Getting Back

He walked with nervous anticipation… his hands hanging awkwardly by his sides… his fingers felt like forgotten acquaintance – their movements a vague memory of a subconscious past. He trudged slowly to the farthest room of the house – the place he called his haven amidst madness. Did he still belong? Would he still match up with the sanctity of his refuge? The thought had held him back for weeks. But he had to try, or what was he but another mortal drowning in the sea of life? He had to try… he took a long breath and walked towards the closed door.

One step after another, the door got closer. He held the knob and gave it a twist. It felt like before, but as the tiny dark room showed itself, the hesitation resurfaced. At the centre sat a chair and his violin lay on it, just like he had left it a few months ago, before the accident, before the physiotherapy. He stepped in the room, the door clicked shut behind him. The dwindling light of an impending dusk filtered through the curtains making the shadow of the chair longer, beckoning him.

He held the violin in his hands and sat on the chair, adjusting his spine to its curves. The grip of the violin evoked a flood of memories; his fingers found their purpose again. Holding it in one hand, he strummed a few strings – the awkward spurts of sound brought a smile to his face. Arching his back, he held the violin between his left shoulder and chin and lifted the bow to playfully draw a few strings. The resulting clumsy sound, made him laugh like a child. Nervous, anxious wave of energy ran through him… he had not lost his way after all… It would take a while, but he still belonged… and that’s all that mattered.

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This is a tribute to my blog; I am getting back to writing with the same trepidation as my MC.

It feels so good to write something again! It’s like finding my equilibrium in a way no form of meditation ever can.

Love to all!

Cheers,

Parul

Undercurrents

It was supposed to be just another drab day at work, and it was living up to it… until he showed up. She heard the familiar voice talking to someone at a distance from her cubicle, close enough for her to peer and confirm it was him. But she didn’t look up, it was work as usual. A colleague, no someone who worked in the same office, had returned from a client project after a few months, so what? Eyes fixed on the computer screen, hands working on the keyboard at the same speed as before; she strained her ears to make sure it was his voice. It was – there was no mistaking it. The game of hide and seek resumes, she sighed, ignored the voice and got back to the endless heap of work.

Where is he sitting today, her eyes swept through the office floor casually as she got up get some water.  The turquoise t-shirt wasn’t hard to miss – he was sitting at the other end, back towards her. She smiled slightly casually straightening her own turquoise colored dress. How they ended up being color coded almost every other day without having talked a single word to each other ever was beyond her comprehension.

She was in a client call when someone called out his name as he was passing by. Before she knew it a group formed around him and they got talking. Gritting her teeth she pressed the receiver hard to her ear and continued taking notes albeit with more effort than before.  She could feel his eyes on her every now and then, but she was not going to acknowledge it.

It was 4 pm, she got up for coffee, smiling mischievously at a little gossip her friend had just told her on the chat, when she saw him standing in front of her at some distance.  Their eyes met, she with her stupid mischievous smile frozen on her face and he smiling knowingly. She casually looked away, met up with her friend outside the cubicle and walked to the cafeteria – like nothing happened… no fresh smoke, none whatsoever, she chided herself giddily.

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This is my entry for Inspirational Monday this week hosted by BeKindReWrite. I have used the prompt: “Fresh Smoke”.

I look forward to constructive feedback about ways to improve, so do share your 2 cents if you stop by!

Inspirational Monday is a word-prompt challenge with no stringent word limit where various word prompts are given to choose from and spin a story around anytime before the next Monday. You have the creative freedom to use the prompt anyway you like. It is an enjoyable exercise and worth trying!

To check this week’s prompts and last week’s entries, please click here.

For the love of Delhi

Lutyen’s Delhi looks beautiful at night. Deserted roads lit with street lights look like deep grey rivers frozen in time. While weekends witness great activity with love-struck couples, change-desperate families and ever-jubilant students swarming the India Gate premises, weekdays are mostly deserted with a handful of dreamers like yours truly ambling around with like minded non-conformers. When it’s well past midnight on a weekday, there’s hardly any soul around to see the wind caressing the green façade surrounding the roads, whispering jokes it heard throughout the day in the political arenas, making the trees shake with laughter and tremble with the horror of what lies ahead. It’s a beauty that’s rare and exquisite.

I was driving in circles on the roads with my long time friend that night when she told me she was leaving for Dubai for good.

“Will you be coming back to visit sometime?” I asked her as calmly as I could.

“I don’t think so”, she said, looking outside the window. Her lustrous black hair was wrapped in a tango with the wind, obstructing her view sometimes. But she seemed oblivious, making no attempt to tame it.

My mind was a blur. Words popped up in no logical sequence but I kept myself from blurting by concentrating on the road ahead. I am a very controlled man. Life has taught me to not wear my heart on my sleeve. Apart from giving easy access to any bumbling bee who wants to kick it around, it serves no fruitful purpose. But this girl was different.

I knew this was coming. It had been on the cards for years now. But I thought we will work it out some way, not knowing how. We being together was the most logical thing. So logical that it never had to be worded between us in all these years. Not until now I guess.

“I am happy for you. When are you leaving then?” I said almost mechanically.

“In a couple of days” she replied.

“I am going to be very lonely here without you. Can’t even imagine”, I said, giving in partly to the aggravating turmoil within.

She kept looking out without replying.

We drove around and stopped at our regular paratha joint, made our regular order of paratha and chai. I was quiet all this while, so was she. Words were never needed between us, but I wanted to say something, anything, to keep her from going home tonight and to Dubai eventually. It was way out of my character to make an effort, especially because my efforts had left me hurt and vulnerable before. She knew all about it, she was the one who used to listen to the sagas of my heartaches and heartburns later, at this very place, on these very roads.

Heartless and cold, time flies by when you want to sleep in its vicissitudes. I drove her to her home of 2 more days, silent despite my sinking heart.

“Will we catch up again before you leave?” I asked as she got out of the car.

“Not sure. I have a lot of errands to do before I leave”.

“Is there anything I can do to keep you from going?” I asked finally.

She caressed my face, a hint of mist in her eyes. “You have kept me long enough already”.

And that was the end of a story that could have been. I traverse around the same roads even now. They are beautiful like before, deserted and dreamy. But when the breeze brushes my hair and strokes the back of my neck, I have to admit, my mind races to the glitzy skylines of Dubai. Maybe I should visit her sometime. That would be way out of my character again, but some things are worth losing yourself.

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I leave you with a not-so-famous, but lovely hindi song.