#26 The Ghost

Waking up to the chatter of sparrows is a rare experience. We don’t find them in our hometown. Here its pigeons who have taken their place. I was lucky to meet and greet these cute little birds when I was in Shillong. Usually bland looking and having a distinct quick motion, these sparrows used to flock in around the edge of my window parapet and then later on move onto to the roofs and the day ends. They were a peaceful lot at night.

It suddenly seemed to me that a sparrow had waked me up. It’s been ages since I have experienced that. But something about that might have remained in the hallows of my mind and has surface today morning out of nowhere. We all have these wakeup call sometimes. It’s better than that boring alarm clock you snooze daily and finally end up cursing and getting up. It also shows how little we know about our mind, about what all has inadvertently crept in it and when and where it might surface and to what cause and effect.

And I think I am having an identity crisis. Yes. I think I have it.

Am I in my true self when I am writing this or is it the fantasy loving, ever dreaming me that wants to reveal his fate and time. If it is me then am I being influenced by the twin within me? Are we on the same page or are we poles apart?

Do I really love her or is it a fickle imagination in my mind. What does she signify to me?

Or is it the case of the sour grapes? Are these grapes the reason I think and dream about?

The lights go out. I wait for some time, pen down. A minute has passed. The wind is howling like a ravaged beast. No use waiting for the power to come up. I get up and head to the living room to get a bunch of candles. This night might turn out to be a long night.

Ten minutes in, I am at my desk clutching the candle in its holder and making way to the window that was flung open by the wind. I managed to close it but lost the light of the candle in the process. I set it down on the table and fumble for the matchbox I have in my drawer. I strike the match and light it.

Hello dear. How are you? What are you upto now. It’s a pretty cold windy day out there na. Oh and look the power has gone out. Such a disaster. Now you will have to cope up with me. Don’t worry, we will have a jolly good time, you and I.

Oh my, now what do I see here. Your diary is open and the ink has flown to it. Clear and crispy as ever, though I sometimes miss the plain simple handwriting we once had. But I know we had to scrap that when we advanced through our school. Oh the teachers we had. It seemed like we had became there copy writing machines. We have written a lot of their notes, don’t you remember. But that was our style. We were dependent on it so yeah I guess that scenario suited us well.

So what are you writing about? Is it something fantasy? Or is it your old childhood days, those golden days in Shillong and all, the yearly visits back to your hometown, the car rides and house hopping. Those were some really swell times. I still keep them fresh in my mind, you know. I really love them. I wish we could one day go back to it. To those good times. These things, these phones and tabs and laps have ruined that feeling forever. I yearn for simplicity. And that’s something we have always had in common.

Hey this candle reminds me of that now. Yes it does. I remember this candle holder. Mother had bought it from the Assam Rifles Fair held in Polo grounds. There were more than the two we have now. They looked so good; we had to present them to our relatives when they couldn’t take their eyes off them. And look, they have withstood time and have made them way back to us. Magical.

Now since you were writing something, let me continue it for you and leave the headache of thinking over it again. So what have you conjured up?

Ah! I see. You have actually conjured me up here. That’s great, you acknowledge me. That’s so awesome of you. Thank you. But aren’t you a little off color here.

We are in the same page, no doubt about it. That’s something I can’t break away from. But the page can be drastically contrasting you know. Like an age old book, dampened by the moist attic in which it was placed that ultimately fell to the termites to roast about. Irregular, unfinished, missing and contrasting.

And yes your mind is fickle. Oh boy I have seen that. It’s a nut job, no not really but yes it’s flowing and fickle. Well that’s how it is to function. Preprogrammed in that sense by its creator, by which he planted a seed of me in you. And you have nurtured me and I have grown now. You fed me and I fed you back when I grew up. You confided in me and I confided in you and made you feel better when things were going downhill. So don’t worry about that fickle part. It’s all good. For me and for you.

But you have got one thing wrong. Yes. It’s the fact regarding my involvement with you. I am you so yes I am involved with everything you have been through but I have always taken the back seat. It’s in my nature to be behind you, near you, near to your ears, whispering thoughts and making them to actions. You fall and I fall on you. You see you are my cushion in the falls we had and as a token of gratitude I let you enjoy the fruits of joy and happiness. Occasionally I take a bite off it too but I don’t have a sweet tooth. I like to be the agent, the agent of thought. And action.

There is so much I want to tell you know, it’s so good to come and talk to you. I wish you had a glass of whisky ready for this occasion but never mind, I will make the arrangements next time myself. The power is going to return now and I must take my leave. Do call me when you need me. I am always a questionable thought away.

The lights came on and my eyes found it difficult to come in terms with it. The fan took its job back and hushed away the candle to non existence. As the smoke rose I looked into my diary. Two pages of it were filled in one of my old, clean and precise handwritings. Old memories made a sudden flashback in my mind. The smoke was out and with a dreaded look and shivering hands I took the diary to read what was written in it.

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