresh by the beauty of the sky-stark blue, awash with the sun-or by the canopies of scarlet bougainvillea stretching across the streets. This, right here, then is something worth living for.
All this will be memory-I will remember,then, the rows of palm trees opposite our house-and how pretty they look against summer skies. I will remember the red-and-yellow blossoms amidst the green canopies at campus, and the soft fallen leaves crunching under my shoes as I walk out of gate number 2. Will it seem fairytale, then, too?
As I sit here, writing, someone, somewhere is falling in love, someone is watching a sunset set the sky aglow. There have been times when I, too, have known beauty in a way few do. The sun rise over the ocean, a quiet countryside rise to the rythm of a kalbaishakhi storm. I have known beauty and I will know it again. So will you. So will everyone.
This is when I laugh at irretrievability-there is no beauty that will not come your way twice. You will feel your heart come home, again, you will wake to beauty someday. Again.
There is much darkness and despair all around, and I cannot look away…but when it all sits too heavy on the heart, I remember this.