It is an irony of human nature that while living in this world we come across some people who become so dear to us that we cannot spend a moment without them however a time comes when we keep on living without seeing them for years.
I need some space
to hang my imperfections
just a little space
besides the dresses
that someone lovingly hangs in the cupboard
a space where i can hang my flaws
where i can tuck all my glitches
to wear them proudly one by one
before going out
every other day
without any fear
knowing that after all
somewhere i have got
a space for my imperfections
Since many days I was feeling a strong urge to paint something.
Last week I spotted out some nice brushes at a shop but i wasn’t sure that they will work for me or not so i took their picture and consulted a friend who is a good painter. The expert’s opinion didn’t come quick however i was told that these sets of brushes are fine. I haven’t bought them yet.
Its late here and still the sleep is far away from my eyes so i gathered the old supplies from the cupboard and poured a few drops of water in the cap of a bottle to dab some colors on the paper.
Here is what the quick strokes of brush revealed.
After midnight – the dogs rule the streets.
Jumping around – rolling over each other – getting in to scuffles.
Roaming from here to there in search of food and fight. Trying to stay with their pack and challenging the other groups who dare to invade their territory.
Wagging their tails for the watchmen and barking at the passers by who are always in hurry to reach their destinations, trying to cover more distance in each stride – hence making the rulers uneasy.
Last year, on a cold night – when i was coming back from work – as i approached near my apartment i saw a mad recluse in the open area. He had very few clothes on his body and was sitting besides the fire made by the wrappers picked from the garbage dump.
On the other side a boy in shorts was sitting on the small boundary wall outside his home. There was a cigarette in his hand. As i approached near, i smelled weed and saw that there was something going on between the boy and the recluse.
To my utmost surprise they were exchanging fowl words – sitting fifty meters away and both determined to prove their skills in the art of calling names.
I gestured my astonishment to the boy which he responded with a chuckle to show that he is enjoying that situation. By that time i had stopped there.
I asked the boy why he was wearing shorts on such a cold night? He told me that he had an exam the next morning and the stuff he was smoking, kept him warm and awake. I asked about his fiery exchange with the recluse and he told me that he was just trying to give company to another person who cannot sleep due to his own circumstances.
I took a deep breath – smiled at his reason and took a look on the milieu before entering the gate of my apartment. A brown dog was sitting quietly at a distance – looking at the humans play his role.
The dentist inserted the needle three times in my gum – once inwards and twice outwards while pushing my lips aside with his thumb covered in white Nitrile glove. Later when i reached my room after the treatment and as the evening delved in to the cold night it occurred to me as if i didn’t take those injections in my gum. Although the area around my tooth was still numb and swollen – i felt as if all that anesthesia seeped down to my heart and pushed me into a different state of mind.
Usually i avoid medication and try to let nature follow its course in the matters of health but as the dental treatment was a clear violation of the course of nature so i drank the milkshake and swallowed the pills as prescribed by the dentist.
Then i came to my mattress and slipped under the sheets. I was in a state where i was able to think but my emotions were dull. I opened my laptop to finish some lingering commitments – in the meanwhile i called Pop on Whatsapp and felt that she is sad so i left the work unfinished and asked her to call on Skype. She is very dear to me and it was painful to see her sad so i implored her to tell me what’s making her feel so. She told me the reason of her sadness – it wasn’t something new – it was a quest that had made her feel bad before and now it was doing so again. I wanted to take her out of that situation but as i had told her before – i didn’t feel myself capable of doing so; and in short i failed again.
I understand that every one expects to be treated well and trusted however we don’t always meet the expectations. Sometimes due to our weaknesses and sometimes only due to ignorance. When we open ourselves to others its always a new experience – sometimes we get support or a better suggestion to cope up – sometimes we get the opposite of that and these responses vary from situation to situation. Sometimes we are not sure about the consequences and our baseless fears stop us from acting in the way people want us to act.
I was in a strange state of mind at that time – my mind was lingering on the extent of loneliness of human beings. I was analyzing the human life as a whole and all i could see was the loneliness. I was seeing the selfishness that takes birth in us to cater our individuality. I realized that how close we may get to a person – how hard we may try to make someone happy – still some rifts stay unbridgeable. Life has different layers. People who come across us for a short period – they see our outer most layer. The more we spend time with someone the more we are able to see the layers that lay below. These layers don’t end – a layer lies below every layer and if a person is able to reach its deepest layer it will find itself alone there.
Every person on the face of earth is unique. The surroundings and situations do mold us but still members of a family, pupils in a classroom and residents of a city are different from each other in many ways. In fact it adds color to the life. The uniqueness of every individual keeps the world an interesting place with numerous possibilities. Likewise it’s wise to understand that our powers and limitations are also unique.
Our friends and family are more aware of our layers than the people who don’t know us and we are also familiar of their behaviors. It feels good to be with them because it eases our eternal anxiety that rises from the uncertainty. Therefore we feel comfortable in their presence. Although it is painful to fail our dear ones but we need to understand that we are not super humans and it is impossible to win all the time. Sometimes we have to realize our limitations and accept defeat. Similarly, we should understand the limitations of others and forgive.
It occurred to me that this understanding can be applied to many situations in life. Hence; on a lighter note, i forgave the bonafide dentist for those last-minute surprises that he gave me in the last three visits – and closed my eyes to sleep.
A dog yawning in front of a worn out gate – a sparrow pecking on the window pane – a squirrel climbing the bark of a tree – a colorful kingfisher sitting on the transmission wires – an old cobbler opening his small roadside shop – a fat barber smoking a cigarette in the cold sunlight of early January mornings – a motorbike rider carelessly cruising besides the little schoolboy at alarming speed, missing his body by a few centimeters in attempt to overtake a car; these were the few glimpses which i can recall from my today’s one kilometer walk to the office.
And now when the day has almost ended as the sun has arched along the sky to disappear in the western horizon. I am sitting in a comfortable chair with my head resting on the edge of its back – i close my eyes for a moment to think that how all those creatures which caught my attention at the morning would have had spent their day today. I don’t know whether that little boy has thought about that careless rider again while sitting in his classroom or not. Maybe he will be a little scared of walking to his school tomorrow.
The life never stops – there are always so many things going on around us. We should remember that by showing a little care and compassion for our fellow beings can save them from getting in to trouble. Moreover if we keep observing little things and happenings around us, we can learn many important lessons of life from them.
So live with your eyes open – play your role in ensuring a safe and peaceful environment for all and keep learning the art of life.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez was a brave Bolivian writer.
He made his voice heard around the globe and won the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature.
He made his characters fly when he pleased or locked the angels in the chicken coop without fearing the public opinion for he was never afraid of the consequences.