Shelley wrote , ““Our sweetest songs are those that tell of our saddest thoughts.”
What is so special of sadness?
Wonder why do we buy grief. We sing of our tragedy, write reams of requiems and spend packets of tissues watching sad movies.
Life is a rainbow of emotions. Each color in that rainbow is important. It wouldn’t be a rainbow otherwise. When I look at a rainbow I marvel at its beauty. It never occurred to me to see a rainbow made of just one color.
I have felt grief. Not once but many times. When my loved ones died. When I was jilted in love. When I failed to win a prize. The occasions were many. But today when I look back they are nothing but a part of my memories. One color in the rainbow.
Time is a big healer. The biggest scar can get healed.
I remember the time as the train was leaving the station . It was torture. The Muslims call it ‘halaal’ , cutting the throat of the bird slowly, allowing the blood to fall drop by drop. I could imagine the pain the fowl felt. I felt the same.
My love was being halalled.
The nature is sometimes described as mother. I don’t agree. To me it’s a concubine. The spring is the youth. The blooming and the blossoming. The summer the Prime. The heat and the lust. The winter is when the nature becomes the madam, the mother whore. All cold and calculating, and the autumn the widow, old and worn waiting to die.
Aptly, It was an autumn evening. The trees were standing naked. Shorn of their leaves just like me, shorn of all my emotions. I felt a vacuum. My heart felt so heavy that I felt giddy. My body seemed incapable of handling its crumbling weight. I could barely stand even as the trees stood tall!
I saw the vacant look in her eyes as she waved me one last time. We both knew we wont ever see each other again. I felt like I wont live another day.
And yet I marvel at our buoyancy , the capacity to bounce back.
Today she is married and a proud mother of two. I am still alone but with no grief.
Just vast emptiness.
When my parents died, I had matured. I knew how to handle grief. Grief with dignity.
Life taught me dignity. Dignity in whatever I did.
Now,when I look back I wonder what’s so special about grief? Why all that celebration. Why do we acknowledge an actor as a tragedy king and an actress as a tragedy queen when it was common knowledge that she was a big time nymphomaniac and the wallowing in tragedy was just a charade.
Are we really so sensitive or is it just one primal urge, the exhibitionist in us loves so dearly – branding. I wear Ralph Lauren not because I like it but because I can show off. And tragedy is the Ralph Lauren of emotions. So to be appreciated by the society I must be seen celebrating sadness.
I must look sad though it may be my joi de vivre.
Just like that nymphomaniac film star. If it makes her look classy so shall me. That is the corollary.
Or is it our fetish for compartmentalizing. We are the most divisive people on the planet. Our society is one big honey comb of lattices. We have compartments based on religion. Divisions based on our color, creed, sexual orientations. Even in the family we divide our children on the basis of looks or color or intelligence.
Life is never black and white. It has shades of grey.
And before I start describing my life, I need this lengthy preamble. I may be forgiven.
Because nothing in my life ever was simple.
There were no blacks and certainly no whites.
And so if there were some tragedies, they too don’t stand out. Just like happiness.
They too were hidden in that beautiful rainbow.
The rainbow of my life.