You make take this as a cautionary warning or get an idea as to what is ahead (rather below), an invitation to read or a kind apology regarding an uninteresting genre: You’re going to read a few experiences of mine.
There are many terms for the many experiences that one goes through. Though the word itself doesn’t mean anything, it simultaneously explains the doubt and understanding of one hearing it for the first time. The word, ironically, doesn’t strike the ones who need it the most, needing to express their past.
If you are still interested in this piece, you sure are determined.
Starting around five years ago, till when I left the place twenty-seven months back, every road trip from Abu Dhabi to Dubai has been proof of an invisible link in time and space. The event that warrants my recollection is that when we (all four of my nuclear family) cross a certain point on the route (approximately midway through the Jabel Ali Free Zone, where numerous cold-storages are located), we begin discussing about the same person, every time. A man by name Shyam Sundar, a distant cousin of my dad’s. That we should start speaking, of all people we know, and at that particular point on the route is in itself strange, let alone that the man himself hangs in our memory courtesy a heart-rending story of survival.
Another set of weird experiences includes numerous instances of ‘mind reading’. The most recent example of such an experience was in a Math period (12th, NPSK-2008). The class was taken by Mrs. Chitra, whom I would never credit for great vocabulary or use effective and summative words (at the right time). It was the penultimate period of the day and the students were (as usual) oblivious to her diminutive presence in the classroom. Then she (as only she can) declared open war against the ‘Back-bench-Boys’. Her first ‘victim’ was Harsha – a bespectacled and stretched version of the ancient and righteous king of the North. The poor boy was recounting his ‘Out-of-School experiences’, and hence pulled up and shouted at in the following manner: "Harsha! What are you doing there? Have you finished integrating cos 3x?". And when he doesn’t respond, she roars on. "Come, come and do it ON THE BOARD!!!".
Harsh stands, and just stands, with his eyes looking down and fingers searching for a page numbered two-hundred-ninety-nine. Mrs. Chitra screeches again, "What are you doing there? You have no shame or what? Is this what your parents have taught you? You .. you .. you ..".
And that was when it happened. The words materialised in my mind: ‘You incorrigible imbecile’.
Mrs. Chitra continues, "You incorrigible imbecile. Get out of the class!".
Call it whatever you may, but there have been many such events that make me think about ‘coincidence’ less often than an ‘irregularity in Design’.
The next one is subtle in its strangeness, but perplexing all the same. It started in November (of 2007), when a thought struck me: What if you come across a friend of years past and greet him/her. And in reply, he/she says, "I can’t remember you".
The answer to what this could mean, came in June (2008). It actually inspired me to write the poem ‘In Ignoration’ and in the process, my pen (really, my simple and unassuming ball – point pen) gave me the answer.
If you have read it (on RiBHUS), you will remember the two lines:
" ‘Twasn’t a twist of fate,
An everyday error: to forget. "
Having just inked the comma after ‘fate’, several possibilities chased each other in my mind; and before I made up mind, the second line was there, penned neatly (as neat as my handwriting can be).
Whether it is my sub-conscious that is optimistic or it is my pen that is in cosmic control, I may or will never know.