Anup called today after a long gap today. I don’t even remember how long it had been since we talked last.

Our hellos barely over, the first thing I said to myself was, “He wants to talk for a long time today.”

The sentence came out of the blue. It was triggered by nothing whatsoever, as always.

I don’t know where they come from- these categorical sentences. They are complete, monolithic and neatly packaged. One cannot argue with them. They are just THERE, out of the blue. They drop into the still pool of my inner being like smooth pebbles. A languid endlessness of ripples spreads silently within me, lapping softly at my rocky shores.

I neither welcome them nor reject them, these unbidden sentences. I have learned to live with them if not in peaceful co-existence then at least in a state of truce. The first time I heard the phrase parallel universe I knew exactly what it meant. I’d had my personal parallel universe for ages without knowing it to be one.

A state of reluctant truce doesn’t mean that these sentences are welcome. They irk me in the manner of a grain of sand in the shoe. They break down my carefully erected structures. They tear into my neat pigeon holes with impunity and throw everything helter-skelter. Then I have to spend weeks and months restoring my inner world around the gaping hole of the tear. I’ve given up trying to darn such tears into invisibility. It has never worked. I also tried repairing them in a way that hides the worst of the tear. That didn’t work either.

There are no smooth walls left within me anymore. If I ever gave you a tour inside you’ll get the feeling of visiting a war ravaged terrain. You will see mismatched bricks and stones, crooked rises and unlikely colors thrown together. There is no order in me; there is no predictability. This lack of symmetry, homogeneity and structure bothers me- a lot.

Yet, this untidy place is haloed. Its colors might be garish, but they are bright. Its walls might be crooked, but they are mine. Its bricks and stones might not match, but they are worn smooth with use. Each worn alcove has its own characteristic. Each flare of color has its own story. This haloed, untidy, asymmetrical place is home. And so is precious.

But that doesn’t mean I am not irked. I am. I want no doubts about that. The annoyance lives just under my skin. I can neither ignore it nor accept it fully.

We got into talking, Anup and I. As always, it was as if we’d talked yesterday. I don’t know why it has been that way with us. We might not talk for a year, but the day we do, the time gap doesn’t exist. As is also usual, we don’t get into the update mode in the beginning. It happens much later, if at all, and then only as a side- issue, to be mentioned in the passing or to serve as a prop for the story on the cover page.

We’d talk about whatever it was that triggered the call. Sometimes it is the rain, sometimes a dog playing with himself on the street. Once he called me after eight months of silence because he had was standing on the newly opened Bandra- Worli sea link on a rainy afternoon and thought of me. There was never a method to it. We stopped long ago, trying to find one.

We would go meandering all over the universe, one thing leading to another with a smooth flow of words. There have been times when in the space of ten minutes we’ve gone from physics to math then swung to spirituality via astrology with a minor foray into parenting after stopping briefly at ancient history of the world.

Don’t ask me how- or why- we do it. I plead not guilty m’lord!

Today we began by talking of rain. With monsoon just round the corner, we were both behaving like giddy school kids on the verge of the two month summer holidays. The glee in our voice would have been obvious to anyone. Monsoon is very personal to both of us. It’s a very us thing, if you know what I mean.

Barely five minutes into the conversation, there was a lull. He said, “You aren’t lonely anymore.”

Out of the blue, for no reason at all.

Picture: Reconstructed Google Images
Picture: Reconstructed Google Images

Continued at Out of the Blue (Conclusion)


Note: Don’t let the ‘to be continued’ exasperate you. The concluding part will appear before 2013 is over. I can’t say handsomer than that, can I? There now, smile! 🙂