To meet an adored someone

To meet an adored someone

I am an aspiring, still non-practicing writer. It is February, it is a mundane evening and it is Udaipur.
Which is, I reckon, not the best place south of the North Pole but it remains the best I have been to, thus far. It is not my home, nor I was born here but there is no other place I am so easily devoted to.

To meet an adored someone

I am an aspiring, still non-practicing writer. It is February, it is a mundane evening and it is Udaipur.

Which is, I reckon, not the best place south of the North Pole but it remains the best I have been to, thus far. It is not my home, nor I was born here but there is no other place I am so easily devoted to.

At 6 pm, I sit with unencumbered mind, waiting for the clock to reach 6:15. I reached here 10 minutes ago because I had been planning today’s schedule and every wee-detail all week long. And it’d be awful if I were to miss this train. As I do not want to acknowledge anyone, not right away.

Anyhow I pour music in my ears and I press the volume button to sublimity. Other passengers are getting on board as train heads off to north, and so in it, I. I recall my previous train journey and its memories.

I am not in a state of suspended animation and I’m certain of it because I don’t feel anything, not even the butterfly-in-the-stomach one gets in the beginning of a new journey. However, I let a long, lingering sigh release from my heart as I watch Udaipur get out of my sight, for now.

I am now ready to mingle and craft how-are-you nods at the passengers. I stop listening to music and start reading a book that I read two months ago. I like to go through few books again and re-read the highlighted paragraphs and so I can memorize the quintessence of that book, and I simply like words.

A family of three is having snacks and fruits, and I repent, why it never occurs to me to pack provisions. A good man, next to me, sparks up a conversation but it soon dies off, as I have this natural talent to obliterate conversations.

I don’t understand why people bother to put efforts in filling a perfect silence with a formal conversation. I concur, that it is very vibrant when you get it right with someone but really, what are the odds? Why do people think “I must fill the void, the silence with something”? Why they can’t just savor the silence like me!

It is midnight now; a familiar voice of a girl awakens me from my sleep. She is very animated and has freakishly accurate mannerisms like someone I know. Though she has an ear-piercing voice, it fails to vex me.

In fact, I heed on her voice to sleep again. After a while, either I am asleep or she isn’t talking. 4 a.m. and as it turns out, I was asleep. After waiting for few minutes my train halts, and I reach Mathura. But it is not the last stoppage. By a rickshaw, at last, I reach my destination. I have been here before but I was just a teen back then. It is an obnoxiously cold morning, but I can feel gradual warmth in my heart. I am here, in a little place known as Vrindavan.

I only have an inkling about the neighborhood I want to stay in. 6 a.m. and I check into a hotel, which is quite similar to what I had pictured in my head. This shall absolutely suffice.

A kind guy, my hotel owner, explains the neighborhood to me and what places I must visit during my stay here.

After a couple of hours of rest, at 9 O’clock I am ready to wander the streets of Vrindavan. But above all, there is someplace I have to see so I can calm my nerves. A person is the reason, I am here after all. Incidentally, my hotel is only 3 minutes away from this special place where I will see her. But now’s not the time yet. Meanwhile, I have a whole day to loiter away in a strange land.

I preferably make choices, not decisions. So I choose not to travel anymore. I am going to walk, wander and roam into the heart of this city. Better yet, I will take a stroll; the best medium to ascertain a new city.

Every town is akin to a human to me and its streets are the nerves and what runs in them the essence, the core, the fiber of its being. Furthermore, I want to comprehend with why people here are so engrossed by the spirituality here. It feels as if someone has polluted the air with ‘faith’ and I am the only one with a gas-mask.

Yes, I am not spiritual, nor do I have any faith in god. Some might state, that I am a borderline-evil-worshiper-satanic. But I do understand why people want to believe in god and his (or her?) baffling ways. I am not a non-believer. I believe in Mother Nature, virtue, love, the ever-so-ending youth and the everlasting truth.

From what I have gathered in my previous experiences, Time doesn’t bring relief and God doesn’t save anyone, you are on your own. I am indeed not alone; I am all by myself. Today, my mind is not directing my feet, my heart is. I simply don’t care where it leads me, so I forget my former joys and later sufferings of the day and let it do its thing. One needs this sort of a day after doing nine hours of tedious deskwork in an office.

It has been over seven months in a temple, and today I am spending my day in a city that probably has the most temple-density per square inch in India. Literally, everywhere I shift my sight, I see a temple.

As I said, I am not a non-believer, I check out some of the finest establishments built to, what I consider, entice people of the west.

The morning sun is getting brighter and warmer, the streets are filled with mammals, the shops with food, or should I say, cholesterol dipped recipes for your next heart-attack. “A mind not to be changed by place or time, the mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.” Thus said John Milton and I believe him.

Udaipur has got culture, and that is one of the key reasons behind my fondness for the Lake City. For me, any place that loses its culture is as good as desolate. Among all the modern chaos and whirlwind infrastructure of development, Vrindavan seems to have succeeded in holding on to that novel culture, by which it is known for.

It is evening again and the ‘crescendo’ of my trip. The question still stands, what brought me here? Well I am in a wedding, an hour has gone by and I am yet to meet her, she is getting married. I have no way to tell her that I am here already.

This is a strange coincidence; we keep meeting in the cities situated on the banks of Yamuna River, because neither of us actually lives here. The anticipation of our meeting is killing me. Ah, I see the groom, and in self-pity tears rush out in few eye-blinks, “I could have been him, I could have been sitting on that spot” but I contain myself thinking “Good god man, no one wants a sobbing outsider at their wedding”.

Another hour passes by and at last I am in a room with her, and her relatives. The room is filled with all the conversations we should be having and all the pretenses we are making up. I can’t say or stay much longer, so I look in her eyes, I see a joy that I haven’t seen before. I have had the pleasure of making people happy in their shadiest moments and it felt fortifying.

But to make someone happier on their happiest day, is a different sensation altogether. Not to mention, she is astounded by my presence.

I give her a gift that will hopefully pay the debt which lay heavy on my heart from my early adolescent years. Among the static of festivity, I take my final gaze at her, and momentarily, dive into the thoughts of how can I make sense out of my life from now on, in her absence.

There is no one to turn back to, so future is so easy to look at, but so hard to define. If only someone had enlightened me, love of my life she was!

After two hours, with moist eyes, I am on my way back to Udaipur. A city that I can fall into, like a child falls into mother’s lap. Udaipur is not the first place and she is not the only girl I have loved.

I once read somewhere that the only way to consume your grief or any form of sadness is to let it in and consume it like a black-hole. Downside is, once I did create this black-hole in me, happiness too, often falls into.

I know that if the people won’t, the world will help me to end my steady and bitter pangs of conscience. I might have renounced optimism long ago but I am not a nihilist just yet. No one wants to get accustomed to the darkness.

I have my long fought for and sought after freedom and I will not throw it away. Hard though it is to follow, but embittered heart and wasted youth only makes our existence a burden. If we live once, we die once too. An open road yet to be travelled and an aching heart yet to be healed are two of the best cure for my writer’s-block.

My heart is like what it was before, a place where people come and leave. In my heart lies, inkling to spend my youth in Udaipur and visit many more places like Vrindavan. The path to my deliverance awaits, eat I must and breathe I will.

Life does go on, but now and then, I forget just why. So what should I be but just what I am. I have much self pity in which to wallow. But now and then, I try to find my joy in earthly pleasures. I’m somewhat, a prodigal son of this city.

On a Sunday evening, I take my 15 months older nephew on a drive and sit beside a bench at a lake in Udaipur. And I hopelessly smile at the irony- There was a time, back in my adolescent years, when I even would have traded my soul to live indefinitely in Udaipur. I had everything I needed but I wanted Udaipur.

Now I have gotten Udaipur, but I practically lost everything else that I had. But all my worries vanish in a moment when I hear my nephew trying to pronounce my name, as close he can.

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