Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Symmetry and Patterns

Excerpt from my travel journal

31st of August, 2008

Symmetry appeals to my orderly human mind, especially in the midst of senselessness. What then, I ask you, is more senseless than the chaos of the ordinary human life? Today, I see a bit of that elusive symmetry in my life, and I see it - or rather, it revealed itself to me like the quiet blossoming of some easily-overlooked wayside flower in a drizzly morning - as I stare idly into the distant nothing from Platform One of the Salem Junction Railway Station.

I find myself once more in the company of my most dependable of travelling companions; my black bags which oft-times doubled as either chairs or footstools, whichever service I happen to require more in those thoughtful Lulls I often find myself trapped in - the sort usually found in between the Time of Arrival of My Train and the Overly Early Time I Arrive at the Station Because I Worry Too Damn Much.

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And here I am on the right side of 9:45 am, waiting for the 6628 West Coast Express, the same train which I rode to Salem two weeks ago at the start of my holiday. I am a man of many fancies so indulge me a little here; it seemed to me like the last two weeks happened in some isolated pocket of time quite divorced for the real-time the train and the rest of the world ran in. While two weeks have come and gone for me, the train stood relatively unmoving outside my personal pocket of time, waiting for my return.

Okay, I'm actually waiting for the train here but like I said - indulge me.

It's not quite deja vu but it's close enough a thing, this symmetry stuff. If the world's a laptop and my life's an mp3 file, this is the part where it repeats a beat when there are too many operations running at the same time. Wait, does that happen with Windows Media Player too? Maybe that only happens to me because I use WinAmp to play my songs...

There, my thoughts have wandered out of their paddock again. This occurs very frequently when I am wanting sleep. Phoebe and I arrived in Salem at about 2:00 am earlier that morning from Kodaikanal, from our fortnight vacation, and what with the unpacking of things and repacking them, and a much needed cold shower (the cold part wasn't a choice - welcome to India), I only managed to scrape together a mean 3 hours of pillow time.

At 10 to 10, the train, in a reenactment of its slight lateness two weeks ago in arriving to Salem, was here. Once more, I alighted the S2 Sleeper Car but found my berth instead at number 48 - and the berth wasn't all that I found. A man of a grandfatherly age was already in it, snoring like a motor. I could wake him but I did not. If there's anyone deserving rest, it's the old. I understand that, being a little tired of Life myself at 22.

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The seats opposite my berth were only half-filled, mercifully, so that's where my black bags and I found our little share of the train. And then it began - almost imperceptibly at first, the car started to move. I gazed out through the window, thinking shallowly and letting the memories ripple. 2 and a half years. Flaying a dead guy. A messy breakup. A ruined 21st birthday (not mine). Mum (the dog), Socks and Fifi. This blog. A wager I won in the Paediatric Outpatient Clinic in Udupi. End Point. Steak Sauce Pasta. Diwali of 2007. Boxing Day of 2007. McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala. Bangalore Bus Station. Mold. Rain. Mr Pancreatitis whose real name I still remember because someone say I wouldn't. Mr Happy! The trophy hole in my Timberlands. The rot on the back of my left wrist. Sunrises. Sunsets. Cold lips. Short, sharp breaths of something like pain...

And Phoebe.

Just Phoebe.

Today is the last of my last days in India.

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And it felt - though it really shouldn't - like leaving home.

4 comments:

Zzzyun said...

I felt the same way too. when i finished my course in imu.. and had to leave KL.

Altho the place I stayed wasn;t the most comfortable, I still didn't really want to leave. bcs this is the place which have been my home for the past 2.5 yrs.

But like it or not, I still had to. I guess, with every beginning, there is an end.

so many memories...

bevE said...

why shouldnt?

WHY U UNCONTACTABLE U QUARANTINED DISEASE IZZIT

fubi said...

wheeee xD i like d last part of d post T^T

k0k s3n w4i said...

zzzyun: but still, ur leaving m'sia. I'm talking about leaving india. most of my colleagues think i'm nuts :(

beve: good question. i shall file that for further contemplation

fubi: shhhh...