Monday, September 01, 2008

The mystic gaze

Memories are gateway to the moments that are not lived again

Times are rare when one experiences the proverbial “time freezes” moments; when everything stops as if a magic spell has been cast.

I have been through this magical moment twice in my life. In both the circumstances the cause for the phenomenon (a girl) was identical and the place of occurrence was also the same. I first experienced this when I was in class 10th and then again in class 12th.

It was lunch time and after having filled my stomach I went to the water cooler to wet my beak. As I reached the coolers which were kept at end of the famous “corridors of Jawahar”, I heard a shriek and as I turned back I saw two small boys, probably 2nd grader, writhing in pain.

Presumably both of them were running towards each other through opposite direction and had collided into each other. One of the boys was lying on the ground, his head bleeding while the other was struggling to stand on his feet. The fallen boy was holding his head and the shaky one was covering his mouth. Apparently the teeth and the head had taken the maximum brunt of the collision and now both were in pain.

As the boy with the painful teeth swayed and fell he was held by a girl. And that’s when our eyes met.

The time stopped, everything came to a stand still and nothing moved. Our eyes refused to blink. It was as if everything except the two of use had ceased to exist…..the spell had been cast. It was those ‘once in a lifetime experience’.

It's difficult to say that how long the spell lasted, because remember the ‘time had stopped’. But when finally it was broken, I found myself staring at her and I could experience the numerous sounds and the various melee that filled the corridors of Jawahar.

The second of the incident happened nearly two years after the first and it occurred at the classroom gates of my class, 12C.

After the first lecture ended, I went out for a stroll and when I came back, I found the classroom doors closed. The English subject teacher who was Anita Chaturvedi mame (popularly known as AC madam) had already started taking the attendance.

Not wanting to miss the class, I opened the door and stepped in. But my steps stopped in mid-air as the moment I pushed the door it was pulled from the other side.

Standing in front of me was she and we were just an arms length apart. Our eyes met and the time froze again. A hush fell over the school, the murmuring stopped and so did the teaching. As some great writers have often described it was like as if “I was floating in space; lifeless and weightless”.

More than 8 years later I still yearn that spell to be cast again…and to be spell bounded by her eyes again.

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