In the fifth year since Shekhar, everything has eroded…memory, discipline, focus, joy, commitment…I have exhausted all resources – mental, emotional and physical. I yearn to wake up from what seems like an unending dream, to see the glimmer of light at the end of a long tunnel, the other side of the mountain I have climbed…to breathe an untethered breath.
In the interim, the erosion of memory has served Shekhar well. It has chipped away the unpleasant, smoothened rough edges and created this wonderful being who was human but is now an angel of a better nature. I look at myself and feel unworthy…I think of him and nothing is good enough. He is now a gold standard - impossible to match, to live up to…I live everyday with the guilt that comes from growing old when he died young…sensing, feeling, living moments he never will. That’s the compassion…the anger speaks to the fact that he is not here when I need him.
This part of the journey is familiar. I have been here before…and despite the pain, I keep returning to visit it, like picking on a scar until it bleeds. Could it be that I am walking in circles? Circles were Shekhar’s favourite shape…a curved straight line, he called them. I like triangles. Sharp, pointed…edgy. Therein lies the rub…I still use Shekhar’s words to define my life. They make more sense. But if the words are not mine...
As another milestone approaches, I am realizing circles are not my shape. No more boundaries, circumferences, curved straight lines…just edges and falling off the map.
Chubte kaante yaadon ke, daaman se chunta hoon
Girti deewaron ke aanchal mein zinda hoon
(Rough Translation: I pick the prickly thorns of your memories from the edges of my clothes
I am alive in the cradle of their crumbling walls)
From the lyrics of ‘Yeh hai meri kahani’ by Strings