The Blue Moon
The Blue Moon18 mins 22.7K 18 mins 22.7K
“Pardon! Can you repeat it again?” I heard the question. I wanted to hear it again.
“What about suicide? Can you please take the trouble to explain your question?”
“Once I was standing at the edge of a waterfall. It was utterly mesmerising. I spent hours looking at falling water, then merging with the pool, after a splash. The sound of this merge was immensely seductive. So seductive was it, because so continuous was it. And so lost I was in this continuity, I forgot myself. I wanted to be part of this continuity. I wanted to jump. Will you call it a suicide?”
That was weird. Not because the question was. I didn’t have a quick answer.
“Hmm! You wanted to jump!”
I acted for some time as I was pondering upon this unusual question. Suddenly, a voice came broke the silence.
“Some happenings in the past must be driving your crave”, a male voice attempted to answer.
In a psychological discussion, this is a very common answer.
“Do you want to introduce yourself? I think, you have missed a paragraph or two, related to the question.”
The girl stood up and left the room. Everyone in the room except me tagged this behaviour as rude. I continued with the lecture and interactions. At 7 pm, I left for a get together with my friends. My friends in between the party noticed that I was lost somewhere. Yes, I was. I was not comfortable accepting the fact that I couldn’t answer a question related to my profile. I teach psychology at a nearby college. In the evening, I go to a rehabilitation centre to interact with some local people who need my experiences to tackle with their anonymous ailments. And at this rehabilitation centre, I get opportunities to feel some different kinds of experiences. However, today’s was very different.
I couldn’t sit there for long, for I left in between for home. In the car also, I kept thinking about the girl’s query. Today was her first day. Was it a genuine query or she wanted to have the first impression in the room? Am I giving too much attention? I am generally not good at keeping details of face cut, makeup blah-blah. But, this time it was astonishingly brilliant for a 47-year-old professor. Her outfit can easily be called as bold- a black coloured deep neck t-shirt and pink short pants, with red lipstick and tightly tied hair.
I reached home with a heavy head, then talked on the phone to Ajitha, my wife, did some daily reading and went to sleep.
Coming morning was not less tough. I woke up very early in the morning. I called Ashi, my close friend, to talk about the weirdest dream I ever had. She picked up the call and I started telling about the dream.
“Ashi, I was sleeping in the dream also.”
“Ok. Where were you sleeping? Bed, couch...where?” Ashi hesitantly asked.
“I don’t remember clearly. I think, on the floor…”
“Before I could explain the happenings of the dream, you seem to be extra curious. Do you want to listen, or did I disturb you early in the morning? I won’t get hurt if you don’t want to talk. You can put down the phone.”
“You are yourself a good psychologist. If you are sharing some problem with me, I have to be extra cautious in getting the details”, Ashi convincingly proved her intervention.
“Ohh! Well, now you can see how disturbed I am. So, I was sleeping in the dream. And then, in the dream itself, I woke up and started to get ready for the college. In the mirror, I was looking like a fit, 23-24 year young man. In the next scene, I took the metro to go to the college. In the metro, I saw a girl wearing shoes, but the shoelaces were very strange. I started to look closely. Shoelaces were familiar to me. It was the long string from my pyjama. I started staring at the girl. I was amazed to see that I knew the girl. In the next scene, I am searching for that pyjama in my almirah. It was of shiny silver colour. When I saw the pyjama, the string was not there. The scene changes. It was the evening now. I was walking down the street. People are looking at my shoes and laughing. I look at my shoes. I am embarrassed to mention this Ashi, the shoelaces of my shoes were the strap of a bra………”
“What? The strap of a bra! I want to laugh…………….. Then?” She managed to control her silly laugh.
“Then, I rushed back home to get rid of the shoes. There was a party going on at home. A glass of wine was offered to me. I tried to look at the face. There was a mask. I, then realised that it was a Halloween themed party. Suddenly, the person who offered me the wine turned back. She was a girl. To my great awe, I saw that she was wearing the strapless bra of the same colour resembling my weirdest shoelaces….”
“This is so funny”, she started laughing. Her laugh was innocent, but I got offended. However, I ignored.
“Sorry to interrupt, and then what happens next? Did you see the face? Is she the same girl that you saw in the metro?”
“I couldn’t see, I wanted to see the face behind the mask. I woke up and…”
“I don’t think it is a difficult task for a psychologist like you to interpret this”, Ashi quickly got into the mode of a professional psychologist.
“I started to do. But, a doctor most of the times fails to treat himself in need. For me, it is complex.”
“I think you are attracted to the metro girl you mentioned. Who is that girl, do I know her?
“No, I don’t think so. She is a new candidate at the rehabilitation centre.”
“Ok. I would like to know if you wish.”
I asked the suicide question to her. Ashi couldn’t answer. She said that she wanted to know more to interpret this. After some formal talk, we put down the phone.
It was a big relief talking to her. I sat down to relax and made a call in the college to take leave. I stayed at home whole day. In the evening, I got ready for the centre. I was smiling while wearing shoes. At 6PM sharp, I was there talking to a drug addict. I was advising him not to think about ending his life. There is so much to explore and enjoy in this world.
At 6.15, she enters. She wore a strong perfume. I didn’t get distracted. I carried on with my lecture until the same sweet voice interrupted me.
“Sir, you didn’t answer my query yesterday.”
“Well, it is not my duty here to answer questions. We all share our views on life and its possibilities. We encourage each other to live happily, even after some very painful experiences. You can also share your agony. And then, we might be able to come to your query…”
“I am not suffering from any pain. I am not alone. I too am surrounded by people, loving and caring people. In fact, I have isolated myself from social gatherings. I prefer to live alone. It is just that, I think that I think differently. Sometimes I want to get lost in the happiness I am surrounded by. If I am enjoying a party, I don’t want to end that party until I die. If the party ends, it irritates me. The party that is giving me joy shouldn’t end. That break in the continuity frightens me. I want to die in between that continuity, in that joy. I was 18 years old when, with my family, I went on a cruise riding the sea. I was standing in a corner continuously looking at the tides. My eyes could see the vast and unending water. Those tides were giving me the excitements, I can’t explain now in words. I was happy. And, I wanted to jump…”
“You wanted to jump!” everyone except me, in the room exclaimed. I was standing silently.
“Yes! So now, tell me! Will this be called suicide?” She completed her sentence.
“As per the definitions of dictionaries, it won’t be called as a suicide. But, the process does call it. So your mindset makes everyone in the room think about your mental health………. And if you are not in any pain, why did you join this centre?”
She felt offended; didn’t wait for a minute and left the room. I thought that I defended myself well and regained my prestige of being a renowned psychologist. But, somewhere in my heart, I knew the reality. My defence was an indirect offence.
I didn’t go for the get-together today. I didn’t take any call and switched off my phone. I directly went home. After a long time, today I wanted to write something. I started writing and slept in between. When I got up in the morning, I found myself sleeping on the table, having a paper in my hand. I wrote a song last night.
“You liked me when you saw,
I was not real, but raw,
I want you to live in me,
Let I and you become us,
If you wonder, who I am,
If you ponder, who I am,
I warn you, not to scream,
I am your yester night’s dream”
What a weird song? How can I write it? No, I didn’t like you, so-called yesterday night’s dream. I immediately called Ashi and told her about the scary outcome of my incommoded mind.
“You are into it. This is not any kind of sorcery. Although, two days are not enough to conclude, but you are not coming out of the charm she bestowed on your…?
“Bestowed? Is that the word? Oh please! I am having a mental condition and you are throwing taunts.”
Ashi chuckles, “Not of course! I think you should meet and talk to her. You should know her as a person. Whatever happens to the chemistry between you two don’t bother, and solve the mystery.”
I put down the phone. She is of no help. I am so annoyed. I decided to go back to sleep. When I checked the phone after a long 6-hour sleep, there were thirteen missed calls from the college. I forgot to take the leave. I ignored .
At 6PM, I was at the rehabilitation centre. I was very less interested in the discussions today. My eyes were on the door. She didn’t come. I went to the reception after the interaction and asked the receptionist about her. Her name is Suvarna. I asked her mobile number. She didn’t give her contact number at the reception. I decided to go to her place. I took the address and leave. Generally, it takes 30 minutes to reach her home. I reached in 20 minutes despite evening traffic. I switched off the phone, for my friends were calling and I didn’t want to talk.
I pressed the doorbell. Suvarna opened the door. I was invited to the apartment.
“Why didn’t you come today?”
“Ahh! A stranger asks the question, I didn’t want to answer even to my known ones………… I am not feeling well today.”
“Hmm. So, can this stranger intrude on your privacy?
“I am sorry. I didn’t get you.”
“Your questions have created a sort of mystery in my mind. And I keep thinking about them. So, I just wanted to know why you perceive life so differently.”
She didn’t reply. She told me to sit and went to the kitchen. I sat on the sofa and started looking on wall interiors. On every wall, there were different kinds of 3D drawings. On the front wall there was a long road to the moon; on the left there was drawn a dense forest painted dark green; on the right, I could see the wall has a painting of the sea whose water is coming from the mouth of a blue moon; and the wall behind my seat was covered with painting of a well, very deep well, and in the center of the well, water is engulfing the reflection of the moon of the front wall. Before I could interpret the meaning of those wall paintings, she came with a packet in her hand and a knife. She tore the packet and spread the contents on the table.
“You know what it is!
I said no.
“When I was in class XI, I was given a lesson to memorise. I was not able to do this unwanted task. Why the hell I should memorise a lesson which I don’t like. I called my friend. He said not to worry for he was facing the same problem. You know, this is the advantage of being wealthy. We share problems, we share solutions. He said that he would bring me something. I waited. He came, gave this packet, and told to smell it through the nose. It was happiness. And that happiness took me to the world without sorrow, without any pain, without the worry of memorising that heavy lesson. My father accidentally found and threw it. I was punished for feeling the happiness. My father yelled at me and asked the reason to do this suicide. After everyone slept, I took it out from the garbage and kept it with me. I didn’t need it till now. Now, I am going to take this happiness again. From nose to the nostrils, then to the brain, then I will be on the moon… And I beg you not to break this continuity. Because in this continuity, I might die. You will be the witness that I died happily. If my family asks, you say that she died happily and it was not a suicide.”
“This is not happiness. Drug it is.”
“Shut up! For you it might be drugs, for me it is happiness. For you, living your monotonous life is happiness. I call your choice of life a drug. And I call your whole life a suicide? You buy that? You agree to that? Hmm?”
“No, I don’t. I don’t get bored with this monotony. I love my life. I love its ups and downs”
“If you love your life, you wouldn’t have come to see me and call me a mystery. Your life needs an excitement. In my views, the people of this world is so afraid and predictive of their lows, that they never fully enjoy their highs. I don’t want to suffer any loss. I want to have only highs!”
And, she fainted. No, she didn’t take the drugs. I threw all of them. I left her lying on the floor and went looking into her cupboard. I didn’t find what I was looking for. I went to the market and then to my home. I came back to her room with a bag. She was still lying on the floor. I dragged her with my full strength and took her to the bed. Suddenly, she woke up. I got scared that she might doubt my intentions. She asked for water. I fetched her a glass of water. She had it and then slept.
In the morning, she woke me up. I was feeling tired. I wanted to sleep more.
“You want tea?”
“I want to sleep more. Can I?”
“Ohh! You don’t want to go home and take rest? I am sorry for yester night’s behaviour.”
“No. that’s all right. I want to show you something before I go home.”
I grabbed my bag and then opened it. I showed her the shoes. There were two pairs of shoes.
She asked, “Why are the shoelaces looking bizarre? One of the pairs seems to be mine.”
I smiled. I told her about the dream, event by event, step by step. And then I told her that last night I was trying to make that dream real. Then, I asked her to look at my shoes closely. She started laughing so loud that I also started laughing with her. In that moment, I could realise merging in each other’s craziness. We laughed for hours.
We decided to celebrate the Halloween party exactly similar to the dream. She said that she would invite some of her friends and the party should be at her home only. I agreed to that.
I returned back to my home and switched on my phone. There were 26 messages. I called Ajitha that I was fine and just wanted to take rest. We have been divorced for a year now and so I didn’t need to explain each and every detail of the day.
Ashi’s message was very irritating. “I know you are with her. You very well know love is suicide. Hahaha.”
I knew she must have told this to my other friends. So, I ignored others messages too. Ashi doesn’t understand this budding relationship.
For the whole day, I kept roaming in the market to buy the scariest dress for the evening party. And, in the evening I realised that I don’t have to be in the dress to attend the party. According to the dream, I just have to enter wearing those weirdest shoes. It was embarrassing because I didn’t know how her friends would react.
Anyways! I went to the party. The surroundings were similar to the dream. I was offered the wine. I wanted to look at the face. She turned back. My eyes got wide opened as I see the strapless bra. I went towards her.
She removed her mask. She was Suvarna. I was overwhelmed with joy. I could feel that my dream became true. I behaved like a kid, shouted “Hurray” and started humming the song I wrote. Music became louder and louder as the night passed. Everyone was dancing with everyone. My mood was elevated. I was swimming upon the music. I saw myself in the mirror. I felt like I am 24 years young. She came near and whispered something. I couldn’t listen. I started feeling that the party shouldn’t end. I don’t want this revelry to end before I die.
I don’t know when I slept. She woke me up with a glass of lemon water.
“Let us go on a trip!” In the early morning, she proposed a plan.
“Yeah! I think it would be fun. Just you and me.”
“I don’t know. I was 16 years old then. I used to see the same dream every night. I saw the place in the dream. I want to fulfil that dream.”
“Hmm! Tell me the dream.”
“I don’t remember exactly now. I can tell in bits and pieces. There is some sand on my feet. A valley is there before my eyes. Such a dense forest I could see. I sit down there at the edge of the rock watching the valley. I turn to the left. There is a giant gorilla sitting next to me. I got scared. I ask him to go. He says that he won’t harm me. I become quiet. I could see hair on his body, but when I touch, it is soft. I get surprised. In the next scene, a snake comes. But gorilla kills the snake and protects me. So different we were. I shout “my friend gorilla” very loud in the dream. I start talking to him. He then dances for me. I am so happy. See! So many emotions in a single dream. I love playing with him………”
“Then, what happened?”
“I didn’t want my dream to end. Every morning someone would wake me up and I was never able to complete it. Let us go to a place like this.”
“Ok. Let us plan and then we will go.”
I couldn’t say no. We planned the trip. We packed our bags and began the journey same day to Pachmarhi. I left my phone at home. We reached in the morning, kept our bags in the hotel and started exploring the place. In the evening, we went to the see the sunset point. We sat down on the rocks and decided to wait for the sun to set. I was ready with the camera to take the view. After we got tired of looking at the breathtaking view of the valley, we started talking.
“Don’t you think, you skip paragraphs when you talk?”
“I don’t follow the grammars of conversation. I don’t like prefaces. I just talk”, she confidently answered.
“Hmm. Great. But, I feel we go so fast.”
“You have a problem with this?”
“No……. Not at all”, I took a pause and then continued, “How do you manage for a living?”
“I call Papa at the end of every month”, She replied with a cunning smile.
This was funny. We started laughing. Her father is a businessman. She doesn’t want to spend rest of her life being a businessman’s wife. And hence, she left her home and started living on her own.
We both got silent after that extended laugh, like both of us waiting to say something.
“I lied to you”, she took the initiative.
“I completed that dream one morning.”
“Hahahaha! Oh! The mystery box is opened now. You know, why I have come here. You very well know how to keep the mystery of your personality unsolved. And that’s what keep me excited to be with you. Sometimes, my professor’s brain want to be logical, interpret what you say, but then I decide to lose myself. I don’t get disturbed, even your lies make me happy.”
“Professor! You are flirting!”
“Hahaha! Not of course. Leave it. I want to listen to the lie.”
“Wait. You seem to be like a gorilla of my dream- rough in the appearance, softer at the heart.”
“Who is flirting now? Don’t change the topic and unveil the truth.”
“Hmm! So, I get tired after so much of fun with my new friend gorilla. We sit down watching the valley. I ask him how beautiful the view is, isn’t it the happiness? He nods in yes. I asked him why we can’t sit here for the whole life. Why can’t the experience be endless? And if I jump, would you jump after me? Gorilla was looking at me with wide open eyes like you are looking at me now, professor! And then I jumped, looking at the eyes of gorilla…………….”
And she jumped.
I couldn’t believe. Should I jump? My heart is not functioning. I shouted “suicide” and fainted. Next morning, I found myself on the hospital bed.
I couldn’t return to my hometown. I started living in a new city aloof from everyone I know. I joined a rehabilitation centre.
One evening at the rehabilitation centre, a lady on the stage is explaining, “Sometimes we prefer not to interpret. Sometimes we just want to watch. We want time, to watch what is happening and then react. We want to be the spectator and the protagonist at the same time. We deep in our heart at that time also know that we can fight with our foolishness, our stupidity. But we get so much involved in the happiness of this stupidity, we tell our brains to shut up!”
And I ask, “Will this foolishness be called a suicide…?”