The primary quest of so many is to be able to absorb everything life has to offer. In the past month, I feel like I’ve had emotional and physical feelings that transcend the spectrum of all possible human feeling.
First came the sad. A member of my family passed away. She was a beautiful person; there doesn’t exist a person who had met her and hadn’t felt inordinate amounts of love and affection from her instantly. I’d grown up with her as a Godmother, as my mom and her were extremely tight – the kind of friendships that literally last decades regardless of being surrounded by constantly crumbling pillars. May her soul rest in peace, as it deserves to.
The sad was followed by the helpless. Sitting around with over a dozen cousins, uncles and aunts constantly, not knowing how to deal with the loss of someone that knit that family together leaves a numbing effect on all present. Some go hysterical, letting out bursts of anger, sorrow and frustration, followed by uncontrollable howling. Others go deafeningly silent. Some are stronger than others, leaning in as the comforting hand. But they too must separate themselves with that blasted cigarette in the balcony to let it out, wiping away any sign of the tears before someone can see them. I could do nothing but sit there. This was the first time I was one of the bearers at the cremation ground. The ceremonial rights in India are quite elaborate, and under the circumstances, were hard to deal with.
Then came the remorse. The days spent after the rituals were over are always introspective. You sit at home mourning the loss, but concurrently there’s a deep level of questioning that one often does to himself. Why did I not make it a point to spend more time with her? Maybe I should’ve replied quicker to her when she texted me on my birthday? What if the people I love don’t get to hear what I’d want to tell them in time? What the hell am I doing with my life?
This was forcefully interrupted by relief and sanity. My mother and I were in Delhi for these days while my father and sister were already in Spain. Mom left a couple of days before me and joined them in Spain as everyone at home was starting to get back into their daily lives. I waited around for a couple of days as I’d just applied for the student visa for summer school in the UK. I was to meet them at some point in Europe. I got a call at 4 pm while I was sitting at home, ran to get my visa, booked a flight that night and left for Salzburg, Austria. The flight seemed to give no respite to the chain of events – I sat next to a large man, who snored onto my shoulder and spilled his wine on me. It wasn’t delightful. I reached Salzburg a few hours before them, walked around until I found a cozy cafe´ that served me delicious sweet waffles with maple syrup, caramelised walnuts, vanilla sorbet and a side of hot chocolate. Now things started looking up. I met my parents, got some of the tightest hugs, and then we just sat and talked. Somehow it all felt okay, and that taking on tomorrow seemed far more doable.
From this point, it was joy. We were touristy for a bit and saw where Sound of Music was filmed, climbed to the top of the Vatican (which is a 550 step doozy of a climb), and even rode on a gondola. Apart from that, what we primarily did was eat – I gorged on Ham and Mushroom pizza in Italy, had juicy Schnitzel in Austria, and shamefully contemplated eating a cheeseburger from Five Guys one night. I sucked it up and got Carbonara instead. Noms.
Beyond this was the ecstasy – We travelled from the European Union to the United Kingdom, where I’ve spent the past 3 weeks at LSE “studying” Macroeconomics. This adventure calls for a thesis, which I will write once I’ve survived the entirety. These stories include embarrassment, adultery, general-douchebbagery, alcoholism, electric daisy carnivals, stalkers, and a little bit of love and hate. So yes, I do believe I’ve covered the spectrum of emotion. I also heard Zedd play Spectrum live at the Ministry of Sound; it was neat.
A fellow entitledtwentysomething lost his iPhone 5 yesterday while Avicii played live 50 feet away, and told me today, ‘Can you imagine how helpless and villager-like I feel right now?’ I laughed/scorned a little in my head.