“Did you complete your walk, or, have you just begun?”
I don’t know what it is about her, but we struck a bond right on our first meeting. We don’t even know each other’s names, but, there is something special about ‘aaji’ (Marathi, for grandmother). She inspired me to write one of my first poems. In fact, I think, she inspired me to look at life from a different angle, altogether.
When I look at her walking all by herself, I realise the true meaning of loneliness. The family you toiled for, the friends you so loved, are all long gone, leaving your world bereft of happiness. It’s when you count (and are grateful for ) every passing second; you are that much closer to the finishing line.
But, in spite of it all – her loneliness, her sorrow – she only has her smiles for the world. The pain of loneliness can gnaw at our insides, turning us into miserable wretches, desperately seeking company, craving for a hand to hold, a shoulder to lean on. But, aaji – she has taken it all in her stride, befriending her solitude, and revelling in its company. Or so, I feel.
There are moments of loneliness I go through (we all go through), so often, I get frustrated. There are times, when I am exasperated by the utter uselessness of the new age communication systems, when not a single friend or relative is ‘online’. Moments, when I pine for a human voice, speaking softly into the instrument, into my ears, driving away the loneliness by its presence. But, since meeting aaji, I have begun accepting this loneliness and forged a friendship with it. Am trying to, slowly and steadily. And, with aaji’s inspiration, I am sure I will overcome my fears, and win my battles with this dreaded enemy.
*I read an interesting post by my blogger friend, Shantala, of Shanaya Tales, and thought of writing this post on inspiration. It is also a tribute to my dear friend, aaji.