I was too young to remember the first time I had thought that, ‘What if I find out that everything I see and everything I hear, is not the same as what others see and what others hear?’ Every time such a creepy idea came to my mind, I would shake my head and distract myself with anything that regular kids do.
But, I never got rid of this particular thought. Some things have a way of keep coming back. The only difference is that the idea is not so creepy any more. ‘Perspective’ is the friendlier term for this concept. Why should I be afraid to know that not everyone is seeing things the way I do? Why does it have to be such a bad thing? Maybe, it is so because we are naturally afraid to be alone and to accept this idea means to accept that we are after all ‘alone’.
I have started accepting this idea for quite a while now and what I have found is not loneliness but solitude.
“Once there was; once there wasn’t.
A long time ago, in a land not far away, when the sieve was inside the straw, the donkey was the town crier, and the camel was the barber……when I was older than my father so that I rocked his cradle on hearing his cry…..when the world was upside down and time was a cycle that turned around and around so that the future was older than the past and the past was as pristine as newly sowed fields…..
Once there was; once there wasn’t. God’s creatures were as plentiful as grains and talking too much was a sin, for you could tell what you shouldn’t remember and you could remember what you shouldn’t tell”.
-An excerpt from ‘The Bastard of Istanbul’.
It was not a full house as it usually is but still, there was enough audience. Around 9 pm, in the dimly lit auditorium, I cheered along with many others, the cast and crew of the Urdu play, as they all appeared together on the stage, beaming under the spot lights. The play was very nicely pulled off. I was especially happy because the main characters were played by three people with whom I am well acquainted and I also happen to like them. It was a happy moment. The next moment I received a text from a very old friend with whom I had not been in touch for months, informing me about our other friend’s mother who had passed away three days ago. Back in school, we used to be very close friends. I then realized that I haven’t been in touch with them for quite a long while. With all the cheering and clapping still going on around, I suddenly wanted to feel sad. I actually tried to feel sad and in the attempt, I left the auditorium to get away from the noise. Out in the dark and quiet, I called my friend so I could condole her for the loss of her mother and found myself out of words. What possibly could I have said to her to make her feel any better? It was an awkward conversation as nothing I said made any sense to even me. After all, I didn’t feel sad.