Telegraph Calcutta

Lost, then found, forever lost

We lose things. Like a game. We find things. Like fame at a game. We lose things. Like temper. We find things. Like temper. We lose them, and we find them. It is a rite of recovering, what is gone returns. But often what is gone does not. Often what we lose cannot be found again. Or, if it is found it is found in a state that it has been lost. Lost far beyond recovery. Lost forever. It is like memory. Maybe.

We lose memory, and we recover it. But sometimes we lose memory and never find it again. And at other times yet, we want to lose memory because it is not a memory we want to keep. We lose it and we do not wish to have it back. It helps to do that. It helps to not have some memories regained, or recovered. Memories can be precious. Memories can be poor. Sometimes they can be both, and on such occasions it is possible to wonder whether those memories should be fondled or forsaken. What do you do with the memory of the dead? Or the memory of the dead who may not be yet? Who knows? Would you lose it? Would you want to find it? Would you even know if it is only a memory and nothing but? What we lose and do not find may not be forever lost; what we lose and find may not be what we lost to begin with. We have to wonder about what we have lost, and what we have found. We have to wonder about what we have lost and not found. We have to wonder about what we have lost and what of it we have found, how much of it.

There is the debris. The torn feathers of that big bird. Torn and scattered. Where but? Oh there, right there, between Mt Perhaps and Mt WeDon’tKnow, between those two. Perhaps. We don’t know. But there is the debris. Found. From what was lost. And lost, from what was once not even to be found, it was just there. Not lost. But there. The big bird. That flew. And flew. And eventually fell because it could no longer fly. But why? But where? Who knows? Mt Perhaps. Mt WeDon’tKnow. Betwixt? We do not know.

It flew from warm climes, but it flew with a well-clad cargo. Cold bird that, made of aluminium and glass and powered by cold fuels. An untrammelled bird, not pressurised; they knew she would climb and her belly would get cold at those heights. They were prepared, the cargo. Let’s just say cargo. It’s easier. Now that all’s been lost. And found only to reveal that all is lost. Torn to smithereens and scattered like confetti from a demon’s feast. Or icing on a cake for a wake.

But who knows? If they are lost? Or cannot be found? Who knows what happens? In this twilight between being and not being, between being what requires no finding and being lost. They flew. They were to land. They were lost, they were to be found. Between take off and landing there lay no mystery. What goes up must come down; it’s only a flight. Happens all the time. Flights take off. Flights land. Go to the FlightRadar. You’ll know just how many are flying all the time all across the face of the earth. You’ll know just how many are landing. On any day everything that flies eventually comes to land. On some days, some don’t; or one doesn’t. It comes to be lost. Not found. And very often, when that lost thing comes to be found it is only a debris of lost things. No longer its shape, no longer the sum of its parts and what those parts contained. Lost. Found. But lost.

But who’s to tell? Who’s to tell what happened between Mt Perhaps and Mt WeDon’tKnow. What perished, what survived. Who’s to tell? Perhaps something’s survived. Perhaps nothing did. We don’t know. A life? A limb? A living, flailing limb? Or a living something or the other. Calling out. Calling out to say they are not lost. Calling out to say they need to be found. Calling out against being forever lost. And being found when being only and utterly lost.

We see things here and there

And then we see them not

We think: what happened, where?

And that is what’s our lot.

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