Time. Can you count it? Seconds, minutes, hours, years… yes years. They pass. Can you count them? Ofcourse you can. It’s been 2 years since we last met. It’s been two and a half years since i last layed on this bed in my room. Where time stands still, like all the toys in the huge wooden shelf standing tall against one of the walls. All my dolls, books, teady bears, trophies from school and college, photographs, diaries and my old broken computer. My whole life. My everything summed up. It all stays here, on the same spot, collecting dust and memories. Silent. Still. Nothing ever moves. My mother, who is a bit weaker now than she was two and a half years ago, she doesn’t let anything move. She pickes up things, cleans them and put them on the same spot as they were. It’s been two and a half years since i last visited my room. It’s been 20 years since i put my toys in their spots for the first time.
My room.. it reminds me of you. All those years that i spent talking to you in this room, when a second would feel like eternity. The air, it smells of you. Of us. Of what was never meant to be. Out of all the feelings bubbling up in my heart while lying in this room, your memory is the strongest. It stands still, on its spot, in my room, in the air. Like other toys in the big wooden shelf. It won’t move. Years would pass. Years have passed.
But time… it stands still. Frozen. It hasn’t passed. It can not be counted. Like years. It has made my father older, my brothers stronger and my mother weaker. But everything else is the same. As it was two and a half years ago, three and a half years ago and five years ago. I am home. I feel as if i float here, weightless and still. Burden on the shoulders feel lighter. Walls surround me, walls of unconditional love. Walls that once suffocated me. After years now, they make me feel safe.
Some things, just a few, have changed though. All those years did not pass in vain. They have filled my father’s life with some more hardships, some more pain that’s intense. My mother’s life with some more dreams and uncontentment and my brother’s lives with sime tough life experiences. Their faces look mature now, it breaks my heart. Their eyes shine with the same naughtiness that was there, years ago. One of them is still the most sensitive, one still the most angry and one still the most calm and sensible. Like they were before the years passed. When we were children. When i lived with them. Here. In this house. Where time stands still. Nothing has changed after all the years. This, is still my world. I belong here. In the world that doesn’t change with the years that pass. The world that holds the six people, who mean the world to me. Yes, including you. It’s still you. It always were you. My heart, after all those years, never opened again. Like time in my house, it stands still. On its spot. Closed. Shut. Holding my world of straws. Protecting it from years that pass. Through time.
Time. That can never be counted. Only lived.
— My visit to Pakistan. 10th March – 24th March 2019.