Everything in the universe, dead or alive, ordinary or transcendental, serene or rambunctious is linked to a bigger system. Nothing in the world is standalone or a detached entity. The purpose of each tiny little block is to complete the jigsaw puzzle, knowingly or unknowingly, by will or by force.
And if any piece is missing or doesn’t fit anymore, it causes commotion and confusion and hurt.The human mind seeks solace in the continuance of the old, although how much ever one tries to tell the other that change is the only thing permanent and change is the law of nature.
Every time I go back home to my hometown, I hope to see the same picture, the one I have etched and nurtured in my mind since I was a child. That picture gives me the feeling of coming back to where I left and the assurance that ‘All is well’. But each time I go back home, there’s a gaping hole somewhere, which can never be filled, staring at your face, which reminds you of the divine intervention and the ultimate reality of death. And although I know that life runs its own course and your presence doesn’t stop the wheel from turning, still, there’s that stab of guilt saying-‘Look what happened when you were away’. But besides the family and friendship bond, which needs each member, hale, and hearty, straight from that spectacle that I hold of them, there is also the link, the connection to distant people, objects, and places.
I never knew that the shopkeeper in that kirana shop, which I don’t even go to, was a part of my picture.Everytime I went to our little market, I saw him, grinning with his teeth bare all the time, nodding at customers or scribbling down and adding up each person’s total bill. But his presence there told me that life is still the same. And the old doctor, the Hakeem, who always sat in his clinic on the rug, with knees bent, and glancing at the street from not through his glasses, but from above them, he had been there forever. The fact that he wasn’t there this time, I wanted to somehow stop the time or slow it down from running so fast. Or that sugarcane juice waala, thriving by his small cart, by the side of the bridge. Or that chaatwaala. Or that school, I never studied in it or visited. But it was a landmark, a permanent fixture. And it being demolished for giving place to another big building, caused an ache somewhere in left of the ribcage.
Things, places and people which unknowingly have crept in your mind, have carved out a niche for themselves, which is there as long as you live.
Memory is the ache, for which, there is no cure.