On our last day at college my friend, who is by no means overtly emotional or disposed to tears, went around hugging the huge pillars lining the corridors of college. I pulled her legs to no end. I should have known better.
The city I call home has a long stretch of beach and we spent a good part of our childhood frolicking in the waves. We would dump our sandals somewhere and dash into the water- those days we could leave everything behind and move on. The wind, the waves, the music. If we looked up from our play we could see the long old iron pier stretching into the sea. Calicut's own historian MGS Narayanan says that this pier was built in 1871, and it was a place of hectic activity with the spice trade in full swing. As kids we were least bothered by the splendid history of the pier. It was just there. Like your first memories of waking up at the middle of the night and stretching both your arms to touch mom and dad, we could look up any moment from our play and it would be there. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about the structure, just an iron pier with the waves lashing against the pillars.
Last time i went home i saw that the pier was almost gone. Gone is a bad bad word. A few disjointed pillars stood there looking shaken. Have you ever been away for a year or two from your dear ones and then been hit by the sights of their beaten faces showing decades of aging?But then this is just an old useless pier and we had hardly ever noticed it while it was there. Now that it is gone i begin to see it vividly even in the middle of a traffic jam in a busy highway in the US.
Some afternoons i take my baby girl for a stroll in the neighbourhood, and everytime we see an old man sitting on a corner park bench gazing at a clump of pine trees. One day i might just gather up the courage to walk up to him and ask him what he is looking at, or what he is looking for. Does those trees take him to some other place? some other time? There is a very unique tree nearby the railway track in front of the building which hosts Sangeeth cool bar in Calicut. A wall goes right next to it and its roots pierce and emerge through the wall and run all along it intertwined. It's simply a treat for the eyes, the roots weaving in and out of the moss covered wall. Everytime i see it am moved.There is something that i ought to do, i'm just not sure what. Go and touch the roots? Take a picture? dunno. i wish i had hugged those pillars that day with her.