As I am brushed aside due to ‘more important’ work, I realise the fatality of my existence. My survival has killed many and yet my survival is what keeps them alive.
I’d rather not play the game of ‘Who Am I?’ You can use several distinct words to describe me but my subjectivity is so versatile that not even the Oxford Dictionary, so profoundly hailed, can explain me to you. Call me Passion, Creativity, Hunger, Art, Talent or even a Waste of Time. I am pretty much all of them and not once have I considered myself to be punitive. Why should I, for I have fed more hearts than those charitable dispositions and quenched more thirsts than you can imagine.
And even so, Gratitude never found me and here I am waiting for a call that often comes late, but never too late.
Sitting here, ignored and perpetually passive, I have come to observe a lot about myself in other people, but mostly, about other people only. Like for instance, consider Mrs. Verma here, who basically tossed me into an uninhabited corner of her mind where the darkness will probably chew me down to bits that she will never again be able to discover. But I don’t blame her. That poor lady is trapped. She’s trapped in a water body where she resembles the fish as well as the bait. But how can that be possible? Well, Man has been known to do the impossible for far too long, hasn’t he?
If my memory still serves me right, I remember Mrs. Verma used to be an extraordinary artist in her days. Too cliché? I guess so, but clichés are called so for a reason.
Having completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree successfully, she lived the victorious life of an independent working woman in the 80s, until she got married. And maybe Fate would have it so, because her mother-in-law wanted things to be ‘like they were supposed to be’. Mrs. Verma was doomed to be a Housewife.
Here’s when I come in. Mrs. Verma’s abundant love for beads and diyas and paints could never really get her anywhere in life, according to her mother. Under the influence of such whims, Mrs. Verma was condemned to a life of hell where she would forever function behind the dreams of her children and husband. A mother’s words have such scintillating effect; I cannot even begin to explain. Mrs. Verma slowly and steadily let go off her desires to stay up all night and create masterpieces out of scraps she’d discover lying around. Unlike the ordinary assumption, she was not forced to do so. But she was made to believe that it was necessary to do so. And that, my friends, is what I have always found to be even more dangerous. The difference between the two is the same fine line that separates a misanthrope and a hermit. In both cases, the alternatives are misunderstood to mean exactly the same.
Getting back to my tale, as Mrs. Verma’s life progressed, her Youth met with the fury of Avarice, the Greed accompanied by Need for money. And gradually, I became a manifestation of her childhood.
I’ll admit I felt a little left out. But I’ll also admit that this wasn’t the first time.
I would say I felt bad for her and honesty would prevail. But I would rather empathise because of the Pity I feel. It saddened me not, to see that I would never again collide with Mrs. Verma, but rather she would never collide with me.
This was all said and done; her fate was sealed till the time of her grandiloquent marriage and her expected first child. And the second.
Both now fully grown, Mrs. Verma found herself in a vacuum filled with the laughter of her kids and the smiles of her raconteur husband. But what was she doing apart from feeding others’ dreams and pacifying herself? Absolutely nothing.
I had died within her. An absence she took quite a while to realise.
It was the calm before the storm. So natural. So strong.
The storm was vigorous and her quest stung hard. She was faced with several of her Inconsistencies that left indelible memories hanging from the loose ends of her thoughts.
Let me tell you that I have been proud many a times in life, and maybe that’s why I wasn’t exceptionally joyed when her cold fingers found me somewhere in the shadows of Timidity. But I could breathe and she could breathe and that’s always been enough for me. I would never satisfy her because if I did then I wasn’t really enough. But that was my one strength, that no one could ever possess enough of me.
She found me.
The challenge was to not let me die a second death.
And that’s something I’ve always envied in humans. At least they die only once. Because every time I die, a huge chunk of me goes unfound. So what’s all this fuss about wanting to be immortal?
Mrs. Verma is still sitting here, and she snubs me every now and then for some other ‘more important’ work. Sometimes she returns, most of the times she doesn’t. Sometimes I imagine the Grim Reaper beckoning me once again and I will admit, it makes my environment a little lugubrious.
I know that I may never be ‘more important’ or even ‘important’, for that matter. But I am something else. I am Essential.
And that might just be another description of me that Humans are yet to discover.