Friday, February 22, 2008

A wrecked pier, some trees, an old man, and so on

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.


Anonymous said...

ടിപ്പുസുല്‍ത്താന്റെ ചിത്രകഥ വായിച്ചിട്ട് ഞങ്ങള്‍ ബേക്കലില്ലേക്ക് ഓടി, അന്ന്‌ കണ്ട ബേക്കല്‍ കോട്ടയ്ക്ക് ഒരുപാട്‌ പ്രത്യാകതകള്‍ തോന്നി.

എം.ജി എസ്സിന്റെ പുസ്തകം കിട്ടി ?

The Prophet Of Frivolity said...

Life is an accumulation of losses: Who said so? Don't remember. I am failing to remember. I am learning to forget. When did I sit there last, on that beach? Sit as if waves played just for me, admonished the sun for not setting, as if sun was there to obey me, entertain me..I have to learn more.Learn even if my life itself is at stake:I have to learn to forget. I will.
Let the unsayable remain unsaid. We might as well need them..One should not be left without pristine impressions,in the Auschwitz of our togetherness...Let's avoid scratching on the walls.

Pradeep said...

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Lubs said...

Hey Resh!!! :)
am so glad i found ur blog! cudnt have been at a better time to lift my spirits!!
i too had the chance to ponder on the fate of that magnificent tree,cudnt pour more sympathy than i actually could,,this is how inconsiderate the human species could turn out sure the tree wud have been a grandeur structure at its prisitine times.With the mammoth mortar n brick construction which happened in the course of time made it to live a life of intertwineness..

love nature,coz it gives self less love back!

താരകം said...

Memories of the past, even the bitter ones, are very sweet. Good post, Reshma.

Aisibi said...

That's calicut?!!!!!! isn't it?!!! The pier left behind by the portugese!!! I miss Calicut, its beach and the very many smells and sights of the people :D