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February 22, 2007 / zanzi

someone should have taken a picture then. it was just one of those moments, the kind you want to freeze and let hang on a sometimes-seen wall, in a corridor where the light is the right shade of yellow and wallpaper-gone-old, all afternoonish. a coupla dozen kids, all sitting there thinking we knew where it’s at, when this deep voice resonates over us in a fatherly way and brings a collective lump to our throats. not all that hard, imagining all of us looking back on evenings like this one, when suddenly all the frivolity of doing this and that ‘naam ke vaaste‘, running around for fun, cutting corners, RGing, suddenly slipped away, giving way to a serious intent, a calm stolidity, an intense purpose, which just stood before you until you had to bow, then got into your heart and somewhere made you want to cry because you knew it was homecoming both ways.

it hasn’t really been that long, but such feelings can become so ‘elsewhere’ when one is living on the go, now-this-now-that,  when time is sumpfin you feel there’s never enuf of, so that when there’s an empty evening ahead it dissoves itself into nothing, is gone before you know it, and leaves you simply to say ‘ah, well, that’s over. i wonder what’s up tomorrow…’

i don’t want any part of that; i want out. it’s simple,  really. it’s like when i held her, knowing she was mine, with no restraint, nothing between us, and we shared everything we’d ever been about, through and through. yet, like Stripe and Yellow in ‘the chrysalis’, there’s only so much hugging we could do. after a while, it will only take us the same way as Lynn Anderson’s “now nothing stands between us but there’s nothing between us”. but that’s not how i see it. in my life tonight there’s a dark street with one side of my face lit up by the dull light of a passing streetlamp as i walk on with the windblown trees. there’s deep involvement, nothing that bothers, yet not a ‘nothing’ that could bother. if i cannot express it it’s only because it’s calling me out, this wild night, the while-forgotten life.

the lab is too bright, too ‘loud’ and even they know well enuf to be shutting down and prodding me to my calling, though they don’t know it. i’m about to – what did they say in philosophy class about Socrates? – recollect.


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