The winding road. 

I’ve been here for a while alright. Everything now is the same to me. The blossoms, the winter, the summer, the pour of the rain, none of them have ever changed. Like a clockwork, I see them come and go. At this point, there aint a sense of happiness or comforts of a satisfaction in me. I am. And that’s all there is to it. 


I do ponder a lot. My thoughts take me to places both colourful and dark. Yeah, I still remember the little ones from the day I first met them. We didn’t bother with names. Under my watchful unobtrusive eyes. The kid was in his red shirt and denim jeans. She was dressed in a bright yellow with patterns of flowers etched in them. 

I saw the warmth of the universe in them. Love’s first innocent kiss. Love’s first promises of an eternity together. Words were promises and promises were dreams being built on hopes. It was a sight to behold. The skies were bright and blue. The yellow sun blushed a little red. I guess I was not alone with the kids that moment. The entire universe had made an effort to pause and witness the magic unfold. 


That was decades ago. The kids had grown and they’d come by me from time to time. I enjoyed the time spent by them. With age, their promises had changed. Their dreams had evolved. They had ambitions and spoke of them. 


It was a cloudy evening when the skies cried her tears. Ambitions wanted to usher him to the big city. While his heart stayed anchored to the small town, his hopes gravitated towards the big city. She was a choice, a choice that shattered their little hearts. In tears they walked apart. I didn’t see him any more. It would be decades before I’d see him again.

She would come to me from time to time. She was lost in thoughts and lost to a world of her own for the most part. I watched her cry. I watched in silence. I wanted to comfort her and tell her that everything would be ok. I chose not to. There were things that we had to figure out on our own. I chose to remain a silent witness to her solitude. 

As months passed, as the seasons changed gears, she was no exception to the change too. Her tears had dried up. Her purpose of being with me had also changed. I was a cherished memory to her now. I was now her companion in moments of peaceful bliss. I liked that change in her. The season had been good to us. Gentle breeze would grace us. I felt a similar warmth that I had once felt before. 


I saw her as a woman now. Grown in time, beautiful with time. I saw a sense of purpose to her, her ambitions soared high too. She’d visit me once in a while and grade papers. I watched her giggle at the silliness of the imagination conjured by younger vibrant minds. From time to time, I’d join her moments of smiles. 

One day she came visiting and this time she wasn’t all by herself . I saw another man. A handsome one at that too. They were in love, oh that I could definitely tell. I saw that smile in her, a smile that had evaded her for quite a long while. Things were back for her , I guessed. I had guessed right after all. I saw the couple regularly thereafter. They both seemed happily lost in each other’s company. 

A few months later, I saw their first born. A few years later, I saw their younger daughter too. They did make a wonderful blessed family. I’ve always remained a part of their family. In fact, just yesterday, I saw the elder sister have the same love in her eyes, exactly the same way her mother had those many decades ago.


I saw him again. He came visiting with his wife and kid. As fate would have it, I saw his kid again. Even he had the same love his dad did have all those years ago when we first met. Small world huh. 


While this story travelled miles and drew a circle of life of sorts, I’ve seen far too many stories that have had lousy ends. People have marked their journey’s end by me. I’ve seen despair. I’ve seen the worst that pessimism brings. I’ve also seen moments of euphoric bliss in people. 


I guess for a tree, I’ve had a reasonable life. Never been threatened by the sharp edge of an axe. The road where I stand rooted, I see it as the journey of life itself. Different people come along that road, at different times their stories make sense. Beyond the discrete points of time, if I saw it as one long continuous journey, the meaning stands to change. 


Aint that the case with all of us. Moments make up our life. But when we see it as a whole, aint it a journey after all. Same souls , reincarnated to follow similar iterations only to break the chain by learning something new, unlearning something old. I’m that winding road. We are that winding road. 

Karthik

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