Thursday, January 14, 2010

Near-Death Experience

I never thought that the way would be like this: a clean brightly lit tunnel – decent mixture of metal and concrete. There are red lights on the ground. I wonder why they are there. The urgency that had lasted life-long is now a soothing patience till eternity. The air’s flooded with pleasant music – violin and organ. It did not make me sad nor happy, reflective neither; just peaceful. Life-long habits do change with death, I guess. I do not notice the others that walk by. At least that habit stayed. What if she walked by? No, I would sense her presence.

I am nearing the end of the tunnel – the destination? I come across the musicians. They seem to be unaffected by what they produce - mechanical and a little unnatural. There is even a begging bowl in front of them. Here too? I reach for my wallet. I leave the wallet in the bowl – why will I need that again? I want to sit over there and keep listening. Maybe, there are other pleasures further ahead. She - certainly?

I climb the steps to the platform. It is darker here. I search for her but she is not around. I do remember that we had not promised to meet here. All the promises were mine alone and that too, quite unconvincingly made after she had left. But surely, I had told Him to pass on the message. Maybe, He had not. Maybe, she found other company. Maybe, she had to meet someone else on their way down or up.

I ask a woman standing nearby “Where is He?” She looks at me blankly, not comprehending my language, I presume. I stand there waiting; waiting for something or someone to come from the dark tunnels on either side; waiting for an answer.

The U-Bahn arrives on time.

(P.S. I can’t recollect the name of the U-Bahn station in Berlin; strangely, the photo in my album is also missing. But, you do know how that place looks like, don’t you?)

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