Struggling to shake off a nightmare? Rewind to love, which has the power to banish all demons, the worst of nightmares and negativities.
I was in the midst of a nightmare – not a blood curdling one, but a nightmare, nonetheless, so when the morning came, tapping at the door, it was a relief. Such a relief! You know, what the nightmare was about?
Once again it was the mathematics paper of the board exam, and my fingers simply wouldn’t move, much as I tried, till the remaining five minutes also got over and the sullen looking invigilator snatched the paper from me, unfazed by my pleading looks.
I got up from bed, perspiring profusely, groped for my shoes and without wasting a second, not even trying to knuckle away sleep kinks from my eyes, was out of the door to greet the morning. It can really lift one from abysmal depths, I thought looking around its rejuvenating hues.
There was a slight chill in the air, a couple of dogs were curled up under the car, and they did not even move slightly when they heard footsteps near their shelter. My eyes fell on a brand new motorbike, which I had not seen earlier. But something seemed amiss. I went closer and was amused to see that it was decorated with fresh bird droppings, only a slightly less fresh than the car.
Chirp Chirp! I looked towards the source of this welcome avian greeting and saw that the air conditioner in the neighbour’s window had been converted into a nest. Not the birds’ fault actually, with such a lot of apartments being built in the vicinity, how would the birds not take a leaf from them? With a twig in its tiny beak, a sparrow was hovering around the air conditioner, down which stood the brand new motorbike, now not so new.
“They have spoilt my brand new motorbike, what a nightmare!” The man who came from the third floor of our building, stopped short near his motorbike, and went berserk seeing his besmirched vehicle. Picking up the rod lying against the wall, he poked viciously at the nest, and before I could protest, he had brought it down. The sparrow was now in a state of twittering excitement, and my heart went out to the poor frenzied thing. The man hurled the choicest abuses in its direction, threatening it with total extinction and hastened inside, probably to get a bucket of water for cleaning his bike. Thankfully, there were no chicks in the nest, I was relieved. Hoping that it would rebuild it, or build a new one in some other place, I walked on.
A man, another grumpy looking one, raced down the stairs of the neighbouring apartment, flung open the door of his car, threw his cellphone on the passenger seat, pounded the steering wheel with angry fists, letting loose a string of curses – maybe he too had had a nightmare.
An absolutely bedraggled man, wearing a shabby shirt and a dirty dhoti was heading towards his shack with a packet holding two onions, two potatoes, one tomato and a few green chillies. Yes, I was curious, hence my eyes had literally jumped out of their sockets trying to see what the plastic bag carried. His parched lips were moving in sync with the mute notes of a happy song. For all practical purposes, his entire life was an unending nightmare, no roof over his head, no clothes to wear, no food, but he did provide food for thought to us- what was the source of his happiness? Why did he not seem to be plagued by nightmares?
He handed the packet to a young couple sitting on the string cot, who, I had noticed had been too lost in looking into each other’s eyes, but when they saw the old man approaching they scrambled to their feet. His newly married son and daughter-in-law, I guessed. The man smiled indulgently at the couple and plonked on to the cot that they had vacated. My eyes refused to leave the young couple as they disappeared into their snug haven of each other’s eyes.
I don’t know why all of a sudden I remembered the ah, so endearingly, beseeching way in which Ingrid Bergman says to Sam in that classic 1942 film Casablanca, “Play it once more Sam play it once Sam, for old times’ sake,” and my favourite song floated in the air ….
A kiss is just a kiss
a sigh is just a sigh
the fundamental things of life as time goes by
when two lovers woo
they still say I love you …..
it is still the same old story
‘Play it once more Sam play it once Sam, for old times’ sake’, and the song played on in memory:
The world will always welcome lovers as time goes by…….
Love can crush all demons, it can banish all nightmares and negativities; if there is an abundance of love, everything can be vanquished, even the most grotesque of nightmares. So why not love with the same ardour, the same intensity that we so fondly recall from our childhood – those days of the good old jukebox, handwritten letters and no mobile phones. Let’s rewind the lost tunes, once at least, for old times’ sake.
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