The Man From Nowhere

“See the nowhere crowd cry the nowhere tears of honour 
Like twisted vines that grow 
Hide and swallow mansions whole…”

— James Hetfield, The Memory Remains

He came from nowhere and he didn’t know where he was headed. He seemed lost, confused, a paper boat caught in a hurricane, with turmoil eroding the last traces of sanity and reason in his head. He was escaping, hopefully to a better tomorrow, but he didn’t know for sure. He wanted a fresh start, desperately. He didn’t know how he was going to achieve it – his bad luck seemed to have followed him here as well. Everything he tried seemed to fail, and fail miserably. He caught himself searching for straws to clutch at.

He vowed to find a muse, an inspiration, a candle in the whirlwind of his bad luck. He wanted to find the elusive abundance of good luck that had deserted him for so long. He yearned for the peace and tranquility that had been hiding from him. It was not a search in vain.

He met her on a hot, sunny afternoon and they regarded each other cautiously, unsure of just how much attention the other person warranted. She seemed harmless enough, but he was expecting his seemingly unlimited quota of bad luck to step in again.

“Been a while,” he said. Cautiously. Two tigers, one paranoid and the other indifferent, circling each other.

“Yes. How have you been?” she asked.

“Good,” he replied and they went on to talk about other things mundane.

Time flew by and a pact was etched in stone between them, unwritten yet indelible. It took time, obviously. It did not happen overnight. He began to experience her presence more and more in his life until it almost became an addiction. Over time, he started craving for her company. She became the beacon of light in the darkness that had clouded him. She forced him to embrace good luck again, though he never knew how she managed to do that.

He still had no destination in mind, but he knew that his journey wouldn’t be lonely anymore; the journey that he had started from nowhere and had seemed to head nowhere; the journey that she had spectacularly derailed and made more bearable. He had a lot of things to be thankful for. And for a million things more.

He had found his muse. He had found his share of good fortune. The man from nowhere was finally home.

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Here And There…

Three days have passed since I came back to Bangalore after spending nearly a year in New York and I am already feeling he difference. The first thing that grabbed me when I walked out of Bangalore Airport was the crowd – NY was sleepy compared to this; the people, the sounds, the casual disregard for traffic rules and the chaotic harmony here is a welcome change.

I never realized how much I missed home until I took a bite of Mom’s dosa and a sip of Dad’s tea. I took out the bike I had been using before I left, cleaned it, repaired the engine and took her out for a drive around the block. Instinct guided me through the dirty traffic and in almost no time, I was weaving in and out of oncoming buses and cars in a way that would have made Trinity (in The Matrix) proud.

Met all my friends, tried out the road-side pani-puri and also visited my old college to see all my old teachers again. Ah, I am home! 🙂

A better place…

Eight months of my life have been a blur. I vaguely remember being happy for some time, and I distinctly remember pain. There had been moments of self-pity and loathing, but I can’t be sure. It’s all a haze. There was also something akin to love. I think I’m sure of this. Bits and pieces of memory float in and out of my head – people, places, sounds, instances, thoughts, actions, voices – but none that I can be sure of.

It’s like being awoken from a coma. Things are clear now, but the last thing I remember clearly is looking down from the window of an airplane, 10,000 feet up in the sky and watching my home through a haze of tears and clouds. After that, it’s been more or less blurry completely. Things have been done, words have been said, books have been written and prayers have been sent, but I still don’t quite remember much.

This time round, though, the tears hesitate to come. Pragmatic voices hold them back. Relax, they say. You’re going to a better place.