Counting the stars  

Posted by Nitu in

"What? You slept?" 
The way my friend exclaimed, I got to think whether I had violated a de facto norm or committed a social crime.
"Yes, that's what I did." 
"Who was the girl?" my friend was more intrigued. 
Damn it Arjun - you are reading it all wrong!!

This is how 2009 began for me. No hang over, no resolution, no deviation - a normal day in almost any definition. Definitely beyond my friend's logical brain which had been witnessing my reckless and unrestrained way of celebrating a new year eve for almost 8 years. 

I got up early in the morning, scanned through my phone call logs, message box and started making a few calls. After three or four conversations, I found myself at the roof top of our building. The world was still calm, slumbered, hung-over. The tall under construction building to the west of our apartment was ominously numb and silent. I wondered whether a few weary labourers were still sleeping at one of the many rooms beneath a half-erected wall. What does a new year hold to them, mean to them? Soon I sensed another feeling - how strange it's that the people who layout the very foundation of the building will vanish the moment the construction is complete! Will the future residents smell their invisible hands at all? Even for a flashing moment of gratitude? For behind every brick, there is a weaving touch of a nameless, listless wandering hand. A forgotten hand! For every brick will don a thick layer of paints leaving no trace of a history. It is easy to count the visible stars on our sky. But who counts the unseen stars?
The whole thought shook and left me somewhat nauseated. I looked up - to the east as far as my eyes went. The sky was yet to wear its bright blue color. I couldn't find a single star. They all had vanished by then. But I knew they were there, still at their own positions.

A sudden metal thud pulled back my drift. I tip-toed to see the source of the sound. I saw a small boy squirming in pain and a bicycle lying near by. Probably he had hit a bump on the poor road and fallen. An woman was hastily closing by, must be his mother. 
"It's alright, son. You are fine."
I guessed probably this was what the boy's mother was saying while swabbing the child's bruised skin. 
Soon, the boy was on the bicycle, readying for another ride. The mother watched him slowly pedalling away. 

"Don't go far, son"- she wailed.

I watched the wheels spinning..the distinct spokes blurring one by one...soon all became one and transfigured into a thin blade of shades. 

The boy vanished at a turn of the road.

"Wheel of time" - a monologue whisper grew louder to louder.

The boy's mother walked back to her house. I knew she would soon resume her domestic chores. Might be all along she would still be wondering about her son who would reach the other end of the road by then.

Good God, I got to call up more!!

One by one I lined up many..aunts..uncles..old friends..childhood friends..
Started to count the invisible stars...
Can I still draw a straight line?
a few complaints..a few explanations..a few apologies.. 
And a good many chasms evaporated on a single morning.
 
True, we are all busy spinning in a wheel of time....blurring the images around.
But don't count the space between. Count the presence, count the gravity.
We can still draw a straight line. 

Ever wondered how many lines can end at you once you start drawing?
Infinite.

Stay happy, stay blessed.

This entry was posted on Sunday, January 11, 2009 at Sunday, January 11, 2009 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

3 comments

Losing touch is probably the second biggest problem after gaining weight for people of our generation at this time...

one day celebrations always made me wish that there was a way to extend that joy for all the days..it would have been great to feel special each day everyday..I feel that specially on birthdays! ;-)

while i do not think that not feeling a sense of gratitude for the ppl who built the house is a mark of apathy, but i sure do get your point. not many people think about the things you mentioned in this post..guess that is encapsulation..A lot of it is programmed in our systems..

January 12, 2009 at 2:33 PM

we attribute it all very deftly under the excuse of growing up...
but yes, when pangs of realization such as these strike, all one gotta do is to count the presence.
Count the GRAVITY.
well said...!

January 28, 2009 at 12:06 PM

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March 18, 2009 at 4:34 AM

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