I wish for Time to be frozen sometimes. To give me some space to think & ponder – on how my Life has turned out, on where all I went wrong, and what all I did right, on the choices I made (often subconsciously), and how those choices manifested themselves in-terms of consequences (some consequences occurring many years later after the choice), and so on … It’s the relentless forward motion of time – the fact that it simply doesn’t stop for anything or anyone, the fact that it just keeps moving forward in one direction, the fact that you have to keep picking up the pieces & moving along from wherever you find yourself in *THIS* present moment (in my case, I’m usually trying to crawl back from a ditch; I love dirt & mud; I’m a swamp-dweller like Shrek; so a ditch is almost my natural habitat), the fact that you have to constantly keep reinventing yourself & stay fresh & relevant, the fact that you have to balance & juggle so many things all at once, the fact that we’re living at a ridiculously frantic pace, in a mad rush to nowhere – all this is what gets to me. Pisses me off. And bums me out.
I don’t know how folks do it. I doubt anybody has a fucking clue what they’re doing. In my estimation, after having lived (correction: survived; that too barely) for 31 years, I’ve come to the conclusion that nobody has any answers. Everybody’s tukka-lagao-fying; playing Russian Roulette with various possible choices & resultant trajectories – in Personal/Social & Professional Lives. Taking random shots in the dark to see what sticks, and often, falling flat. It’s a ridiculously impossible thing: to juggle so many things, and get your shit together in all spheres of Life. To have everything working like clock-work, with inch-perfect precision. It’s statistically & humanly impossible. So I’m done trying. I’m not even gonna dignify this craziness by even attempting it lol … And while all this frantic frenetic hectic craziness of Life & Shit is going on, Time keeps moving forward. Relentlessly. Mercilessly. Tick tock. Tick tock. And you have to keep moving on somehow. Keep breathing. Keep going through the motions. For what? Nobody knows.
Like if only Time can be frozen – for a little while -say a day gets frozen to a week … So that you can savor & hold onto the good fleeting moments. So that the good moments don’t seem so fleeting & distant, like a vague memory almost from another Lifetime … Like for example, that day in March-2016, when my sister had come down to India for Dad’s first shraadham (death anniversary). And after it got over, as a family, the three of us (me, mom & sis) decided it was time to move on with our lives. Dad would’ve wanted us to live our lives & be happy. It was the first time in a year that we decided we were going to go out as a family & try to be cheerful & happy. So I drove them to Global Fusion, Bandra  , where we had a nice lovely Lunch. Then I drove them via Bandra Worli Sea Link  , down to Marine Drive (NCPA   ), and we spent a magnificent 2 hours at Marine Drive. Walking & Laughing. My sister took pictures of Me & Mom on the parapet, me resting my head on Mom’s shoulders. Then an American woman spotted us, and found us a cute family. We got to talking. Turns out she was studying at the same American University where I studied (Georgia Tech   ), and was visiting India for a conference type event, staying at Hotel Marine Plaza. So anyway, she said she’ll take a picture of all three of us. So we said, sure, why not! And then we walked & talked & giggled on Marine Drive. We also spent quite a lot of time in comfortable silence in-between; a silent understanding between people who have known the ins & outs of each other for a long long time; a companionable silence between people who don’t feel the need to constantly blabber to keep the spark alive.
If I remember correctly, we stuck around to almost watch the sunset. And then I drove them back via Eastern Freeway  . What a magical day that was. When I go to Marine Drive, I often think back to that day … When I talk about wanting for Time to be frozen. That’s what I’m referring to. If only that Day can be frozen, extended for a week. So I can hold-on & cherish that moment some more. So that it doesn’t feel like a vague hazy memory from almost another Lifetime. And as the years go by, it’s going to fade away even more. That’s what I find is the biggest shitty thing about Life. Everything passes. Nothing lasts. It’s all rather fickle & momentary. And just like that, the moment elapses … I just want to go back to March-2016, and re-live that day with both of them. And be suspended in that state, ideally forever. But at least, I want time to be frozen, and for that Day to stretch to a Week. So I can savor it. So I can hug my sister & mom tighter. So I can laugh some more … But then, this is how Life is … Life is a moving window. It’s a major reason why people get married & move on, or why they have kids & keep moving on. You have no choice or say. You have to keep moving. And most of the times it’s not even moving. It’s more like stumbling & lurching – rather awkwardly & clumsily – without much idea about what you’re doing, or where you’re going next. Diving headlong into the Fog of Life, without a compass or a bearing; lacking indications for speed or trajectory. Once more unto the breach, dear friends. Onto the next thing. And then the next thing. Keep moving until you die. Keep moving till you take your final breath.
[Originally written as a Facebook Status on 22-Jul-2018 21:21 IST, at Marine Drive, Mumbai  . Re-published here on WordPress (with slight additions/modifications) for a wider/public distribution. Mirror-published on Medium as well].