When I woke up this Saturday morning, it felt I had woken up to a similar morning in the month of April a few years back. As I sit up gently rubbing my eyes, I see the sun rays streaming in through the netted window, and, I quietly admire the inanimate objects perched on my study table illumine with the caressing light.
My gaze shifts to the wooden pen-holder and a well-sharpened pencil stands tall like a branch of a tree among other companions- a marker pen, ball-pen whose ink reaches up to the neck of its refill, glue stick and a virgin eraser, its chastity still guarded by yellow-cellophane. How beautifully the slim body of the pencil was painted in red and blue with a fish head adorning the rear end. I remember I had picked it up from one of the stationery fairs in Pragati Maidan.
Soon, I found myself indulging in memories, lost in a pool of reveries.
I was hell nervous about my Biology exam during Boards, not because of the million chapters on human anatomy but for the names of the 206 bones that I could not possibly come to terms with even after spending long hours and consecutive afternoons with the model of the human skeleton in the school lab. On the contrary, the bundle of bones stared at me with hollow eyes, gaping, almost pitying me from the other side of the locked glass door! A lanky withering man made of nothing but bones laughing at my miserable condition was all what I could call my fate. It wasn’t he who was locked, it was I, imprisoned by the towering walls of a world so harsh and tough.
I got up with a start when the alarm went off at 5am that morning. I had fixed a ‘breaking dawn’ date with the human skeleton, the one last meeting before the final farewell hours. My struggle to mug up all names and rework on the diagrams took a bow when I heard my mother’s footsteps approaching. To be honest, even my pencil was tired filling up pages after pages in a bid to perfect the imperfect human body.
Today, when I took the first sip of the ginger tea served in bed, I thought to myself, what was once an immediate remedy to mercilessly ward off last traces of sleep is now a drink to be savoured at leisure. The pencil is not a companion today, only a motionless spectator.
The study table is not scattered with assignment sheets, incomplete drafts or a stack of registers and volumes of books anymore. It bears the burden of today’s newspaper and the glossy, flimsy supplement peeking out from within the folds of its middle pages. History is not erased; past is not removed but replaced by the new.
Today’s rising sun looked exactly the way it did that morning, the ceiling fan rotated at a speed as low as 2, the same pace it was running at that morning, the pen-stand appeared to not have moved an inch since that day, even tea was served in the same cup and of course by the same person…it was a morning I felt so close to, yet a morning so distant, different and in denial.
Barging into my reverie, my father entered the room. Seeing me glued to the computer screen with the cup of tea in my hand, he exclaimed, “Are you still working on that article? Hope you got some sleep last night. Can’t you get rid of the laptop even on your one-day week off? These insane deadlines in journalism have reduced you to skin and bones!”
The skeleton in the closet grinned again; a morning from the past greeted me today!