Remember Monica and how clean freak she was?
Yep, I am compared to her often. And I have to admit that I am pretty much the same. I will crib when I will see that I have to sleep on the wrong side of the bed, or when the coffee cup is kept on the table without a coaster, and things like that. Things, which no one bothers about.
But she also has that door. Remember, which no one knew for so long and when eventually it was opened; it had all kinds of garbage stuffed inside. Yep, I have that too. Well, it’s not a door, I have a big box full of old things, which my folks call unused, unwanted garbage. But I call it memories. Yes, I have stuff in there, which I will never use in my life, and yet I refuse to depart with them. Things from my nursery days, to yesterday! From crayons, to mementos from every place I have been to, memories with all kinds of people I love and care about!
So, come Diwali, my people will pester me to clear at least something away, and every year I pretend to clean something out, only I never throw anything out. I make space, I cram things, but I have not yet discarded anything, and nor do I have any such intentions for near future. So today, I sit and pretend just like every year, to clear things out, to clean my room. (The irony is, it’s already cleaned, but since it’s Diwali, I still have to do it!) So, I am utilizing my Sunday this way, and I run across some really old stuff!! This stuff I haven’t met in a few years now!
I open that box full of memories,
I take out everything, crayons, to paints, to some Barbie accessories, to slam books, to school photographs, to college memories..
There is a list, I will not bother you with.
A book comes out,
It’s a novel.
I don’t remember reading it.
The blurb brushes my memory.
Yeah, I have read it.
But it wasn’t my favorite.
It was a book read and forgotten!
Then why did I find it here?
I drank that old book smell!!
And as if it was magic, I knew why it was there!!
Blushing would have gone too far.
But I smiled, all the same.
And closed the book shut.
Not sure whether to go ahead and look at it.
I hold that book for a while, turning and twisting.
Trying to figure out my next move.
Oh what the hell, there’s no bomb inside.
I go ahead and open it.
I couldn’t find it.
My heart literally, literally skips a beat.
WHAT THE HELL!!
Where is it?
What did I do with it?
Didn’t you say you were going to throw it, anyway?
Yeah, but I said so, I didn’t do it.
So where is it?
I scan the pages frantically, and just when I am about to burst (I don’t know with what) I find it.
And there is a big smile on my face.
I don’t deserve that smile.
That smile isn’t anymore mine.
I don’t even want that smile back.
But I smile anyways.
And I close my eyes and get drunk
Drunk in that stale smell of books, and words,
Of love and feelings,
Of that naivety and all the firsts.
I brush away the tears,
Pretending to be sneezing amidst the dusts.
I sober up from my past,
And I smile anyway.
This is what I find there:
I know you can’t even make out what this is!
But it’s special all the same.
Years have passed by,
People have come and gone,
Feelings have changed,
Oh, the people have changed,
I have changed,
But this still remains special.
I smell that old smell one last time,
Tuck it inside the book again,
And close it as delicately s possible.
I don’t want it to rust,
Not now, anyway.
And read a couplet, that I attached in the midst of the pages,
That last time, I had an encounter with this.
Vaqt beet te der nahi lagti,
Umra guzar gayi, kai saal beet gaye,
Par tujse mulaqaat kabhi fir hui nahi.
Aaj fir mila hai wo tera diya nazrana,
Jise ab tak sambhal k rakha hai,
Kuch murja sa gaya hai,
Par ab tak apna sa lagta hai.
Jazbaat, ehsaas, shayad badal gaye honge
Tere, aur shayad mere bhi.
Teri ibaadat ki umeed nahi, Sirf ek unkahi arzoo hai,
Isilye is murjaye gulaab ko bhi ab tak sambhal k rakha hai!
I close the book.
I pack the box.
And put it away.
I know not till when!
PS: I will hit publish before I change my mind about publishing the Hindi lines. I know it’s not great, it’s novice, and very childlike. But I presume that we all do these kind of stuff once in a while 😀