Monday, June 17, 2013

And then it rained!


 
“You have been pushing this for long,” She threw her hands in the air in exasperation. “It is your birthday party you know!” Even a deaf man could not miss her emphasis on ‘is’. When she received no reply, she took in a deep breath. “Ten minutes,” she announced. “I can keep them entertained without you for ten minutes. Tops! After that they want to be with you. They are here for you. You have no right to deny them that!” She turned and stomped towards the door. With one hand on the doorknob she tilted her head to make herself more audible and said softly, “those people are here because they love you. Don’t disappoint them.”

Love. She smirked. The people on the other side of the door did not love her! They wanted her. They needed her. But they did not love her. Half of them wanted what her money could buy, the other half needed her networks. Not one amidst the three hundred people come to celebrate her birthday had really come because they  loved her! She swirled the glass in her wine and watched the ruby fluid slide smoothly down the walls of the goblet. In the gathering pool of red at the bottom of her glass were dreams drenched in her blood, relationships she had sacrificed and love she had murdered.
All of this to get to the top of an empty space where bodies are mummified in their ambitions. Where money was the embalming fluid which preserved the fake beauty of human artifacts and real human beings looked in through glass windows coveting the delusional glory. She swallowed the remaining wine in one gulp and was about to pour herself another glass when she caught her reflection in the mirror.

Her dress was dazzling. It was created by one of the top designers. He had spent a month thinking what her birthday dress would be. Not because he wanted it to reflect who she was, he wanted it speak of who she had become. He wanted it to be covered by the journalists and for another month he wanted to be the talk of the town. He had not done a bad deal either. Soft golden silk hugged her curves sensuously before flowing down in asymmetrical frills just above her knee. Her narrow waist was accentuated by a Swarowski studded belt which glinted gold in the harsh yellow light of dressing table.
She moved her eyes upwards to the bare column of her neck. Further up to her garish red lips which people found so luscious, up the bridge of her nose to her eyes. Long ago someone had told her that her eyes reflected her soul. She squinted at the black pearly staring back at her. She wanted to see something left of her soul. Some hope. Some light. Some glint. Something. Anything. She searched the black orbs with an intensity she did not know she possessed. She needed to find her soul in those eyes. She looked frantically.

Yet all that stared back at her were two lifeless dots, rimmed with spectacular make-up. She swallowed a sob. Her eyes sparked to life at that. She swallowed another small lump of tears. Her eyes shimmered awake. Dancing delicately on the gold sprinkled mascara were the first traces of her tears. They looked like they might have traces of her soul in them. She blinked hard. She could not let those tears flow. They were all she had!


The tears rolled down nevertheless. They took whatever little life she had left with them.
Angrily she grabbed the bottle of wine and stumbled towards the balcony. She raised the bottle to her lips and took long swigs which did nothing to calm her. It smelled lovely outside. It smelled of careless summers and grass swept monsoons. It smelled like the blush of a teenager having her first crush. She lifted her button nose into the air and inhaled deeply.

She started a little. It took her by surprise. She drew her hand under her nose, where she could see it better. There, right under her third knuckle was the crystal clear drop of rain. She smiled. It seemed to smile back at her. Another drop joined him as he plopped on her wrist. Another one landed on her hand. She was sure she was catching some in her hair.

They started multiplying rapidly all over her body. They danced in the faint magic created by the city lights. She laughed at their performance. Suddenly they were everywhere. On her expensive golden dress, on her silly red lips, on her mosaic tiled terrace, everywhere! There was a huge rumble which shook her to her bones.

And then it rained!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Rainwashed Memory

He was running late. Usually by this hour he was in his cabin zapping out task lists and planning his day. He knew weekday parties was a very bad idea. Yet he had given in and gone out. One drink led to a tempting conversation inviting more drinks. The result was that he had embarrassed himself and was tugging along a very irritating hangover. Now, just because he had to pick up those very annoying but very effective aspirins from an apothecary five minutes out of his way, he was even getting late to work!

He cursed himself under his breath as he fumbled around in his massive jacket pockets for some change. He slapped it on the counter, flashed a pasted smiled, grabbed his bottle of aspirins and headed out in a hurry. A gentle drizzle slapped his face. He grunted. This is exactly what he needed. He made a mental note to hate June . He stood a little away from the door of the apothecary and took a deep calming breath. He wriggled his toes inside his stonewashed shoes. His yoga instructor insisted it aided blood circulation and helped calm the mind.

He watched little crystals of droplet hit the gray pavement and crash into a million splinters before disappearing completely. The sight was in equal parts heart wrenching and absolutely beautiful. He watched them for a couple of seconds more and then looked up.

That’s when he saw her.

The thin film of rain did nothing to hide her from his sight. She stood on the other side of the road fumbling with her umbrella. He watched her lips move. He knew she was talking to the umbrella, coaxing it open up. Like always, her lips reminded him of rich plums flirting with sun; their shade just the right kind of crimson, like wine made from the finest of grapes, aged to perfection. She had cut her hair. They now hung in soft curls around her neck. The gentle breeze ruffled through those curls drawing them over her face. She would angrily brush them away. The breeze would naughtily come right back.

He wanted to be the breeze.

He stood there watching her bottle green dress billow around her long legs. He could not move even if he wanted. The weight of memories of things unsaid between them anchored him to his spot. He watched with quiet fascination as she finally managed to get her umbrella open. She held it above her head. A slight frown still creased her forehead as she looked left and right, unsure of what she was looking for.

His heart skipped a beat.

Would she look at him? He felt his heart wake up and kick into gear. What would he do if she did look at him? Should he wave out to her? Should he cross the distance and walk up to her? He should have done that years ago. It was too late now.

That thought calmed him. It was too late. There were years of silence he could not explain or unfold.
He watched her hitch her bag higher on her shoulder. She turned away from him and started walking. He stood staring at the now empty spot where he had seen her.  One by one the memories rose. They always did. Each more poignant than the other, each more colorful. One by one, the rain bleached the memories of all color, till all that was left was a heavy sadness hanging from his shoulders.


His phone buzzed. Someone form work was trying to reach out to him. He smirked. How ironical was it that certain moments brought your world to a standstill and certain moments taught you that life moves on.