Friday, July 23, 2010

Through the Echoes . . .

Almost an year ago I knocked the door of the room in the hostel where I met my friend Almeiz for the first time. A well built Kyrgyz lad whom I'd disturbed from an afternoon sleep. The room was as all rooms are meant to be; so I will reminisce about something else. To my surprise I discovered that my friend couldnt speak English at all. And to his inconvenient awareness, I would do no better, as Kyrgyz or Russian to me were as new as today's rain.
Later, as we both started understanding each other through a new 'other' language: a result of our hardwork over the days in building words combined with some crisp sign-gesturing, we realized some time later that, on that first day itself, we welcomed each other with friendly intent.
But I would like to go back again to that first afternoon in the room. As I took seat against the table and looked in front, an unlit wall-lamp beckoned me to feel at home. The next moment my table was struck to life with the beautiful warm raylights of the bulb. The lamp had also lightened a portion on the wall on which I read words that I apparently took as most welcoming:

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

I knew immediately, reading lines from Frost, that words are sign(s) of things to come.
Re-reading the lines on the wall found strange echoes in my mind. While watching Bela Tarr's film 'Satantango' some time ago I had come across these words from a character:

“They haven’t a clue that it is this idle passivity that leaves them at the mercy of what they fear most”

I cherished the connection that these dissimilar ways of saying a similar thing impressed on me. And recently, did I find one more echo in Boris Pasternak:

Keep awake, keep awake, artist,
Do not give in to sleep . . .
You are eternity's hostage
And prisoner of time.

As I write these words, missing my friend who left few months ago, I hope (first, I don't sleep more than needed ;-) ) with nothing but words in my hands that the echoes live on, get echoed in more rooms, beneath more lamps and in the hearts of more Friends.

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