Memories fade. So do people, and with them – everything else.
Probably because we make newer memories that replace previous ones. And yet, bygones have a way of getting back (at you) somewhat vengefully. So you feverishly sift through the rusting shelves of your mind for a graying book or piece of paper to recall a memory that has now slipped out of your hands, irrevocably.
You try to clear the opaque window pane with your hands, only to see more haze settling back that leaves you with the memory of a faded memory. Static and unreachable.
That’s Milita. And she’s dead.
It’s a sketch I have been at pains to draw, a sketch that is incomplete, abandoned mid-way and barren in its half-ness.
I see her spectacles, perched perfectly on her small nose, guarding those eyes that always sparkled with glee and mischief, but couldn’t help betraying the indiscernible.
Her cotton kurtas, those floaters, that wireless phone that seldom stopped ringing, her gait that resembled a tough Army colonel’s. The breakfast table was Milita and Milita was it.
And now, I have hit a cul-de-sac.
Now, I only see her lying somewhere, lifeless, under a dark sky that witnessed her end. She’s gone and yet she’s around, very much so – in conversations, in numb thoughts, in silences, in the befuddling darkness of the night, ahead of you, behind you, maybe a phone call or a Facebook message away.
And what would she have gone through in her last…I wonder.
With this complete breakdown of comprehension, I think of a few lines someone wrote many many years ago –
ज़िंदगी का सफ़र
है यह कैसा सफ़र
कोई समझा नहीं कोई जाना नहीं
Zindagi ka safar
hai yeh kaisa safar
koi samjha nahin koi jaana nahin
Maybe the answer lies in a no-answer. Rest in peace, Milita, wherever you are right now. It’s hard to let you go.