We went (Nirvaan and Me) just before the New year. to the old empire, the oldest modern country.
To a place of cold air and saturated hues, big skies bigger quiet! The kind of quiet that reminds you what you are, and also, what you hope to be. The quiet is first thing you become aware of. Among that topography of the quiet you feel time differently. Where the roads are cobbled and wind has a bite.
The time spent midair for 9 hours, looking out of the window and also on the interactive map, tells not of daily things: hurry up, finish up, let’s go, come on, and make it happen. But rather, galactic evidence. You are here. Part of everything. Breathing and alive. A speck on this spinning planet. A spark, a fleck, some inkling of the beyond.
And then we saw (actually he saw first!) the smaller aircrafts zoom opposite, below us, all black snuggled in vermilion clouds, creating a trail of black, like an impressionist painting.
It was a quiet holiday, filled with many moments of sheer delight with just the three of us this year. My baby sister, the sidekick and me. She too took time off and that affords certain leisure, umpteen cups of tea, both morning and hi. Long winding, parallel and tangential conversations, fits of laughter and mock arguments. All peppered with toddler words of wisdom about Peppa Pig, My Little Pony, Care Bears and How to Train Your Dragon (did you know Night Fury looks furious but is not and Boneknapper is just quietly dangerous but a very good ride!!)
Playing Doc Mcstuffins cards and playing carols in Greek on YouTube. Hiking to the Waitrose or Sainsbury’s or just plain Trinity Church; into the city, zig-zagging on wet and windy wharfs and cute bridges, and under the bridge and over the Corn Exchange yonder!
Taking turn babysitting (because “.. mumma my eyes are cold!!”) to shop and bag-pack and then making boyfriend and friends babysit to go some serious pub hopping on Christmas eve – a jump to the happy and delighted one to another leap to gay showy one and flip somersault to a uber chic one… closing with glasses full of cider!
And then on Christmas, waking up with a massive hangover to shrill delight of a five year old finding that Santa really did visit and all his shenanigans with tree wasn’t in vain! New telescope and Robot Fish and a plaque spelling his name in his favorite green color!
And afterwards when am sufficiently capable of getting back to the living. A soiree of some really sumptuous meal done by equally sumptuous boys! Yep, Kavos folks, this ones for you! :)
Much teasing, much laughter, much wine (not for me, right Foti?) later …
When I lie down, tucking him in, listening to his salad of stories.
I can’t help but wonder… in this hemisphere the earth tilts farther from the sun. The days grow dark and short, but no matter. There’s light inside.
Not a few days back, there was Florida and then there was Peshawar; each of such events, as if in a race to out shame holocaust, 9/11 and the list just goes on… the apocalypse is upon us?? It might as well be…Out the window, the leaves-bereft trees donned with fairy lights have become a cloud of golden stars, quivering in the late December air. Inside, I look up from where I sit and watch the drizzle. I like to think their passing is evidence of a world more real than mine at the screen and on the page.
A world we all improbably share. A moon that follows us in orbit. Seasons, in spite of injustice, ebola, homicide, unrest.
How is it possible for any human’s heart not to ache at what’s happened? What keeps happening?
How is it possible for any of us to go on living at all, nodding to strangers as we pass, holding loved ones hands, offering beggars what we have, planning for future. There is so much hunger, need, anguish, guilt, loss. Each of us lives it in some way, and then beyond us.
Still we do.
Morning finds us softly with new light. Smell of coffee in the kitchen fills the air with sweetness. We make plans with friends to gather and hold each other close. We sip wine. We light candles. We say whatever kinds of prayers we say, whispered, wonder-filled, pleading.
There is hope. There always is!
My baby sister … she made this holiday possible and impossibly delightful! A memorable one! She who second mothers my son, she for whom, he still cries every night (some serious crush happening here!)
When finally the taxi is at the curb and we get in. When finally the tightest hugs have been given. The ache of leaving the lil bossy one (for she always is that lil one, who still smells like the vanilla baby she used to when mum got her home) takes hold of me until my heart begins to thrum in tune with the snow clad landscape. And while he just slips into a fitful quiet and sleep.
The thrum grows beyond to the spirit of spinning sun and the early moon that is part of this corner of the hemisphere. And, it then becomes a highly syncopated chord of my individual heart and universal rhythm.
By the time, the aircraft taxis and takes off and after much fighting off sleep – he dozes off in my lap, seat belts undone and tucked in, with those light baby snores …
Be prosperous – in mind and in soul!
Wishing you a very Blessed 2015, Dear Planet!
Copyright © Neerja Yadav