I mean a place where you can run away to, where you will be happy. I am sure I had one.
But I don't remember it now.
I was very sad. Sad about lot of things. I wanted to express this to someone. But I couldn't. It had repercussions. So the logical thing was to shut up and let the time pass by.
But then you cannot be silent forever. It suffocates you after some time. Then you think about the happy place. The place where you will be happy because that is the happiest place you have been to.
So many places came by when I tried to go there. Like those pictures that are rotated to get a feel of motion, they zipped passed my vision. It was like there was no happy place for me. Atleast not a true one.
I am quite disappointed about the fact that even after all these years I didn't have a happy place where I could take a recluse.
Or perhaps, I didn't need one before.
I never wanted to run away there. I never had done that before. Until now.
May be I need to have a happy place. A place where I will be a bystander, watching what is happening and being happy about it.
Sometimes you fall into a dream while sleeping only to know that you have been only sleeping when you get up. That is what life in Marseille was all about.
On a windy and cold morning in November I came here. I came in with nothing and I am going back with everything. I haven't gained anything that I wished for. But I gained so many things that I never asked for. I did not learn anything new but I gained so much insight into my life. Things I never would have learned in the busy streets of India.
I know it was just a dream. Now I have woken up to my life.
Life became slow. A curious ponder about infinite mundane things that I could otherwise wouldn't have ignored in the plethora of distractions. It defined a sufficient, necessary and absolutely necessary things I require in my life.
Sometimes it takes a lifetime to understand what one wants. But once you find what you really want then you have life to live, you think everything is figured out. Wrong, the biggest irony is you know what you want but you can't do it. You are bounded by your own strings that you got attached with over the period. It is a curse I believe.
Back in Bangalore, I see instances of Marseille. And those instances take me back there at least for moment. Some times you ask the question of Why. Why you went there ? Why you left there? and so many other whys. I have learned to laugh at my idiocies. But I think sometimes there is a tear or two that drops when I laugh at them. But then thats life. Isn't it ?
I thought only in India you can stop a train and make it wait until all your family and friends from the village in the horizon have boarded. But apparently in France too, you can do this. This is an account of the story that happened last Saturday.
On Saturday morning we were on our way to Island of Porquorolles. It is the most the visited island of France after Corsica. To reach there, we took a train to Hyeres, then a bus to Tour Fondue. In the morning when we took the bus, we covered this distance in 25 minutes. From there we took a ferry to the island.
In summer, Porquorolles is like a green dry patch in the blue hue that encompasses it. It is filled with gorges and calanques along with olives, grapes and some other rare vegetations. To cover the island before the end of the day, we hired bikes. As soon as we started, we missed the turn that would have kept us on the route the rental bike told us. But the badass overconfident bunch we are, we missed it.
After toiling for almost half a day and discovering the island in a very strange manner, we decid to go back. But not before the customary dip in the Mediterranean. That was epic! It was stunning blue water and quite calm to swim around.
As per our plan, we were supposed to take the 8.02 PM train. That was the last train to Marseille from Hyeres. As per our estimate and also, the god aka google maps, it would take us 25 min to reach Station from Tour Fondue. This was verified by each of us when we came in. So we took 6:00PM ferry from the island to Tour Fondue. When we reached the dock at around 6.30 the bus to station was already waiting. Few of my friends were already queueing up to take the tickets. The bus to station was every 15 min. So ideally we could borrow 30 minutes to roam around the city of Hyeres.
I think I was salesman in my last birth. I sold to my friends the idea that we can take 7:00 PM bus. After the sale, I roamed around Hyeres. At sharp 7:00 we boarded the bus with gleeful faces.
As soon as the bus started to move, we caught a glimpse of catastrophe that is going to strike us. We were going to be late because of the snail like traffic. The god, after estimating all odds were saying that we will reach by 8.02PM . That is going to be close. Or nearly stating the fact that we are going to miss the train.
Except for 3 us, everybody else had an invisible streak of sweat on their forehead. We were poking each other and telling the tales of people could stop train in India. But inside our head we knew how this out turn out. No place to go, people getting frustrated, accusations etc.
We reached the station at 8.02 PM as predicted by the god. I ran towards the platform. As I was entering the platform, I saw the station master. We asked in which platform 8.02 PM train was, the guy gave a blank look. Then somebody found that it was in Platform C. Normally there is an underground passage to connect from one platform to another. I started frantically searching for them. Then it occurred to me that, since the station was small, we had to run towards the end of platform and literally cross it. We started running towards the end of the platform.
Somehow I reached the end of the platform only to see the guard giving the signal to the driver. He was going to close the door. I gasped and in my sign version of French language, I asked him to wait for my friends. Then guy 1 came and joined me.
We both were waiting and seeing the "Tamasha" that was happening across the platform
Guy 2 was running with shorts coming loose. So he stops in mid way and tightens his shorts and then starts to run again! The way he did would make anybody laugh and roll over. Guy 3 was running towards the end of the platform to cross but he suddenly stops and then retracts. He starts to run in the opposition direction. Guy 4 stops him. They are telling something which we can't here. Apparently Guy 3 thought he forgot his goggles so he was going back to collect it. Guy 2 was telling him that it is still on his face! Gal 1 is looking for Guy 4. Checking behind first when he was actually in front of her
Now comes the epic scene
Gal 2walking leisurely to the end of the platform. By this time everybody is inside the train is waiting for her to come. However to everybody's' horror she walks leisurely. Everybody started to shout asking her to speed up. After sometime she cuts the platform and come in.
The guard is not screaming saying that he is going to loose his job. The train is late by 2 min when we started to move!
I was in Paris this week. I got down at Franklin D Roosvelt Metro Station and I had to catch Metro 1 to connect to Louvre. A series of twist and turns takes you from Metro 9 to Metro 1. I love them. There is a sense of romanticism that creeps in when you walk through them. A subtle happiness of how your life turned out to be. About what you were and what you became. Nothing great compared to many greats. But it is a simple realization that life, as such, is simply beautiful.
While walking towards my next boarding point, I could hear a faint music from guitar. It perfectly matched my thoughts. Like a beautiful ode to that simple, yet beautiful moment. I laughed with all the innocence my chubby cheeks could offer.
He wore a grey jacket with the guitar case in his front. He had few coins in it. The lady walking before me added one more. Then she raised her head and our eyes met for a shimmer. There was a smile on her face. May the same that I had.
The pace I was walking, I passed him briskly. May be I saw a CD cover. May it was his own. Then I had this sudden urge to tip him. I frantically searched for a coin in my wallet. I had few cents. May be 80. I stopped walking, turned and started walking towards him. Nobody was behind me. Except for the tunnel and the man playing the guitar there was nobody. I put the coins in his case and told a thank you.
Another beautiful night in Paris. Oh Paris, Je t'aime!!!
Beyond what there is, there is more. And sometimes even more.
What I eyes don't see. Yet visible enough, in a shade and in a language which only heart can understand.
Cold breeze from the port mouth ran its icy fingers, to freeze thoughts which, now, come as random guesses. Or are they?
Under the bus stop sign, the man in black jacket stood. His impatience engraved on his pale forehead. May be for the bus that was late or may be for the baby who waited for him, back at home. Or may be just like that.
Another set of icy fingers touched and shivers ran again. Hood of the black jacket, covered his unshaven face. He has been waiting for before we came. May be he will come in the same as mine. From the distant horizon, the yellow lights of the bus became visible. It was speeding towards us, as if its sole purpose is to meet us.
My friend gave me a bisou and we parted. I walked towards the bus, expecting what the man in black jacket would do.
As I boarded the bus, I paused for a second, like giving a way for the man in black jacket to enter. But he didn't. The bus started to move. I saw him standing there with the same worried expression.
For few minutes, I racked my brains for the multiple reason about his expression. There were plenty but none seemed to fit exactly into the situation.
It was time for the Holmes to retire. I sat down and watched the shimmering lights pass by as the bus sped towards Redon.
F: What is up ?
H: Nothing much. Working in the lab.
F: So late?
H: We researchers work late. We have to.
F: So did you think about it?
H: Yes. I am a very simple guy. Wants to have very simple life and do simple things in life.
F: hehe...i am not that complex
H: Ya ya, I am a small town boy and you from a big city. I understand things.
F: No i am not like that. But yes I do like to party and all.
F: You dont like to ?
H: Not much
F: I feel like drinking today and then go for sleep.
F: You don't drink no?
H: No. I don't drink coffee or tea also.
H: may be once in a blue moon. But thats it.
H: We are village people, we don't know the ways of city.
F: Listen can we meet sometime? It is been due for so long!
H: I am bit busy..
F: Everyday ?
H: Not everyday but yes, I work late.
F: What about this weekend?
H: Not possible, I will be in the lab.
F: What about dinner tomorrow then ?
H: what...so fast ? :P