Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Untitled

I thought of Saad last night. My nostalgia is erratic, it settles absentmindedly on different persons. Most often it's my immediate family, and suddenly I'm enveloped in a Bengali universe that instead of encompassing our Delhi apartment, stops within the bounds of my personal space. My mind tries to recreate our apartment, the physical artifacts, the music, the chatter, the little rituals, and hopes that what is lost by fickle memory should be the trivial, not the essential.

But yesterday it was Saad. So vivid. No, not his face, which for some strange reason, I have trouble remembering very accurately. But just the fact of his being there for certain times when certain journeys were undertaken, the weather was a certain way, some new acquaintances made, some new facts learned. I have this incredibly rich memory of the day we went to JNU. How we met his unkempt friend, who assured me that what I really wished to study was Women's Studies, not Urban Spaces. We had coffee together in one of the cafes there, and he asked me why I did not try to look more, you know, more glamorous, if you will. I brushed it away. You do respect my mind, right Saad...and I know he did. In those days I craved for respect for the mind. Attraction is more complex, but I was young, and the mind and body fell into neat dichotomies then.

I remember sitting next to him in the autorickshaw, enjoy the cool dampness that my arm felt as it got lashes of the rain outside. At some point he said he didn't want the moment to end, or something to that effect. I think I said something in agreement, but I was lost in the weather and a different sort of longing. The sort of nostalgia that rains bring, when longing is so diffuse, strange, it does not correspond to anything vaguely familiar and yet makes even a little bird trying to shake off the water seem so very sad, sad. I did not love Saad, I do not love him still (and I so wish he doesn't read this, because I think he secretly thought and hoped I did). And yet the space we inhabited was infused with the aura of good spirits, when we walked the pavements of Connaught Place together, my heart could follow the pattern of shifting sunrays and feel reassured in their predictability. It was settled existence, very mundane, and it was happiness to feel that we both revelled in it.

This is another sort of settled existence. Where I have my last conversation of the night with Em, my last phonecall of the night with S, my last cup of tea for the night, and then sometimes, I think of past acquaintances. And wonder what Saad looks like now. He didn't even send me his wedding photos, like he promised he would. I missed the weddings of all friends in the last 5 years, even Saad's wedding. Haven't heard from him in a few months as well. I know he won't be lost to time and space, like all the acquaintances I've ever made on trains and never known again: Nigerian students in Aligarh, Chinese kids from Calcutta, the fresh-faced civil servant from Allahabad, the Algerian musician in Germany, Neapolitan man on the way to Nice......it was mundane with Saad, but it was never meant to be transitory. Now, I don't know.

6 Comments:

Blogger Anand said...

you evoke a particular mood of delhi so well...
being young and free and with heart filled to bursting in that green and beautiful and hearbreaking city...

sorry for venting purple, but your post made me live the moment!

10:19 PM  
Blogger thalassa_mikra said...

You are very generous with your words. I'm really glad that my post was so evocative of something that obviously resonates with you as well. And please don't worry about the purple bit, to others it may seem hyperbole, to me it is just an ordinary description of the city I grew up in and love.

1:05 AM  
Anonymous syam said...

Dear, Mbak Thalassa

Hi,
Saya menulis komik. Tepatnya, menulis naskah komik.
Kantor saya menerbitkan KOMIK sains (science) untuk anak-anak.
Nama komik kami adalah KUARK.

Salam,
Syam.

Note:
Mbak Thalassa,… alamat email saya kawansyam@yahoo.com
Kalau boleh, saya minta alamat emailmu supaya lebih mudah berkomunikasi melalui email.

12:56 AM  
Blogger aa said...

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11:48 PM  
Blogger aa said...

As I write this post—longhandOffice 2010in a spiral notebook—I’m 20,000 feet above eastern Washington, having Microsoft Office 2010just crossed above the Cascades on my return flight Microsoft wordto Chicago. I visited Seattle for the weekend to Office 2007and I have known each other for 20 years now. They Microsoft Officehad a lovely ceremony, and the trip in general was fantastic.Microsoft Office 2007In the 13 years since I left Seattle, I’ve Office 2007 keyvisited six or seven times, and I always return to wherever has Office 2007 downloadOffice 2007 Professionalbecome home with mixed feelings about the place. It Outlook 2010both alarms and pleases me to see howMicrosoft outlookthat once-familiar areas seem almost foreign. ForMicrosoft outlook 2010neighborhoods have changed, to the point Windows 7 as have cookie-cutter, here-today-and-gone-tomorrow nightclubs that cater to the shiny shirt crowd.

11:48 PM  
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6:51 AM  

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