Evening at Zambezi River, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, May 2015
and so does everything around... the situation, the people, the perspective, the needs.... and we too change.... the wise and courageous seek change.. because only change is constant!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

113. Lost and …

I can never forget that announcement at Allahabad Station. It was constantly mentioning one term ‘Bhule Bhatke Shivir’ – ‘A temporary place for people who are lost’. It was the Kumbha Melaa time and my colleagues had interesting versions to tell me about this Bhule Bhatke Shivir. It was mainly for the people, mainly old people who were lost in the crowd. My colleagues told me that many people bring their old parents to visit Kumbha, tell them to wait at one spot in the name of fetching some food or water etc and they never return back. The old people wait for, hope for, they are not able to tell the exact name of their village, block, district etc. These old people are deliberately ‘lost’ by their younger ones and they never are ‘found’.

The term ‘Lost and Found’ was not new to me then. I have been a member of organizing team for many events – Rallies, Camps, Treks, Meetings, Functions, Surveys, Protest Marches, and Excursions etc. On each of these occasions, we needed a person to take care of ‘Lost and Found’ section. People can lose anything when they are in a crowd – from their young children to money purse, from their railway pass to identity card, from pen to pin… anything on the earth. (I am not counting psychological aspects of such loss here - loss of mind and loss of identity! They are dealt with in another world – the world of Gurus and Spirituality. I never had much to do with those kinds of places.) The ‘Lost and Found’ section according to me was always a place of amusement. It was a place of a drama in real life. It was a place where all emotions could be seen in its most intense form.

But I hardly ever got to be stationed at the ‘Lost and Found’ section. The responsibility was generally given to one of the elder persons in the group. We used to call this group ‘Retired but not Tired’. They had enthusiasm enough but not the physical energy to be on their toes all the time. So, the running here and there job was done by youngsters and the elders sat at the table. Now looking back I realize that we actually needed mature persons to handle the situation. Old people with experience of life probably can handle the situation better (I am not saying that all old people are mature and all youngsters are immature.) The joy of those who found what they had lot must have been a treat to watch. However not everybody is lucky to find back what is lost, and their despair one cannot watch objectively.

Each one of us has lost something which we never found back. After understanding the announcement at the Allahabad station, I was happy that I never had to take the responsibility of the ‘Lost and Found’ section. It is not that I cannot stand pain – I have seen a lot of it, it is not that I cannot live with disappointment – I have that too in life. But somehow to manage one’s own affair is easier than managing feeling, emotions, and life of others.

It is not easy when one goes through the experience, when it actually happens!

It is bit ironic; but I am more attached to places than persons! May be I can afford to be myself with places. With persons, one has to compromise sometimes; though luckily not all the times and not with all the persons I meet! And I have found managing my affair with places a little difficult than managing loss of connection with persons.

I remember one such moment.

I visited my college after a decade. I had spent five eventful years there. I was so attached to that place once – lot of friends, lot of dreams, lot of passion, lot of debate and discussions,.. so much was associated with that place. I went with expectation to recapture those moments. Suddenly I realized that I was alien to the place. The building was the same – with some modification, there was a crowd, but I stood alone there, without any connection with that place. I could have met some teachers, office clerks, and peons…. But I did not feel like meeting anyone of them. I understood that the college building has no place for me and it was better to withdraw from that!

And I can recall many more such places in my life. The loss of connection happens all the while.

People and Places come in life, become friend, become integral part of life, you share with them a lot of things and one fine morning you realize that the connection, the relationship is lost. Some connections die suddenly, some die a slow and painful death.

Reason? For no apparent reason.

There is an advantage in some things which are Lost and Never Found.

Because sometimes when you find those lost things again, you are disappointed. You do not have the same bliss and peace with those things again as once you used to have. Some things are actually better Lost forever than Found.

May be that is the reason I do not mourn losses – of places, of persons.

I create new connections, I nurture new relationships, and I re-invest in living with the same innocence, same trust, and same enthusiasm.

I have Lost myself so many times through the series of such happenings!

And I have Found myself again and again!

And to tell you the truth, I have changed so much in the process.

So, I, my life can be termed as “Lost and Never Found!”


  1. You are indeed a gifted writer. So much of reflection and that too in simple words is amazing.

  2. Hmm- you have captured nicely the chaos of this creation: things happen, people meet- then, part- then, change and dissolve- and all this for no REASON! This is reason enough to live whole heartedly and celebrate every moment..

  3. didnt know abt the khub mela part reg 'lost parents' ... thats sick..
    yeah we often lose something... but then life has a way of returning back things, in one form or other...
    very deep thoughful write.

  4. Reading your post made me think.

    You know how double entry accounting is ....a debit somewhere, translates into a credit to some other account ? I've often felt that way about Lost and Found.

    When you feel you have lost something or someone, somewhere (sometimes maybe even you yourself), it translates into some sort of gain somewhere. And so I have learnt to always look for a good side /hidden meaning/beneficial purpose in anything bad that happens. All this sounds like "conservation of something"; I just cannot decide what !

  5. The part abt people deserting their parents at Kumbh is a terrible story. I remember thinking abt how pompous we get abt our superior Indian culture etc. and this is what we do. Ditto abt widows dumped at Benares.

  6. Thanks Anonymous for your compliments.

    Sachin, yes sometimes one feels that everything around is without reason.

    Thanks magiceye.

    Rajalakshmi, life certainly has its rewards when one is open to it!

    Ugich Konitari, Conservation of the urge of living, of capacity to exist, of the immunity to calamities and pain.. well, I do not what to say :-)

    Anonymous, culture has everything .. good, bad, ugly. I don't think there is any superior culture as such .. depends on what we take from it, what we look for in it

  7. good one !! Its all a cycle ! Isnt it ? Until ofcourse, someone chooses to change it !

  8. Kavi, the change of cycle creates another cycle!

  9. The place part is ditto for me...
    I had the exactly same experience when I visited college few years after passing. :-S

  10. Vidyadhar, such experiences seem to be universal and still so personal


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