Tabassum Hasnat



Tabassum Hasnat


The Deathless Recollection

The Deathless Recollection

9 mins

Leaning against the old black leathered recliner in some corner of the living room, I clenched my fingers away too tightly around the cell phone as I placed it atop my chest. A series of sighs wheezed their ways out of my lips while a wave of fatigue tugged at the corners of my lids. A malicious veneer of weariness hardly ceased to get on my nerves while my phone continued to beep away with notifications from all those stories and statuses that slapped the heart-rending news of the demise of someone whom I'd never met yet whom I had never failed to admire from afar.

While the internet roared and rumbled with heartfelt condolences, prayers, and eulogies, my mouth remained parched and sealed perhaps too numbed for mumbling out loud any words of lament. There was a silence screechingly paving its way to every nook of my mind, ripping all apart until fleeting recollection of words mostly those of his memorable dialogues began to whirl hither and thither across those lids of mine.

"I suppose, in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go. But what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye."

I shut my lids, as those words iterated behind them. And I remembered, how I had mouthed these very words voicelessly to myself with fists curled up to my chest every time it hurt, so immensely and ineffably from letting go of those memories that needed to be discarded at the earliest for my own good. I remembered, saying these words to myself over again and again and hardly pausing to tend to the lungs that throbbed for air until I was able to let go of those uncountable questions and queries that clouded my mind and stabbed at my heart as I sought closure for the desertion of all those people who had vowed to be there by my side yet left me sans any goodbyes let alone explanations that I believed was the least I could deserve. I remembered, whispering these words to myself every time rues and regrets swallowed me up amid the chasm of emptiness that screamed how wrong I had been to let go even though it was the sole way to spare the chance of redemption to myself despite every heartbreak and loss that seemed irrefutable till I breathed my last. 

"Sometimes the wrong train takes you to the right destination. "

And I remembered the smile that had erupted upon my lips as my eyes took in those words, etching them in neath the depths of my mind. And that was when these very words had given me my brokenly clipped wings back, to fly and continue to fly regardless of the times that were spent stumbling and falling apart until I learned to get back on my feet again. That was when, I ceased to question myself a hundred times before taking a step where incertitude yelled far and wide in every direction, relentlessly. That was when, the fright of bracing the burden of several blunders upon my shoulders before arriving at that one right thing of my life slowly dissolved, unchaining me and bestowing me the joy of dancing to the rebellious jingles of my heart even if that mind of mine forbade to do so. 

"Pack a pillow, and a blanket, and see as much of the world as you can. You will not regret it. One day it will be too late."

And I remembered, those umpteen times I had reminded these words to myself while stepping out of every zone of comfort albeit with wobbly steps before witnessing the world with a different pair of eyes. I remembered, those countless times I had dug through the corners of my mind seeking these very words to say out loud whenever the tides of dubiety and uncertainty raged through my insides, shackling me incessantly from coming out of my cocoon and brace every odd of the world without any stone unturned, and regret stinging in the depths of my mind. I remembered, those numerous times these words had seemed to echo in the canals of my ears when I held myself back from living life to the fullest due to petty tints of darkness that seemed to creep its way to every inch of my being with the only intention of making no its captive for the rest of my life.

"Life is very busy these days, there are too many people and everyone wants what the other has. "

And I remembered, consoling myself with these words when there was no shoulder available for me to rest my head on it while I reeked of loneliness in this vast world despite being wrapped around the crowd of hollowly attachments and relations. I remembered, crying out with bitterness muttering these words under my breath when my head ached painfully from the dampness of my own pillow while the claws of a foreign hollowness soaked up every bit of me despite the constant movement of beings everywhere in front of my bare eyes. I remembered, with broken sobs and a waning curve resting on my lips I had placated myself to sleep while these words kept becoming the favorite lullaby of mine in those hours that were wasted in self-pity with scraps of insecurity lingering here and there, only for me to weave my way through the rest of my day with an unwavering smile on my face and a newfound resolution to work hard and giving my best in whatsoever that would give me the sense of contentment, not for a brief moment but for everlastingly. 

"Doubt is useful. It keeps faith in a living thing. After all, you cannot know the strength of your faith until it has been tested."

And I remembered, doubting myself in every stage of my life only to invest more than before in upholding the faith in myself neither less nor more but just as much as I needed to believe in this being of mine. I remembered, sinking in an abyss of doubts and qualms not once or twice but multiple times only to arise with a fortified belief in myself despite the odds that had been stacked against me. I remembered all those skeptical gazes or frowns of dubiousness that had been cast in my direction only to grow the seeds of self-confidence in the pits of my soul that had pushed me to tread on the paths where nothing but the best and only the best laid for me. 

"Sirf insaan galat nahi hote, kabhi waqt bhi galat hote hai."

And I remembered the moment when these mere words that left your mouth made me come across the beauty that compassion and forgiveness retained. I remembered I had, at last, learned to endeavor more often to peek beneath the surface before harboring any grudge or a speck of resentment for the ones who had knowingly or unknowingly wronged me. I remembered, I had taught myself to always leave a chance to hear the other side of the story, of the one who had wronged, even if every bit of it cut through my heart as I reminded myself that time could also be wrong at times and not always us. 

"Rishte kisi guarantee card ke saath toh aate nahi hai. "

And I remembered the laughter that had rumbled out of me the instant I heard these very words and couldn't help but nod my head ceaselessly until the back of my neck writhed and wrenched with spurts of spasm; for that was when I had finally come to terms with the changing dynamics of these several ties that I held so closely to my heart until they toxically pierced through me, making my very heart bleed with shards of the serenity that they once held while enervating the pits of my soul with constant phases of struggling and grappling to hold them together through all ups and downs of life with uttermost earnestness howbeit to no avail. I remembered that was when I had known that not every bond was meant to last throughout the span of one's life. 

" Mohabbat hai is liye jaane diya, zidd hoti toh bahon mein hoti."

And I remembered, the days spent with me playing these words in my mind while wails and whines of my first ever heartbreak broke out of me, as the streaks of acceptance began to glisten across the crevices of my shattered heart, healing it bit by bit. I remembered the nights spent with sleeplessness along with these words yet again lulling me to a shallow slumber while imparting the power of letting go of the love that I had solemnly and foolishly believed to be mine and solely mine.

I remembered all those moments where along with getting over the doom of the heartbreak and also mourning over the absence of my bygone lover, I came across the nameless beauty of loving someone with every ounce of selflessness that one could have even if it had been an unrequited one.

"Ek baar toh yun hoga, thoda sa sukoon hoga, na dil mein kasak hoge, na sar pe junoon hoga."

And I remembered those brief instances of peacefulness that seemed to engulf every fiber of my being when I had at last mastered the deftness of living this life of mine through the perpetual hues of ephemeral yet ample happiness or the deathless yet momentary stages of grief be it for anyone or anything. I remembered the brief instances of the absence of those pangs that debilitated the chambers of my heart when I had at last known to bless my heart with the hopefulness that acceptance always brought along with it even at the times when anguishing darkness of misery prevailed over everything. I remembered the brief instances of the calmness that surged far and wide in the depths of this mind of mine when I had at last acquired the skill to hold the reigns of the chaotic demons that dwelled inside of it before it could rend me away from the core of my very being. 

"Aadmi ka sapna toot jaata hai na, toh aadmi khatam ho jaata hai."

And then, these words ricocheted deep inside of me; as an abrupt wave of agony rushed through me for I felt it in my bones as if carved into my flesh from the very beginning, giving me the taste of the nasty pain that held the power to crumble your world apart, split your heart into halves and devour every nook of your mind when the dreams that you had woven with tenderness and patience barely took less than a nanosecond before crushing into nothingness and never be able to be met with the bliss of realization. 

My lids fluttered open hurtfully, as the phone held tight atop my chest juddered in my hands only for me to read out loud the already known news for the zillionth of time. "Internationally acclaimed Indian actor Irrfan Khan dies at the age of 54." The words remained sprawled across the vivified rectangular screen ever so boldly while I shut my lids once again, perhaps in pain, or perhaps in the futile attempts to wipe away the never known before angst of the void that now breathed so vividly right in the core of mine. And now whose words would work as the anchor to my sinking soul through every storm and explore my life? I pondered mutedly. These words, and the memories, imperishably engraved in the depths of my mind would never die a death, and would always be there lifting me up by knowing or not knowing. " - I heard, almost in a cracked voice from the void that felt deathless too.

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