As I looked out of the window, the strong iron bars that went crisscross over the mesh stopped me from forcing myself out of that boundary into the horizon. This had become home. I often sat and recalled the lost tunes of childhood, where it was an unending path ahead. I could manoeuvre into any hidden mountain creek and always found myself in a clear stream of reason & love. This probably is called growing up.
Growing up to understand that what we desire as we grow older may not always help us experience ourselves in an all-encompassing way. We forget those little spaces that need nourishment and nurturing. I had forgotten to nurture my early morning sitar Riyaz hour. It was meditative and my all-encompassing existence was in those ragas that gave me peace and familiarity. Ma had bought that sitar for me from her Provident Fund. She always dreamt big for me. I remember she bought the sitar from a music store in Darya Ganj in Delhi. Fixed my music lessons and monitored my progress like a hawk. She too woke up every morning at 5.00 am to hear me play. I never realised that she was living her dreams through me. Today, as I pen these thoughts I realise she has also passed her gift of words to me. She loves to write in Bengali. That evening, I stood against the mesh, holding on to the iron bars and like always thought for everyone, forgetting to think of myself.
I realised that over the years, I had placed my heart at the feet of all my family members. There were moments when I coiled to think that I did relish the thought of being far away from all this. This constant shout out for a home that needed attention. With ailing elders, the household was like a prison without visible walls. Those invisible walls were strengthened over time. There were times I felt I could fly out and feel the open air on my face. I pushed upwards to be hit on the head by the ceiling wall. It hit hard and I was awakened to the stupid thought. Like so many of us, who flutter inside the cage, unsure of whether our wings have the strength to take on the unknown skies. Skies that doesn’t promise you even weather. There will be torrential rains, drenching you in its fury, there will be a haunted moon, where you would bury your head in fear.
As I touched upon those thoughts. I could hear the pressure cooker whistleblowing downstairs in the kitchen. I knew one more whistle and the rice would be overcooked, then everyone would complain at home. I spoke to the skies and the iron cage. I spoke with compassion and told the clouds to come back again on another sunny day when I can leisurely talk to them. Ask them where they lived? Where they rested for the night. When rain takes baby steps does it cradle into its bosom? Does the cloud hold it or let it go? Maybe today isn’t the day for my answers. I know soon the householders would stop noticing and I would be able to continue my conversation freely with my friends, who roam freely in the skies.
The freedom that we all desire, covet and remain in its quest.