Wednesday, September 19, 2012
The Birthday of Loss
During our telephonic conversation today, A suddenly pointed out to me that when we were children, our grandmothers would give us fifty-one or a hundred-and-one rupees on every birthday, and as we would shyly take the money in our fingers, we would think how immense the sum was. But today fifty or hundred rupees is too little to even get us a decent pizza, let alone a proper lunch. He said how the cost of living had risen, and I pointed out how the value of money had lowered -- money being a microcosm for our entire value system. As I reluctantly turn twenty-four today, I mourn the loss of simplicity, innocence, values, the purity of love, and the uncomplicatedness of life. I don't want to sound lofty, but every day I regret the part of me that dissolves into the past, to be replaced by a more mature self that worries about bills, about keeping warm food on the table, about how the next book will arrive on the doorstep, and who will look after the elderly relative. Sometimes I wish I was young again, lying in green meadows with reckless abandon, and looking up at the blue sky with patches of white clouds -- luxuries which even as a lonely child growing up in the suburbs of North Bengal, I didn't have. Thanks to Anne, my imagination quite made up for it. Just as it is working overtime at this very instant, conjuring up images of scrumptious cakes and delightful wines in an imaginary homeland far away, that will remain ever elusive, and hence always starkly craved for.
After all, what is life, but a series of intermittently painful Sehnsucht?