Her feet on the cooling sand, she sat staring at the vast, rapidly darkening sea in front of her. The sound of a thousand voices eddied around her before getting lost amidst the roar of the sea, and a solitary stray brown dog lay curled on the sand a little to her right. Every time someone passed by them, it raised its head sniffing the air and wagging its thin tail, only to be disappointed by their absolute obliviousness towards his happiness. She sat there distractedly stroking the dog’s ear and staring at the giant waves of foam breaking on the smoothly packed wet sand. She didn’t know what time it was or how long she had been sitting here; she had conveniently forgotten to put on her watch when she left the hotel. What good would a watch be at a place like this anyway?
The sea-shore always gave her a feeling of being stuck in a time loop; one wave looked just like another as did the groups of merrymakers. She knew she would have to leave soon, she had an article to write, a deadline to meet. Yet the anonymity that the sea gave her, the insignificance it rendered her to, was too precious to give up just yet. She was nobody here; no one cast a second glance at the solitary figure in a hooded tee sitting beside a stray dog.
She lived by a sea just like this one and every morning when she was not away chasing some story in some faraway land, she ran. Music blasting in her ears, heart thumping in her chest, for that one hour her mind was free. Free from the constant burden of memories. She smiled an absentminded smile at the waves, at their need to keep coming back. Every time they tried to move forward the sea ruthlessly pulled them back and they tried desperately to hold on to the shore. She kind of understood their dilemma, their need to keep returning. She did it herself at times: in her power suit, at a party beneath the glittering lights; standing in front of magnificent edifices, her mind kept going back, revisiting the people and the memories she had left behind. Sometimes she called them; sometimes she let herself wallow in the obscure sorrow that the memories brought. It was a feeling she liked, it assured her and comforted her, made her conscious, of still having ties.
She spent most of her adult life walking backwards into the future, facing the past, casting wistful glances as the past became more and more distant. Looking at the memories as they got clouded by the fog of time till only blurry patches of grey remained. Waiting for the rogue ray of sunlight that managed to sneak in through the fog every once in a while and illuminate the grey patches. Then she could see them clearly, as clearly as she saw her calloused palms. The sea always made her forget, she spent hours staring hypnotized at the waves rolling in and being dragged back, her mind empty of the constant ebb and flow of memories. A shrill stray peal of laughter broke her trance and the tide of memories came rushing back, flooding her mind. She picked p the book that she had laid on the sand beside her earlier, and started reading from where she had left off. “Because Father said clocks slay time. He said time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life…”