“We speak for the dead. That’s the job. We are all they’ve got once the wicked rob them of their voices. We owe them that. But we don’t owe them our lives.”
-Captain Roy Montgomery
Are breaths and perpetual absence what divides the living from the dead?
If so. Then I’m really happy to be on this side.
Because even though there are times when we feel that the world will run the same without us… I like to be the living being.
And not be simple compounds or elements of nitrogen and carbon mixing in the soil, mixing in the air.
In the days gone by, I’ve been rewarded with moments I thought I’d never have. A random girl in class passed me a mint. The comps girl shared her ‘wedding’ story with me. I got a back-hug from a friend which made me feel wanted. Tris called me (and herself) “English Geeks.” I ate four chicken lollipops in college. Riri kept asking me about my life. Rhey told me about her time in Goa. Folks in class loved my heart printed pants! And my blue feathered earrings! Aaaand my secret angel from Raga finally sent me a note.
I know. These are not historical events that would have changed my life. It would have done to live life without them. To go to college and not have a free lecture. Or to carry an umbrella and have it not rain.
But it’s moments like these that somehow drive life into making sense.
I want to tell you about the garlic pizza I had. And the time my English Tutorial teacher thought my ‘Letter to the Editor’ was really good. I want to tell me about how I felt to have two new books to read and the irritating hours I had to spend fully wet because denim jeans take just so long to dry.
I may not make sense. But in our daily babble and mutterings and in the songs we hear and the answers we mug up – we keep talking about these little things that don’t need attention at all. We keep thinking about them. And sometimes we forget them.
Being alive is being able to experience these things – the pain and the joy.
Finishing ‘The Lovely Bones,’ I’ve realized that even though life has summed up to be as ‘It goes on’ -It simply doesn’t just go on. The sun comes out every morning, and the clouds hide it. A girl sneaks her face into the hood of her jacket and as usual, my bag’s too heavy for my right shoulder.
Because – Life shouldn’t ‘go on.’ It should be lived. It’s a routine that we have to come in terms to love with. We are called the Living Beings for a reason. And maybe life is that search for the reason.
I’ve seen rainbows and I’ve seen stars. I’ve looked at my face in the mirror.
I feel and I hurt. I hunger and I thirst. And sometimes I wish I was better than her.
But more than that. More than ever. I hate loving to get up every day – winter, monsoon and summer.
And knowing that today I get to breath again, and feel something I didn’t, yesterday.
To irritate someone with my presence and finish another plate of fried rice.
And I’m happy to open my eyes to the ceiling above.
Being a part of me.
And not a part of the wind. Or the grass. Or the laptop that sits in the hall.
But being here .. on this side.
On this side of the Living.