Packed luggage, take-out food, empty rooms, four walls, memories.
The inward eye, whenever recalls that moment, I find myself travelling back in time to that very moment which had evoked a plethora of memories. Profusion of details flood my subconscious; the lingering feeling of finality being the most prominent one. Surrounded by the echoes of my own voice amidst the walls, I look at the world outside, brimming with life. The cacophony of familiar sounds, the hustle-bustle engulfing the environs, the old-city charm in the narrow streets and busy boulevards…I shall miss it all.
Calcutta had ushered me to a world I had never seen before. The vehemence of its vibrancy had perplexed my senses. But it had all come down to the people I had met there. Beautiful people. Strangers turned into friends. It was time well spent. Little did I know that everything that was being done was getting etched in the mind forever. That, out of so many people, I’d find some to cherish. Memories, they say, are born from simple, satisfying events. It’s only later that the magnitude of their complexity can be gauged. I too, realized the essence of this brilliant contradiction when it was time to leave.
By now, I have become accustomed to the leaving ritual which beckons at my doorstep after every three to five years. What I haven’t learnt so far is the art of leaving. No matter how mentally and emotionally stable your soul is, leaving will always get to you. In the most unusual ways. Such is its sheer power. Because when you leave, you leave a part of yourself which didn’t even exist before. A part of your soul filled with nothing but memories. And this is why the very act of leaving is devastating. It demands you to part with the reason behind these memories-the people.
The act of leaving is half the act done; per se. The other half, an equally difficult concept is ‘making new friends’. It is the hardest thing ever. And even that seems to be an understatement considering the existence of people like me who, in friendships, look for soul mates. Given the fact that it “just happens” make my prejudices even more complex, thereby rendering a sense of contradiction to them. To embark on “find a perfect friend” expedition is thus, for me, a futile attempt. Or is it?
The human mind has been crafted with the fabric of detailed recollections. Precision of thought and clarity of idea equips this sublime specimen with a cognitively skillful ability to remember things. With striking acuity. By virtue of this ability, I am but a mere tool of giving life to these memories, almost as a method of communion.
And so the inevitable unfolds; subtly. The sense of urgency develops gradually, gently seeping into my subconscious, gaining access to my intense emotions, finding avenues for expression. The urgency then manifests into a need. A need to find people you’ve already found. A need to come across people you’ve previously loved and continue to do so. To put it more clearly, it’s a need to find someone you can cherish again-a need to give life to those memories again.
The origin of this need is quite untraceable. Maybe we feel this way because we are afraid that something great like this can’t happen twice. Well, the truth is, it can. Speaking from my personal experience, it can happen. We all just need to find such people out there.
In the end, I am reminded of this: Seven billion people. Seven billion souls. And sometimes, all you need is ONE.