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TIME, UNHURRYING, ALMOST STANDING STILL, APPEARED TO BE WATCHING ME AS I LOOKED OUT THE WINDOW. THE TREES AND VINES THAT I PLANTED, EXUBERANTLY FILLED THE VISION AND TEASED THE STILLNESS BY THEIR GAIETY. AND BEYOND THAT, THE SEA APPEARED TO BE ATOP A MOUNTAIN OF CLOUDS, ITS ROAR CONTAINED. MY MIND FELL INTO A TIME WARP, AND WEAKLY YEARNED FOR A FAST-FORWARD BUTTON IN VAIN.

IRONY, AS USUAL, STRUCK HARD: WHILE TIME DOES NOT STOP, AND THEREFORE OBLITERATES ANY SENSE OF PRESENT, AS EVERY LAPSE BETWEEN HEART-BEATS BECOMES PAST THE MOMENT THEY BECOME PRESENT; AND WHILE IT DOES NOT ALLOW YOU TO TAKE A SWIFT AND TERMINAL RIDE INTO THE FUTURE, IT ALWAYS MANAGES TO SHARPEN THE CONSCIOUSNESS WITH BURDENS OF THE PAST, AS IF IT DID HAVE A REWIND BUTTON.

MY BONES AND SKIN, TISSUES OF MY BODY, MY PHYSICAL AND MENTAL BEING, THE VERY BLOOD THAT COURSES THROUGH MY BRAIN, CONTAIN TINY, INDESTRUCTIBLE MOLECULES OF MY HISTORY, MY PAST, AND KEEPS VITALISING THE PERSISTENCE OF MEMORY, AND EXHAUSTS ME.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW, IT IS RAINING. A BUILDING CRUMBLES, UNREALISTICALLY, LIKE A TOY-MODEL. BUT THE PILES OF BRICK AND BROKEN GLASS AND TWISTED METAL ARE REAL. AS ARE THE DYING OR THE MAIMED PEOPLE. I RECOGNISE THE STREETS OF CALCUTTA, BHOWANIPORE, CHITPORE ROAD, POLLOCK STREET. CALCUTTA IS MY HOME. IT IS IN ME; OR IT EXISTS AS A FANTASY, A BELIEF THAT MY ROOTS HAVE INEXTRICABLY SPROUTED OUT OF IT, AND THAT SOMEHOW I AM BOUND TO ITS STREETS, WALLS, HOUSES, PEOPLE. HOW IS IT THAT I AM IN IT, THERE, AND YET NOW, ALMOST CERTAINLY, UNREACHABLY FAR AWAY FROM IT.

LIFE GOES ON; OR RATHER, TIME GOES ON, UNAWARE OR UNHINDERED BY LIFE OR EVENTS THAT WEAVE IN AND OUT THROUGH ITS PASSAGE. SOME LIVE, INEXPLICABLY, AS SOME PERISH. THERE IS DECAY AND DEATH, AND YET ALSO RENEWAL OF LIFE, INSTINCTIVELY CELEBRATING AND ENSURING ITS CONTINUITY. INEXPLICABLY ALSO, I LIVE ON, PURPOSELESS, UNMOTIVATED, UNBELIEVING OF EVERYTHING, UNHINGED. I WANT TO GO HOME, BUT I HAVE IRRETRIEVABLY LOST MY ADDRESS.

ramesh gandhi

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