Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Have you ever lost someone to whom you may have meant the world without your knowing?

Youth has a disarming quality. It cares not for meaning. It explodes. Sentiments are exchanged, but their gravity unknown. Words are shared, but their depth unexplored. Youth is impatient, spontaneous, impulsive. It has no time to pause, reflect, absorb. It takes life for granted. Youth feels immortal.
Youth is also proud as it is vulnerable. It seeks indulgence, it defies traditions. Above all, it is desperate for identity.

He called her the spice of his life. It killed me. I could have killed him, well, not really. Blame it on an unknown emotion, or its unreasonable counterpart...passion.
But then, I couldn’t really blame him. She added the variety to his days; she was unconventional, enigmatic, captivating... the perfect temptress. I absorbed the monotony of his struggle, wrestled the tides of his fortune, shared his dreams, believed in his path. I wanted to be his spice. He called me salt.
The currents of youth carried me a world away from him, yet something lingered. If for the life of me I knew the meaning of love, I would dare say, it was love that connected us across two worlds, two lives. But what does youth know of love? Youth is fickle and restless and lusts for identity.
I heard one day that he had fallen in love. Six months later, I received an invitation card for their wedding. I called to congratulate him. He was very happy, on cloud nine. I asked him about his fiancĂ©e. He said she was charming and sweet, like sugar. We talked for some time. Actually I have no track of how long we spoke; all I know is that there never was a moment of boredom whenever we spoke. Before hanging up, he reminded me that I was like salt. He smiled, I think, for I did. I had craved to be the spice of his life and now envied the woman who was like sugar.
And one day, I lost him totally, to circumstances. I do not wish to elaborate the facts that led to this point. It doesn’t matter for I still connect to him across the impossible desert of the unknown.

Last night, my husband and I were invited to a party of select friends. I enjoyed the gathering; the conversation was stimulating, the music good, and the cocktails perfect. There was a spread of starters and a variety of cuisines formed the main course. To my joy, there was an array of sweets and deserts. There was just one small shortcoming, and it proved fatal to the organisers of the party. The chef had forgotten to add salt in his dish of the day. A little bit of salt would have made all the difference. Without it, all the spice & desert were superfluous, excessive, and meaningless.
Last night I cried for the folly of youth. Sometimes an identity is lost in its presence, it has to be missed for its meaning to be realised.
Last night I smiled. I had found a name for a person I missed.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Sculptor and His Statue (dedicated to Legacy 2000)

Long ago, in a small village there lived a sculptor. The soil of this village was unusually red and the red clay was immensely mouldable and ideal for making various forms and figures. The sculptor was one of many who were of the same profession in this village. They would live by each day making various objects like dolls, cars, animals, toys, small figurines,etc. which would be sold in the village fair for a nominal sum. Sometimes traders would order and buy in bulk and then take these objects to be sold in handicraft exhibitions in the city for a considerable amount. But the main income of these sculptors was during the Pujas, i.e. the religious festivals when various forms of divine Gods and Goddesses had to be created which were then invoked and worshipped.
Now, this young sculptor was a tad different from others of his profession. He would use vivid imagination and unorthodox methods to make his creations. He would create the Goddess Lakshmi, who is the divine form of Wealth, and paint her face black. He would create Sarswati, the Goddess of knowledge and music, and give her a proud,dancing posture instead of the traditional poise of standing next to a swan. He once made a statue in the likeness of a notorious dacoit but depicted him as a victim instead of an executer of crime.
One day, the sculptor was playing with his clay. The festivals were approaching and there was a lot of pressure and competition among his fellow sculptors to create divine forms of the religious deities. But this young man was not feeling like creating anything divine. He sat by the banks of the river which flowed through the village, watching boatmen ferry their passengers to and fro across the river. He was lost in his own world among the chirping of sparrows and the gentle splashing of water. His mind was blank.
 Suddenly, his eyes caught a slight movement...there was a ripple and a girl emerged from the river. She was very young with long, dark hair which was wet and hung loose draping her drenched, slender frame. She was neither beautiful, nor ugly. But what caught the sculptor’s attention and mesmerised him were the eyes. She had the most haunting pair of eyes covered by a mystic veil beyond which he knew, there were a thousand words waiting to be uttered. He captured the intensity of the moment in a timeless zone of his mind. He  realised absentmindedly that he had found the muse for his next creation.
The young man selected a clearing among coconut tress by the river bank and worked passionately for days on end with his clay. Often he would shut his eyes for hours and capture the essence of the moment when he had set his eyes on her. Then he would look at the river, and the sky, and sit idly. Passersby often inquired what he was up to. People questioned him for his lack of interest in the festival season. His co-professionals were sure he had lost his head and lamented the loss of a good talent. Some even took pleasure in taunting him.
Late in the night, under a full moon, the sculptor would resume his work. Often he would destroy hours of labour and start afresh, never letting a slight diversion come between him and his inspiration.
At last after toiling for twenty seven days and nights, he laid the final touches to his creation. In his heart he knew this was more divine than all the forms of Gods and Goddesses he had ever created. He smiled at his lady and she replied with her eyes. He told her that he had waited for her all his life and she responded with her smile. He never expressed his devotion for her for it would have been superfluous. His devotion was writ all over her, in her flawless form, her perfect face, her haunting eyes. She was the embodiment of suppressed expression, of all that is unsaid in the world.
Soon the word spread that the sculptor had created something strikingly different. People thronged to catch a glimpse of his creation. The young man yearned for the world to see what he had seen, to feel what he had felt.
To his dismay, an old lady came forward and touched the feet of the statue. She had found her Mother Parvati (Hindu Goddess). To his greater dismay, the statue gave her blessings to the old woman pouring out love and blessings with her eyes.
A fisherman came forward and hugged the statue. She was the daughter he had lost. He wept profusely and she cried with him over an era of mutual loss and separation.
People gave his creation different names, attributes, traits and even history and to his intense annoyance she responded to each one of them as if she was created exclusively for that person.
In the evening, after most of the crowd had dispersed, the young sculptor sat in the twilight watching flocks of birds confidently following their flight patterns to return to their nests. He watched idly the last boats ferry their fare across the river. A small boy of about eight was playing by the river bank. He was chasing a ball and running barefoot. All of a sudden, he came face to face with the statue of the girl among coconut trees. He looked at the statue and exclaimed “Hey, that is my sister.” The sculptor looked at the boy, silently amused. He was still battling with his thoughts and trying to find some reason. What had seemed to him to be his greatest creation till date had been his greatest failure. Nobody had seen in the girl what he had. Nobody understood her the way she was meant to be understood. Yet she seemed to have a life of her own and responded whole-heartedly to the whims and fancies of each and every man and woman.
The boy, not getting any response, declared, “She got married three weeks ago and has left this village. She now lives with my jijaji in the neighbouring town. My jijaji is the postmaster there.” Having broken the sculptor’s world without knowledge or intent, the boy ran away, chasing his ball.
The sculptor sat transfixed for a long time and then, letting go of all his conflicting emotions, he broke down and began to cry. His “Maiden of Unexpressed Thoughts” had another identity which seemed to be beyond controversy and related by blood.
The sun set it the distance and the river bank was wrapped in a warm dark blanket. The last boat had safely ferried its passenger and now rested for the night. As the tears overflowed without restraint, he thought he heard a distinct laughter, low and melodious, like the gurgling of the river. He looked up and saw his statue. She was smiling, just for him. To his surprise, the veil was stripped from those eyes and she was playfully stirring his soul. And then he heard her voice, or it may have been the breeze playing with the leaves, but the voice found expression beyond words and told him that she has come to life for him, to understand the river of emotions that flowed in his heart and to give them an identity and a place... in her eyes, her haunting, beautiful eyes that contained all the words, yet unspoken.
And then he understood....how all the people had seen her, she was real, in all her distinct identities; more real than anyone in flesh and blood; and his heart leaped in pride to rejoice the humble achievement of his greatest ever creation.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Manuscript

Long ago, in a tiny village nestled at the foot of the great mountains, a Leader was born. The people in the village were thrilled as they had waited for this day since ages. The Leader grew up to be a shoemaker by profession. What made him different was the fact that he would discover secrets of the universe hidden behind mountain rocks, in the sparkle of sunshine on a leaf, in the sound of the gushing waters of a virgin spring, in the flight of a bird, in sunrise and sunset, in the coming and going of seasons, in floods and earthquakes, in life and death.
The Leader had a charisma and an inborn understanding of his fellow beings. When he spoke, old and young, men, women and children, all would stop their work to listen. People were inspired by him and came to him with various problems. They begged him for answers. He spoke to them of the bees and the sheep, and they returned home, not with answers but with the realisation that there had been no question.
The name of the Leader soon spread like wildfire and people from far and wide; kings and beggars, all came to see him; travelling days and nights to get a glimpse of the great man. They brought him fruits and sweets and delicacies of their land, and garlands made of the most exquisite flowers. They went down on their knees and worshipped him. But the Leader himself remained unfazed.
He went about his ways of patiently cutting strips of leather, soaking them in varnish, and spreading them to dry. Then he would skilfully cut the edges to form the shape of the upper part of the shoe and painstakingly sew the various components together, scraping off unwanted edges. With all his concentration, he would then insert a last to get the perfect mould and attach it to the insole. Then with utmost dedication he would trim and buff the sole edge and heel. Finally, with great care and dexterity, he would stain, polish and wax the shoe. He performed each of these acts with great devotion as if the unique purpose of his life lay in making the perfect pair of shoes.
The men and women flocked around him. They made their offerings. They asked him why he had to work; he was such a great man that the people from the village and beyond would be only too happy to take care of him. He just smiled and told them that he was born with the purpose of cladding their feet, that in his work lay his salvation.
The womenfolk would come to him after completing their household chores; they would ask him simple questions of how to win the love of their men. Mothers would bring their sick children for his blessings. Men would consult him on when to sow their crops, what should be the best time for harvest. Traders would seek his advice before departing for faraway lands with their array of merchandise. The shoemaker spoke to all in a language so simple that even the toddlers could understand. He always had a light which he shone to show the people that all the answers were inscribed in nature.
One day, there was a great storm and it uprooted the tree under which the shoemaker used to sit and practice his craft. Unfortunately the tree fell on the Leader and he died. The people of the village were aghast at this tragedy. For days, no one spoke. The news spread far and wide and the world seemed to mourn for months.
Amidst this calamity, arose a panic. People were scared that now, having lost their revered Leader, they would be at the mercy of the forces with no one to guide them. They held a meeting at the village square to decide what would be the best course of action. Someone suggested that they make an earthen podium and raise a statue of the leader on this pedestal. This suggestion was unanimously accepted and very soon a larger than life statue was raised. Men and women worshipped it every day with offerings of garlands made of fresh flowers.
Some time passed. A new generation had been born.  They led to a new breed of inventions that changed the ways of the world. With that arose a new breed of problems. The problems gradually gained momentum and started sneaking into every house, and were well set to capture the new world. Once again, there was panic and men and women frantically searched for answers.
A few old men remembered their old Leader and they searched their memory for every word that had been spoken by him. They scribbled down all that they remembered, every expression that had passed his lips, the description of the clothes he wore, the food he ate, the colour of leaves of the tree under whose branches he sat to make shoes. They wrote feverishly of all the things he ever touched and of the air he breathed. With each successive page written, they gained confidence and added to all known and observed facts, an element of their own imagination. So they wrote about all rights and wrongs as per the Leader and what he would have liked and what he would have not tolerated. Gradually, the writings took a life of their own and finally were compiled to form a ‘Manuscript’ or guidebook for generations to follow. The ‘Manuscript’ promised all the answers to problems provided one follows every letter written on them. It became a symbol of the eternal blueprint for salvation.
As new generations started following the ‘Manuscript’, there arose some uncertainty as to how to implement the facts written in it. As the older men who had written the ‘Manuscript’ had already passed away, a new lot of wise men, who were intellectually worshipped, began to revise the outdated ‘Manuscript’ and insert rituals and procedures that need to be followed to escape from disaster.
In course of time, the language of the ‘Manuscript’ became obsolete and there emerged yet another class of ‘interpreters’. These interpreters were men with great power and influence, so they translated each word and each phrase and each sentence in a way to add fuel to their position of power and strength.
Time flew on. Problems seemed to multiply and people started to fight over every word in the ‘Manuscript’. Some clever men and women saw through the selfish interpretations of the interpreters and began to lose faith in the ‘Manuscript’. They were joined by other men and women. As their group gained power and raised their voice, there arose another group of loyalists who defended the ‘Manuscript’ with their last breath. Both the groups became stronger and in due course of time, sporadic fights erupted between the two groups.
The sporadic fights gradually led to a full-fledged war. A certain sect emerged who gave this war a new dimension. People, who were victims of tragic circumstances were hijacked and brainwashed to join either the conservative or the rebel group in exchange for a feeling of ‘justice’.
There arose a new type of warfare where the subjects were unprepared and the tormentors unknown. New terror captured the world. And people never knew if the killer could be their neighbour.
Meanwhile, the original population of disillusioned folks and intellectual supporters continued their own battle. In the midst of all this exchange, the ‘Manuscript’ lay quietly gathering dust.

One day, a young boy, in the faraway mountains, discovered an anthill, hidden beneath the shadow of a boulder. An army of ants were hustling by, gathering crumbs to store.  He watched fascinated, for days, till he started to recognize signs and pick up vibes of communication from them. The ants told him to work with dedication, in work would lie his salvation.
He was an ignorant boy, poor and uneducated. He helped his uncle make sweets for festivals. The boy knew nothing of the Leader, or the ‘Manuscript’. But he would make the most delicious sweets and people would come a long way to buy them and savour them for a long time.
While the whole world was tearing itself apart trying to defend or protest against the ‘Manuscript’ this simple boy learnt all the truths that were inscribed and displayed everywhere around him... hidden behind mountain rocks, in the sparkle of sunshine on a leaf, in the sound of the gushing waters of a virgin spring, in the flight of a bird, in sunrise and sunset, in the coming and going of seasons, in floods and earthquakes, and in life and death.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Weapon

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This was an intense experience. I was floating somewhere in the dark, quite free and uninhibited when suddenly the light blanked out. Yeah, ‘the light’...although it had been dark, I’m sure. And now I was sucked in, into a profoundly deeper darkness that pinned me down. I was unable to move, completely paralysed, I had lost my voice, and even my power to think. In those few brief moments of absolute stillness I became slowly aware of a deadly companion who shared my space....fear.
So overpowered was I with fear that my senses stopped and I was face to face with the inevitable. Actually, come to think of it in hindsight, I have no idea what the inevitable would have been. My fear had seeped through my whole consciousness and crippled me to the extent that even my thoughts which otherwise roam free & wild, were frozen.
I guess from somewhere very deep, the primitive, primal need to survive caused a little stir in my mind. It was nothing more than a ripple, but it was the only movement I needed to break free from this darkness. The slight disturbance allowed a minor thought to sneak in. The thought told me that this isn’t real. You are either dreaming, or else you are in ‘that other zone’. Either way, reality will creep in and set you free. Damn my thoughts! What if reality had been a dream? In any case, I needed a weapon, something to attack the tormentor whom I could not see.
I should have prayed, surrendered myself to faith; but at that precise moment, honestly, even the idea of prayer was shut out. I was desperately hunting for a weapon. And then, miraculously, I found it.
I could loosen myself a bit; I felt my breath start to flow again, and a confidence slowly start to envelop me. I was fighting. It is difficult to fight when you do not know your enemy. But I knew a friend. So I fought with all my strength against everything that was against this friend. Gradually, I pierced through the walls of my prison and again reached that other darkness which was not so dark. I was free.
I knew I would wake up soon. I knew this was more real than reality. I knew I had allowed myself to save me, and by doing that, I have inadvertently saved you, my friend, for none other than you would have known where my weapon is.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Careless Whispers

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The sun was still a faint red hue peeping above the vast ocean when he arose. He quickly washed his face and put on his running shoes. Then slowly, so as not to disturb his sleeping wife, he opened the door, and slipped out.
The morning breeze was inviting to his lungs, uninhibited, and carrying a salty tinge. He slowly jogged over the rocky terrain, building up a steady pace and five minutes later he found himself on the coarse beach. The sea in these parts was rough, untamed, even dangerous. He could immediately bond with the many storms that raged havoc underneath the steady calm of the ocean. He loved the beach, it was a universe in itself, vast, and full of secrets, waiting to be revealed.
Adit had chosen this quaint sea side town as the spot to revive his marriage. He was forty-five, that precise age when one is often left wondering whether the journey had been worth the scars. Ironically, this was the same place where he had brought Kavita for their honeymoon, almost nineteen years ago. Nineteen years had changed the world with its explosion of technology,  consumerism, new political order, gay rights..the list continued. It had changed his own world; from being a hopelessly passionate youth with strong views that he freely advocated, he had come to a point where he was guarded, always measuring, and not really as sure of things as before. He was scared that one day soon he might even become cynical. He had blended and changed with circumstances, in an effort to adjust and attune, but now he wondered whether he had lost himself in the process.
Adit hastened his pace as the sun became a glowing ball, proudly emerging from the unfathomable depths of the sea. His thoughts went astray as he remembered his young bride on this very beach so long ago, with promise and expectation in her eyes. What happened to the promise? What happened to her expectations? Had the trail of nineteen years actually changed her eyes? Adit realised that he did not even know how her eyes looked today.
So immersed was he in his thought that he did not notice a young girl, about seventeen, dressed in sleeveless white T-shirt and shorts, capturing his movement with her camera. When he did notice, he was too close and he stopped his run abruptly.
“What the hell!” He exclaimed. “At least you should have the decency to ask before you shoot someone.”
“Really?” she said. “Nobody told me that.”
He had the distinct impression that she was trying to control a fit of laughter.
“Well, young lady, you cannot go about taking snapshots of anyone and everyone, some call it invading their privacy.”
“Strange!” she replied, “That is precisely what I do. I capture the world through my lens. Nobody has ever complained before; neither the sand nor the sea, nor the seashells.”
He wondered if he should even reply that one.
“And you are no different from the landscape,” she continued, “You, in fact, complete the frame.”
He looked at her. She was no longer amused, in fact she seemed very earnest.
For some reason he felt his annoyance ebb.
“Can you explain what you meant by that?”
“Yeah sure,” she said, and hesitated before continuing slowly, as one would speak to a child.
“You see, the rising sun had to unveil the secrets from the sea, but only those secrets that the sea would allow it to. There was a brief conflict and I was wondering how to capture its essence when you came by. You were an intense silhouette and the rays of the sun almost created a halo around your frame. Look..”
And she showed him a succession of snapshots, he wasn’t even aware that she had taken so many.
“You seemed to be the perfect replica of this conflict in the human form. You were running and you leave behind a trail of your footprints to be visible for this moment before the sea washes it away. Look behind.”
Intrigued by now, Adit looked around. Sure enough, he could see a long trail of his footprints, some of them already erased by the incoming waves.
“See?” she said triumphantly, “You have travelled that path, and some of the trace is lost, even to you. But that does not negate the fact that you have come that way.”
“I am a bit lost,” he said, “I seem to lose the bigger picture.”
“The bigger picture,” she said , “Is that the world creates a kind of hide and seek and apparent conflict through movement. But underneath the conflict, everything remains unchanged. Their essence remains the same.”
He thought of his marriage and the various conflicts over the years.
“Can I see, some of those?” he gestured towards her camera.
“Sure,” she looked pleased.
She led the way towards a cluster of rocks and sat down abruptly. He sat gently next to her.
“I have been here since last two days, “she explained, “You may start at the beginning”.
She showed him a picture of two children, playing around in the sand, bare feet. “See, they are challenging the world through their innocence. Innocence, of course, cannot be challenged as it’s rooted in truth, not facts.”
“What is the difference?” he asked.
“Facts may lie. Facts consist of actual words, actions, things that have happened. You may have hurt someone, that is a fact. But truth lies in the inner harmony, the permanence of your soul, the depth from which your feelings arise. That is timeless, changeless. ..like love. You may have hurt someone, even yourself, on the basis of all things that are facts, but not truth. The truth is that you have always loved.”
He gazed awestruck at the child-woman, less than half his age, who was teaching him to see his life through a new lens.
“See this picture,” she continued...
He could see a small crab-like insect climbing up a sand castle which may have been made by some-one. She had taken a close up, so the insect and the sand castle in proportion looked huge, almost a world in themselves, yet in the backdrop was the inevitable sea which would wash away this world, on an impulse.
“What do you see here?” she asked as the screen changed and he saw two distinct sailboats, with separate identities, yet sailing together in harmony.
“This one is my favourite,” she exclaimed. It was a name inscribed on the beach..’Tara’. A solitary seagull was sitting on the base of the ‘T’.  “Someone must have inscribed the name of his lover,” she said, “And a lonely bird takes a moment of refuge in the token of his love.”
And so on she continued showing him snapshots, one after the other and he felt as if he was waking up from a deep slumber to see the world for the first time.
Finally, she came to the pictures she had taken of him running. There were six in all, in each successive picture, his frame appeared bigger, and from a tiny speck in the distance, he finally emerged to fill the entire frame.
“That’s you,” she declared, “You are both a small part in infinity, as well as complete creation in yourself. I had to take these pictures,” she hesitated before continuing, “I have been capturing the sea and its moods since two days, and then here you came, at just the right moment, totally lost in your own self, and I felt that the ocean with all its knowledge untold and the beach with all its mysteries buried, exists just for you, if only you would care to look. You define them and complete my album.”
“Wow,” he exclaimed! He was grinning like a schoolboy. “May I ask you your name?”
“What the hell!” she said, “You should just say...tell me your name. Why do you have to be so damn polite? I am Zoya.”
“Zoya,” he smiled, nothing about her amazed him anymore, “ That’s a beautiful name. You remind me of how I was long ago, or maybe I still am underneath layers of facts. You have just showed me a world that is perfect in its imperfection, constant in its change, and profound in its simplicity. You will never know what you have done to me without knowing. I wish you continue your passion and one day the whole world will see itself through your lens. I work in the media, Zoya. I happen to be the CEO of a leading PR firm. I have met many photographers through my profession. Some are good, some are excellent..technically speaking. But I have never met anyone whose photography can change a life. You are gifted beyond words and it would be a shame if you don’t pursue your talent, or keep it hidden.”
With these words he rose. The breeze was a shade warmer now. It was almost eight in the morning. Good Lord! His wife would be up and waiting for him to have breakfast together. She may even wonder whether he was besotted by a mermaid in his obsession for the seaside run.
Zoya watched the retreating figure, slowly jogging away to oblivion. She had come here with her camera as a last attempt to live her passion before the inevitable preparation for entrance exams of engineering. The words of her parents and elder sister invaded her mind. “Who will buy your photography? You need a decent profession that can make a living. We have strived all our life, sacrificing so much just so that you can get your professional degree...” She pushed the voices away and got up with renewed zeal. There was at least one person who could see the mysteries of life through her eyes. There may be more.
Adit had rounded a corner and disappeared from her line of vision. Little did he know that in a world of fear and scepticism, he had just saved a dream from dying young.

They sat before a spread breakfast on the terrace. From here the sea looked tranquil and playful. In nineteen years, the sea had endured many fierce storms, yet it had remained the same.  He looked at the woman he had always loved. She was sipping orange juice and talking about her plans for the day. Adit smiled. The promise and expectation were still there in her eyes, and next to  that, every other detail seemed irrelevant.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Friendship Award

I received this Award which I perceive to be a gesture of intimacy, support, and overall a beautiful friendship from Psycho Babbling Basher. Thank you Psycho, you whom I have never met and only known since last two months, yet I feel this wonderful bond with you, as if we have known each other since centuries. I am sure that tomorrow if I lose someone special, you are a person on whose shoulders I can cry....any time of day and night, that according to me is the true meaning of friendship, rather than saying hi / hello and chatting everyday.

I would like to share 3 things about Psycho, in the tradition of this award :

1. She has a fascination for reading and stalks Paulo Coelho on the net.
2. She grew up as a tomboy, and is the favourite lady in the lives of 3 men - her dad, her hubby & her son.
3. She has phobia of snakes.

Now its my turn to pass on this Award to some people who have captured my heart and made this virtual world seem more real than real life.

1. To Psycho, for all the reasons stated above and more.

2. To Cayman, for having that hug ready for me.

3. To Alicia, for trusting in me and encouraging me by just being there.

4. To Drachma for reading and commenting on everything I write, and thus inspiring me so much without his knowledge.

5. To Legacy, for teaching me to live life NOW and being the original muse for me to pick up my pen after 10 years. Legs, if I ever write a book, I would dedicate it to you.

I would like to further personalise this Award, and leave it optional for all of you to pass it on. However, it would make my day, if all of you would accept it from me.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Strange Connection

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The evening dragged on and her head hurt. It might have been the pounding beats, or the empty banter of the assembled guests, or just the pretentious laughter all around mingled with the blur of indistinguishable faces... hazy, and covered with a layer of cigarette smoke. Like most parties, this party was no different. At least to her, it was a mere social event that she was obliged to attend.
Seeking some fresh air, she walked through the open French windows into the terrace, which was almost dark except for the light of a lamp which came from the lawn just below. Here at least she was peacefully lost and did not have to participate in meaningless conversations that just added to the throbbing in her temples.
She stood there losing track of time and breathing in the air that carried a faint hint of jasmines. From time to time, a fresh burst of shrill laughter from the party hall would pierce her solitude and shatter her reverie. She would wait for the noise to subside, then lose herself again to the night.
 After a while she became aware of a strange and hauntingly beautiful note that softly penetrated the silence, and floated to her ears from somewhere not very far. Completely and hopelessly enthralled, she listened, almost in a trance. Where were the notes coming from? Who was playing them? She shot a glance over her shoulders towards the French windows but all she got from there was a cacophony of mumbled voices blended with some pounding, which may have been rhythmic beats.
With a shudder, she walked away, as far as she could get from the party, to the furthest corner of the terrace. And as she did so, she must have reached closer and closer to the source of the strange music. The notes flowed through her, stunned her mind, captured her heart, and stirred her soul. She was sure that she was living in another time and someone very special to her was there, just a breath away. She could almost touch him. She knew that if she smiled, he would almost certainly recognize her. They had, after all, been together through many centuries.
And she felt the tears flow down as she wondered whether he was lonely just tonight or whether the loneliness spanned many lifetimes. She wanted to tell him that she still loved him as she always had and always would be but then, he already knew that, right?

Down below, in the deserted lawn, under the Hibiscus tree, the young guitarist played his instrument as if possessed, for he knew that he had touched a strange chord tonight. The music that had been unknown to his mind till then, was flowing with a spontaneity and life of its own. He was on a mission tonight and he could feel her softly treading into the recesses of his mind, walking slowly towards the source of his creativity.

Very deep, in the realms of his being, he knew he had somehow reached the sacred point where all things merge and lose themselves to finally emerge as a new identity.....the only one that matters.