I took a long warm bath, walked out to the hall, with a cup of coffee in my hand and gazed out of the window. It’s been drizzling since morning. I put my pen to the paper, waiting for emotion to move me. But, suddenly the incessant honking of the car behind me broke the reverie. I was not at home, but driving to the office in the rain, cribbing to myself about how wet I’d become by the time I reach office and not at home enjoying the peace of a rainy day. But, when I noticed the beauty of the clouds, the drenched roads, the cold, I drifted back into the past – rain makes me nostalgic.
What do you recollect? Times you were happy either alone or with people? What makes them special? What makes them stand out? What makes them ’recollect’able? Are they the special moments of life? No, for me it’s the mundane. The regular. What I miss are not grandiose moments from the past, but the conversations I had with a friend over coffee or beer, the moments I laughed with my colleagues on spontaneous jokes, the long drives I took on the spur of the moment, the instances when I made my friends laugh out loud in a seemingly normal discussion, the smell of fresh pages of a notebook, the bittersweet feeling of completing a good book, my grandfather’s kind hands, my school library, the love in my beloved’s eyes.
But, I also recollect the pain in my life – fighting with best friends, losing relationships over arguments, the silence of loneliness, worrying how my next rupee is gonna come, the displeasure of my lover, arguments with parents, holding my grandfather’s hands as he breathed his last, staying at home for an year worrying about future.
Nostalgia is bitter sweet, not just because we think of both the good and the bad and also because we miss the good so much. Pain & joy have shaped us into what we are today. I can’t help but think of both. When I think of a friend who was once with me, I even think why he is not here with me today. If it reminds me of a happier time, it reminds me of a sadder time also. Joy & pain are so interlinked. This reminds me of a short story I once read.
A potter once made a perfect pot. Though it was just like the others he made, he had a special affection for it. For many years, he treasured it and displayed it in his shop. Though people noticed, no one gave it a second thought as it was just like the others he made. It may have been special to him but not to them. And, one day on the way to the market, the pot fell and broke. The potter couldn’t bring himself to abandon it. So, he slowly stuck all the broken parts back together and remade the pot. Suddenly, everyone who visited his shop started to inquire about the broken pot, they wanted to buy it. The pot, the potter observed, had turned a beauty because of the cracks; the cracks gave it an identity.
Isn’t this the same with us? Circumstances which seemingly broke us, which devastated us once, which left us in pain, were the ones which shaped us. And, when I look back, sipping hot tea at a roadside tea stall standing in the rain, I thank all the people in my life who stayed in and those who left, for it is you who’ve changed my life in only a way you can. I look back at all the memories and see myself, walking through the highs and lows of life, stumbling but managing along the way, and an immense self respect engulfs me. I felt warm, I don’t know if it’s the tea working wonders or the confidence with which I look forward to another day for creating more memories.
Hum, rahen ya na rahen kal
Kal yaad aayenge ke ye pal
Pal, ye hain pyar ke pal..
Chal, soche kya
Chhoti si, hai zindagi…
Hum rahen ya na rahen yaad aayenge ye pal..