Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Blueprints of a Memory

I walk back, tracing  my footsteps that have faded in the 20 years since I had last been here. My eyes feast upon the red buildings, the laughter and voices of a thousand people ring in every tendon of my ears as my imagination bonds with my memories to spill out a movie of the yesteryear's. The straight road- that had once been flanked by thousands of bikes, collecting dust on their shiny surfaces, waiting for their riders to wake them up from their solid reverie- gently bends to the right.
This was where the tent would have been.
I enter the now barren field, slowly absorbing the nakedness of my surroundings that had once been decorated with red and white striped tents with peacocks in the details. The tent would have run narrow at its start, shaping an entrance that would witness a crowded existence. I walked along, a few steps to the front, the entrance would've given way to the lanes of washbasins on one side behind which rows of workers toiled continuously to stop the pipes from clogging. To my right, the children of the workers would sit on sacks of grains intently observing the noisy yet cultured bunch densely spread around the central portion of the dining area. Those who hogged the food without concerning themselves with the 6 pairs of eyes that hungrily stared at their joviality. Beside them were the rows of tables that served the buffet.

I remember walking through it all, easing past the hundreds of people who stuffed their mouths with sad cuisines of a forced buffet that screamed negligence. I remember shoving past them to reach for a plate and catching your eyes, that stared intently, deciphering my every move.

Behind me, the layer of human bodies that persistently complained about their troubles in this hot, humid Odisha. The heat that trebled in the presence of the caterer's tent that stood at the corner of the dining area. The rotis being slapped nineteen to the dozen, the rice continuously experienced itself being sieved, the rows of Bengali sweets that waited to be a served in a tray kept in a corner. The cloth of the tent proudly threw a reddish hue at its occupants, irrespective of white, green, orange or grey.
And I come back to your light blue eyes that still constrict my breath in my memory.
Had it been then, I would've looked away, dripping myself in the subtle canvas of shy.

But it is now, 20 years later. And this time I look back and smile at you. After all, this is the reason I have come back.To relive the one memory that had stayed on for years, to re enact the one regret that had poked for a long time.
I smile hoping you'd come closer.Even if it is a dream, let it be. You smile back, get up from the midst of the many people who surround you. You walk towards me.

But my eyes stray open, and it all vanishes again into the barren field that all these memories have been reduced to. And you are out there somewhere, better off or worse, but just another head in the two billion around me.

But it pesters me, the thought of what if I had spoken then? What if I had met your eyes?

2 comments:

Vaniteshwar said...

dude! wow.just wow.

No Guts No Glory said...

And I come back to your light blue eyes that still constrict my breath in my memory.
Had it been then, I would've looked away, dripping myself in the subtle canvas of shy.

Wonderful! :)