Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Late Goodbye


I used to think it was natural to eventually lose track of people if you had to lead a kind of solitary existence. Not sticking around in one place very long helps, of course. You find it becomes rather easy to end up alone.

There's never a need to make excuses to yourself for not having said a final goodbye to this or that person. There is the hope that your paths will cross again. Some day. And there is the idea that this hope is quite enough. The present becomes bearable, even pleasant, because of the belief that such and such a future exists.

"You can stay in the same place and still find ways to leave people." I kept thinking about his words all night. It must have been such a sad thing I thought at first, but he said it with such serenity that it became a sort of first principle, a self-apparent truth, an axiom really. I didn't think to question it. It must be satisfying - to not have to answer to anyone else. To go it alone. So brave.

It was much later that I sensed the deep melancholy behind the words when I did finally manage to get to sleep. Hovering somewhere in that grey zone between sleep and waking, I thought I heard his voice again. You know, how a recent memory returns, vivid and highly-coloured, just as you're about to relinquish consciousness. And it was then that I realised what I assumed had been serenity, was resignation. I would have forgotten all about it, if it wasn't for those recurring words.

I understand now. It was a surrender, not a choice. I wish I could have reached out and held his hand. Would it have made him feel better? Or would it have been another of those things that lingered in his memory before he decided it was time he left? It's pointless to ponder what could have been when you know for certain what will be. And what I know for certain is that it's too late now.

19 comments:

ganeshputtu said...

this is such a deeply insightful and sad sad post...i can almost feel the emotions behind this post...you do have a way to connect...keep posting such interesting stuff..this is such a change from all the feel-good advice people blog around these days just for eyeballs

Aayushi Mehta said...

Sigh.

This was so melancholy. I don't even have the heart to comment.

Tangled up in blue... said...

Ganesh, thank you! :) I actually wrote it down as a form of therapy. Oddly enough, it works for me. Whenever something occupies my mind for too long, I put it here and seeing it in neatly organised words somehow makes me feel better. And the weight is gradually lifted.

Aayushi, it is, isn't it? My brother says the two saddest words in the English language are 'what if?' and for good reason. For me, this was like an exorcism. I feel lighter knowing it's not bottled up inside.

Aayushi Mehta said...

Yes, always good to write things down, it's like a huge burden of thoughts leaves your brain and gets transferred to paper. This therapy always works for me as well.

But what I really admire is how you find stories in all these happenings and then share them on the blog. Not all of us can make that happen.

This post kind of shook me up and turned out to be quite inspiring as well.

Jester said...

Wonderful writing, absolutely spot on! Some people have the knack (a pitiful knack, in my opinion)of making their worst moments seem serene, almost awe-inspiring.
Sometimes I wonder about you too!

Sakshi said...

how that happens.. and how true is that!

Kunal said...

I agree with most of it. And I say that is one of those posts where it would be not right for me to comment on it with regard to the beauty which this holds in the words. This is where you look beyond the words mentioned...beyond what you see...to a place and time...which resulted in this...that feeling which you felt while writing it...to feel that light headed feeling....when you see a weight getting lifted slowly..bit by bit..and to feel that little kind of pleasure..(if you can call it...) when you feel the sheer weight on the chest vanishing....if only for sometime...

this post goes much beyond...and I am in no position to go anywhere near that...

Kshipra said...

It happens and its true. But sometimes leaving isn't such a bad thing at all. Sometimes leaving may also be uncluttering? And sometimes you need leave behind the people, the pain and all the emotional baggage from your shoulders. So maybe take a holiday/ go visit your grandma/leave this city and change your mood for a while, or maybe stay here and just change your mind about things.


Also, don't you think , that when you leave people by moving around you may still keep them in your heart, but when you leave people when you're staying away, you're closing on them,your heart.

Tangled up in blue... said...

Aayushi, thank you. I guess I'm good at making things like this sound self-contained. They're a lot messier to live through than to narrate. :)

Jester, I know what you mean. I used to be wary of people like that. The kind who make their darkest moments sound incredibly profound. Then, I realised that's what a lot of writers do. They take the ugliness they see in life and make it into something you can look at, even if it makes you cringe, they make it something you can deal with, even something that enriches you at times. I had this friend who used to say, tragedies make for great entertainment and she's one of the best writers I know.

Tangled up in blue... said...

Sakshi, yeah, it is. I wish it wasn't always this way though.

Kunal, thank you for that comment. It's incredible that you always do this, you always seem to get way more from the post than I ever expect anyone to! :) I always look forward to your comments because of that reason. :)

Tangled up in blue... said...

Kshipra, you're right on all counts. Leaving or changing the scene or whatever one calls it, can be very freeing. You feel unfettered. I think it's a great way to start a new adventure. But closing one's heart and making a habit of it, simply because it's easier that way - I don't know if that's a choice I should make. It feels like a cop-out somehow.

But this post wasn't for me anyway. It was about a friend who I lost along the way. And I didn't get a chance to say a proper goodbye. But since writing this, I feel like I've managed to get some 'closure' for lack of a better word.

mgeek said...

Sometimes it hurts him more when you hold his hands after he says those lines. Sometimes his assumption of peace and resignation with a hidden amount of condescending belief that you are too naive or too busy or too distracted is more comforting than the moment of truth (or perceived truth may be) where he realizes that you have to think so much just to hold his hands. I hope you understand what I mean.


(Been there, done that.)

mkk said...

Imagine his despair that provoked such words.

Tangled up in blue... said...

mgeek, I don't think that would be an assumption. I probably am too naive. I mean, what you said in your comment, I'd never have thought of that. I guess I'll never be that perceptive. I have this tendency to take people at face value. It irritates me when they say one thing and always mean another. Why should it always have to be a puzzle you need to solve? Would it hurt to be straightforward and up-front about things? I mean, I try to be.

mkk, I know. I'm afraid to even want to try to comprehend the depths of such despair or what could have led to it.

Modular Form said...

@tangled, mgeek: It doesn't hurt to be upfront. It hurts that you can no longer be upfront because the person in front of you apparently doesn't care anymore. Can you imagine what it takes to say 'Why can't you be a little more sensitive to what I feel?' Not when you say it out of exasperation, but when you have to say it to beg for the empathy that you so desperately need.
If someone doesn't say such a thing upfront, I say it's good for him. It means he has probably avoided hitting rock-bottom in the depths of despair :)

Ramya said...

People may leave but they sometimes leave themselves with you.

Tangled up in blue... said...

Modular Form, the problem with not being upfront about things is that sometimes, feigned casualness looks remarkably like real casualness. But I guess, if they haven't hit rock-bottom yet, it wouldn't matter that much to them if I can't tell that difference.

Ramya, I know. And they take a piece of you away with them. You're never quite the same again after they've left.

puneetsandhu said...

Don't be sad, friend. :)

R said...

Definitely therapy, this. One of the main reasons I haven't abandoned my blog yet, though it goes through regular periods of drought, is that it keeps me sane. Thank God for good writing, and thank God for having the capacity to be able to express ourselves.
About the post- what can I say? Very personal this- I've been there babe. And I hope that nothing came in the way of your having an absolutely fabulous birthday *hug*