These days, strangely, the sun doesn’t set. It merely melds into a haze, smudging the horizon with its veiled presence for a while before dusk takes over the reins.
Standing in the balcony watching it, I feel a dull ache in my heart blotted like the sun in the distance. I gently put my hand where the ache was felt and trace its amorphous form. Beneath the pounding surface, I hear whispers of old wounds, timbre of recent woes, and the chilling silence of nameless fears. Memories breach their banks and form tiny mirages in the corner of my eyes. Through the blur it spreads, life looks distorted and unrecognizable on the other side.
When did the familiar sights and sounds become fragments of an old crystal ball? When did we forget the true meaning of laughter and become adept at faking our smiles? Who put a macabre spin on our simple stories and small delights? Whose sinister plan was it? And who will fix it right?
I get no definite answers, neither from the elements outside nor from the voice inside.
Then I remember someone telling me that this won’t last forever, someday it will all end, but that is hardly a consolation. ‘Someday’ is not a date that I can mark on the calendar and wait for it to arrive. You don’t settle things in ambiguity, do you?
As the sun’s crimson smear blends with the grey of twilight and the streets get into garish neon lights, I reckon, ‘there are no guarantees of tomorrow. All that there is, is the certainty of this moment. The day has passed and the night is yet to fall. If I must live, I must seize the interim, own this twilight.’
I step inside and switch the room lights on.
At the altar, where the God pictures are lodged, I bring a lamp alive. The flame sputters a bit before steadying itself. I join my hands at once, hold them close to my chest and stare at the glow in front of me in anticipation. I wait for it to speak to me; say a few reassuring words, but all that it offers is a quiet incandescence. In it, the dull ache of the heart melds, like the murky, summer sun dissolving into the haze.