Story : Rajeev, Where Art Thou?

~Bikrant Koirala~Bikrant Koirala

Sometimes you need to free yourself. Give yourself a space wherein you can explore the possibilities you have seldom considered, may be you can go beyond the limit you have always wanted to but you simply didn’t dare. It could be because of your dilemma or could be of the uncertainty of the result that kept on looming around you bounding yourself inside its finite territory. But once in a while you happen to jump over all the hurdles, sit on a swing, which I don’t say will take you to the other side forever, but will definitely fill you up with a surreal but fantastic feeling that you always longed for. To and fro, to and fro you go, the rhythm of the swing will take you to your own place where there are no delusions, no dilemmas, no hassles, no troubles, not even the unavoidable sound that keeps on buzzing in your head all of the time.

What am I talking about? Does it make any sense to you, or is it any coherent at all. Don’t worry if it doesn’t go with you, it will definitely go or I would say it would fit with an exact precision with Rajeev. Now, with that saying of mine he needs and introduction. So, how do I start? Shall I begin from his childhood, or I just skip the rhetoric and come to the present, fixing the spotlight onto the grown young man and start telling about him. The latter one seems a bit of less work to me, and perhaps, to you as well. But the problem is, I don’t know where to find him. All of a sudden he vanished without any precursor, even I didn’t get a hint that he could vanish like this. But it wouldn’t stop me telling about him to you. No doubt the status quo of his is not known to me, I can always go back and infer those short accounts of his.

Last time, as I recall, I saw him was the time he visited me. We were both high, as there are plenty of ways of getting high, to be precise, we had a couple of sticks of weed. Rajeev didn’t believe in alcohol nor did he believe in any other forms. But weed, it was like he knew that thing from inside, as if he somehow learnt the smoke-language and talked to the every bit that filled his lungs. “Alcohols, they turn you crazy, but this thing, it makes sense out of everything, everything is so nice and clear, believe me with it there is no such thing called regret.” It was his philosophy. But don’t fancy that he was an addict like those you happen to come across in the alley; yellow teeth, dirty long hair and breath laden with stale odour of weed. He smoked, but only, when he felt the urge.

Rajeev was a guy who maintained his composure. Whatever be the condition; sunny or foggy, the flow of his was never turbulent. This was probably due to his aptitude; he was more inclined to the inner world than the outer. I came to this conclusion not after a numerous rendezvous with him, indeed, a mere first meet turned to be suffice. It was a tea shop, I still remember, he grumbled that his tea was too sweet, he preferred less sugar, less than the normal. After we finished our formalities and a bit of informal chats, he took no time entering his grave discussion topics. From his talks I inferred that he despised people. He despised them in a sense how they talk, how they think and how they live. “You know, what I don’t understand is that, why people are always in a hurry, in a rush. I see them always running after something. And in that rush they forget the truth; their own existence, they forget themselves.” For me, these were not the words that he told, but these words actually spoke of him, these were more than enough to read him.

Though filled with irony his talks always carried the essence of reality. The same reality that our ancestors bequeathed us in a hope that we wouldn’t suffer trying to get things that are no valuable than a trifle and the same things would be the sole cause of our troubles and pain. He once told me, “The thick dusty layer of modernity has buried our ancient wisdom, and look around you, the result of it, you see chaos everywhere. People are striving for peace which they don’t realize they themselves have killed a long time back.” The time spent with him was an opportunity for me to know a very different person, different than those whom I meet constantly. But more than that, it provided me with a chance to see the world through the eyes that only sought but never desired.

My eyes unknowingly search for him skimming off the people faces in the street. Sometimes I wonder, if he is just there sitting and sipping his low sugared tea or maybe he would come knocking at my door asking for a round of joint. But these are mere thoughts of mine, or better to call them, the dreams. Perhaps, it was him who always warned me about dreaming, “Live in reality, never live in dreams. You may become happy for a moment or two but as soon as you return and find the same yourself and the same things around you, believe me, the misery and helplessness will squelch both you and your happiness under its mammoth foot. So what I say is, be in reality however ugly and cruel it may seem.” His words always had an effect on me. The kind of effect that one cannot express but can only feel. They detached me from all the things around me, as if, I was free and nothing was there to disturb me. No sound that I could hear, no thoughts that I could think of, no images nor do any sensations and in that nothingness, I could feel myself, the actual me and it was the greatest of all feelings to feel myself inside me.

I think it was quite improper to say at first that there were no any indications of his sudden disappearance or you can call it my naivety not to be able to analyze the length of needle that had been through the cloth. His words were sophisticated enough to be understood by anyone, and as a matter of fact he himself was. And it was the reason why he barely spent his time with others. But don’t get the idea that he preferred aloofness to company, it was not his choice but a direct consequence of the way he looked at his surroundings. A bit of irony had a part in it too; he knew the things, but was reluctant to express it to others, and the others knew him, but were unable to see what he saw. And in the reply of my query he answered, “No, I cannot make them understand, because to do that, they have to be me, which I know well that they can’t be.” Now, as I think of him, I wonder if he has found the place where he actually belonged, where he is fully understood or he is elsewhere lone and aloof.

“My friend, remember, there are two and only two kinds of people. One who only lives and the other who lives trying to understand the reality. And at last, if anything matters then it is not the result but the endeavour to achieve it.” His words surround me. The loosely hanging window curtain of my room lets only a fraction of light seep through it. I look myself in the mirror and ask the same question, where did he go all of a sudden? Where?

(Source : Author sent it via ‘नयाँ रचना पठाउनुहोस्‘ functionality of this website. )

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