Wednesday, 25 September 2013

The Silence of the Snow

Surprise that, Orhan Pamuk came to Tavistock Street on 22 July. And asked me not to remember the year, for later it would perhaps appear nonsense to realize that, he gave me his 'Museum of Innocence' even before he actually started to write it.

It was a strange dream. I was watching Pamuk's interview and his speech after having received the Nobel prize; and just slept off.

I don't know the reason for all my dreams being strange and eccentric.

It was a birthday gift. And I was quite sure that nobody would get it as a birthday gift at least for next five years. So it was a unique gift; rather the only gift I would refuse to thank for. But I told him that I know the fact that acknowledging an ‘act of giving’ like this is a gentleman act. When he was about to leave, I scribbled on the wall; I may be obscure, dubious or even irresolute; but I would never be reluctant to remember and commit to memory.

It was Ayo’s boyfriend who woke me up. I gave him all the letters addressed to Ayo since she left Tavistock Street. And Pamuk was still on the screen thanking his readers and well-wishers after having received ‘Nobel prize’. And he was concluding by saying that “he writes; for he is afraid of being forgotten”. Since battery was almost empty I plugged it in once again.

Late in the evening is not really a good time to wake up. But before even forced to realize that lonely ‘nowhereness’; it should have been understood that; it is not really good an idea to sleep late in the afternoon.

Ayo left Tavistock Street last year. And after that, there was hardly any music heard early in the morning. And weekends remained lazy and lethargic. She used to make 59 Tavistock Street pleasant and maintained it till the time she left. She used to play ‘Boney M’ and ‘Akon’ every morning. She asked me not to cook during Christmas eves and New Year nights. She used to make ‘Concoction rice’ and her special ‘Plantain cakes’ for me. She liked Chinua Achebe very much as someone well-known from her place. She used to give me old classic movies. But during week days I hardly met her.

Ayo came to 59 Tavistock Street long before I did. She was not the first one I met when I moved in. It was Falu. And he actually welcomed me to 59 Tavistock Street with his own way of strange smile. He smiled at me and said “my pleasure” when I said “nice to meet you Falu”. He used to visit me often even after he shifted to Canary Wharf. And I often asked Tomy, Falu’s one and only sister, if she hears from Falu recently.

Pamuk always find it difficult to pronounce certain words. ‘Civilization’ was a classic example. He talks like a child sometimes, and appears extremely humble in interviews. Late in the evening I would always find it difficult to figure things out. Everything appears strange and scary late in the evening. And I feel it a time when you realise the intensity with which you committed to memories. You would find yourself terribly homesick. And the worst part is perhaps sun sends strange lights that peep in to windows making weird shadows of shapeless edges.

I don’t remember the first movie Ayo has given me; but it was ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’, she gave me last time. One night when it started snowing in Tavistock Street, it was Ayo who called me down and said ‘it was all white out there’ already. And when I looked outside it was like cotton balls floating all around; and the silence was remarkable and uninterrupted and that December lasted long with the silence of the snow.

Ayo’s boyfriend was happy and said ‘it was from bank and O2 (mobile service provider) you would get maximum letters on a regular basis. He left saying he would probably pop in next month. I asked him to tell Ayo that I would definitely miss her ‘Plantain cake’ this December.

Pamuk concluded his speech in Stockholm Concert Hall. And I switched it off and thought of watching it next time when he visits me in my sleep. It is no longer an evening now; it is almost night. And shades would certainly have some shapes. Tommy was getting ready to leave for night mass. It was already dark out there in the Tavistock Street. And I think this time I miss my friend.

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