Thursday, July 09, 2015

2215 : Enjoy the silence

Two years is a long hiatus to meet somebody after. The years can kill the shared context, it can silence the sounds, it can add miles and eons in the interim, and it can add boundaries where none existed.

They were meeting in her city. She snaked into his hand, and said "Lets walk".

For the next few hours, they walked along the familiar city, hand in hand, the snakes hardly ever disengaging. The city seemed bizarrely alien though, no longer did it seem like the city she grew up in. No longer did it remind them of the times they had frolicked in it.

As they walked past the town center, the buzz of the crowds hit him hard. To distract himself, he paused and stared deep and purposefully at her. She was the one who had never liked people...and he found her with her eyes downcast, almost as if, doing that would make sure that the rest of the world did not exist.

The snakes and the two feet ahead of them - that was all that mattered in her world, in that moment.

He pursed a wistful smile and they continued to walk. They passed by an art shop, where an old antique chess board with a game hung in abeyance was placed for window shopping. They both paused near it. He looked at her, in askance if she was ok with a pause, and she just let a hint of a smile escape her lips - indicating that she was fine.

He stared hard at the pieces, and he knew bloody well that black was going to lose now. Yet  he also knew this is how the game would stand forever, until someday someone bought this board up - at which point the game would be abandoned and the pieces would all be dead mid-flight. Fight over. Game over. It would not even be a stale mate. It would be sudden death. And this was not football. He mused and chuckled under his breath - the pieces, who were so engrossed into the battle - did they see this sudden death coming at all.

Involuntarily his clasp around her snaking hand tightened. Had he seen their sudden death coming? Had he not known that one day they would be put back into their boxes, waiting, preparing for the next new game in town?

After a few seconds, they had restarted their silent ministrations. As they crossed the crowded parts of the old city, a downpour had started. They huddled into what looked an old paan shop, that eerily looked familiar.

Why? He wondered? Had they eaten paan here? He had always found paan very metaphorical. It was a poison. You went into a paan shop - the seller gave you paan, and you foolishly would give him your soul and walk away without ever realising it.

Today neither of them was going to even suggest paan. They waited there under the shade, like two age worn lovers holding hands. In the light of the evening, he again stared at her, for the most bits, she was looking down as if she was uncomfortable both with his and the world's gaze. He continued staring, and then he caught her eyes focus on something head high.

She was looking intently at the edge of the shade, which was almost 10 inches away from there. There were water droplets collecting there. All of them pregnant with their own weight. He looked at the point where he thought she was possibly looking at.

There was a bit of deformity on the shade, and through it, a few drops were converging. As they both looked on, two large droplets merged and they became heavier. It was evidently harakiri - a potent suicide. The large drop danced precariously with its own pregnancy, and for a few dangerous seconds, it looked like it might just survive, just about pull it off, and then in a slow languorous move, it broke free - and in the free fall they both saw it land on the ground, disintegrate and escape into a million broken pieces.

This time it was she who tightened the snake. The drop's death was their shared secret. He smiled again.

A few minutes later, the sky ran dry, and they began their walk again.

It must have been a few minutes, before they passed the place where she lived. He paused, and she as if on cue paused too. He finally said what were probably their only words spoken that evening,"This has been very beautiful. The night has descended on this beauty. You must go now".

A wistful hug and peck later she was gone. She did not turn back as she climbed the stairs into her porch.

He waited till he saw the last of her apparition. He closed his eyes and sighed.

Now he unmistakably knew how poetry without a shard of voice sounded like.


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