Today, I stopped. I realized I wanted to remember.
It's been snowing for days. It was good at first, but slowly I got weary of it. I complained about the inconveniences and the mountains on the ground. Icomplained about the gloominess and just prayed for it to end. In all that weariness, in that constant running for cover, I didn't notice.
Or maybe I did, but I am not sure if I noticed enough to commit it to memory.
So I could remember.
There is something special about the present, every present, that is very very easy to ignore. We often romanticize the past, however past is but an accumulation of presents. There's something unique, irresistible and irreplaceable about today - this place, this time, and this version of me.
I wanted to remember.
So I stopped walking, let my arms free and my eyes wander. I smelt, I felt and I tried hard for my mind to remember this moment. Later, I took a few pictures, but pictures preserve but a fraction of reality. I let the snow flakes fall freely all over me until my hair was white and my lips blue. I looked at the surroundings - both the legacy and the potential of this place I find myself at - and tried hard to fight the feeling of insignificance for my life. I lost the fight when I saw how each snowflake kissed the ground and melted away like it never mattered - it represented every moment of my life thus far, passing me by, not mattering.
It is hard to value every tiny little - but unique in its own right - individual snow flake when you stand in an ocean of five feet snow. But they have to matter because it is them - those individual snow flakes - that combine to form the ocean of snow. Every moment in our life matters, if only a little, because their corpses accumulate to become the person we become and the life we've lived.
At long, one tear escaped my cheek. I was trying so hard to remember, but I knew I was failing at it. But the tear froze, and soon became indistinguishable from the droplets freezing and falling all over me. That's when it hit me that my individual grief is trivial and indistinguishable.
The city was asleep under a blanket of snow.
It was the third day of a snowstorm that had painted the city white and dropped mountains of powder everywhere its arms reached. All activity had abated as people waited, weary and warm inside their heated homes. They were trapped, but the storm didn't care. The storm continued to rage.
She walked around alone, marveling at how the snow made the earth glow up in the night. She liked the solitude, the calmness that the blanket of snow provided. Everything had slowed down, perhaps with the sole intention of giving her time to absorb everything that had happened. The winter made it hard to pinpoint the true cause of her frozen heart. She welcomed the ambiguity.
It was cold outside. And inside. She didn't care.
Flakes settled on her coat. She rubbed her fingers against her palm inside her coat one more time. Damn, she should have brought gloves.
Everything felt surreal. The leafless, colorless, still atmosphere around her was a far cry from the springy smoggy jungles she had left behind when she had hopped onto that plane. It had been four days now, three longer than had been planned, but she didn't mind too much. She was trapped here, she was trapped there. At least here there was no expectation to move forward.
Her eyes settled on a homeless man making an igloo out of the snow that continued to fall unabated. Loss did not have to translate to helplessness.
The breeze picked up and she felt her lips turning blue. She saw the open coffee-shop. A little rest wouldn't hurt. Besides, she wanted to watch that man finish his igloo. She went inside and took a window seat, after asking for a cappuccino.
Her mind wandered back in time again. The truth stared in her face. Actually, it always had, but she could no longer deny it. But she wasn't ready to confront it, and hence she had run. The business trip was a good excuse. She volunteered when someone pulled out last moment. At that time, she needed to put some time and space between them.
Now, she understood that both time and space had made their homes - permanently - long ago. There was nothing to save, nothing to confront.
She leaned back and closed her eyes. Moments and memories floated by. Her hands - by now warm - could feel the way he felt when she touched him. She rubbed her fingers over her palm, until the feeling was no longer there.
It was over.
She opened her eyes and saw someone putting her cappuccino in front of her. She looked at the cup, and saw someone that looked a lot like herself.
Her eyes traced the man who had handed her the coffee. He was the only one working in the shop at the ungodly hour where the only customers other than her were a teenage couple. He was the one she'd placed the order to when she came in, but she hadn't looked at him until now.
She stared at him for a long time before he finally looked at her and their eyes met. Neither could break the gaze. Neither talked, or smiled. In ten seconds, from ten feet away, they became friends.
Outside, the storm had abated. The snow glowed, but the air sparkled with freshness. The plowing, the paving and the melting would start in the morning, but for now, everything was just right.
She picked up her cup of coffee and walked the seven steps to the counter.
"I'd like to share my coffee."
He smiled. In seven words, in seven steps, they became soulmates.
Main Shayar to Nahi Magar ae haseen Jab bhi teri aankhon mein jhaankta hoon Gazal khud-b-khud likhi jati hai Tere aane se mehekti hai zindagi Tere jaane se saans theher jaati hai Jeene ki aarzoo teri muskaan mein hai Marne ka bahaana bhi hai wahi kahin Main shayar to nahi Magar ae haseen Woh lafz jo keh sakein tum kya ho Kisi shayar ke paas nahi