Sunday, March 30, 2008


The world creaks at the touch of another dawn. Creaks like an old wooden door letting out a whiff of tired time. So tired, so unsure, so...

He saw the silver strands of the cobwebs shine in the sunlight. Light was such a rarity these days. His gnarled fingers wanted to reach and revel in the light. The dust floating in the beam of light danced, daring his fingers to follow suit. But he knew outside, the air was still fresh with the echoing screams. He could never go out.

When the chameli had blossomed in the moonlit night and the earth had smelt of rain. When the sounds of crickets resonated in the lush breeze and the blades of grass conspired under the starry sky. Then he had seen her for the first time, bathing in the Jamuna. The currents of running water caressed the folds of her wet sari and his heart filled with jealousy for every drop. The glistening curls of her black tresses bewitched him with their black magic. He had stood there, hidden behind the old neem, enchanted by this mirage of pure beauty.

The relentless creepers had finally broken through the cold stone. He picked some pieces of crumbling stone in his hands. The earth was fresh with the morning dew. He stirred in the dark prison of his memories. His muscles ached, tired and sore with the unending wait of being alive.

Twilight had painted the sky a vehement orange. He waited by the banks of the river to catch a glimpse of her. She used to come out into the balcony everyday. Her ivory silk scarf fell on the red sandstone and made it shiver with life. He watched in awe as the setting sun made her face glow like an angel. The cliff dropped, straight and majestic, a sheer fifty feet below the balcony, as if the earth itself had been hewed into the shape of a strong wall for the fort. It was a fitting place for a princess. Just below, the river bank was of solid rock, where he washed clothes.

That evening she had run out, breathless. Her hair was not done and was blowing like the mane of a wild stallion in the wind. She seemed to rise above the balcony railing and float in the air. The sun had suddenly turned crimson, filling the skies with the blood splattered on the earth. The last thing he remembered hearing was a scream drowning the river waters in its misery.

Time had passed outside. But inside this house of stone, where his memory had taken root like an ancient sacred fig, time lay still. His love had always been a memory. She had not even known that he existed. Yet, the walls of her tomb were the only place where he could escape the sound of that scream. old. The world moves on. Beyond time and memories. A tomb stays, unmoving, unchanging, unyielding. Holding love prisoner, forever, in its inescapable bosom.

No comments:

Post a Comment