Day 105: Life is so much better with a filter on

He was the Chief of the regiment and had a huge battalion waiting to welcome him. They were all lined up by the lake, with its crystal water and lush green beds all around. Four crisply dressed soldiers held a big chest from all four sides; it was well-decorated with a red velvet sash, and some gold embellishments. He got off his buggy, dressed in a crisp white shirt, with sleeves folded all the way past his elbow. Years of training showed in his sculpted biceps. He had a baseball cap on, bright red, and turned backwards. Chocolate Croissant at Michael’s! Some Chief, to break uniform, no? His briskly walked up to the lake front, not marching, but keeping step with the soldiers leading up front, with the chest. They marched on, into the lake.

He hesitated for a second before laying his foot into the water, looking to his men for a reaffirmation. He got what he was looking for, and followed the men in. As he moved, he casually looked over to our side, peasants lined up far behind the edges of the lake, behind the thorn barricade that set us in our place. I caught his sight, and looked down immediately, almost blinded by the sparkling white of his shirt. I look up as I hear a splash in the water, and a general murmur amidst the crowd. He has nose-dived into the lake, waving his men to return to the bed the usual way. Where did that chest go already? His men quickly step back to the lake shore, and start their regiment song in full furore. Badluram ka badan, zameen ke neeche hai.

 

He swam to the shore nearest to our barricade, hoisted himself up the slope of the lake bed, and reached to the other side of the barricade. He put his right hand on the railing and recoiled immediately; silly man didn’t know how cruel these iron thorns were. He squeezed himself between two rows of the wire, clearly trying to make his way through. The rest of the crowd took a step or three back, suspicious of this man, wet to his toe and yet sparkling in his bright white. I put a strong foot on the lower railing, and muscled the one above, to make a decent pass for this strange man to get through.

He stumbled on to the other side, smiled his shiny whites, stretched an arm out my way, and said, “Ayatoozarooola! Mazi waqawoori Hashitooshiwashi Wooshi

Me: *Confused* “Hello, I am Swetha

Mr. White: *Switching tongues on me* “Hello Swetha. I am Raam!

I get up from my sleep, kicking my feet up in the air, as if I’d seen a ghost.

I remember seeing a bicycle, resting lazily in a narrow, stone pathway, brightly colored houses in the background, a camera framing this beautiful scene for permanence, and me saying “Buoy! Life is so much better with a filter on.

 

 

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Homeward bound

I’m sitting in the railway station.
Got a ticket for my destination.
On a tour of one-night stands, my suitcase and guitar in hand.
And ev’ry stop is neatly planned, for a poet and a one-man band.
Homeward bound,
I wish I was, Homeward bound,
Home where my thought’s escaping,
Home where my music’s playing,
Home where my love lies waiting
Silently for me.

No, there was no love; there was no silent waiting, there was no… But wait! I had it all wrong. What I was heading to was not ‘home’. It was not even in the vicinity of being close to home : ) That explained there being no love and no silent waiting. It was a room, me living in that room, a few rooms around this room, a person living in those rooms around this room, it was an arrangement. Far from home!

It’s surprising, that this is the first time in the last few months that I’ve really taken a moment to sit and analyse the situation. When exactly was it, that it had stopped being home? When ideas took different tracks? When priorities in each rooms’ life chnaged? When the split in thoughts meant a split in interests and the being? When each ego available was working on means of ruling over the other? Or somewhere between the realization that it was a mere arrangement and the comprehension that it would not last for long in the same frame of mind?

Either ways, things had taken a turn for the wrong side; each today made me pray harder, to never see such a day again. I had taken it on me to make amends, and a slow process that it turned out to be, was squeezing all the energy out of me. It is indeed tough, to stay strong and stay mean. No wonder we are the ‘social’ animal. We’d rather want ourselves to fit into the cliche, and have the world think good of us, than choose the untrodden path.

So, while I live each day, one step closer to a changed me, about to breath my own life, I turn the volume up to the highest, sing out at the loudest and cry out to heaven the hardest.

Tonight I’ll sing my songs again,
I’ll play the game and pretend.
But all my words come back to me, in shades of mediocrity
Like emptiness in harmony, I need someone to comfort me.
Homeward bound,
I wish I was, Homeward bound,
Home where my thought’s escaping,
Home where my music’s playing,
Home where my love lies waiting
Silently for me.

Silently for me.