Cinque terre

As he climbed higher he was witness to a fantastic vista. The horizon endless, the sea and the land merging into each other with the harmony that only nature can achieve. He had come here ages ago once. He had treaded the same pine needle strewn paths on the edge of the world or so it had seemed back then to his fertile imagination. He had been quite a young man back then and had thought that he knew what it meant to be old and worldly wise. But  dreams had still seemed possible.

The world his for the taking, just because he wished it so.

The future a wonderful possibility of multiple divergent realities, each interesting and enjoyable in its own right.

Here he was much more cynical and alone once again, the old familiar joy coursing through his battered being. The dreams crushed under years of corporate drudgery blossoming forth from his curmudgeon heart. Reliving the adventure he had once promised to repeat many a time; after years of keeping his sense of adventure abated. He was remembering the first time he had ever trekked up a small hill, the thrill of it and his racing heart as a child of no more than 5 or 6. The numerous times he had taken a leap into the unknown and come back richer for the experience. The journey in hindsight almost always more romantic than the destination.


Yet as age had entrapped him with the web of responsibilities he had made compromises. He had thought he was being rational and pragmatic. Life is lived in the grim matrix of reality and not the glamorous dreamscapes of fantasies he had reasoned. He had been miserable, yet he had treaded the path with a smile on his face. He had seemed successful to his peers, only his close friends knew his real anguish. He had stayed single out of an obstinacy to find the one, as if she existed. Well, maybe for some. So foolish of him to hang on to that one rebellion and compromise on the many mini rebellions that would have gladdened his heart. Well as they say age brings wisdom, but for him it was all about things left undone and unsaid. Of thoughts banished for fear of real world implications, of the road not taken as thorny as it might have been.

At 50, dying, more due to apathy for his own desires rather than the affliction which had been announced to him by his doctors. The pronouncement replete with the fake empathy a doctor tends to develop and loathes himself for unless he can rationalize it.  Reminiscing about the life truly wasted he smiled. He remembered why he had come here today.

That promise he had made to himself, to go out with a bang and not a whimper.

Snare drums roll….



By- Aseem Mahajan

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