Monday, March 30, 2015

One of Those Kind of Nights

It's funny how life turns out, I told a dear friend from university the other day. We knew someone who was married with two kids, living a quiet life in a plantation far away from the bustle of a city where she wanted to live and make films. She was the proverbial last person we had thought to ever end up doing something like that. Funny, this life business, I had said. What brought this on, my friend asked. I didn't know, a random thought, I told her.

Random thoughts are not too random, I was thinking earlier today. Another friend came by, today being Sunday. A little drama queen but, when given a chance, a surprisingly sensible girl. I sound condescending, I didn't intend to. In the intervening months from when I saw her last, this girl has found her voice in this little world, and I see that confidence oozing from her, making me so proud of her. We had a long conversation about - as it so often happens over girl talk - men, relationships, work and the jhumkas she wore to deliberately look pretentious in. It messes up your mind, some conversations. However uncomfortable, there are people that give you a slap in the face and wake you up from the comfort zone it is so easy to slip into. Good friends, these are, though you might not like them too much today. For they make you remember that just like the others have, you have taken yourself for granted too. 

It is in the middle of the night that these thoughts come, risen from the ebbing remains of the bottle of the beer you had saved for another day but couldn't help but flick open today. And they rise because you watch an old beloved movie, surreptitiously downloaded from a pirate website, and that movie makes you think some more.

On such nights, everything makes you think.

The movie makes you hurriedly try to name in your mind that one person in your beloved circle who is so eloquent that you wonder why he hasn't written his words somewhere yet. Or perhaps he is only trying out loud the sentiments his hero and her lover will say in his book that you will be the first to read. This friend as eager, as insatiably hungry as you are for words that his joy comes today because he read somewhere that 'the daylight was just a sigh away.' You want to name a person who is a reader, who 'gets' that smells of books old and new make you smile the widest, that you will read one line someday that will change the way you see the world. That there will be many such lines. And then the name you seek so desperately evades, there are only long lost loves and faded words that remain. It makes you want to drown in whiskey flavoured sorrow, because it is that kind of night. 

Instead, like the old times, you begin to construct words. Old movies that you will always love remind you of other people and of times when it was a different lifetime. It reminds you of things you stopped pursuing, just because. Of places never travelled to, just because. Of experiences you stopped yourself from having, just because. Of the many choices you made. Just because you are different people at different times.

Like a scab you are told not to pick at as a child, the train of thought now casually, haphazardly weaves through many randomnesses. You miss the grandmother, the only grandparent you ever knew, who passed away recently. You try to convince yourself very hard that the death did not affect you more than you will ever admit. You miss home, so desperately, because that is where you have the warmth of the safe, the familiar, the beloved - the only  such place you will ever know. You miss your dogs, because dogs are the only medicine you have ever needed. You miss certain people right this minute, because all that is wrong, it still feels right to love them. You cry, maybe it is the beer, or maybe it is the pressure erupting. They aren't really sad tears, you notice.

You miss all that you did not allow yourself to have. When it is morning, you will remember that the days are really kind, that you are...happy. But tonight is for suffering, for hurt and questions and misplaced expectations and repeated disappointments. Tonight is for taking for granted.

Then there are these words. They blow a wisp of fresh wind in your direction. At least there are these words, you think.

It is that kind of a night.

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