The shot was so perfectly aimed at
That the arrow dug down deep;
With it engraved as if a work of craft
The heart learnt to beat;
For it was the pain that became the elixir of life
And the only pleasure to feel.
By the lofty hills
where the stream frothed;
Laid the rock still,
with the Bird perched upon:
‘Twas the brawling brook underneath,
transcending tranquility far and beyond.
Her journey from the Concrete Jungle,
terminating but at a peaceful juncture:
of scuffling ripples
and babbling bubbles.
With the sylvan glade to the fore,
the solitary shanty to the rear;
Plumaged from its chimney the smoke:
shading the yonder grey;
Far soothing than the poison plummeted
off the factories into the blackened freshet.
‘Twas the water that sputtered
and not the engines,
The wind that blew unhindered,
and not the hawkers.
Walking on the soft wet mud;
leaving prints of existence on the land.
Far more promising than the hard gravelled ground,
soaking up the tinge of Life.
was the Birdie that fluttered
around her land of sanctity.
“What’s the difference?” I asked him. “Between the love of your life, and your soulmate?”
“One is a choice, and one is not.”
‘…and so they lived happily ever after. THE END.’
Such were the concluding lines of the story, err love story she just read sitting in the lawns by the India Gate.
It was a sunny day with a mild breeze playing with her curly hair. Putting aside the book from her lap on the ground she decided to stretch her legs and relax a bit. With her head tilted backwards, chin up towards the sky, she closed her eyes allowing the breeze to effortlessly sail her hair through the forehead down her shoulders.
‘ I love sunny winter mornings.’ Thought she.
It was 12:30 P.M. Another half an hour to go before she would leave to have lunch. It was one of those Sundays when she went out on a date treating herself with delicacies and trips to serene places.
‘ Love? Aah..so overrated.’ Wondered she lost in her thoughts.
‘ Well! I guess its fine to go through a love story after 3 years of staying away from them.’ Continued her thoughts. She could not deny her best friend’s book recommendation after all.
Engaged in her thoughts she leaned her back against the tree trunk behind her and looked around at the children playing, couples cuddling and the elderly posing to get their pictures clicked in front of the India Gate.
‘ HaHa!! Look at him. He is my kind.’ She chuckled looking at a guy at a distance lost in his book sitting all by himself under a tree.
‘ Oh! I better get going.’ Her wristwatch flashed 1:00 P.M.
She headed towards the bus stop to wait for the one to Connaught Place. She stood there for a while just when a bus stopped but not the one leading to her destination. As the bus departed she noticed a familiar reflection of a man standing behind her in its glass windows.
“ This book belongs to Adi?” She heard a voice from the back. “ Hey! That’s my name with a mirrored image of ‘b’.” Smiled the man at her as she turned to get hold of her lost possession.
“ Oh! Thanks a lot. I must have left it there in a hurry.” Cried Adi. ‘ That’s funny! His name is my kind too.’
“ No problem ma’am,” replied Abi. “ So you’re fond of such stuff? I mean love stories.”
“ Oh! Not really.” came her prompt reply. “ I feel…love is a bit…”
“ Overrated!?!” came their unanimous response followed by a hearty laugh before they went their respective ways.
There was a loud thud on the weak wooden door. The inhabitants looked in the direction of the horrifying knock all at once – the father with an expression of angst and worry; the teenage daughter with a look of wonder while her little brother with a pure confused and ignorant look, running away from his Didi’s hand holding the last bite of the chappati of his share, came to a sudden hault.
The father rushed to each and every window of his hut to shut them as hurriedly as possible but the wind kept pushing them away from the hinges. Holding his two children close to his heart he kept waiting in the darkness for the monstrous blizzard, casting their shadows on the wet floor with every spell of maddening thunder, to die out!
“I won’t let anything happen to you my love.”, cried the man. “You stay here with the children and let me run to the neighbourhood and grab a bag of those pills.”
Saying this he rushed towards the door just to quickly shut it back. Turning away from the door all he could witness was a horde of militiamen, marching house to house collecting the ominous pills, dragging those who couldn’t deposit their share, out of their homes and brutally stuffing one man after the other into the cages installed at the back of the lorries. It was the storm this time which added to the comfort by clouding one’s vision to the scenes of agony.
Mohan turned to his right and saw his neighbour, peeping from the window left ajar, waving frantically to come to him. He slipped indoors only to know that their harvest had also gone bad and that all they could help him with were a few left over pills prepared from the seeds of last year’s harvest. The poor man cursed his fate and carried a handful of pills as opposed to a bag full of them, to submit as his share. As he came out of his neighbourhood, he could hear the shrieks of a woman. Somehow that cry seemed familiar to him and he ran in the direction of the voice in despair.
“STOP!!!!!!”, he shouted racing madly after a cart carrying its prisoners in the locked-up confinement.
“NO!!! Don’t!! I have them!!! WAIT!!!!!”, pleaded the man seeing that one hand with red bangles crushed between many alike.
But it was too late to chase any further for the cart went down the horizon leaving him hysterical, down on his knees, in the storm culminating into a heavy downpour. This time Mother Nature adding comfort by mourning with him in his hour of grief.
“My dear! Death is the only truth.” He could hear the calm voice say to him as he sat down on the ground full of muddy puddles of water.
“Death is our only true love for first we are set free to do whatever we want to in this selfish world and then it calls us back to its homely bosom.” He longed to see her this time through his watery eyes as she spoke these words of wisdom but all that lied in front of him was an appalling anguish.
“The days of slumber are now over; for now is the time to wake up and to embrace the long-lost friend.” Continued the melodious voice of his wife.
This time the words actually soothed him as he decided to wake up to embrace the reality. He opened his eyes to see his two beautiful children sleeping next to him. With a smile on his face he again went off to sleep remembering his once awakened wife.