(written on 24th july 2016 at 9:13 pm at my aunt’s (mami’s) place when I went to visit her)
This is the second day I have been out since evening. Today as I sit here in the terrace, the cool breeze in a continuous flow, slowly brushing past my ears. Occasional horns, distant humming of cars speeding on the main road. Every now and then a motorbike rushes out of the front lane, leaving behind a fading brrrr. I lie here under the open sky. The loud volume of t.v in the lounge, the news caster’s voice streaming into my ears like a pre-existing part of this environment. But what is strange here is how the natural and human environment mixes together.
The news caster’s voice and the howls of stray dogs make an absurd combination. Patches of broken baby pink clouds, unlike how it usually happens, these clouds like candy floss; make no shapes, no figures. Neither do the few scattered stars, spotting the dark sky, make any constellations. Almost as if the dark sky would have looked better without these few stars. Because the bright light of the white bulb at my right, undermines any light which these stars may have shone with. Roofs of surrounding buildings covered in orange light of the street lamps, display a battered landscape. As I walk into a room and look out of the window, I find myself staring at a preposterous view. Magnificently built houses, two or three, followed by an incomplete, under construction building. Raw unpainted bricks supported by poles and naked pillars with black cement. Besides it lies a slum settlement; a small one with tattered tents, serving as the roofs. A bulb or two lightening the life inside. Giving me a peek into what my eyes can make out of the gaps and holes , the cloth coverings and iron shutters have failed to hide. A stove on the ground, the bright blue of a woman’s dupatta. I can hear a baby crying. The slum is not big but not small either. One small raw room followed by another and another and so on. And then on the other side lies a barren, vast, empty plot. Wild weeds growing haphazardly, serving as a home to many insects, stray cats and other petty creatures.
Bikes pass by, cars occasionally appear from one lane, disappear into another. I stand here, locked in my position. Observing. Absorbing. Trying to make sense of this absurd phenomenon. The clouds, the sky, the news caster’s voice, the howls of the dogs, the bike’s noise, the stars, the white bulb, the street lamps and the gradual disintegration of well built houses into an empty plot.
Yet like how the clouds make no shape, the stars no constellations, I am unable to make any sense out of it. Almost as if, nature is deliberately hiding, refusing to reveal any signs. Any epiphany. Yet there’s a feeling of calmness. Inexplicable. I find this strange too because in moments like these, i feel irksome, annoyed-not being able to understand anything. Yet it is also as if nature is discreetly answering me, telling me to learn. Learn to be patient with time. Learn to be patient with curiosity, your inquisition, that thirst to connect with the nature, the impatience of finding answers to everything you want answered. Learn to tune in your life with nature’s pace. And I feel this miscellany of natural and human environment talking to me. Teaching me softly of this newest lesson. The quietness of these moments, despite the cacophony of different sounds, is audible, very loud.
I don’t dare or say attempt to write about the very raw moments I experience. I usually keep them to myself, like sacred souvenirs from nature, from Allah. Yet I felt impelled to put this down in words to make a self note to myself and a general note to those who may read and try to perceive, that sometimes, not to know the answer is the answer nature is giving us. Sometimes that annoyance of finding the whys and hows has to be hushed down because nature likes to answer at its own time. Sometimes it is important for us to stay annoyed with that mesh of jumbled thoughts in our mind, we need to learn to wait. Because nature likes surprising us with the answers when we least expect them.
I don’t really know how many of you will be able to relate, or how many of you have ever even spared a thought. As i write the words ‘questions’ and ‘answers’, i ensure staying ambiguous because I believe every person has those moments when they wonder why something happened to them or why something happened a particular way. I hope those who can relate, may find a word or two of sense in this long ramble. Those who couldn’t comprehend my message, I do apologize for being too vague but honestly I believe only those who have experienced connecting with nature, who have tried finding answers of their inner state in the world outside would know what I am talking about. Maybe some of you have already learned this lesson and fare beyond in the sea of learning. And some may just realize after reading this. Either ways, I hope my words have not turned out to be a total waste of your precious 10 minutes! I just thought of sharing the answers I got at my aunt’s place.