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Recently, I was dusting my cupboard at home.  Papers, pencils, birthday cards, notes, school diaries, textbooks, teachers’ signed examination papers tumbled out of the cupboard. I was actually thinking that how stupidly sincere and stereotypically ‘good girl’  I was over the years. I was flooded with texts and small things that took me back to school days and early college years.  Hunting through the dust, grime, and brown-pages I was rather surprised how your past gets preserved in some closet of your present. It also amazed me how our own handwriting changes as we mature through the stages of life.

While cleaning up these stuffs, I came across many birthday cards that were given to me over the years by friends at school, college and university. One of the cards possibly given to me in class 7th or 8th has a picture of the kids in the then popular series ‘Wonder Years’. Came across the first Friendship Day card that I  got  possibly during college years — was trying to remember the name, who it was (the card was anonymous as expected) who gave the card, but just couldn’t recollect the name. Found an old CD with a calligraphic handwriting, mentioning in zinc-laden pen, ‘It’s only words and words are all I have…’.

Some of the gifts wrapped in the covers also kind of amazed me — a writing pad with water-mark of roses still remains unwritten, a small scrap-book with signed statements from friends regarding how bright our future will be and the forever-ness of our friendships; some of the junk earrings given to me by friends at school remain so carefully wrapped, that they have got dark and soot-laden with time but are still beautifully preserved.

School uniforms, hair-bands, dolls, all tucked up inside the closet tumbled at me one after the other, filling me with a strong desire to re-live my past, with a wish to set those things right that I have possibly messed-up as a part of growing-up.  But, time as and when it goes, remains irretrievable.  What did I do with these things that came off the closet? Well, this time I donated a lot many of those that could be used and the rest I just destroyed them — memories in the form of materials and objects can be disposed off if they are causing you pain.

One of these days, I was back in touch with an old friend, a very close friend of college years with whom I had been out of communication for years.  After a few days of happy reunion and old-timer recollection, we realized that it was not working out — we all are very different people now who should lead our lives and keep ourselves as memories to be cherished in each others’ thoughts rather than  as real people trying to be present in our present.

From the old closet, I found a poems diary of my school days. Those were the times when I seriously dreamt of being a poet — while friends were dreaming of IITs, engineering, medical, I lived in the dream of being a poet, and seriously took-up the task of writing. In fact, in 10+2 when the rest of the class was struggling with coaching and preparations,  I sat dreaming, of what, I have still not been able to figure out, and those dreams found an expression in my diary through poems.

Feel like sharing with you, a poem that I must have written during my class 12th summer vacations. If I look at it now as a literary and linguistic expert, it would appear plain silly. However, what struck me in that poem is the feeling of a search, which is strikingly similar to my inner-most search even now.  It was possibly titled as ‘Unseen Presence’ and following are the lines:

When the rose like red lips of the last sun-rays,

Give their final smile and close over the darkening horizon.

When a strange fragrance of summer flowers,

Weighs heavily in the air.

When the dark night,

Plaited with moon and stars,

Shows its mystery and magic.

When the light breeze,

Sings to an unknown music-

In an evening as such,

I dream of You so much!

But You! Who are You?

I’ve neither seen You,

Nor have I ever heard You!

But who are You,

That is my hidden strength?

You- who are always hidden in the darkness of the night,

And in the glamour of the hot day.

I can see You not-

But can feel You,

Like the perfume of incense in the air,

And like the sweetmeats,

Sold in the village fair.

You! Whoever you are!

Whether very near,

Or too far-

I crave for You in the temple of my heart….

I must have been only 16-17 years when I wrote that poem, but the feeling seems so organic and  unsullied. Interestingly, am yet to figure out the ‘you’ that I was searching for from those years.

Recently, a student mentioned that I should be writing some spicy-masala blogs, not the usual boring things that I write — something that has sports, love, scandal, movies etc. as its theme. He suggested that the TRP of Iris needs to improve with time and there should be a change now with an emphasis on the commercial appeal of the blog. What do you all say? Should we change the track of Iris? Add some commercial stories? Let me know your thoughts.

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