I cried a lot today. I cried after a long time. A very long time: after a gap of years. And it showed. Seeing my mother sob silently, feigning to read the newspaper, at last towards the end of a day spent in labours. The thought of mice conditioned to remain in a state of eternal fear came to my mind as I saw her tears falling one after another on the pink bed sheet, and spreading into curious circles, inkblots on porous paper, was all it took for the wall holding back all my unhappiness to break down, completely.
How selfish of me! I had gone to comfort her, but in the end, it was she who was stroking my head, pulling at my hair in transparent desperation. The feeling of having waged a long lost battle was mutual. As we wept, she in mute agony, myself in uncontrollable fits, it was as if we were not weeping for our putrid past, our painful present, but also for a future draped in dismal veils uncertainty and doubt. Will this never end? All these vicious blows that strike, directly, repeatedly, at our hearts, and yet, strangely, do not kill us.
With shoulders stooped and caved-in guts, I cried, gripping my throat, in vain, to quell my voice, lest I hear myself cry. I think I have always been afraid what I would look like, once I have been washed clean of the garb of routine pretences and mundane mediocrity. Yes, it is better to remain in these tatters of hypocrisy, than see my exposed war wounds all over my flaccid flesh.
But alas, I cried like there would be no tomorrow. As I shook all over, I felt myself getting rid of my pride, my perplexities, and my pettiness. The fluid pain of decades of despair, centuries of sadness, trickled out of my eyes, my nose, and from the corner of my mouth. My head on her lap, capacious as only a mother’s lap is, I conveyed to my mother the entirety of insecurities through a few inarticulate mumblings. It was as if I had returned to my state of nativity, vulnerable but tranquil in my mother’s arms. I embraced my deepest fear of being alone as an indisputable certainty – which I have to live with it.
It was then that I heard it raining outside. It was neither the faint drizzle that ever so irritates me, nor the gorgeous torrents, but rather a steady shower, the kind you wake up to in the middle of the night during the monsoons. It seemed to have started a long time ago, longer than today, yesterday or even last year. It was truly eternal, without beginning, nor end.
I was soon able to regain composure, and was surprised to find that it hadn’t been raining at all. But rather it had been a figment of my imagination. But was it really all in my head. It was then that it dawned on me that what I had heard was the symphony of human sorrow, the sound of a million tears drops falling in unison through the void, having originated from a million eyes, for millions of years, falling, forever falling, without any apparent destination. It is always there, all you have to do is close your eyes and just listen, patiently. Hold your breath and let the orchestrated tears wash over you. It is magical, yet reality itself.
And at last when I was able to stumble into the bathroom, for all the pain had paralyzed me, to rinse my tear-stained cheeks, and stared at my ghastly reflection in the square plate of truth, with red eyes and lips atremble, all I could think about was you.