Sunday, July 08, 2007

Poem: A walk in the park

Running out of things to do, I finally decided we’d be like Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts in Notting Hill and take a walk in the park. With him reading and me finally sitting down to do some writing.

Here’s the thing about Harshad and I – we were both mavericks when we were young. Unintentionally walking off the beaten track, we were both pretty cool in our school/college years. Still our bringing up was a la the Maharashtrian middle class, our values typical Kobra. As all well brought up gals and guys do in this niche of society, we married well and lived happily ever after.

Happily ever after is what we make of it. For the first time in some time, I’m stumped. I don’t know what to aim for, where next to take this happily ever after. Just the present ain’t bad – we’re sitting here, in a little peninsula of a park, overlooking the Hudson river and Liberty State Park. Better than any place I could’ve ever visualized myself in. But what’s the next place I want to be in? Dunno yet, still struggling with it.

One place I know I do not want to live in is this anxious place I’ve grown accustomed to. Always pushing myself to get elsewhere, to some place “nicer”, some place other than the present. Afraid of the “permanent”. Since I started making my own living, I’ve tasted avarice like never before. Constantly buying clothes, foods, gadgets – and then just as quickly getting tired of them, throwing them away. Never comfortable in my own shoes. That has got to stop.

And so I made a change today – I decided it was time for a walk in the park. For the both of us. Between him worrying about a nest-egg for forty years later, and me worrying that the second bedroom is too small for when my parents come visiting, we weren’t doing ourselves any good. The current present – him reading his book, me looking out at the water and pretending to be a serious writer – this is a good place to be, even if only for the next few moments.

A walk in the park

There’s that man sailing, strutting his skills on the water
And those four old spires of Ellis Island, faking the elegance of a Taj Mahal
There’s Lady Liberty and the old Jersey Train Terminal
Manhattan, Brooklyn all ending right here
At l’il ‘ol Paulus Hook

A gentle breeze, warm and cooling blows in my face softly
And I think, yes this is the life I thought I’d live, but never visualized…

I’m a big believer in visions
Was it Stephen Covey that said
You are what you envision,
What you aim for
Is what you become?
Maybe it was Lee Iacocca…
Either ways, I’m a big believer

And yet, this is not a place I could’ve imagined for myself
Or given myself credit for
Not that it is to my credit that I live here -
One of life’s surprising rewards
For just... living it

One reads of such things
One dreams of living in a place that has a name
But no face
And then life takes you there
And you wonder, if you had envisioned this
Where then would you be today?

Is life meant to be lived contentedly?
The very possibility makes me feel like a guilty child;
Compulsive avarice for living as much as I can
Has overtaken me -
As if I were terminally ill
But then, if I sleep tonight, will I really wake up in the morning?

Aai, you set me on this path of aspirations
I know you did not intend to make it my addiction
But there it is, I am addicted to moving on
Living my life as if I were caught up in a storm
And flapping my hands wildly about
Was the only means to survival

Y’know, one day I found that I couldn’t run anymore -
My legs could carry on, but my lungs would forget to breathe
Until I stopped to think about it
And voila, I could run again

Is that what I need to do with my life?
Just remember to keep breathing?
Just remember to take a walk in the park?
And enjoy a smug smile privately
For another bright vision I had had
That brought me here?

(c) VedicVerses (Rucha Gokhale)

No comments: