They had moved with me to wherever I had moved.
They had flown with me to London. They had accompanied me to the rented house in Thalassery. They had moved with me to this house in Kannur. They had kept me company during my post graduation at Manipal and Mangalore. They had also moved with me to Calicut. Now, they are back here. They are inseparable elements of my life for they carry within them a part of me-
A part of me that I cannot locate within myself anymore.
I look at the dust piled up on them. And the cobwebs that spiders have woven around them.
They span the years from 1994 to 2008. In 2008, I had started blogging. There were no diaries thereafter.
I took them out from the shelf. I wiped away the dust and the cobwebs that time had woven around the fragrant memories that I had tucked into the pages of these books. It struck me then that I had not read them for many years now. The only year I had revisited was 2002. And perhaps 2006.
I was still not comfortable with the fragility that was palpable in my entries before 2002. Particularly 2000 and 2001.
However, today, I read through a few entries. I started with 1994. They were childish narratives. I read a few entries from 2000 and 2001. I wrote so differently back then.
In those entries, I was the centre of my world. I was the theme around which everything revolved. There was a simplicity to the emotions that I had poured into the words. Those entries were raw and highly personalized. But today, it is perhaps impossible for me to retain that tone. Somehow, a whole lifetime creeps into the spaces between my words. Today, I can only write from a broad perspective. A perspective wherein life replaces me as the central theme.
As I read the entries, it is possible to feel the vulnerable self that I lost to survival over the years. I love this feeling of briefly being in the shoes of someone I used to be once upon a time. It is a bitter-sweet feeling- this feeling of missing one’s own self. To the writer in me, this contrast is precious- this contrast between what I used to be and what I am now, between the vulnerability then and the numbness now.
It is in these moments that I am alive.
A spans the entries from 2000 to 2001, and then fades away towards the end of 2001. 2001 is in 3 volumes. My relationship with A is the central theme in those volumes- entries that represent my persistent effort to make sense of my feelings for him. All those entries radiate an anxiety and uncertainty I felt for I was baffled by the nature of our relationship.
So was he.
Sometimes I wonder if I will ever hear from him again…if I will ever see him again. In 2001, it would have been impossible for me to imagine that it was possible to lose someone who mattered so much…that they would disappear permanently from your life. It was impossible to imagine that you would see them in a different light as time went by…that you would see your relationship with them in new light.
It would be interesting to meet him after all these years. I wonder what changes time has etched onto him. I wonder if life has hardened him further or if it has managed to mellow him somehow. He was a rebel when I had known him in school and thereafter, but I could always spot the vulnerability and sensitivity beneath his defenses. His mother had expressed on many occasions her anxiety about his personality, but I was too young to understand then.
Between us, we had a strange chemistry. The verbal communication between us was always disastrous. He was fast, witty and brash, with interests that were different from mine. I was slow, dumb and shy. However, the non-verbal chemistry between us always perplexed us. There was something beneath the language of words that moved synchronously and in perfect rhythm, creating a strange bonding between us.
I loved him unconditionally. There was a certain sadness that I could feel in his heart that I wanted to heal and pacify. That sadness was not acute; it was deep seated and had therefore lost its fury. It was a sadness that had lost its voice, but was still needy. A sadness that responded to love, briefly silencing the rebellion in him. But then, it had been left on the burner for too long.
Those years lit up as I turned the pages of 2001. These pages bore the nostalgic fragrance of our relationship. I closed the diary and put it back in its place. There was a strange sadness within me- the sadness of melancholy. It had replaced the numbness of the years.
I suppose there is not much that a second person might identify in those words. The entries may sound silly. Entries that can only be brushed off as the impulsivity of adolescence. But having walked those paths, it is an altogether different story for me.
To me, these entries are my life. Life that somehow escaped me, unnoticed.
These diaries are sacred to me. For within them are people, places and the emotions that once connected me to them. People and places that would have changed with the passage of time. And so, it is only in these pages that I can find them again- the way I knew them to be…the way I want them to be.