I am ordinary; a common man from Kerala, India. And that meant I believe, or should believe in the concepts of logic, reality, reason etc. For the common man, life under the constant influence of these factors is natural. Normality is my religion. I find myself under the comfort of “adjustments”. I know if I adjust my life for someone else, the other person will return the favours through another set of “adjustments” at the time of need. Logic is the skeleton of reality. Reality is the ultimate sense driven out of perception; sensory and intellectual. Reason is the guide that leads one through the intricacies and extraordinary spaces situated in the verges of reality, which although counter the normal, are highly recommended for the existence of the normal on the plane of signification. In other words, the extraordinary or the not-normal is necessary for the normal to make sense. The effect of the normal is drawn from the comparison caused by the influences of the not-normal. The reason works to distinguish and to elevate the ordinary and the normal over the extraordinary and the not-normal. And my ordinariness pertains to my inclination towards these notions.
But there are moments in life, when all this go topsy-turvy. I mean, there are moments in which we realize the presence of a strange open door, which shows us scenes we never have imagined ourselves seeing, or events, which we have never thought of witnessing. We perceive the not-normal, and feel the extraordinary, surprisingly at hand-within ourselves. I mean instances like giving away one’s life for nothing, or waiting for a whole life time for the sake of a lost relationship. It is a similar experience that I am going to share with you, here.
Though the moment was undesirable, the presence of the girl consoled me. I was ready to enter into the territory of conflicts. I knew very well what lies ahead of me will be a series of unprecedented moments, and it will without any chance to doubt, lead me to conflicts, internal and external, sensory and intellectual. She had already entered into one of the most tumultuous places in the world: my mind.
Her eyes hovered over mine. I realized the trails they left in my mind. They were powerful—the trails. Her eyes were full of empathy, and they expected it in return. So I stood there, listening to what she said. I could not hear the acoustic images she produced. For me, her language was her eyes, and the bright smile her lips carried. As I said, the moment was undesirable. To live through an undesirable period is like entering into a battle field, where one is alone, fighting with oneself. And that exactly is what she wanted me to do: waiting for inquiries in the reception desk the whole afternoon, alone—to fight with loneliness.
When one faces an undesirable situation, the self divides into two. One part will stand up for the decision that had been made in favour of the errand, and the other part will vehemently oppose the decision to face the situation (something that cannot be changed, because no one can go back in time to alter the moment in which the decision was taken), and each moment spent in contact with the undesirable situation would be transformed into a battle.
The paradox in my decision was that what I decided was far away from any of the human actions categorised with the word—decision. I spent the whole afternoon behind the reception desk regretting my decision. She was the one supposed to take up the job that day. But she had some emergency, as per what she said. I too was busy with my academic papers, which were to be prepared within one month, for which I dedicated my time every afternoon.
I was drunk with her sight, with her tresses, her smiles, her eyes, and with her religious taboos. She was veiled. She was a Muslim. To lift the veil was a taboo. But the shawl of the Churidaar that she used as her veil was hardly in place and I feared myself of risking my sanity, to forget my language, to lose myself. I had promised her in the meantime to stay in the inquiry desk as the receptionist, until five in the evening from the noon, all alone—the decision was made. I could have done anything, if she had asked. And now, thinking about it, I am really scared. I could even have died had she asked me so!