I scared you. The knowledge I had of you, scared you. I became the personal diary you never wrote. You could see the ghosts of your past reflected in my eyes, each time you looked into them. I became a reminder of what you were trying to forget. My comfort with you, scared you. You dreamt of coming out of your shell, greeting the world like you used to but the fear of being trampled upon pushed you inside again. You had lost the real you within yourself. You did not want to be reminded of it. Not by me. You thought it was easier to push me away. At least, you could still stay safe in your shell then. You wouldn’t disappoint anyone again. You wouldn’t worry about hurting anyone again. It would be just you and your memories. You wouldn’t have to owe anyone anything again. That was easier, wrong but easier. You chose to hide behind your scars. You chose to leave me behind. I was you. You were me. You chose to leave yourself behind.
They say if you blink, you miss it. We waited impatiently, clicking pictures of others and selfies of ourselves, being photo bombed and photo bombing others, all the while creating memories which we probably wouldn’t refer back to again. Not because they wouldn’t be memorable. But because we create too many of them these days.
We were waiting for the lights at the famous Mysore Palace to go on. They say it looks enchanting. It is a work of technology which brings out the magnanimity of the work of art. It requires a single flick of a switch to light up thousands of little bulbs. 98,260 to be precise.
The Sun had set. Darkness had fallen. People were still clicking. Cameras were flashing. And just like that without any warning, without waiting for the clock to strike a particular hour, the lights went on! And enchanting it was!
Who would have thought a century ago that beauty could be kept locked up in pixels? Who would have predicted that you could hold the whole world worth of information just in your hands? How different our achievements are from those of our forefathers. They took pride in bigger and better; we in smaller and faster. They built with brick and mortar; we build with silicon and carbon. Their memories faded with time; ours with obsolescence. Their achievements were the heritage; ours is technology.
Picture Courtesy : In collaboration with Ashwini Bhat.
Every now and then we all have to make decisions. Decide about whether we wish to live in the past or move ahead through newer, unknown doors; whether we wish to cling to the unfulfilled dreams in the hope that they will someday become your future reality or rush into the loving arms of the present and embrace the smaller but happier moments.
Living in the past isn’t easy. With those beautiful memories and closely held dreams comes the pain and ache of holding onto them. You wake up each morning hoping that today will be the day and you sleep every night with the disappointment and pacify yourself by teaching your heart not to expect. Then one day you wake up without the pain and the hope. Not because your dreams came true, but because you ceased to feel.
All this while, you do keep looking around, living your life in general when suddenly one very fine day, the Gods smile down at you! You feel lighter, happier, different and you want to let go of those pains. But you’re afraid. Because you’re venturing into unknown territory. This happiness is new, unwarranted, and surreal. You treat it like a mirage. You want to fight it. You are apprehensive.
This is when you need to decide. The known past or unknown present? The known, painful past or the unknown, happier present? The known, painful, trying past or the unknown, happier, beautiful present?
You have but one life and you have every right to your fair share of smiles.
I chose to let go of the past and embrace my happier present.