Another year of Durga Pujo comes to an end. A pandemic ridden festival where festivities were held behind closed doors in Mumbai and one had to view the pujo online.
This Pujo was really a solitary one. I missed having the physical comfort of the loved ones next to me. In a life full of uncertainties, I am always reminded of my inseparables.
Forcing myself to go out, to escape from the distress that engulfed me, I drove around, alone and sometimes meeting friends. Memories are tormenting. They step in, unbidden, uninvited, in every moment. In a draft of air, a whiff of a known smell, in the crunching sound my foot, flying strands, the touch of the skin, in my moist eyes, in the flapping of a page in my book, the ring of a bell. In the tinkling laughter of a few teenagers making merry, in the music wafting in from a window, the feel, the thoughts, the presence…there is no escape.
Mumbai has no winter, unlike Delhi. I am still trying to get accustomed to this warm weather. I miss the chill. The sudden shivers of not feeling someone next to me again can get lost in the chill somehow. But in Mumbai, the shivers are for real and it is disquieting. Even when I am surrounded by people, I am lost. Many-a-times such merriment starts getting to me. It’s surreal.
I am always reminded of the inseparables. Those that are present, despite the absence. In my core of existence, in the sound and in the silence. In fact, in the silence I find them spring alive within me. In silence, shorn of the glare of lights, my soul is palpable and so is my inseparable. In unison, in motion, beyond life and time. In a space of its own.
Although the thoughts weave colours into the soul, the reality is what is to be dealt with. Without any release. Life and death, loving and losing, are a part of existence. In society, norms are to be followed. In life, death is a reality. As is letting go. In fact it is the letting go that is excruciating. Unrelenting and indurate. There is no reprieve. Wrenching my guts till I search for my last breath.
Unseen, beneath my stoic countenance lies a spirit unnerved by the laws of life and of society. Acutely aware of the qualms of human beliefs and learnings.
Such experiences make me more stoic but my stoicism is in direct conflict with my soul with its inseparables to the point of infinity. Unseen and implacable. A war within a war. Turbulent and tormenting. That is life.
Away from this war, my soul hides the inseparable. In a creation beyond time and space. Only for those who can fathom it.
As Rumi says, ‘Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes. Because for those who love with heart and soul there is no such thing as separation.’