- Kanishka Roy
The Quantum Theory
With lustful eyes I measure the skyline, as a breeze sweeps away my cigarette ash. I stand on the ship deck a nostalgic man, as the vermilion smeared sky seduces me with the promise of a beautiful sunset, much like my sindoor sodden bride on our Suhag Raat. Like her, the sky shies away from revealing its majesty. But the sun sets and a deep yellow encroaches upon the horizon, reminding me of her breath on my chest. My knees tremble while my spirit yearns to fly into the warmth. Do her kisses still taste like strawberry? Or has she eased into carrot weed chap sticks which taste like winter. I wonder if she still smells of Kasturi incense on a sacred Sunday morning, and wets her palms with Bhagirathi. If I push the water with my fingers and tell them her name, will they find her?
Will the particle tell the one in front and that one to the next that they carry my love with them? I worry my words will get lost in a game of Chinese whispers and she might think I have wooed a fairy from England. Or perhaps, unlike dominos, my love will spread across the waves and brush over her arms as ripples, caressing her with my touch. Who knows which will find her first, the particles or the wave?
The brilliance of the expanse before me leaves me wordless. I look around and think as to why this beauty exists and whether its existence is dependent on mine. And if I do fall off the edge, will the sky stop being so beautiful, or would it just stop ‘being’. Would she still exist if I had not seen her for the first time at Saraswati puja, weaving jasmine garlands? Or the second time at that coffee shop in her amazing black saree? But then I realize that I did not exist in her world back then; a world full of handsome admirers and suitors. Her world still existed. But now with me in it, who knows whether she will ‘be’, or not ‘be’?
The sun, while slowly plunging into the water, draws a white dotted curtain over me. The calm of the sea now provokes a ravaging tempest. As the bow heels and trims, I ponder over the man I am; the man who lived and loved in the sea- the man who left a blushing bride in search of yet another America. But what if I died in the sea, one with the ocean bed, waiting for Pangaea to reunite, and then divide again. Would she know where my soul was? Or would she only assume the sea as the locus of my astral existence? But not know both; a certain uncertainty. Who knows what she would know?
I realize I am out of cigarettes. The bitterness of coffee perverts my lips and the sky spirals into the blackness at the bottom of my coffee cup. A day ends, a night begins and hence goes the cycle. I am but a mere particle governed by the strict laws of an omniscient universe. So I return to my fortress of solitude, to immerse in a dreamless slumber, hoping for a shorter sunrise, and waiting for a longer sunset.