Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Have you ever lost someone to whom you may have meant the world without your knowing?

Youth has a disarming quality. It cares not for meaning. It explodes. Sentiments are exchanged, but their gravity unknown. Words are shared, but their depth unexplored. Youth is impatient, spontaneous, impulsive. It has no time to pause, reflect, absorb. It takes life for granted. Youth feels immortal.
Youth is also proud as it is vulnerable. It seeks indulgence, it defies traditions. Above all, it is desperate for identity.

He called her the spice of his life. It killed me. I could have killed him, well, not really. Blame it on an unknown emotion, or its unreasonable counterpart...passion.
But then, I couldn’t really blame him. She added the variety to his days; she was unconventional, enigmatic, captivating... the perfect temptress. I absorbed the monotony of his struggle, wrestled the tides of his fortune, shared his dreams, believed in his path. I wanted to be his spice. He called me salt.
The currents of youth carried me a world away from him, yet something lingered. If for the life of me I knew the meaning of love, I would dare say, it was love that connected us across two worlds, two lives. But what does youth know of love? Youth is fickle and restless and lusts for identity.
I heard one day that he had fallen in love. Six months later, I received an invitation card for their wedding. I called to congratulate him. He was very happy, on cloud nine. I asked him about his fiancée. He said she was charming and sweet, like sugar. We talked for some time. Actually I have no track of how long we spoke; all I know is that there never was a moment of boredom whenever we spoke. Before hanging up, he reminded me that I was like salt. He smiled, I think, for I did. I had craved to be the spice of his life and now envied the woman who was like sugar.
And one day, I lost him totally, to circumstances. I do not wish to elaborate the facts that led to this point. It doesn’t matter for I still connect to him across the impossible desert of the unknown.

Last night, my husband and I were invited to a party of select friends. I enjoyed the gathering; the conversation was stimulating, the music good, and the cocktails perfect. There was a spread of starters and a variety of cuisines formed the main course. To my joy, there was an array of sweets and deserts. There was just one small shortcoming, and it proved fatal to the organisers of the party. The chef had forgotten to add salt in his dish of the day. A little bit of salt would have made all the difference. Without it, all the spice & desert were superfluous, excessive, and meaningless.
Last night I cried for the folly of youth. Sometimes an identity is lost in its presence, it has to be missed for its meaning to be realised.
Last night I smiled. I had found a name for a person I missed.


  1. It must have been "pepper". (?)
    One of the saddest truths in life, isn't it? When we have lost them, we realise the full meaning of having them around.
    In losses, the wise ones say, when our loved ones become a memory, they turn into treasures.

  2. In my college days, I remember two great losses, and they both involved paintings. One was my college roommate, who was a great friend, though an unsuccessful individual, who had the most incredible talent, though not able to finish anything that he started. I had three paintings that he really liked (my 'blue period' paintings), and he had a rare bass recorder (a most unusual instrument). So we traded, my paintings for his recorder. I thought little more about this person after I graduated, until I noticed that he had died suddenly (I suspect suicide). I often wondered what happened to those paintings, among my finest, and what an incredible waste that all was.
    Then, I had quite a crush on one girl in college, who liked me as a friend, but had another boyfriend, whom she married (albeit an unsuccessful marriage). I blame it on hormones, but that was quite a blow. And the painting I had been working on, in memory of our never consummated friendship, another girl really liked, and offered to buy from me, but I just gave it to her, saying that I had already paid for it.
    Ah, those days of seething hormones, and emotions worn on our sleeves.