I had written my last blog on a heap of rubble. My house was under massive repair. It took no time for the workmen to hammer down the periphery which they had themselves outlined with great care a few years back. It was amazing how blow after blow they struck mercilessly till dust and debris mounted and bricks lay bare. I asked Jagdish, the head foreman, didn’t he feel bad tearing down his own handiwork so pitilessly. ”Main banaaunga na?” (Am I not going to rebuild it ?) was his laconic reply. Strange, I thought, how with amazing simplicity and brevity he philosophized the act and art of making and breaking, assembling, disassembling and reassembling, order to disorder and back – time’s calamitous and reclaiming mood in unison!
A month and a half later, life cartwheeled into the erstwhile, boringly predictable routine. But before that my toppled world had to be tidied up and put back on its feet – curtains to be put up, furniture to be placed back, the closets to have a semblance of cleanliness, the kitchen to be made workable, the bathrooms to be sanitized – the infinitely haphazard to be compartmentalized into a tight and finite consistency, in order to appear ‘normal’.
And that, my friends, was the most domineering task resulting in sleepless nights and migraine-inducing hangovers. As I tried to assess the enormity of the work that lay ahead, the beginning seemed blurred and the end as far away as the horizon. There were things of urgent requirement, there were accumulations of love and passion and there were stacks and stacks of those which had long outlived their utility and usage. The last had to be disposed-off forthwith and the former had to be arranged carefully sooner than the blink of an eye, in order for life to become functional. It was the ‘sentimental stuff’, on which one gazed for endless hours with a wistful sigh, that is, if the whizzing hands of the clock permitted one to do so, that posed serious problem – those I did not know where to keep, those the flat could not provide enough space for, those were the ultimate baggage, not that I cared for them less now!
I realized how cluttered my life was, how ‘stuffed’ my existence and how constrained my domain was with the inheritances of the past, the urgency of the present and the intractability of the future. I believe every one of us has the soul of a magpie at work somewhere within. The cumulated garbage is the consequence, which had once-upon-a-time been ‘picked up’ in a do-or-die-kind-of-mental-frame now rendered redundant by time.
So what do we cling to? Is redundancy so easily definable? Today’s discard may become tomorrow’s necessity – the usual fallacious thoughts of a materialist. Giving up is not as easy as striking up a debate for or against renunciation, cooed the Devil into my ears. So I carry on, tagging with me the then, now and when, in that endless journey that we call the spirit’s quest, with the fervent hope that somewhere down life’s twisty curves and linear gait, I shall find the courage to unburden the Atlas in me and be true to my own self.
Freedom? That’s another voyage towards a distant shore…
Sang my heart…