It has been a score of years, I last wrote to you. Down memory lane, few glimpses are flashing within me. I am not going to ask you how are you as I know from the core of my heart that you are fine. Is it the strict, imposed, isolated quarantine period that impelled me to hear you, maybe.
The lockdown has knocked our doors directly and I return from my job with an endless time in my pocket. Suddenly I discover myself in an entirely strange set up where I was forced to migrate only a month ago. Myself, driven and derided by the whole paused world, stands alone in the middle of nowhere. I feel the weight on my chest while witnessing the scenario of both sided closed and locked doors of that apartment. As if refused by all I feel mental and literal imprisonment. Feeling of that uncanny traveler who came and asked “Is there anybody?” takes me far away. Still, I start to believe in these pandemic stricken lonely staircases for being pal in my melancholic hours.
I have not unpacked my longings yet Van Gogh and Beatles are not letting me stay in peace so I have to take them out only to combat the soundlessness that has engulfed me. My believe works as soon as Vincent’s starry, starry night draws me towards it. With a deep sigh, I understand what he tried to say about his sufferings, sanity, and how he tried to set them free. Actually, I need someone very badly. l start to gasp, want to get rid of such breathless moments, seconds, minutes, and hours…still I can’t say how and when I step my foot on the rooftop. Here I feel the bliss of solitude can hear sounds in silence among the concrete structures without human beings, among the crows among the imaginary human shapes on the wall. I ask myself, is everyday life going to take a break! Time flies with a realization that I am lonely but not alone when I manage to watch my octogenarian neighbor, the windowpane, the colorful window curtain. In a splash of thunder with light, I find myself with Beatles walking through the waterlogged footpath of Abbey Road. They help me to face myself. Frankly speaking, they remind me of lost and missing pieces of life.
I return back to my complete nothingness and torn strings of recently got Ukulele unknowingly create wild tunes of unsung songs….memory appears in front of me. Do you know what memories can bring? Yes, they bring diamonds and rust!
Sometimes I love to set the mood of my solitariness with food cooking on the oven. Mood swings to and fro at the sight of burnt papad representing my own wretched and helpless conditions. I proceed towards the deathlike darkness.
Hours after hours I sit doing nothing with blank head and closed heart. Then slowly non-existence finds glimpses of slanting rays of bright colorful leaves shown from my bathroom. The leaves seem joyful for thriving over reviving. All of a sudden I sense cold grip of foams touching my feet. My soulful wander thirst anchors me in front of a sea…..how tightly I hold a hand while listening heart rendering cry of waves. No human being but a lizard on the ceiling, a mosquito on my palm make me feel the presence of someone.
I throw my glance towards my balcony. To my sheer surprise, I see a couple of birds and pronounce – Love is the only song of the day. I see yellow leaves are fading away, rainbow colors are rippling like cascades, and cards are kept open in the sun for being dried up. The world is dreaming as well as trying to stay tuned with the coming normal life. Closing my eyes I convey my thankfulness to life. Hardships of life make me realize once you embrace your sadness, your uncertainty you can create a better song. What are you doing during these unwanted confined days? Do you remember everything? Anything?
These quarantine days have expired the excuse ‘I don’t have the time’. More than enough time having bent and melted is showering on me like countless droplets of rain. Picking up all those droplets of moments in the form of words in the form of pain I am writing to you on my blank and white mind pages. Perhaps we will never meet in this earthly life still I am posting this letter in the name of void sky ’sealed with a kiss’. Please answer me, if possible. And lastly, wherever you are, STAY HOME. STAY SAFE.
About Siddhartha Paul
Siddhartha’s journey has by no means been smooth or easy, he is a common man with a routine job, who has struggled in his domestic life. What had begun as only the documentation of his avid traveling and wanderlust, underwent many twists of life and fate to become the apex of the street genre it is today.
Diagnosed with severe eyesight issues and suspected eye cancer, almost put an end to his passion for photography leaving him physically and mentally broken, with no clear path to move ahead, this deep thinking and sensitive man, did not stop embracing life with whatever little he had. Being forbidden to get out in the bright sun, he continued to take pictures from within his room and in the evening. He fell in love with the old charms of the city anew. He fell in love with something so many of us take for granted, his eyesight.
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All the pictures in this post are copyrighted to Siddhartha Paul. Their reproduction, even in part, is forbidden without the explicit approval of the rightful owners.