Monday, November 28, 2016

BlindSpotIt was only apt that we met today at a place where cultures mixed their earthen colors into a rustic splash under the shades of a grand, old banyan tree and the mud walls housed the terracotta of a primitive era nearly lost to urban mankind. We drove on the boulevard of worldly conversations and found ourselves a corner shaded by an ailing teak where we sat and sipped on a heady mix of abundant winter sunshine and cool afternoon breeze.

I looked at her as she gazed dreamily into the horizon trying to blend her thoughts with trees around or perhaps the clear blue, winter sky. It was difficult to imagine what she could be thinking at a given point. It could have ranged from the pottery of the Indus valley civilization or the madhubani wall mural we saw earlier, to time travel or a hypothesis about afterlife.

Nonetheless, we began talking and she mentioned that it would be so much better if people could be honest with their true emotions and could voice them without having to fear disgrace, shame or judgment by the ones they confide to.

I couldn’t agree more but then I thought that there aren’t many people in this world who have the strength and the intellect to comprehend and soak in the complete truth without being opinionated, biased and judgmental.

Just like our brain compensates for the blind spot in our visual fields by interpolating the surrounding detail and information from the other eye so we normally do not perceive the blind spot, our mind tries hard to compensate for a stinging pain in the heart by striving to keep us engaged in the trivial distractions that this life otherwise offers. The pain never eases and is never cured. You just forget about it momentarily and live as if it doesn’t exist. It is perhaps for the same reason that while you can move about in your daily life, attending to people and life in general, the time that you lie curled up during the night doesn’t go by easily.

It is easier to cower behind the sheath of our brittle reference frames than to step out into the Sun and accept our ugly, stark nakedness. The palls of falsified versions of our own beings are easier to conjure and live by than to deal with our brazen truths. Truth is often, like a bullet lodged in the spine that continues to hold its place and forces you to an unending misery but doesn’t kill you. The epidural of our dissembling and guises helps us survive pricks and incisions of our conscience. Slowly the calcite of our pretense layer up on the needles our scruples dish out and renders them blunt, if not totally soft. 

I told her that a blind man has no use for a mirror and she went silent.

I could understand why she succumbed and took a knee and resorted to putting up a facade than to throw open the flood gates and submerge her own foundation. What I couldn’t bear to watch was her slipping away into a quicksand of her own contorted thoughts and be a victim of her own assumptions. It is easier to imagine that we would go about living forever and there will come a fork in the road where we will be able to choose which way we should take. The clock, however, continues to tick and one needs to account for a contingency where there could be a sudden dead end on either of our individual paths. Choosing not to accept that outcome to our tales is another blind spot.

She put up a fake smile. I excused myself on a false pretext to give her a moment to collect herself. The thatched roof allowed the rays of sunlight to trickle through and reflect off her glistening lips. She suppressed a tear and patched it up with small talk when I returned. We let the moment slip away and cloaked ourselves in meaningless conversation and to exhaust the little time we had.

I then escorted her back to her pale drapes and she picked up another flimsy alter ego to cover herself.


How do we know said...

This is beautiful! Very accurate and very beautiful!

Himanshu Tandon said...

@HDWK: Glad you like it.

Anonymous said...

A smile... sunlight... thatched roof... small talk... beautifully worded, talks of a bonding beyond words... Powered by Blogger.