The sky is a beautiful bright blue, but not so blue that it hurts my eyes. The air is heavy with sunlight. The cool wind tickles my nostrils. My lips taste delicious, salty. I feel the grainy sand between my fingers and scoop it up in my hands. I love the ocean’s whisper as it crashes against the shore.
I lay there with my eyes closed. Pattering little feet come and go but I am not curious about them.
I feel the sky turn purple. I hear the hush of sunset. I long for a warm blanket.
Yet I lay there with my eyes closed. Passionate murmurs do not tempt me.
I lay there until my head clears of conflicting thoughts. My heart is strong once again, young and brave. The scars of survival fade away. The ocean’s whisper returns my innocence.
Slowly I open my eyes. The whitewashed ceiling is unforgiving. And it is all back again, the confused mind, the unending lethargy, the search for meaning. I am once again a patched-up little girl trying to learn the rules for living.
“Mein koi aisa gee gaoon, ke…”
Baby boy and I were watching the boats on the river from the balcony, when this song came on and I was overwhelmed by a powerful wave of nostalgia.
The sun beating down on my face, the tip-tap rhythm of my school shoes, chatter of school girls all around me and another little hand in my hand while we went round and round the school grounds. My best friend forever teaching me a song.
We were inseparable, hung out with each other every chance we got, sung our little hearts out together. We even wrote letters to each other for 2 years while we lived in different countries.
Then we stopped being friends, abruptly stopped talking to each other. Life moved on, my memory of her became just a pang of regret, nothing more.
Now many years later, we have started talking again, matured by our years apart. We may never be best friends again but maybe there was enough love in our little girl friendships that will see us through.
Baby boy and I twirl round the room. “Mein koi aisa geeth gaoon, ke…”.
When I was young, I loved to love love. Life was all about the voracious reading of love stories, the soft light of dawn, the splatter of rain drops, a stolen look, the giggling of girlfriends, a shared smile, heartbreak. Youth stretched out indefinitely ahead.
With each passing year, however, the Paulo Coelho stories became a little less inspiring, the magic realism of solitude, a little more unrealisitic. Life slowly became the chaotic clamour of a hundred little fights, sleepless nights after a baby is born, incessant cleaning, stacks of dirty dishes, coughs and colds, an annoying manager, a million microwaved meals, packing lunchboxes, ironing, inflation, changing immigration rules. Life becomes about survival. Surviving the mindlessessness of those hundred little fights, finding a moment’s relief in a hug, looking for redemption in a single thought that strings it all together, hoping for a minute of reflection in a constant juggling act. It never comes. The fight for survival stretches indefinitely ahead and the path is for you to tread, alone.