the long search

When you have nowhere to go, go back to yourself.

Into The Wild

I always wondered why connecting with nature was sometimes so easy yet the bond so strong.

My weekend took me to a place which virtually is nestled amidst rivers and their creeks. Across the miles are dense mangrove forests where I could almost hear the rustle of every leaf, chirping of every bird and even my heart beating away silently.

And in the swirling waters of the rivers and in those mudflats were a few hundred salt water crocodiles. A thousand five hundred and seventy two was what the latest census said. Some of these reptiles weigh over 1,000 kgs each, measuring more than 20 ft in length. The GuinnessBook of Records says it's where world's largest croc lives. At times you could forget that these are nature's most menacing animals and can kill a man with just one swing of their tails. They have, in the past. But that's beside the point because men have killed more; more of their own tribe and that of others too. Basking in the sun, the crocodiles were so much at peace with themselves and with nature.

Such was the tranquility that I did not seem to realise where I stayed did not even have electricity supply. The night was never more dark and the sky, never so much star-studded. I did not want to come back.

Someone had so famously said: You are wrong if you think that the joy of life comes principally from the joy of human relationships. God's place is all around us, it is in everything and in anything we can experience.

And about connecting with nature, I guess, we all belong to it and will go back to it someday. It, therefore, is so easy to connect to and the reason the bond is so strong.

(Image: Shamim Qureshy)


The Past

Some people feel like they don't deserve love. They walk away quietly into empty spaces, trying to close the gaps of the past - Christopher McCandless

Smiley Girl

The one with an ear-to-ear grin, another sulking and a third one shedding tear drops like a dark bulbous cloud bursts into rain were the smileys she used most; the first being her clear favourite. I never thought internet icons could actually define anyone but the smileys did characterise her in a strange way.

Like the smileys, she seemed to laugh heartily. Just like a child. Sometimes, she appeared to be crying inconsolably too. As a child would, after losing the doll she loved most. Now she would be on cloud nine and the next moment, she would be lost somewhere.

She was completely in love with life even though she seemingly had no clue of it sometimes and tried very hard to pull herself together to stand up to it. No matter if the odds were stacked against her. That's what I liked about her. She never seemed to give up on hope even in the depths of hopelessness.


"Are you writing some short-story or what?" I asked as I read through the lines standing quietly behind him on the computer last evening.

"Why do you ask?" he replied without bothering to look at me. Incorrigible is probably what he wanted to say but didn't. He knew I had this tendency of barging in. He did not try to stop me. It would have been futile. So, he got back to the keyboard like I did not exist.


Last time, I caught hold of her online she was pulling her hair out in frustration over some office work she had not been able to wrap up. The computer ‘hanged’ one time too many, she complained before realizing and correcting herself - ‘it hung.’ She did that often and I always pointed it out.

Sometimes I thought she used smileys with such frequency that the mis-spellings were anything but natural despite her possessing a fine flair for writing. Mamma made a ‘yummg’ curry, she said the other night before making amends for it – Ooops! It was ‘yummy.’ I guess ‘yummg’ is yummier than ‘yummy,’ I told her. The ear-to-ear grinning icon was back.


“Will you tell me what this is about,” I was getting curious and clearly losing patience. “Is this some kind of dedication or what?” I shot another query.

“No. I had promised I would write about her once in my website before she went away,” he said.

“Where is she going? What do you mean by ‘before she went away?’ ” I followed up with more.

“I can’t tell you everything, can I? All I can say is she will be gone soon.” He got back to writing.


It’s a tough phase for her. Defining, perhaps. And she was sacrificing a lot for it. Still she foresaw herself in disasters sometimes. For a 20-something, it must have been unsettling but she never complained.

“I am worried about you,” I told her once. “Even I am worried about myself,” she replied.

“I wish I could do something beyond praying for you.”

“Prayers are all I need,” she said.

One more smiley followed. This one was immersed in deep thoughts.

About this blog

If we admit that human life can be ruled by reason, then all possibility of life is destroyed