A character in search of the author

I missed a beat. I had started off sending these mailers out with the intention of maintaining a rhythm of an update per quarter. I had been to Calcutta last December and was en route to Pune on New Year’s Eve and managed to reach my apartment just in time to ring in the New Year. The apartment that got burgled last month – but that is another story.

So having reached Pune just before the deadline I had set myself, I was too tired to live up to it. By the way, I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by. That’s a quote. I was also had this niggling doubt at the back of my mind. Well, two of them, actually.

Was I sending these out because I needed to say something or had I some thing to say? Cliché – but nevertheless relevant. The other thought was some feedback on whether it is prudent being so forthright, in these mailers. Emails do have a way in getting forwarded. But what would I lose if these get forwarded to the “wrong” people. Besides losing the job, that is? What does that mean? Well that is another story.

What were on my mind really were two observations or questions if you may, that stuck on from the brief time that Deep and I spent with Br. Mac. After hearing us yap away for a while he remarked that it was as if we were almost afraid of ourselves; that we were almost trying to convince ourselves that the life we were leading was really great. Really. Hmm.

The other one was that a lot of his students studiously avoid meeting him if they feel they have not been “successful” in life. Conversely, they showed up only when they had “success” to share. May be. I am not sure that that was what I was doing when I met him. I had reached out to him when the chips were really down. I owe it to him to have been able to rescue myself when I was really down. That was a long time back and is really another story.

My going to Narendrapur for a college reunion – the first one since I left college in 1983 – was definitely to face a ghost from the past. It was almost as if to assert that I have done better that what you thought I could. Can you believe it? It took me almost a quarter of a century to go back.

I had stayed off because I didn’t want to be embarrassingly remembered of shouted at as a trespasser. (That’s a quote too.) Some of you reading this email will know what I am saying and smile – it is enough to tell the others that it is not relevant any more. It actually is another story.

The story currently being played out is turning out to be a cliff hanger. It is filled with clues and no one is being able to figure out whether it is one of a dead man walking, or the unfolding of a chronicle of a death foretold, or whether it is a whodunit. I am out looking for the author so that I can replace him and write my own story before it gets out of control. May be I know the author already and am trying to screw my courage to the sticking place (Oh! ain’t he weary of these quotes) and empower myself.

Time is running out. To indulge in another quote before I send this out, “We will not end the nightmare, we’ll only explain it, because this is the Twilight Zone” … that’s from Five Characters in Search of an Exit.

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