“I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.” - Roy Batty
The Blade Runner clip was playing on my TV when I lost it. I was cold. I found my vision all blurred. I realised I fell asleep crying on the floor. Half of my legs stayed on the couch. A deep sense of heartbreak came over me like a storm over a barn. My sleeping body was not equipped to handle the cold autumn floor and swathes of depression that came along with the pandemic itself; That’s how I woke up. I cried so much, my hoodie had become a salty mush of tears. I was given a generous helping of sadness and oddly I started laughing hysterically at my existence, like I would laugh at Buster Keaton’s struggles on the silver screen.
“Fear is the mind killer...”, I recited the Litany Against Fear. I was afraid, afraid of being alone and cold. I arched my back to get less contact with the cold floor. I never thought wooden floor could get so cold! I rubbed my foot against the floor; I could feel the dirt under my feet, rolling like tiny ball bearings against a steel surface. Dirt reminds me of the days of playing football barefeet. I would wash my feet at a little well near our house before I went inside the house and my mother would make a little snack of out of lemon. Winter afternoons in India is pleasant, sunny and beautifully dry.
My mother’s usual reply to a heartbreak is, “Life’s bigger than just one person”. I asked myself if it is actually true. ‘What did she even mean by “bigger”’, I thought. Grandness is a flakey idea, perpetuated by culture and Lord of the Rings movies, but our lives are quite futile, our bodies pleasure seeking machines, our minds, although very capable mostly sex seeking missiles. But we do have memories; I have memories. Memories of looking at the entirety of mountain ranges, memories of watching monks playing football, memories of walking along the edges of the Ganges river next to someone, memories of blistered feet and torn shoes on the edges of the Himalayan foothills, memories of snow leopards along the edges of cliffs, memories of dancing in smokey nightclubs with a stranger I shared a cigarette with, memories of holding my dead friends’ hand. If I chose to end it all, right there right then, all those memories would have been lost, like “tears in rain”. Roy wanted to live longer, longer than his pre-determined replicant lifespan, and being an android, he wasn’t allowed to. But he fought for it, his soul fought like thousand bulls raging at a thousand matadors. My life would live on, for Roy.