The heat is beating down upon Singapore with a vengeance. The sun burns on the skin and makes you feel you’re somewhere around the Equator, the once iceberg-like capsules of the train seem like a pleasant reprieve from the sudden onset of harsh summer.
The birds, though, are trilling cheerfully. At dawn and dusk, as the sky changes colour, splashes and swirls of blushing amber streaking the different, ethereal shades of blue, they call out to one another, and perhaps also to us, if we would only care to listen. The sun rises late here- it is atleast seven o’clock before the sun streams in through the parting between the curtains, but it doesn’t really wake you up. No sunrise and sunset for people who wake and sleep at the oddest hours, lose track of their biological clocks and act wilfully against the laws of Nature. Pity, isn’t it, not to see a spectacular blue dusk or a magnificent sunrise for weeks on end? To feel the blinding glare of the sun as you step out of the underground railway, feel its warmth on your skin and realise that you have, indeed, missed it? It is weird to watch people go about their business ordinarily when your own life is all topsy-turvy, when there are numerous questions running about in circles in your head. Sometimes it is so hard to believe that it is actually my body and my spirit up here in this flat, looking out at the brilliant lights of the city, and not someone else who has taken possession of my life, holding it in a fragile goblet and standing on the edge of a sheer cliff. It isn’t fear; it is just the unpredictability and the risk, and I think it makes things all the more exciting.
I have about six months in which to make my decision. Dare I actually hope to realise all that I’ve been dreaming of? Heck, I need to get it all sorted out in my own head first. Do I spend my life dreaming about what could have been, using unpredictability and the risk factor as an excuse for inaction; should I go for it, irrespective of the very real possibility of disappointment and keep those sneaking, lurking fear of failure at bay?
Life tosses real puzzles at you at times. And at these moments, the decision is all yours, your responsibility. There is no going back from certain situations. I can find myself heading for some of them now, in the very near future.
I noticed something weird during my recent trip home. I wasn’t getting too nostalgic about things. I mean, yes, I did look back at the years with longing, missed the school vacations, the cricket matches, the melas in the maidaans, the occasional movies. But I never wondered when I’d be back again, how I’d miss everything. I’ve probably learned to live in the present. I know it’s important to.
Philosophising doesn’t become me, does it? Can’t help it at times, though. Just like frivolity.