## Monday, 20 April 2009

### "..and oh, The difference to me !"

There is a blogger in my mind. She has been a part of many of my dreams and in each one I come to know her a little better - through her blog, a common friend, a news flash or an internet message board. Ive never interacted with her personally but I seem to have grown quite fond of her. In my last dream however, she died. And turned what was otherwise a slightly strange but intriguing and pleasant dream into a nightmare that woke me up - not with fear (which is common) but with mind numbing sadness (which is not). This is about her. In trying to capture her in words I will try and put down only what I seem to remember and not embellish or do violence to the delicate impression of her I hold in my mind. But putting her in words is necessary, lest I forget.

I seem to think - but Im not sure - that she was from Chennai. English speaking and sophisticated without being less South Indian because of it. I always imagined her in embroidered long kurtas and jeans, unremarkable but pleasant. She must have been 26-27 perhaps, single and living apart from her parents and family. At least, the impression I got was of a comfortable urban loneliness born out of an interesting but independent life. Im not sure what her occupation was, or even what her interests were. I did know however, that she was HIV positive. And her story seemed to start there.

It appeared that she was involved with activism of some kind a few years ago, and that led to some sort of enmity with the local police. Or was it some form moral policing that got her into trouble with the authorities ? It seems possible but Im not sure. But something dark and traumatic happened and in her blogs it always seems to have remained nebulous. In other sources many different stories were talked about, but my mind never seems to have settled on one. Seeing the darkness of her past that seemed to hang over her always, I was more melancholy than curious. The upshot of it was that she ended up HIV positive and the police were somehow, unprovably, murkily - perhaps indirectly - to blame for it.

Her blogs were about her day to day life which was quite pleasant and independent it seems. I associate no bitterness and anger with her, so she must have spoken about her battle with HIV and other daemons without any angst. Nor is it pity that comes to mind when I think of her so she must have come across as an independent self sufficient person. I respect her immensely for these things. There is little else, save that I felt very tender towards her and wanted her to be happy.

In my last dream, I was walking around with a motley cast from various phases of my life in a dark and cold hill station, looking for something but Im not sure what. I was offered roasted corn at a lonely stall by an acquaintance from college (who was in rough outdoor clothes, he had apparently joined some kind of communist insurgency) who said the tattered 5 rupee note he held came from a stash that a recently departed acquaintance of ours had been giving to him for years, to "finance the next revolution". But he did not really care, "Lets have butta" he said. I politely refused. Later, we were having ice cream which I did not like at a open air restaurant which was full but still eerily quiet while a pretty girl I had known years ago at school was flirting across me with some half drunk friend of a friend who had just joined us. Thats when I received a call from a person who I did not really know. He was some gay student I had never met, and he was crying on the phone. He told me that she had died.

I hung up the call, sank to my knees feeling intense sadness, numb, heavy and dark.
And then I woke up.
Disturbed and lonely at 4.54 in the morning.

All very strange and vivid . . .

Who is she ? Is she inspired by some real person ? Why is she in my mind ? but most of all, Why did she die ?


She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways
- William Wordsworth

She dwelt among the untrodden ways
Beside the springs of Dove,
A Maid whom there were none to praise
And very few to love:

A violet by a mossy stone
Half hidden from the eye!
--Fair as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky.

She lived unknown, and few could know
When Lucy ceased to be;
But she is in her grave, and, oh,
The difference to me!

Crowscious said...

Wow this post kinda scared me. I hope the person ur talkin about is okay. It's sad though, about the HIV.

Psmith said...

As far as I know, the person Im talking about exists solely inside my mind.

Juhi said...

Well i know how those terrible dreams are...they can oppress and stay with you in an unreal sort of a way. They can spill into real life leaving you with angst and also a realization of things deep into your psyche.

How did you know this blogger has HIV...has she written about it? It's so sad...an undeserved life sentence.

Psmith said...

no no....as far as I know..she exists only in my dreams..and yes..in the dreams she did write about it.

Michele said...

My mother's name was Lucy. She died suddenly when I was 16. It shattered my world. My father never recovered from the loss of her. When I was 21 my father died after a long struggle with cancer. A few days after he passed, I found an envelope full of photos of my mother. On the front of this envelope, my father had written the Wordsworth poem you have discussed here.

My Lucy - mother - has frequented my dreams, both asleep and awake, for 40 years now and "...oh the difference to me."

Anonymous said...

with your previous post and this one too has told nothing much about you except that you are a nice person and carries strong emotions for people or anything you connect to. Which is rare and really nice to see. keep it up with you always.