We were chasing sunsets by the lake; an old jam- Berries Hammond’s Rockaway playing in the car’s stereo. The sun cast its orange glow across the water as the wild ducks enjoyed a dip. This, a perfect recipe for nostalgia. I could smell it from afar, the memories hatching out of the subconscious, making their way into that space. The cool breeze now intoxicated by nothing but melancholy.

He chirps over the stereo, ‘I had a dream last night that I was a shaman in an ashram. ‘
We burst out laughing. Amidst long gasps, the dreamer melts my heart some more. He has struggled with religion, like every sane human being. However, yoga and meditation featured somewhere on his vision board~explains the soft spot for ashrams and temples.

‘I am seated in this yoga position facing the mystic.’

‘Who?’

‘Sadhguru himself. I was stroking his silver beard while reciting some weird mantra. I am the master of my fate and the captain of my soul.’

In case you have not heard of Sadhguru, he is a yoga mystic with a Buddhist vibe. Guys across the globe fly into different destinations to drink from his fountain of wisdom. He is basically among the few who have transcended beyond human’s greatest vice ‘desires.’ A staunch believer of the frail nature of time and humans. He once opined that human relations are not absolute. They are a constant variable. But the relationship between humans and God is absolute. If you went for ten years without praying, then decided to God will still be there. But humans…

The dreamer is my childhood buddy. We grew up together in the hood, catching butterflies and skinny dipping in God-forsaken rivers. While time has a beauty facet, its ugliness cannot be ignored. It set a wedge between us. That wedge expands and contracts depending on the traumas and adventures we missed.

‘I dreamt, we were seven again, catching grasshoppers in the forest. ‘

He laughs. His big eyes lighting up the space.

‘But you were always so scared of grasshoppers.’

‘The big ones scared me. ‘

‘Just like kids don’t scare me. But adults, oh Lord!’

‘Is it the baggage they have collected along the way or what exactly?’

‘Remember when we were kids? We were so comfortable and vulnerable with each other. No room for judgment, or ego or the pretending. We were plain. But then you grow up and shit just changes.’

Over the horizon, the sun painted the sky red, birds in the sky gracefully flying. I guess heading back home to their nests or loved ones.

‘What would you change about your childhood?’

I ask the dreamer.

‘Nothing much. Coming to think of it, we had little control over what our childhoods were. But now as grown-ups we can actually change how it mold us.’

‘For me, I would lessen the trauma.’

‘The trauma had nothing to do with you. You were caught up between two adults with a lot of baggage, trying to fix their mistakes through you. They were probably learning, what it means to actually love unconditionally through you.’

‘They failed.’

‘Successfully.’

Ah. Childhood.

One thing about growing up, it scares the shit out of every one. When we are young, time shows the glory of its beauty but when we grow older, its claws show. In between, we undergo an alchemy. A harrowing one. No one ever comes out of the alchemy whole. We collect baggage, lose a virtue, break expectations and eventually lose our minds. And then we find something to believe in; football, God or music. Somewhere along the way we meet someone broken enough to understand our brokenness.

Darkness starts creeping into the atmosphere around us. The water reflects the full moon. We just sit there. In utter silence. Probably trying to grasp the time that passed between us or fixing band aids on the wounds time had caused us. He sighs deeply.

‘But then again, who would we be without the scars?’

‘Disillusioned adults.’

‘Aha. See.’

Eventually, it all makes sense