As dew under the rays of the sun…

August 10, 2011

“Your feet are big, but I can still wrap my hand around them” she heard the voice coming from afar, and she knew the steady pressure she felt around her ankles was not a dream. But she was outside it, living a distant pieced together mosaic of a life even as she walked among them. She heard, she saw, but she felt nothing.

“Mm” she replied, non-committal yet present to the acceptable social extent. Her every waking moment was a struggle now in fitting in, a battle to prove she was real. I hear, see and speak, she thought, and that must mean that somehow I exist. Every conversation now was a struggle to dig her claws into reality, a kite straining against the manjha and yet knowing separation from the maker was certain death.

What was death, really, she wondered – an altered state of reality at best, and nothingness at worst. Or the other way around, depending on the life you’d had. So, really, this is the one shot we have at making it work – and, it comes with no guarantees. People who worked hard didn’t always find success. People who gave selflessly didn’t always find love. And people who screwed up didn’t always pay for it.

“Let’s go see the Salvador Dali exhibition this weekend” he said. “it’ll be fun”. She smiled, a half-smile that didn’t scream yes, but didn’t mean no either. She knew she would go, if he didn’t ask her again. It was a strange tug-of-war between them… she was dead certain she could not spend what remained of her life with him, but she wasn’t fully ready to let go either. It wasn’t fear, but it wasn’t far from it. Inertia is what it is, she concluded – the familiar is comforting, and I am too tired to seek a new life.

Even as she sat there, wide awake and acutely aware of his every move, she was conscious of a strange sense of being disembodied – floating above herself, orchestrating every sigh and watching every movement. Each time he questioned himself and pulled away, she dug the claws in deeper – and everytime he was pulled closer, she deliberately took a step back.

And all the time she was cognizant of the unfairness of it all… he had laid his heart out for her, and while she wasn’t trampling all over it, she wasn’t handing it back to him either.

“I don’t love you, you know” she heard herself say. She looked composed – a storm was raging within, as always, and she still managed to look unaffected. Except her eyes – dark pools of whirling dervishes, they gave her away. With an oriental inability to veil the drama, her kohl-lined eyes betrayed her. She meant it “I wish I did… our lives would be so much easier. But I don’t. What do I do?” she asked plaintively. She was not asking him to let her off easy, or offering an excuse. She really had no idea how to move past her inability to feel. And she hoped he knew a way out.

His lip quivering as he spoke, he tried his best to be matter of fact “I have infinite patience, and I’m willing to let you take your time to make up your mind. Mine is made up, and I know I’ll wait for you – as long as it takes”, he breathed.

Was she a coward, she wondered. She couldn’t be with him, her every fibre fought it, and she couldn’t say no either. She longed for him to find a way out for her, and knew equally well he wouldn’t. He cared too much. She could no longer stay detached and watch life pass by – life had decided to stop and knock on her door, she had to answer. No was easy – equally disturbingly, yes was easier.

She took a deep breath, and answered the knock after what seemed like ages. He stood at her door, laying the stars at her feet and holding the promise of the whole world in the palm of his hands. All she saw were the silky threads of a web. She was the freshness of mint sprigs, the ephemeral momentariness of dew, the shadowy silhouette of daydreams. And he was the earth, solid and permanent. She belonged with him as raindrops belonged with government bonds. When life touched her, she sublimated. And he was life.

Her decision made, she shook her her sadly “I must go”. As she said it, she faded, as softly as the haunting strain of a loved melody falling gently on ears straining to capture an unencumbered soul…



  1. DEEP as usual.

  2. Wow!!

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