I was tempted to title this post as ‘Waiting for Godot’ but stopped after ‘Waiting’ and finished with a series of dots lest Samuel Beckett from wherever he is would have pulled me over to court and proceed against me for copyright infringements. Not that I am trying to write something even remotely connected with what he had to say in his play but something in the plight of his characters Vladimir and Estragon waiting for someone’s arrival which does not ever occur strikes a chord. But I guess I have done justice to the title here for you can add as many dots as possible and still continue waiting. But I know dear friend you are still out there ‘waiting’ to decipher what I want to say. Please don’t for I am also still waiting.
I know you would like to know what my predicament is. I do have, not one but many of them. The next question would be what stirred me up so much to make me sit down here in the middle of the night and write all this. Very reasonable I guess, is your right to know since I have already made you wait. But on second thoughts, why should I since the whole purpose of this post is to make you wait. Sorry, but right now I am waiting for sleep to overtake me but it doesn’t. Now I guess you know the reason for all this rambling.
Well this morning I was stuck up in a traffic jam and what would have taken me ten minutes took almost an hour to reach my destination. Of course it is not the first time that this has happened, but today somehow as I sat within the confines of my car I did not feel perturbed that I may end up late for my appointment which of course was to attend a hearing in the magistrate’s court pertaining to a complaint I had filed in a cheque return case. I have said enough of that in my earlier post ‘The Trial’. But having grown used to the fact that nothing was going to happen whether I was on time or not, I waited. It is at such moments I am gripped by moments of inspirational thoughts and I contemplate on the deeper aspects of our existence. Oh yes! I said life is one long waiting whether it is on the toilet seat early in the morning or waiting for your case number to be called while standing outside the fast track court. While the former brings you relief the latter only enhances your exasperation. Well I did reach late but it did not matter for my turn came two hours later and all the while I waited outside. But my previous visits to this venue had taught me that this waiting need not be painful for one could always watch other similar sufferers and draw consolation from the fact that you were not alone in this entire ‘waiting’: the only danger being that at the end of all that waiting, when your turn comes to appear in front of the magistrate you are left confused as to whether you are the complainant or the accused.
I should concede that ‘waiting’ also has its merits, for during the time it lasts it makes you wait for better things to happen, in a sense it gives you hope. Many will not agree with me for the general refrain has always been ‘I am tired of waiting’. I am also guilty of such a sentiment for the most part. But this perhaps is defeatist. The ‘waiting game’, whether in a game of chess or when a predator stalks its prey or the mating game, forms an integral portion in the formulation of strategies to attain your objective, whatever that may be.
‘Have patience’ is another oft repeated advice which implies ‘Wait it is only a matter of time before you achieve your goal’ or ‘Don’t act in haste for you may make a wrong decision’. Waiting for an answer from your lady love could be traumatic especially if the prospect of rejection looms large. But enough I guess of all this exploration into what should normally have been responsible for inducing a soporific effect on our existence.
So we agree (I take it for granted that a consensus has been reached) that if we seriously look at our life we find that it is one continuous process of waiting. Of course you are free to decide at any point what it is you are waiting for.
Sometime ago I dropped in at my friend’s place as it was sometime since I had seen him (all this while I was waiting for an opportunity to visit him). When I enquired about his mother he took me to her room where I found her lying on a cot totally immobilised. There was a nurse in attendance. My friend then told me “She has been like that for more than a year now, partially paralysed and failing eyesight. Of course over the years she had been suffering from a slow deterioration of her mental faculties. Though she can recollect certain things from the past, the present to her never really embeds itself in her memory”. When my friend told her my name there was a faint acknowledgement with her movable hand. When I leant close to her she said in a faint voice “why does God not take me away, why does he make me wait like this?”
Before I left my friend said “It is very difficult watching her suffer like this. I should not say this, but the truth is I am also waiting for her to pass away so that she is spared of further agony.” I felt sad for him.
You spend your entire life waiting, waiting for something to happen – a ‘yes’ from a ladylove, a favourable judgement in your favour or even a portending calamity. But it is that helplessness as conveyed by the old lady perhaps is the most disturbing aspect of ‘waiting’ – ‘Waiting for Deliverance’. One can interpret whether the deliverance she seeks is from her suffering or being made to suffer before her final deliverance from this living itself. Whatever it is when deliverance comes one should not be made to wait, it should be abrupt.