Thursday, April 14, 2011

the lantern in the sky.

I was walking back from my best friends' hostel after being unceremoniously kicked out from one of their rooms by the other one cause I have had an exam at 8 but I wanted to watch a movie.
The road was empty and yellow with the halogen lights. I could see my shadow in the centre of the road in front of me and I was walking thinking about how narrow my shoulders seemed. I would have made a good female model if only I had the face...
I looked to the left into the dark empty park as I usually do when I'm walking back alone in the middle of the night. It's something about the dark that gives me peace. And no, this isn't the serial killer in me talking.
I notice a yellow light in the sky. I squint my eyes a little since I'm not wearing my spectacles. I see a red balloon glowing faintly over the yellow flame. It was a sky lantern drifting gently along, carried by the breeze which only the bats in the sky were fortunate enough to feel.
A sky lantern at 3:16am in Pilani, where only zombies and I walk on the streets this late. It seemed odd.
I hurried my pace a little cause some trees were blocking my view of it. I whip out my new phone to try and take a picture of it, but all its 6k ass could show me in the viewfinder was a yellow dot in a perfectly black sky. Not the glowing red hood over the flame and not the flicker in the flame. It couldn't show me the two things that made the sight beautiful.
I am now in the clear and can see the lantern descend more rapidly. It wobbles and I wonder if it will tip over. At this point I am standing in the middle of the road just looking up at the sky. It seems like a better thing to do than trying to capture it in a photograph.
What's the point of a photograph?
It isn't to preserve a moment. Cause the moment includes what you feel - the coolness of the still air, the silence of the place, the faint smile on my face and the sheer innocence of wanting to have that lantern.
A photograph is meant to remind you of a memory and in trying to capture the lantern's flight, I was missing out on the memory itself.
As I watched the flame flicker and the lantern fall somewhere in the park, I noticed myself turning around and walking towards the entrance. I entered the park and looked around for the pack of dogs that generally get territorial when you walk on their turf. They were nowhere to be seen.

Perfect silence.

I walk to the middle of the park, use my cell phone light as I get off the stone paved path onto the barren ground... It was there somewhere. I start looking. I check intermittently to see if someone was watching me walk around with a bag on my back looking curiously at the ground like a little kid. No one.

Relief.

I smell the weird smell of freshly molten wax, the smell you associate with Diwali or of summers in UP where the electricity  never fucking comes. I walk around the area looking for it. For the lantern. I don't even know what I'll do with it when I find it. Well obviously it would satisfy an engineer's curiosity on how a thing like that was flying, but that wasn't why I was looking for it.
I wanted it cause it looked pretty.

I check the time. 3:17am. I'll look for it for another 3 minutes, then I'm done.

Sigh. I smell it, but I can't see it.(It's time like these when you wish you had that cheap ass phone with the torch instead.)

I look up at the sky. I don't know why, maybe hoping there is another lantern in the sky.
I see no lantern, but I do see something else.
The sky is lit up by starts. I can see a whole blanket of black covered in tiny little specks of light. Twinkling light. The trees are all on the periphery of the park and the view is breath taking. (This is definitely a consequence of the rom-com I just saw.)
I look at the star lit sky and suddenly I don't feel like looking for the lantern any more.

Epiphany.

The lantern had served its purpose. (Straight out of The Matrix, I know.)
It was there to make you feel nice, happy, innocent, child-like, curious... It was there, floating across the sky out of bloody no where in the middle of the night, making you think where it had come from and who else was watching it. But the key here is that the lantern was supposed to make you feel all this for a moment.

A moment.

That's it.

Just one moment, maybe two. It wasn't going to make you feel that way tomorrow, an hour later or even after you step out of that park.

That's the thing about little things. They're little. Yet from the second they catch your attention to the time they just disappear into no where, they are your world.

Get it?

Every time we have a chance to be happy for a few moments we waste it trying to make ourselves happy in the future.

A kid plays with his favourite toy without worrying about breaking it, cause he knows (unconsciously) that he'll find something else to play with once this one breaks.
A kid is smarter than us.


Just like that kid and his little brain that isn't really that little.
 

11 comments:

  1. Well, the Chinese used sky lanterns to signal the beginning of a war.

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  2. Well, I am glad you finally got it. Just live the moment and that's what life is all about. I don't see a point in worrying about future and messing up your present because of it. That's true miracles do not happen. All bullshit. If people say things were meant to be like this, they are just trying their best not to say hurtful things. It is a gay post, but sometimes you do need this gay side to know the reality.

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  3. I feel you did justice to the moment. Good going and I am sure gay people deserve more respect than this post being called gay :P

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  4. New phone!! which one
    P.S: nice post

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  5. Ironical. You wouldn't have realized that if you hadn't been in Pilani for as much time as you have. And therein you might connect the dots and get the bigger picture someday.

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  6. "A kid plays with his favourite toy without worrying about breaking it, cause he knows (unconsciously) that he'll find something else to play with once this one breaks.
    A kid is smarter than us."

    I doubt you could have given a better analogy. Awesome "Live in the moment" .. I need to learn it as much as you do. Good going ..

    And yeah, everyone's got such 'gay' thoughts (if that's what you want to call it), don't worry :P

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  7. umm i like the way u put the whole thing ...one could almost relive tht moment i guess btw it didn't really sound gay :P

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  8. I noticed a lot of typos and grammatically errors due to the typos. Not in the mood to correct them, kindly ignore them without crucifying my command ver the English language :)

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  9. You're NOT gay. Just sensitive :P

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