In Limbo

(: in a forgotten or ignored place, state, or situation~ Merriam Webster)

How to Keep Sane When Everything around you seems Irrationally Stacked up against you?

So, I was to leave Indian shores, with my husband on 15th Feb after having arrived on 17th January.

For reasons kept beautifully concealed in a bag under the Minister’s chair, sealed with hot, red wax and all, the husband left while I stayed back, in limbo.

I’ve been here since 17th Jan, and there is no sign of my ever-returning home to Bangkok. Every day I wake up to look at the FB Page of the Royal Thai Embassy, which continues to shine the passenger list of 15th Feb! This list also seems to join me in the ‘in limbo’ stage.

I have company, but as is obvious, not the one I seek!

So, what now, I ask myself.

I stay at a friend’s home in Greater Gurgaon, on the outskirts of main Gurgaon (national capital region). It’s a lovely home, and there’s a discipline to her life, which I watch and try to follow, limply. She is kind, and she is gentle, never pushy or demanding of anything at all. I do as I please, and yet, what pleases me remains unknown.

Some days, I’m out and about, meeting other friends and passing time in an authentic sense of connection and joy culled from such like. Yet, unable to focus on any new project, I struggle to stay on any one piece of writing, or even complete projects I’d begun before I arrived.

I can’t remember a time before now- as if I’m frozen in time; no Before – and definitely no After. It’s bizarre. This is an almost out-of-body experience. I am humbled.

This happens, I reckon, when you are actually living in the Now. Isn’t that I always desired, to be mindful, to breathe in and out with compelling consciousness? It must make me realize how every breath nourishes our body. It doesn’t, not spontaneously at least.

Well, now I’ve been provided just the platform. Why am I whinging?

Even as I nudge myself to live each day as it were my last- effectively, the last day of my current situation, in order to enable the future to roll off its high horse and have me ride it, I am ridden with anxiety: I have no control on my life; some other power is driving my existence. It’s frightening.

Somehow, I had imagined such an event – the Living in the Now one, as far less of a struggle, and a momentous one, when I would consider myself an enlightened being, who was generally breathing in and out with great panache and endless mirth.

The point is, I’m in limbo. The mirth is ruefully absent; the breathing is decidedly staggered, and the mind is floundering, forced happiness one minute, and greatly stressed, the next. This is also me, I suppose, under duress and pressure that builds up, and then dies when the sun sets in all its sepulchered beauty, burying itself deep at my daily altar.

One more day has lived and died. Twenty-four hours later I’m alive and the calendar on every electronic object I own, shows a change in number, a new date.

I marvel at how Time, like a ball of twine, has me all wound up in circles while it moves in linear fashion.

I rise when the Sun rises, all golden and warm upon my face, shedding some of its bounty on my heart, and I pray to forget. I’m back in time, and only a few days have passed since my arrival ‘home’ in India. The Sun God is a kind one.

When I actually ascend the flight, courtesy a new passenger manifesto- date to be announced, always, then I’ll move from ‘in limbo’ to ‘liberated’!

May it happen, may the day of liberation not be far, and may I continue to move back and forth in time, at will.



Kamalini Natesan is the author of Naked Beneath the Midnight Sun (Olympia) and an avid short story writer. She is a traveller and a French teacher. I am also a trained musician (vocal Indian classical). She loves people-watching.