Saturday, May 26, 2007

Dust in the Wind


June 16, 1999

Espresso bars. Man, talk about an idea. Though I’ve never been a coffee freak, this seemed like the right place to be now. The place looked nice, an inviting coffee shade on the walls. Couples sat at the tables, talking, some of them holding hands. Quiet laughter. Happy moments. I walked across them and took a seat at the bar, ordered a Cappuccino. I couldn’t stand black coffee. Dropped a coin for the jukebox and chose an Eagles song. Didn’t really care which song it was. They always played the right songs.

Looking back at life was an easy thing. But today, it seemed painful, almost unwanted.

I close my eyes
Only for a moment and the moment’s gone
All my dreams
Pass before my eyes in curiosity…


Yeah, they always sang the right song. Two years and a traditional break-up later, there really was nothing more to dream about. Somehow all worries come when a woman is on your mind. Mmm… where have I heard that before?

Dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind…

Oh, but we were more. I have always felt this whole concept of being a “tiny speck in the universe” is full of bullshit. A term coined by a man who had nothing more to look forward to in life. But right now I couldn’t feel smaller. Inside and outside. The reason seemed smaller and smaller suddenly. You don’t love with permission. Why would you break up for fear of permission? You live your life, why does someone else get to decide who you live it with?

Same old song
Just a drop of water in an endless sea…

No! That’s not what I want to hear!

Aren’t these people who make your choices the ones you owe your entire life to? The ones who brought you up, the ones who appreciated your every decision, the ones who stood by you no matter what happened? Maybe all that doesn’t matter now… but leave them for a minute, what would you do? What would be your choice?

All we do
Crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see
Dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind…

It’s I who made it crumble. Not her, not anyone else. I pressed my temples to make the pain go away. But there was a throbbing so intense, and my thoughts were now coming faster than they could be processed.

Not because I have to, but because I want to, she had said once, and I don’t know why I remembered that line now. Maybe it was just one among the million lines I could have picked, but two seconds later, it was the right one. I had to get back. There will be no better choice. Even if there was I didn’t care.

Now don’t hang on
Would nothing last for ever but the earth and sky?

I stood up and dropped a couple of bills to cover my bill.

Nothing will last forever but the earth and sky. But it doesn’t matter if it’s five minutes or fifty years. It’s you who has to live your life fully.

As I walked past the door I was desperately trying to remember the movie which had that line. The song faded to an end.

Dust in the wind
Everything is dust in the wind
… In the wind…

I blocked it out.

***

July 14, 2003

Déjà vu. I couldn’t quite remember when it had happened before or what exactly had happened, but I felt it watching the late night show of If Only at the multiplex. Maybe nothing had actually happened. Or maybe it had just been a thought.

With her head on my shoulder, she was sobbing softly when the movie ended. Girls are such cry babies. As the lights came on I casually brushed a tear forming at the corner of my eye.

As I held her hand and walked to the parking lot, we were talking about tomorrow, how she had to reach office early and how I had to drop her off one hour before our usual morning schedule. A couple of whines from me and around seven from her later, she had got her way. I smiled. Two years into our marriage, holding her hand was more special than ever before.

People do understand. Even though they worry a bit at first, and ask you a hundred questions. But they deserve to ask. They’ve known you since you were born.

Strange how one song can change your life. But it’s stranger, when it’s the wrong song. But probably such things aren’t meant to be understood.

4 comments:

Hemamalini said...

Nice:)Does the story have a continuation in 2007?

CJ said...

@hema: thanks! :)

the year is irrelevant actually... it could very well be happening anytime. but if ur question means "how long will it last"... then that would need a few more years to say! :)

sowmya gade said...

so subtle and yet so real :) too nice.. :)

CJ said...

@sowmya: thanks :) not too much of a storyteller actually... but nice to receive some praise! :)