Its been a month since Udayan Shinde finally crossed the threshold into the great unknown. Perhaps the next world shall be kinder to him than the one he so briefly inhabited. I, on the other hand, must resign myself to the fragments he left behind. Perhaps my whole existence was a manifestation of his own imagination, and soon, I shall watch the world I know and hold to be so true, dissolve before my own eyes until I, myself, am slowly erased into nothingness. But for now, I do with the occasional visit to his weary, desolate house. I do with reading the lines in his mother's face, the jadedness in her eyes -- (Oh, heaven, release me from that haunting spectre!); eyes that give away the arbitrary, empty meaninglessness that her life has now become. And sometimes I hear the vulgar laugh of fate echoing in the unkempt recesses of his house, and in vain try to stifle the terrfying thoughts that enter the mind of a condemned man.
I have the consolation of knowing that he died quickly, painlessly. Also of knowing that both the police report and the autopsy have exonerated him of the vile charge of trying to end his tangled, confused life himself. Its a gamble really, every day, when we so casually try to drive those brutish machines on our roads. All that remains for me to do, then, is to chronicle my own perpective of this tangled web he wove (oh! but such a fine pattern it was!); to leave it to posterity to judge him and understand him.
I confess that I saw him only as any other man. We all have aspirations, loves, hates, talents and flaws. Udayan had his. But it was his constant struggle to understand, to rein the wild steed that fate had so cruelly forced under a man of such delicate sensitivity that to me, separated him from other men I have known.
In the final email I received from him before the end, he wrote:
I think I have finally discovered my place here :). There is nothing more traumatic than estrangement, nothing that gnaws away at one's soul like the curse of alienation. But I think I'm learning to deal with both of them. I once wrote to you that I thought life had no pattern, that it was only a bunch of random occurences to which no motive could possibly be ascribed. Perhaps I was a bit harsh in my judgement, definitely more than a little hasty.
Yesterday, on Bajirao Road, looking for food, I entered an obscure khanaaval, and ordered some Usal-paav. The Usal, steaming hot with a generous side-helpuing of rassa, almost made the hair on my skin stand on end. And the paav, dipped in this divine concontion, simply melted away in my mouth. Random, life may be, but it is extraordinary how beautiful in its simplicity it can be too, *sometimes*. On the very same day, I found myself in IBH looking for a lucid explanation of queuing theory, when I smelt the whiff of an intoxicating perfume. Who the wearer had been, whether a man or a woman, I do not know. But I felt humbled that nature should so conspire to reserve for me this singular, delicate moment of sensory delight.
You must think I'm going crazy. Sometimes I don't know myself why I write such things to you ;) -- perhaps I'm not helping my cause. But even If I were really only a raving lunatic, I can assure you of the sincerity of my convictions :).
BTW, I think i've finally figured out how to write poetry. The form comes easily, with practise, but the content is harder to work on. In my opinion (and there's a strong caveat on that ;)), intuitive writing is somewhat shallow, deliberate, false. Most of the poems I like have consistent themes and develop them using innovative metaphors. I intend to try this out (easier said than done, right? ;)) -- may require some discipline and patience and *lots* of time, but hey, time is all I've really got, right?