Last monsoon, one of the hanging plants in my garden fell down after the twine that hung it let go of the final wisps that held together its strength. I tied it back with a rope fashioned out of an old cotton sari. It worked famously until yesterday, when, in the midst of torrential rains, the threads let go. When I found them in the morning, the hanger was hanging in thin air, and the well-fired terracotta pot was on the ground, unbroken. The plant was uprooted, but breathing. My daughter in my arms, I picked up the plant, put it in a periwinkle bed close-by, kicked the pot up, pulled the hanger’s hook out of the nail, threw it in a corner, and moved on to feed the carp in the lily pool. Besides giving you information about just how I run my garden, I suppose I am telling you that this letting go business is holding me to ransom.
Some months back, I found it convenient to post a photograph of a bunch of frangipani looking towards a grey sun, and title it “Let go”. Back then, I thought what I knew what it meant. Today, I am not very sure. What do I let go of? How? Is it the pretty feathers of expectations or the shiny sands of time? If yes, what do I do but to hold on to expectations from a relationship in which there is love and care and understanding? Are these not in reciprocation? Or am I meant to be a peculiar sage with little knowledge, but lofty ideals? How do I not think of the passing time and wonder if tomorrow will bring tomorrow, or, even if it does, will it bring the same promise?
What do you think of when you hear or think of these two words — Let go? Do they mean anything, or do they join a boxful of random things one gets to hear these days and nods at, but doesn’t really understand?