At the bus stop close to my hostel they were. An old woman with two men. Visages dipped in pastes of anxiety and concern. It was so unusual a spot to think hard and ponder about immediate issues and contingencies. What worries could have coalesced the three in a huddle? The emptiness of the University road as it is known did not go along with the sight very well. As I passed by on a rickshaw, I sat comfortable and relieved. The spectacle made me wonder at the amount of fortune possessed by men and women who have and get to reach a place they can call home. Homelessness is not just about not having a house. Men and women trapped in circumstances too powerful and intimidating that the idea of reaching home metamorphoses into the content of a pleasant, romantic dream. I recalled having gone through similar bouts of sensitivity when touring police stations, courts and hospitals. The mere mention of lives spent behind walls makes me shiver. It is not all about a space one may call one’s own. Anxiety and concern chase everyone irrespective of their positioning in time and space. Home is the state of being in a state of favourable relatedness. Just a matter of experience. And people do run away from their homes. That we are all victims of circumstances is a tune many have sung to. I have to reassure myself. All of us have consciously chosen to dwell and partake the pride that accrues to us as a result of being participants: as celebrities and cynics, to this state of ideas and things I call randomness. Being alive is being psychedelically random.
Troubled souls trying their best to be seen and heard as people who were happy and prosperous. Happy and prosperous souls who pretended hard to seem and sound troubled and lost. I have been a fool expecting from people that they would be what they were. “I am what I am” is no doubt a fantastic brand line. Nice to think about and prescribe. Pace of life would be severely hit had this prescription altered minds. To pretend is to come in contact with oneself and others. To pretend is to make friends and craft foes. Stop pretending, stop living.
Warm, noisy atmosphere of the hostel canteen. No one needed to eavesdrop on any of the several conversations that went on. I was delighted at hearing it live for the first time. Someone on the phone spoke of “Chaubees Parganas” (Twenty Four Parganas). I have always been curious about the name of this district from the Indian state of West Bengal. Oh that he could talk more about what was going on in Chaubees Parganas! We know by reading about so many things. How many of those things do we actually hear about? Till the point I could get to hear someone taking his name I had no idea about the sound that the name “Goethe” had. This voice hitting me from the mob of sounds continuously spoke of the ways in which blogs on various subjects could be searched for on Google. Sat quiet with the person I had lemon tea with. It got dark as I finished sipping the same. Left heavy and terrified.