Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Just not in the order you wanted

Last weekend was bracketed by a very fun Friday evening and Monday evening, getting together with a bunch of great folks and talking. [Thanks, guys!] Reminded me of how few times I've had such conversations, ranging from books to music to plays, since I came to Bangalore. Discussions with colleagues have mostly been around office stuff, buying houses, or whatever the ToI got paid to print that day.

I also watched a movie called Bolt, which is nice if you like cartoons and/or have ever had a dog.

Got me thinking about how life tends to note down whatever you wish for, at random times, and then scramble up the order when it grants those wishes.

A long time back, when I was still in Pune, there was this evening when I stood at the main gate of my home, and looked around. The mango tree was dropping tiny raw mangoes every few minutes, and the fragrance was all around. The old family car was parked in the front yard, and I glanced towards the tall window next to the front door. The window extended all the way down to the floor, and as always, our dog was standing behind that window, barking happily at me and wagging his tail.

The thought came to mind that one day, all these things - the tree, the car, the window with my dog on the other side would remain as they were, and I'd wind up leaving Pune forever - perhaps with a change of job, perhaps with some change in mood or something else out of control. Then when I came back to visit, I'd see everything and remember the last time I stood here, like this. And then I'd get messages from my family - we've changed the car, the tree has grown, the dog is getting old, someone broke the windowpane and we changed it.

It didn't work out that way. A few months after that day, a crack appeared in the front wall of the house. To repair it, the workmen said, we must rebuild that wall. The window disappeared, and was replaced by a smaller one that didn't reach down to the floor. The mango tree got infected by some sort of worms, and began to dry up. The car got sold and replaced by another one.

And one night, after I'd gone with my dog to the vet, and been assured that he would be all right now, he died. We buried him at a spot he'd liked to go to when he was young.

Through all this, I remained there in Pune.

By the time I finally got a job offer worth looking at, and came to Bangalore, all the things I'd noted that long ago evening had disappeared. Life had gotten the order of my thoughts wrong.

Something tells me that by the time all the things I wish for right now are granted, they won't matter to me, or, Monkey's Paw style, will come true in such a way that I won't want them.

Excuse the melancholy mood, folks. Happens sometimes.

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