I built a time machine. And let me tell you – not an easy task! The dials go wonky, the hands refuse to sync with moon’s gravity and the batteries run out before you can even think 2050!
This was supposed to be a multi-directional machine. Forward and back. Left and right (Not including up and down as I don’t want to wake the Gods and the Devils). You fancy seeing your great-grandfather build the cabin by the lake or your future great-grandchildren pull it down to pieces? Hop on! Want to visit a parallel dimension to see how that meal would have tasted with an extra pinch of nutmeg or how that astronomy course might have changed your life? Got you covered!
To test it out, I had to choose the perfect moment to visit. I was seriously tempted to take a sneak peak into the future to see how the gamble D and I took with our lives would turn out. Or take a spin into the past when times were simple and safe. Or perhaps take a glimpse of an alternate reality where we stayed put in India.
That is pretty much when the time-machine ended up in the junkyard.
I now know I would have seen a future full of anxiety and second-guessing and frustration! Not to mention Canadian winters!! That itself would have been enough to firmly tie myself to the good ol’ climate of Pune. But would those stolen moments of the future done justice to the depth of my journey getting here? I am guessing no. My present tells me more about my future than the actual future; without my present, I have no future.
There is no moment I would rather be in than my present, exactly the way it is – crudely packaged with mistakes and lessons and bursts of brilliance.
My curiosity refuses to go back to sleep though. It keeps wanting to know! I am smart enough to not try to interpret the predictions of Nostradamus but neither am I so sophisticated that I won’t do those cheesy prediction tests on the internet 😀 Hey! If I am destined to be a travel guide in Prague then there is always hope right??
I feel like I am forever trying to strike a deal with time – Don’t tell me the answers, but give me the four options! Or a teaser pack if you will. A movie trailer of my life with cool background music doesn’t sound so bad!
I play with online prediction tests while I resist the call to salvage the time-machine.
What would you do?
There has been a buzz inside my head, a silent disturbing noise that fades into the background but doesn’t quite let go of its hold on your mind.
I feel like I am spending my time in slow-motion, as the world passes by leaving a trail of scraps and lost bits of hope. I never really understood what it feels like to be in this. When some of my friends went through a really horrible phase, they put the words to their feelings but I could never understand. I always used to feel that just focus, gather the strength to take control of the situation and move forward.
And now, I realised how naive I was. How do you focus when the whole world is blurred? How do you gather strength when even getting up drains you of all motivation? How do you take control when there is nothing to take charge of!! There is no situation, there are no people, there is no direction.
The world is fine. It’s my head that’s in the limbo state. It’s just blank with the taunting noise serving as a sign of the existence of the negativity wrapped in my conscience. It’s been screaming, but even if someone listens, I don’t think I know what those words are.
I have been AWOL. I might be for some time more. It’s a mess.
I love a routine that keeps changing – an oxymoron, yes. There is certain stuff I need to do in a particular sequence and then there are things where I regularly shake things up. Food, exercise, music and books, the set-up of my room, places and faces around are just some examples.
I think I have mentioned I love running. But I tire of the treadmill. So I hunted for other options for a change of pace and path. Now there is a running track close to my place that I have been haunting for two years now. To empty my mind, I unknowingly started making observations and filed them to memory during my runs.
And I saw the beauty routine brings. I remember faces and the company they keep. I have been an unintended witness to the transitions that they have been through. A lady who used to get a stroller for her baby now holds her hand as they walk together. Those tiny feet used to be encased in booties and now carry an exuberant talkative munchkin. I have seen the woman become a little soft around the edges and smile secretly at the antics of her daughter. She is restrained when an older lady accompanies her – perhaps her mother-in-law?
I also see a man with a big handlebar mustache who has been a regular around the track. He has changed too! About two years back, he was morbidly obese and could only walk a few steps before stopping. And now his strides are brisk, considerable pounds lighter. The only thing not changed is his set determined expression. He does not look up and nod at people unless he is at rounding a corner. He is one hundred percent focused on his walk.
Then there is a set of cute grandparents. Walking stick in each hand, a grocery bag strung over one shoulder at times – they stick to one round. No more. No less. There is a group of people they frequently run into. Grandpa is the one with the booming voice and Grandma has a gentle hum to her laugh. They look so sorted! And they always smile at me whenever I happen to pass by, calling out a “saavkash beta” (Take care child!) when I trip – which happens a lot!
Who knew I was a closeted
stalker people-watcher?? Makes me wonder what guest appearances I may have made for other people, slipping in and out with no set days. What they might have seen on my face over the last two years?
Tell me a story about your observations. About those strangers who are so familiar for a few moments.
It amazes me how one thought never leads to just one another. It happens almost every time, that even before one thought has materialized and taken a full-fledged form, there are already several off-shoots growing in different directions, flowering as they run along.
When I am simply an observer to my thoughts, they look like attractive maple trees sprouting within seconds and already at the peak of their fall colors.
When I am a tiny insect starting my climb up from the root, it seems to be a daunting task. To not just decide which path to tread, but also make sure that I don’t end up losing sight of the root. There are so many different passages. So many different crossings. Each with their own light and dark; each with their own beauty and wrinkle. These passages connect together forming a beautiful maze led by heartbeats. The signboards are all over the place, swiveling in the winds of change.
A passage suddenly drops down into another one or perhaps shows an explosion of graffiti left by the lingering presence of another person. They never fail to surprise me! It feels like opening a present from myself, opening a dimension I never though I was capable of.
When I do manage to find my way to the top, I get that rare sense of clarity under the expanse of clear blue skies. And maybe, in those moments if I am lucky I see someone else who has managed to poke into the serenity. It makes the myriad wanderings all the more fruitful.
Here’s to the wonderful passages of our minds – never ending and always surprising!
Written for Thursday Photo Prompt
I am alive and breathing and yawning. I have been AWOL for the last month – In fact not even opened WordPress for exactly two weeks.
It was not exactly planned, but I think the Inside me was busy being an oyster. The Outside me on the other hand was a social butterfly. I went home for almost a week and didn’t even carry my laptop. I traveled and visited a few friends after more than a year and had a most amazing time with them. All the while, I was technologically cut off except for the bare essentials. I did some running, I did a lot of baking (cookies and cakes and cheesecakes), I went bird-watching, I did tons of shopping for upcoming events.
All this while, my inside was a blank slate. It was not taking anything in. It was not throwing anything out. There were points where I experienced the concept of “Nothing”. I truly cleared my mind and I think it happened because I did not even try to do it. It was finally exhausted of the myriad maze of thoughts and anticipations and planning. Every day of the next few months is jam packed with a TO-DO list. I have deadlines piling over at work and it has been swamping about 50 hours a week. I also somehow managed to twist my ankle again randomly so I am reduced to hobbling.
Weirdly, I got a lot of inspiration to think and my drafts are full of scribbles. But I just have the sugar and the flour. I am still missing the rising and binding agents to put it together. And I am not able to look for it to find it. My mind just shuts off every time I take a pen to a paper. It rebels and I don’t know why. The overflow of thoughts that followed the drought refuse to burst out – instead they are just eating each other up. I have taken to inhaling books and
I am finally happy I sorted out enough to write this post! I have been unfair to many people whose work I adore but now have not even been able to pop up silently. Slowly I am getting back into the groove before I go on another break in three weeks – a break I have been planning for almost a year now but finally made it happen in the last few months.
Don’t give up yet. I have oatmeal mocha cookies as a bribe 🙂