I’ve become something of a preacher. I try and tell everyone around me to not waste time on petty things, to not work all the time, to sit back and enjoy moments as they happen. I’ve said these things so many times that I guess people are getting bugged by them now. For them it’s incomprehensible to think that life can stop for something as useless as enjoying a moment. But I know that it can – it HAS to. I know that when everything else stops – it’s only the moments you cherished that keep you going. It’s only memories that make one laugh or cry. It’s only memories that stay behind.
If I didn’t have so many memories with Gaurav (how I wish there were more) I’d be worse off then I am. Even when I have those moments to lean back on, my fears are coming true. His image is fading. I have to focus to think of him, of the things we did, of the way he spoke or laughed or pulled my leg. Some might say it’s good that I am ‘moving on’ (God! How I hate that phrase!), but I know it’s not that. It makes me anxious to not be able to think him up. That’s all I have for now isn’t it -thoughts and images and memories of what was. I am not ready to let it go. The toughest time is coming now… and I can’t be alone. The least I need is his presence – however ethereal – by my side.
But sometimes days are kind. Today as I stood making my second cup of chai for the day I could almost hear him say an oft repeated phrase in the Hyderabadi Hindi he spoke in fun. It happened yesterday too, as I was walking Hash, on our way back home I remembered a word he called me often – and I almost laughed. I’ve never heard anyone use it here. It was something we picked up in college I guess or was it from my childhood? But it became an endearment – not that it’s semantically so. I could hear him say that too. And as I write this now – I can see him laughing with that clap of hands that was his signature. But why is he wearing those clothes? The ones he wore on that horrible day? Why can’t it be something else? Like the black V neck that looked so great on him, or his favorite green Tee with a woman in a bikini at the back?
Instead of staying with me, he vanishes in a moment? Is he getting tired of me calling him again and again? I can see him looking at me through a photo frame. I haven’t looked at his pictures recently. I’m too occupied tried to clear my head. But the tears stored in for a week are flowing now, and I feel lighter. Maybe the headache will finally go away.
For Gaurav and I to be together was a decision that was as spontaneous as it was deliberate. We didn’t have the perfect relationship, but when we did commit to it, we made it work. In a quirky way, we were most suited to each other. Was it because we grew up together and shaped each other? Even being exact opposites I’ve never found the comfort Gaurav gave me, anywhere. He sorted out the mess I was, and I him. It worked for us. And now, all of a sudden, I am derailed. And I don’t know what to do anymore. A friend told me a while ago that I’ve become like Columbus – the boat ride – veering from one decision to another, oscillating dangerously. I feel more like the Titanic.
Today I may rant and rave at the situation. I may hate it with all my being. I may wish to swap places. I may wish to die and do join him wherever he is to fight out the rest of forever. But somewhere I know that this here is a life lesson for me. A lesson I have to pay for with my tears. It’s taught me to slow down, to do what I can and no more, to take things easy – life is made for living after all. I’d hoped that looking at me at least some people will learn it by example. Not so. I guess that’s human nature too. We can’t grasp the impact unless we deal with it ourselves. We must burn to learn to stay away from the fire.
We both always knew we didn’t want to become hamsters in the corporate wheel. We knew there was no joy in doing a JOB. We wanted to do what we liked to do, and now I’m glad that to some extent we did it. I wish we’d lived a lot, but I’m glad we at least lived a little. I know now that death is the only reality of life. The only certain thing. I wish we’d lived that day as if it was our last. What would we have done if we knew? Surely not work!
People are my currency now. And I want to make time for everyone who matters! So that when I’m gone, they have something to remember me by….