Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Unsettlement

(As featured in the Huffington Post here on June 28, 2016)

Sunlight wedges through the edge of a closed curtain, drapes a slit of yellow on the corner of a white-linen bed, and tucks itself behind the adjoining table's crocheted cotton. It is a peaceful beauty, one I am unaccustomed to. Cushioning the fall of sound, cream-coloured carpet greets naked feet with a hush. It's a clean, pristine, dustless world. Welcome, to a bedroom in Washington.

This could be a room anywhere in America, the country I am visiting family in. To deny the comfort this beauty affords would be unfair. It's a place I called home for nearly half my life. If time was an indicator of belonging, that's more home than I've ever had. And yet it seems - what's the word - protected, somehow. Extra hygienic. Extra pretty. Extra extra. It sounds like I am hating on cleanliness and order, but that's no cause for unsettlement. 

My lens reeks of bias, expecting a film of dust, the more-than-occasional road rage, something that signals the presence of entropy. Instead the universe sends me hand sanitizer. There is a disconnect between the life I am living and the life I have lived; in negotiating both I can't let go of either. I miss the chaos of traffic sounds, I relish the silence these walls gift me. The anarchy of friends, the comfort of family.  The music of Maheshwari's morning song as she fries poha, the sizzle of Mammi's fresh-off-the-griddle omelet. The satisfaction of a busy work day, the freedom to shape untouched time. There is beauty everywhere, even in dichotomies. But that's no cause for unsettlement.

The changes outside mirror the conflict within, a myopic vision glasses can not un-blur. This conflict always has and always will exist. I crave what I can not have, rejecting what will soon be gone. I grow not to love, but to leave. I reach far, not to grab something, but to touch anything. A tiring exercise it is, to ask why. Why gratitude does not free the mind, but forces it to encounter privilege is a mystery. I am grateful, also guilty of this privilege I possess. It's a burden I can not shed, an opportunity I do not use. There is beauty in dichotomies. Well, that's settled then.

5 comments:

  1. I absolutely love how you write Pragya. It's beautiful. *Sigh*...

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  2. This is great! So happy I get to follow your blog.

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    1. I appreciate your support Kriti. It's been a long time, hope you're doing well.

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  3. Amazing, Pragya! I connected a lot to what you wrote. Made my day :)

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