My new office is not bad; I am getting paid for watching movie and writing long mails to friends from my cabin. But the place being far away from my residence the journey is taking its toll on me every day.
People in this city are mad. They shout and scream in the bus, fight with the conductor for change and they talk as loud as everyone around is deaf. Weird conversations everywhere, they don't get tired of discussing the prices of vegetables and fishes every day. Most people have an intellectual hangover and they don't know what they are talking about. They discuss politics with lot of enthusiasm and the funniest thing is that they start talking in English (off course with that special bong accent, as if they have rosogullas stuck in their mouth while talking) when they have a point to prove. I don't know much if the switching of language adds to the value of the matter but it definitely adds to free entertainment for me....old uncles give me dirty looks probably because they are not so used to seeing men with so many piercings; so many finger rings and block printed shirts. (By the way I have a chin piercing now, got it done few days back). Some look at me as if I am an untouchable. Aunties make weird comments to me; someone would ask why I carry such a huge bag to the office while the others would be very shocked and bothered to see the unbuttoned neckline of my shirt and would advice me to button it up till the neck....Such weird people....
There is a chai-wala down stairs in front of the office; I go to his shack every day with one of my colleagues. Somewhere I miss the canteen’s horrible tea and the sinful gossips and sweet bitching sessions with my class mates back at college. But on the other hand, I am really excited that Post Graduation is over. I am kind of happy that I am out of that place. It was such a prison for me.
When I come back from work sometimes I walk a distance on the way, it feels nice sometimes to walk in a crowded city. Memories of schooldays come floating back with the smell of jhalmuri and phuchka in the office vicinity. I see kids holding hands and returning from school, sometimes I wish there had been someone to hold my hand too. I come back from home only because I have to; I know no one is waiting for me at home. Mum-mum and Babai are at home but they are busy in their own world, busy with things more important than waiting for me. I lock myself up in my room and do my own little things. Eat because I have to, switch on the television but never watch it, nothing interests me. I feel very empty. I try finding new excuses to go out every evening after office, most of the days I land up at New Market and pick up something or the other to pamper myself. Strangely, the oldest market complex in this city is known as New Market for some unknown reason. On the days I am left with nowhere to go I sit on the terrace after coming back from office. The evening breeze hits me on the terrace and with it hangs a hundred little unanswered questions of life. Again sometimes I sit with my laptop; but don’t know how I spend the evening hours in front of the laptop and not do anything.
I often sleep on the terrace at night. I stare at the night sky and catch myself lost in arbitrary thoughts. Few days back I met one of my friends, who had schizophrenia. She is better now but somehow not the same person she used to be when she was normal. Since I met her a very strange thought had been swaying my mind; what if I too have schizophrenia? Every night I go to sleep, with the same dreams tattooed on my eyes, but wake up with the same merciless and painful reality. The alarm rings and warns me to get up, but I feel like lazing around for some more time. I wish someone would have been there who would ask me not to leave the bed, someone who would ask me to bunk the office and go for a movie. But life has its own plans. Life goes on.... and I wait for something. No one ever stops by and asks what I am waiting for. Or maybe everything is just perfect and right from all angles; it’s me who is expecting too much out of life. Maybe it’s just some more time that I need for myself. I just fail to realize. Maybe this is where the problem is, I always end up expecting too much out of life.
One thing I have realized after coming back. Not exactly after coming back; this time when I was at the hostel looking for a diploma project, when everyone had left, nobody around, I used to think and reflect a lot. Actually though I am very different from my parents and everyone else in the family, somewhere deep inside, my values are also very middle class like them. Though I don't think the way they do, or my choices are very different from them at some point the values are very middle class; may be because of my upbringing, and that is the reason I chose to come back to this city. I can’t live without this place. My friends have always told me how I should go out of this god damn forsaken city and seriously give a second thought but I really don't regret the decision. I always had a gap between me and my parents, which used to bother me severely, and I was desperate to cover it up since I thought it was high time. I have learnt the hard way that there is nothing much one can do sitting in a different state and trying to fix things at home; don't know whether I would succeed but no harm trying.
So long I had often wondered if I create my own problems. Maybe I am too jobless and so I like feeling sorry for myself and depressed about anything and everything. But no; it’s not like that, I have always hoped against hope to get a normal life which I never had in my house. I need to know what was actually wrong, whether the troubles are self- made or due to something else. I have been living without trust and it’s difficult for me, every time my emotions are raped and feasted upon. It has not happened over night, the problems are an outcome of several years. On the other hand my parents also need help; more than what I need. I don't want to blame my parents for anything; I know they are also suffering. But now being here with my family, I know what has caused all the problems. Actually so long I was never sure about how to handle the things in the home front. I am trying my level best to cope with life and start things afresh.
The fun-loving person the world had known for the past twenty-five years was just pretence, and I am tired of pretending. I am tired of acting. I had always put up the show that I don’t care about anything, but actually I do, it’s all pretence, all pretence....
This is what I had written three years back when I had come back after finishing my Post Graduations. It had not been smooth sailing since then, but things are looking up. I guess I knew my priorities. At least I know I took the initiative to sort things out instead of backing out. Sometimes we have to go against what is RIGHT according to the world and look at home and people. Many a times we forget that and end up hurting ourselves and people close to us. Things have been nicely sorted out between me and my parents, but the rest of my life have tainted.
These three years were never too long, time flew in no time. This city now torments me. There is too much of memory and too much of baggage and I need to move on. The pain would not be gone, the memories would never fade, they would linger back and haunt and the scars would always be there.
Life indeed is a circus, and I feel like a trapeze-clown with a broken body. The net underneath has gone haywire; and I have failed to catch the swinging bar at a moment of excitement. I am a very ordinary guy, stubborn and obstinate. I get upset, disturbed, bothered, melted and carried away. My thoughts kept me so busy that I missed the bar and ropes. There was a time I could trade what not to come back to this city, and today I just want to run away. Run away with life. Away to a place where no one would know me and I would know none. I want to get lost, so lost that I don’t find myself back. Mobile games and internet have replaced circuses. Thoughtlessness is the new happening cult. No one wants to see clowns anymore; I have no new tricks to perform. Maybe time has come for the old to be replaced. But the clown in me; I wonder what to do with him? Or am I still expecting too much out of life? They say once a clown is always a clown! .... a thoughtful clown with a broken body and tormented soul!
I feel paralytic when the lights go dimmed. I need to be precise with time; they say time is the biggest healer. I again wonder; maybe the wounds are healed but what happens to the scars. The stench of wild animals on the ring makes me feel nauseated. The makeup on my face burns my skin. The sound of trumpets echo in my ears and I feel COULROPHOBIC!