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By Trilokjit Sengupta

trilokjit sengupta metal communications30 is a great age for reason. And to look back at your life and wonder if all the scenes were enacted with the same degree of panache and finesse that you had constructed in your head. The inconsistencies, the opportunities lost, the things left unsaid and undone, the relationships created and broken – all come back with a ferocious intensity.

With no background score or any of the slick editing that makes it oh-so-watchable to anyone but you. Much of the memories are rusty. Some so brittle, you dare not remember them lest they disintegrate. Some crystal. Like the first ‘Yes’. Or the early impressions of a rainy city through the cloudy windows of a railcar. The first day at work. The first campaign.

Then there are the bad ones. The long nights without dinner. Homelessness. Failure. The mega city digging its claws slowly but surely into frail, unsure shoulders. The insolent winds. The uncaring women. The invisible money. The taste of sweat.

Today the pain seems amusing. Inconsequential even. Like the rude owners of one of the inns you stayed in for a night as a traveler. And you have come miles ahead.

The night remains a blur. And the scar faded and reduced to a little blemish on the skin. Nothing a little of those new-fangled whitening creams can’t erase. But you keep it all the same. Collecting them. Nurturing them. And looking at each one of them at occasions such as these only remind you of the time when you were grappling with the physics of it all. The falls.

The visions of success through Old Monk coloured glasses. The coming and going of roommates. The blurred out faces of their partners. The night noises from the other side of the bed. The fights. The disagreements. The little secret jokes. The pillow talk. The futile hunt for a house and the people who will inhabit it. The relentless pursuit of your 15 seconds.

A myriad collection of marks, scars and blemishes. Tattooed for over 30 years onto the soul. And as every little part of it gets inked upon, you can’t help but wonder.

Where’s the next one going to be?