Longing for The Other Side ~ Sarpreet Kaur

Sumer’s Longing

A stupendous ocean is all I can see in front of me, numerous ripples of blue are playing hide and seek with one another, my unflinching sight is darting towards the calm sea but this ruminative mind is already floating in the clouds that shadow the mountains. Suddenly a shrill horn blared through the air blowing away the haziness; it reminded me of where I am. I am sitting on the deck of a cargo ship docked at the harbour, serving as a junior officer in the merchant navy. Gathering all my wits I straighten up and saunter my way to the working room. The day began with a scratch of a sharp pencil and an automated click of GPS. I start to navigate the route to be followed while going from rumbling Kochi to the placid Port Blair. My mind again started feeling the weight of unspeakable longing making a simple work feel like a herculean task. Fortunately, the subordinate colleagues accompanied. My eyes are looking keenly at the chart with circled markings and randomly thrown red dots but my wandering mind is ready to take a flight to the lands of mountains. A smile creeps on my lips. I longed to see the mighty mountains. I longed to see the simple people of that place.

When you visit hills, the time seems to stop. Everything happens in slow motion. Your heart smiles for being alive and not for the acquired gains. I think that is why God made mountains so huge, to make us humans feel small. Mountains stir your soul and beat it down until you feel grateful. But Alas! I am here, stuck in the middle of the ocean where I can only feel blue till the shores. Here, even the sun comes to do the monotonous 8 to 5 job and sets off after completing his duty. I want to visit the mountains where the lustrous sun plays hide and seek with the giant masterpieces of nature, sometimes it shines bright and other times it hides behind. I want to visit those far off lands. I am sure that if I could reach there, I would find the solace and this whole misery will end for once and all.

Abhinandan’s Longing

My eyes are fully awake after a peaceful slumber. I open them as wide as possible to look through the pitch dark. Putting on the phone light, the sight of 7’o clock pierces my eyes. Jumping out of bed I curse myself for being late again. With a heavy push, the metal window of my sealed bunker clanks and wafts in the soul wrecking amount of sunshine. My eyes take some time to adjust to it. A sleepy head pranced out of the bunker but in exactly seven minutes one can see a crisp soldier of Border Road Organization marching towards his station. I have to get on with the day’s task which monotonously involves huge piles of paperwork, cumbersome planning and unimaginative drafting about the new construction site. I have been looking down on the papers from last two hours and my nape is begging me to get up and stretch a bit. I take pity on my neck and lookup. As far as I can see are the mountains of Zaskar range, the dusty brown beasts with sky blue background and sporadically scattered clouds resembling cotton balls floating merrily. I am envious of these clouds which can fly to any place when I am stuck in this god forbidden region where even my lungs are hungry of meagre oxygen. These ferocious mountains are always restricting my view and they never let me see what exists beyond them.

I longed to visit the vast oceans that made me feel powerful, the ocean with bundles of life hopping and playing in it, those tiny ships floating jovially on the waves and that cosmic moon playing with water and murmuring in earth’s ear depicting a celestial connection. I longed to visit the seas. I am sure that if I could reach there, I would find the solace and this whole misery will end for once and all.

Sumer and Abhinandan wanted to escape their present and dreamt of solace filled and beautiful future. Sumer longs for what Abhinandan has and Abhinandan desperately wants to grab Sumer’s part. But what happens when the future becomes the present? Will peace seep in Sumer when he sees the mountains? Will Abhinandan’s heart relax when he visits the vast blue ocean? Or will they again start longing for some other side? No one knows the answer. But should we always suffer seeking a dreamy future? How can we be so sure of the future, when we are so oblivious to our present? No one can wrap up the lessons of longing, as the longing was born the day the very first man came to life. But there is one thing that we can do. In the words of Jim Elliot-

“Let not our longing slay the appetite of our living.”

In the horde of longing, don’t stop living.

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