Wednesday, 28 February 2007
As an 11 year old, I remember being driven across miles of desert in the heat of the summer months. Across the blazing horizon, everything seemed to be the same, with a light brown dusty tedium and occasional sandy dunes, which seemed to give the impression of absolute nothingness. Though I didnt know it then, somewhere deep in my psyche this continuance engrained itself, to be expressed much later in new staining colors. However, right when everything seemed to be dipped in mundane constancy of dust, straight down the grey tarry road, I used to notice what seemed like a clear water lake. The fiery sunlight seemed to punch the ground with all its might, and seemed to bounce back in an agressive retaliation. The water-like body seemed to contain a calmness which was in sync with the general mood of the desert, and yet was so sparkly and fresh-looking, that the heat of the mid-summer desert seemed to be swept by an Arctic breeze. I remember wanting to speed up the car, and drive right through the middle of this light-lake, wanted to be lapped up in its glittery light. My desire to touch the watery mirage increased with every single time when it seemed to distance itself from the advancing vehicle. The distance remained and my thirst for the mirage was left unquenched...
Years later, looking at the clichéd "Big Picture", that thirst for the Mirage is still unquenched. With experience and repeated mistakes, i've learnt the basic lesson that there's always a Mirage in life, something that sparkles and attracts the naked eye. In the desert of everyday life, there's always that imaginary lake of light which tantalizingly invites me towards it. Its different from the rust and dust of routine, its schintillating brightness is a world apart from the suffocating dullness of repetitive days and nights and its inviting freshness has a welcoming warmth that is so enticing, one cant help but be blindingly drawn to it.
There's however a blaring fact that gets overshadowed by the brightness of the Mirage. Its simplicity is often greyed in the presence of the glitter. Its the fact that, despite its enticing realism, in spite of its oasis attraction..it remains a trick, a misinterpretation of reality. In stark reality, its inexistent. No matter how much it resembles a lake of opportunities, the truth is that is a deception that the eyes and a hungry-for-more mind play on the naive eyes and the gullible heart. While the earth, sand, dusty road and flatness of the land are tangible and reachable, this figment of a mistaken reality is what really pulls me towards it. The sand and the heat touch me, swarm around me, and yet I overlook all this and chase after the only image that is inexistent.
Over the years, and after many attempts at reaching this Mirage, the heart and the eyes have learnt their lesson. The glitter while still as bright, has been blanketed by the flying grains of sand. The desert has expanded and the road longer and wider. I still see the trick-oasis in the distance, but I've learnt to look away. I've come to accept the falseness of the ringer...though once in a while, that desire to grab hold of the sunshine-lake still arises and finds its way into the thirsty eyes. The thirst, which is now disguised with the water of acceptance, which is relieving, but still wanting what its thirsty for. The road extends long and wide, the heat slashes against the skin and the light is blinding...and the mirage stays...forever.