Goodbyes, farewells and jilted forevers

Posted: June 5, 2014 in Life, Personal
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

goodbyes

As a kid, I had never thought it through. Farewells and goodbyes. Our mind would always be preoccupied with the next big adventure, to pay heed to a waving hand. It was like a future of fun that strayed ahead into the pastures of the unknown, and all I cared then was to graze alongside them rather than sulk and look back. I never looked back.

That carefree age! We were never that attached to anyone. Our strings dangled freely back then. No tears of a heartache, no promises of a future, no worries of looking back, no woe, only joy. I would make fun of those who would cry on our departure. I would point out to my elder brother in a goofy tone, “Oooooooo! Auntie is crying!” and we would both chuckle derisively making a mental note to tease her in a blackmailing future.

Then what happened? Then, we grew up.

The first time I felt an immediate absence was when my sisters were leaving for their posted imminent future. I remember those tears that came to my eyes, taking me and my clenched fist by surprise, as I tried to wipe them off in discretion. They were standing at the door of that train, refusing to go back in, as the train chugged its final leaving. Both their teeny eyes on me, their lips syncing in unison, mouthing “Bye-Byes” and “Love you so much” notes quietly. I was responding to them with a sinking heart signaling them to get in, go to their seats. As the train took them away from me, I could still see them peeping, staring at me with tears in their eyes, still standing at that door and waving a painful au revoir. That was the first time I realized a goodbye grief. The pain of someone’s leaving. It struck me so hard I wanted to slap the younger me through time travel.

I used to make fun of my mother when she would roll tears for me whenever I was about to embark on a journey. Now, that I have fathomed emotions that drench a farewell, I can relate. I can empathize.

I had written this for her once I was in a quandary:

Every time I hug her tight and land a peck, she always cries. Makes me wonder: “Am I really that warm or is my void too depressing to bear?”

Then there was this angst soaked in a forever parting, that I believe lasted till eternity. The heartbreak. I remember going home to my brother in tears, hugging him so tight it might have broken his ribs, weren’t he fat. All those ‘what-ifs’ came haunting to me every night, and I would be disappointed to wake up in reality. That goodbye was the most shattering one to me, probably because there was ‘a promise of forever’ entailed that had just been broken, probably because the idea of never seeing someone again was analogous to death to me. She had died that day for me. I was realizing it every moment. So the tears were punishing and my life unbecoming.

I had experienced a disheartening farewell yet again and had decided to breathe it to a paper. Funny how age helms us towards empathy!

Watching you go was the hardest thing. I knew I didn’t have much time and that after few minutes you would be gone. I knew I would never see you again. My heart was pounding. It was heavy as hell. Desperation came oozing out. I couldn’t do anything about it. I didn’t care if the world saw me like that. I just wanted to be with you. I didn’t know what was going through your head. I just knew what was going through mine. I couldn’t say ‘Goodbye’. I would choke if I did, so I thought. I tried to gush in happy thoughts. But the tragedy that was about to happen, stared at me.

My eyes were about to lose them. Those tears. You pacified me with a hug. I wish I had hugged you tighter. Maybe that would have forced you to stay. You disappeared in the bus. I searched you like a mad man. People would have thought I was crazy. I hardly cared. All I could see was you. Rest was hazy. Rest was vague. When you mouthed ‘I love you’ to me, it became my life’s biggest achievement all of a sudden. It made me feel special. Even though for a second, I visited heaven and came back. Because hell was about to begin. Your bus went straight into the oblivion. I waited for it to turn. But it didn’t.

At times we don’t even come across a farewell. We just uproot a person out of our soul. It is as simple as pressing the shift + delete button. At such an hour, you believe probably that soul wasn’t worth your goodbye. That it was the only way. A wave from your attachment could have possibly changed your mind. Another meeting could have changed your thoughts about letting go.

Pi Patel from Ang Lee’s masterpiece Life of Pi says:

I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye.

Not turning back. I have used it but only at desperate moments. I believe it is justified at desperate times. When there is nothing left. When you know that your feet might fall off, if you turned. Your mind would change if you peeked at your past. Roads that wave ahead would collapse if you stopped. Seeking this crude alternative then is fine, I surmise.

When people go away, there is an oblivion that eats their existence. Things don’t remain the same. Your memories of times spent together reek of rust. When a fully fledged awareness of an impending goodbye hits you in the head, you begin thinking all sorts of stuff. You project yourself to a timeline, a state, where you feel the absence. You cannot bear to see that reality of solitude. You shudder at the mere thought of living without. That is probably what overwhelms.

We are all short sighted people. We can’t see beyond our capacity. Whatever goes far away, disappears. What breaks us down is the leaving. The realization that time is about to exscind our strings, that tomorrow will make a memory out of us is what shatters us. The fact that soon the existence of a person would wither away in time makes it even more pathetic. That is the point where the threshold of ‘missing someone’ lies.

Goodbyes are reflections of sad realities, subsets of death. Death is a perennial goodbye. There are some adieus that weep like death. Albeit there is a possibility of a future encounter, these goodbyes reflect a certain death of a relationship.

We all have encountered a certain ‘so long’ that has never been able to complete its circle. But alas! that just draws our attention now. It used to be a priority in our thoughts. Now it is just a thing we think of, when in gloom.

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