“Me too happy for our friendship, it doesn’t need to follow rules and regulations of relationship..” I see her typing away nonchalantly at what might be her only chance of raising her head above the daily chores that she seems to perform as the day passes by. Sitting partially dangling from a second class Mumbai local, in a olive salwar kameez and ruffled hair she keeps shifting. Sometimes between the words and sometimes between passerbys. I think to myself, those are two words I have seen together so many times. Rules. Regulations. It seems as if, there cant be rules without regulations. And without rules, what’s the point of regulations anyways?
But, it’s the words that precede and supersede them is what’s got me thinking out loud here. Friendship. Relationship. Such a painfully thin line is drawn between the two. The irony is they make a living mockery out of the togetherness of rules and regulations positioned together in the way She structured her feelings to the Charlie at the receiving end. Soberly quite and unassuming she brings out her tiny book of religious chants and begins to chant away the shlokas in a whispering tone. I lay my head back and begin to tinker with my own thoughts. It moves me, probes me this undeniable truth. The need for change, the need to belong, the need to be independent. Yet the yearning for stability. To come home to a sense of familiarity. What sets these feeling apart is the great divide, of human consciousness. The things we are told, beliefs as they unfold and the mental projections of what we popularly call perceptions. The way its all so true in flesh and blood. Scary it may sound, but the stillness of a mental state of bliss is hard to fathom by the ordinary.
So we engage and disengage in a river of chaos. Bleeding with in-sensitivities and passive shrugs, we look over and let go of our notions. It baffles me the selectivity of our nature. A streaming current pulls us along while we tug on the banks looking for a firm grip to find something or someone to hold on to. Some of us find that tiny branch, hold on to it with all our might all our lives. Yes, the branch maybe cranky, it seems weak and oh it could snap away anytime. But it’s the only living proof of stability that the wavering spirit is tying itself on to. Some of the more rebellious ones, choose to be carried along the stream and don’t believe in weak branches to tug around with. They take life as it comes. And people as they come too. These spirits in all the boisterous pleasantries are really overcoming demons of their own. They long to be twisted and turned along the current just to feel it in all its raw energy, pumping life in its entirety. But, oh dear spirit how far along will you go like this?
The chants get louder and pull me back. She chose to be the independent spirit, seeking comfort in a namesake relation while living in denial of what it truly means to be in a relationship. In a way, this is her own rebellion as she takes on something that is bigger than herself. The warm exchange of words goes on for quite a while as we traverse through the slums and gutters in Mumbai’s backyard that no one wants to see. A humid wind blows foul stench across the compartment and people sniff in disapproval. And I think, we’re disapproving our own ignorance. Shrugging it away passively. You see we choose to live within the stability offered each day in all its familiarity. This turns me to the women sitting right in front of me.
Married, overworked, sleepy with faint wrists and plastic bags. The dark circles tell a tale of sleeplessness, constant worries and disappointment. But yes, they choose to stick on to that familiar sense, however pleasing or revolting it may get. It’s a battle against the world within to keep up and keep it running. While I see a couple of art school girls, contemplating the latest trends I am reminded of change. And the reality of the entire scene hits hard. How the conscience oscillates between dualities that are so thinly defined. The boundary seems to blur out. In rebellion, independence and seeking out new experiences we have faded away as figments of our own imagination. Existing, breathing though not necessarily living. The pre-defined reality hits me hard and I question, where does true happiness lie. On either banks of the river or within the foamy water that pushes me away.
In the background, Thom Yorke sings out loud and It all connects instantly..
“If I could be who you wanted,
All the time,
All the time…..”