Stories, photographs and thoughts from a travelling couple taking walks and mapping their routes, while backpacking around India, and parts of the world.
The dead talk. In secret whispers that can't be heard.
She hears it. It's the language of memories.
A life long forgotten suddenly floats up to the surface of her mind. But how? It was locked away in a vault without a key, sinking continuously into a death-shaped hole in her heart. She didn't want it to rear its haunting head into her reality without warning. But it did every now and then... That life that was no longer a life. That alive that was transformed into a dead.
Death refused to be relegated to being an unfortunate event in her life. So it became a heavy sigh, falling into the depths of an infinite abyss she didn't even know existed. A sigh made buoyant by the mystical magic of memory so it can float up to the surface of her mind every now and then.
Death laughs at the weakness of the living. That foolish longing to know what lies beyond. She is here, but she wants to know what's there. What's on the other side? Death laughs harder.
Absence. A feeling that is sometimes more overwhelming than any presence. Loss intermittently keeps growing larger and shrinking. And then it grows again. She shoos it away. Shhh... It hides. In the folds of her heart, hidden from scrutiny, judgement and questions. But a small moment, a twitch of a hand somewhere or a turn of a head, the smell of a memory or the memory of a smell, all at once releases that loss back into the air. And the loss scurries into the darkness, like a child making the most of unforeseen freedom. With a strong need to be acknowledged, the loss ambushes her senses with voices, visions, smells, leaving a taste in her mouth and that lingering touch on her skin. And before she can trap that loss back again in her heart-shaped box, in a moment of desperation to become immortal, it explodes in the air, drenching her in its cool, cruel rain.
She sits by the window, touching the cool, damp bars of her window. A sigh floats up with a memory in tow and sits like a tight lump in her throat. That once happy memory now coloured with the hues of loss brought her a vision. It was 4 am in the morning. She said she wants to see him. He rode like the wind and stood outside her window with a goofy grin. His breath smelling of that energy drink that he loved and she hated. His face through the bars of the window had made her laugh once long ago. It was a funny face, distorted and divided into rectangular window bar-shaped pieces. That very alive face refused to fit snugly into these symmetrical squares of the window bars. But what she didn't know then was that when his alive face became a dead face a little less than a year later, it would wear the the same look. She didn't know what was wrong with his dead face... Why did it refuse to look like him? Then she realized that in death, his face was more symmetric than it ever was in life, a little less human. Less alive? When she was touching his cold, dead face, a few hours before it became a shapeless pile of incinerated ashes, she thought of this window-shaped memory and almost laughed.
He had kissed her through the bars and sped away into the same darkness from where he came from. A ghostly apparition.
She shakes off that stubborn memory that clung to her sweaty skin that was glistening in the moonlight.
Death had made her laugh again. And then cry.