Sunday, 10 May 2015

The flute by the sea...

       The tune of the flute was enticing. She could feel it beckoning her. The quiet melody tugging at her senses. Tempting them to break down. She had to let go, free from the daily nuances of life. The hectic schedule, college, classes, peer pressure and the pressure to excel everywhere. It was daunting at times. The often over hyped college life was worth the wait. It was fun but with its own demands. Friends, the so called friends, the way you had to be sure and carry yourself at all times, the facade was tiring. It was time to let go. The melody was letting her do the same. For once to stop thinking of false pretenses and be her real self. The flute made its way over the chaos of the city. The constant honking and hawking of the busy city was nothing new. But amidst this chaos was the one striking tune that came in clear and sharp. She made her way following the melody, her ears were there to lead on. Somewhere she was aware of the classes she had to attend, of the time by which she had to be back home. Of all those deadlines she had to meet. All seemed a waste this very moment.
    The seaface in the distance was becoming distinct by the passing second. The ever crowded seaface was quite empty today. The ledge stood out sharply on the seashore. There was the source. The source of the sweet melody. A silhouette sat on the edge of the ledge  playing the flute. The setting sun in the background painted a picture of perfect concentration. The boy was immersed completely. The flute was but a medium. She could sense the purity of emotion flowing through the flute. It was all one could ask for. She let her bag drop unknowingly by her side and closed her eyes. It was sharper now. This moment had comprised of just her and the lilting melody. Her feet tensed and taught by the day of travel seemed relaxed now. She let them dangle and sat down on the warm sand.

   The notes rose higher and she fell deeper in love with the melody. The notes plucked at strings hitherto unknown to her, emitting purest of bliss. It was all she could do to stop herself from running towards the silhouette. It was getting darker and yet she could feel the gentle breeze play through her locks. The roar of the hustling city did not matter to her now. If only this moment would linger. The constant pressure of outperforming her peers was non-existent for this moment. Life was beautifully simple yet conveniently complicated. In the distance the sun finally kissed the horizon and bade adieu to all. With the setting sun the tune dissolved into the nothingness that lay ahead. She smiled and brushed away the lazy strand of hair that fell across her now content face. The dark was soothing. The flute had taught her what the horde of classes and hundreds friends couldn't. Life was simple, as simple as you made it out to be. She knew she would be here again tomorrow, waiting for the flute player. And she also knew it somewhere deep down that he would not be there, yet she would come, to feel the lingering tune in the air somewhere waiting for her to catch it. She stood up straightened and picked up her bag to start her dreary trudge back home.
   In the distance the silhouette turned, the slender reed of a flute playfully twirling on his lithe fingers. Those fingers sad for he had never found the courage to look back. He knew she was there all the time.. watching him play. If only he could tell her, the flute, the melody, all was for her..He knew he would be here again tomorrow, waiting for her. And He also knew it somewhere deep down that she would not be there, yet He would come, to feel the lingering tune in the air somewhere waiting for her to catch it..

Friday, 8 May 2015

The Window.. a story

      The monotonous rut of the daily routine had been broken. The often trodden path seemed unfamiliar to him. The lowly life of a labourer was now insignificant. He would now return to the land he belonged to. All had chosen to stay  behind and remain a part of this lowly life. He had dared to break free. It was scary even at his age to find a way to the bus stop. The one which was his very own key to freedom. The bus stop was deserted, but for a hawker or so. In the distance he heard of the familiar rumble of the bus, which graced the town once a week. Every week he would simply stare at it, just wishing to break free and catch the ride. It had taken him quite long to muster the false courage, he had tucked in somewhere deep to make the decision finally. The bus came to a halt in front of him. He had it all chalked out to finest detail, after all he had been planning for this all his life. He picked up his ragged bundle of belongings and clambered up the rickety bus steps. He glanced around and found a window seat. A blessing. Now he could sit and be as nostalgic as he wanted. This was where he had spent all his living years and now yearned to visit that place before he died. The place of his ancestors. Eyes closed and the gentle breeze was all what it took to doze off.

        The monstrous hum of the engine starting, brought him back to sense. The bus had revved up for the journey that lay. The window seat would surely be of help, had his stomach dared to rumble. His mother had told him of the place of his ancestors. His mighty ancestors who were once a name to be feared. The gentle lullabies he had never heard came beckoning today only to be thwarted. The bed time stories, his little head on his mother's lap and the hut of a house they lived in. All came beckoning. The vivid picture his mind had painted of the sprawling mansion of his ancestors The way his father boasted of the lush green gardens that surrounded it brought goosebumps. His ancestors had been great people. The ancestral land where all were fed and slept hungry. It was one of those days when his father couldn't bring home a penny, his mind feasted on the lavish luxuries of his ancestral mansion. The river that flowed by and its crystal clear water were alive in his heart. It was a sight to behold when his mother described him of the paradise they had to leave before his birth. He knew he would one day get to see it all. To own it and bring fame to the name of his ancestors once again. All of his 84 years, he had painted the exuberant picture over and again in his heart. It was now, that finally he could and would touch and feel his dream. Soon, he thought. The window of the bus gave him glimpses of dusty roads and rundown buildings as it made its way to the promised paradise. It was not what was supposed to surround the paradise of his ancestors. But no matter, it would come in time. The heavenly abode. He closed his eyes  with a smile on his face.

     The bus came to screeching halt as the conductor threw a cursory glance over the empty seats. All but one were vacant. The old man's destination was here yet the man had not stirred. The conductor made his way to the window seat and nudged the old man. And it was the end. The man was no more. Dead with a smile on his lips. As the conductor signalled the driver to drive on to the nearest morgue, the window slammed shut. The last thing one would have seen through the window was a ruin of a rundown building which once could have passed for a mansion, surrounded by a river of filth. This was it. His ancestral home.. Still in its former glory, permanently etched in the dead man's smile...