Saturday, November 12, 2005

Leaving

The ticket flaps about in the breeze. Restless. Its reality imminent and ominous. The clock strikes 7. It's evening and it's raining outside. Another hour before I leave.
I'd stowed the ticket away when I'd come home. Consciously erased its memory. Didn't want any part of it. Didn't want to look at the date, didn't want to look at the flight number. Didn't want to think of going back. But now it lay upon the coffee-table, its red cover flapping joyfully, laughing at me and my folly, like a bad dream coming back to haunt.

I place my cell-phone on it. Silencing it. If only temporarily. Ah, my cell phone! Friend, lifeline, confidant...funny how inanimate things are until you attach a tiny bit of emotion to them, and they suddenly spring to life, acquiring a whole new dimension. I will miss the short-message-service chats, the late-night phone calls, her ring-tone...I think I'll miss my cell phone. Just because of all the emotions connected to it. Emotion. Isn't that what we are all built of?
I feel thirsty, but I don't feel like drinking anything. I look up at the clock -- 30 minutes till the cab arrived. I look at my suitcases -- neatly stacked together near the door. I'd spent a couple of hours packing them earlier today. Filling them with the smells of home and the hurriedly made memories. The smells won't last long, but I hope the memories do. Life is about making memories, apart from other things of course. Memories...of hours spent at R's place catching up on the movies I'd missed out on and pondering over where life was taking us; of those long walks down the beach with Rex in tow, sniffing at the snails on the shore; of that night when I told Mom about her; of the silence that followed when I felt like the loneliest man on earth.
I look at Mom. She's reading a book -- like always. She always sat reading a book before someone left. I wish she would say something -- say that she loved me, that she wished I didn't have to leave, that dad would have been proud of me, that she approved of my choice. But no, she continues reading.
15 minutes left, and I get up from my couch. My couch. Another memory. It even remembers my shape. I head for the balcony. It's here that I'm at my most peaceful. Our flat is one of the luckier ones in that the balcony looks out onto the sea. I lean on the parapet and look out. The night feels sad, and the rain makes it look as if it's crying. Rex trots over to where I stand, nuzzling against my jeans-clad legs, leaving traces of his fur. I wish he wouldn't, because I'll not want to wash the jeans later. I guess I'm stupid. I shoo him away, and he looks at me dolefully. Quizzical. I shoo him more and he walks away indolently.
The sea is peaceful, the waves calm, a gentle breeze drifts by. Oh, how I'll miss this! Trapped inside my lab at night, hearing the processor of my desk-top whirr itself mad, there is only one sound I want to hear -- that of the sea. And when it snows and I lie snuggled deep in my blankets, all I want is to walk on the shore, my feet sinking into the sands, the heat stinging my soles.
The door-bell rings. The taxi is here. Mom calls out to me. I walk quickly to her, and hug her. I take the ticket -- its reality imminent and ominous. I pick up my suitcases and walk out the door.

4 comments:

Samudraa said...

the words create nostalgia.......written in a way that all can relate to it in some way or the other.R and Rex....wondering how far is fact from fiction?!

A thought that struck me while reading this,"Isn't the only reason to keep alive the happiness while parting is the anticipation of euphoria we wud experience in meeting again!"

Ash said...

Beautiful and oh-so-sad ! May I take the liberty of sending you a warm e-hug ? :)

I'm going home over Christmas, and while I'm excited to get there, I'm dreading the day I'll have to leave ...

musafir said...

@ samudraa: Thanks! It's fiction, but like I say, no fiction is purely fiction ;).

I used to have a dog when I was young. I guess that's where Rex came from, and R is just an allusion to the few close friends that we have in life.

And even though I'm inclined to agree with your thought, at times, parting leaves you so incomplete that the joy of meeting again is just a consolation.

musafir said...

@ ash: Thanks! Wanted to write something that was poignant and yet not overwhelmingly sad, guess I managed to do that! *returns the hug* :)

And I know exactly what you mean when you say, "I'm dreading the day I'll have to leave..." But you'll have to live with the ache -- we all do, don't we?