WHEN FLOWERS CEASE TO BLOOM…

Monica embraced the teddy the way she always held onto her mother whenever frightened of something. With ambiguous eyes, she stood there gazing in the direction of the sun. An otherwise playful Monica was touched by a deep silence unknown to her before – silence that’s reminiscent of a coming storm.

The wind chime placed in her room shattered the stillness with its rhythmic soft tune. But it failed to break the overpowering silence with its melody.

The emerald green crystal vase lay on the table sparkling like always. But today the withered sunflower seemed to fade its beauty. It subtly lent a pale and gloomy air to the vase’s sheen. The flowers were two days old. The dried petals in front of the vase lay lifeless, as if nothing – not even the beauty of life itself could revive it.

Monica ran her finger softly over the dried petal. Despite being gentle, she felt its powdery residue coating her fingertips as soon as she touched it. Its fragility bore a close resemblance to that of life. Engulfed by a sudden feeling of vulnerability, she dropped her teddy. It hit the floor without any resistance – the resistance to hold onto what is dear. A drop of tear rolled down from her cheeks. She swallowed its saltiness with a pinch of angst.

She knew that a lot was amiss. She knew that life’s unfairness had not just uprooted her from her world, but had annihilated it forever. A fatal car accident had not just turned her into an orphan, but injured her for life.

Even in the brightest hour of the day, a bleak future awaited her.

THE LAST WALTZ

The air was filled

With soft tunes-

Of a lovely affair,

Of emotions so sweet-

Making hearts skip a beat.

 

Like a beautiful pair of swans,

They glided hand-in-hand.

Gracefully they swayed

To the rhythm of every beat.

Every smile or glance exchanged said –

A million words with ease.

 

On the threshold of a new life,

They gathered every memory of togetherness.

This was their last waltz

As ‘You’, ‘Me’ and ‘I’

Tomorrow being a new dawn as just ‘We’.

A PLEASANT MEETING WITH JACK FROST

There was something unusual about the morning. The chill in the air caressed me with warmth that only made me shudder with delight. As I drew the curtains, my eyes lit and rested on the red bricks covered with white uneven patches. The sky showered more of these fine, soft and small cotton balls through a sieve.

There was nothing more divine and blissful than what I had just witnessed. I had never experienced snowfall before. The view from my window was a mere glimpse of the divine beauty outside, waiting to be celebrated and appreciated.

I rushed to the terrace of the hotel where I was staying with my friends. To my wonder, I was greeted by thin sheets of ice covering the terrace floor. The vast expanse of this white canvas painted a picture of excitement and happiness. Forgetting all the proprieties that we acquire with age, I jumped on ice like a kid leaving behind impressions that are indelible and timeless.

The freezing and bitter cold winds contrary to their nature embraced me with such tenderness that I was extremely overjoyed at their gesture. If someone asks me what does ‘pristine’ look like, then this is it for me. Everything around me was covered with a beautiful white blanket of snow.

In the real world black dominates every aspect of life, from the air that we breathe to the emotions we evince for each other. But in this Wonderland, white became the order of the day. Just like a place far removed from reality, from the chaos and problems of everyday existence, this snowball became a haven for me. I inhaled this freshness with great gusto, hoping to flush out every unpleasant memory and feeling from my system.

As the snowflakes brushed softly against my face, I longed to be frozen in time. I wanted to be held as a captive to this moment, to be arrested willingly in a state of perpetual bliss.

Chilly greetings from the Wizard of Blizzard, Jack Frost ensured a perfect ending to the year 2013 (at least for me).

OPEN UP TO SHIFT

The untouched morning newspaper lay on the center table with something scribbled on it. The writing expressed a sense of urgency suggested by the rise and fall of the alphabets akin to the readings of the heartbeat. Besides being used as a notepad, the newspaper had also served as a coaster. The dark brown circular impression on its surface added an interesting pattern to it.

Two dirty plates and a cup were balanced unevenly on top of each other in the kitchen sink. The bread crumbs on the kitchen slab drew the attention of a train of ants. The small, systematic crew looked like a neatly drawn black dotted line when viewed from top.

The wet towel was carelessly thrown on the chair. It was a sub standard apartment with no hint of luxury. There were just two rooms with a small kitchen. The apartment looked spacious for lack of furniture.

The stillness in the apartment seemed to magnify this spaciousness. For an individual feels more free with wandering thoughts and a mind with its own space to think and breathe.

Anurag sat on the window sill with an open notebook. The sun lit the tip of his ballpoint pen. It glowed like a sword ready to slice the thin air of doubt and hesitation that enveloped his thoughts.

A writer by choice, there was nothing more comforting for Anurag than the voice of his thoughts. He was never lonely because he always shared the company of his thoughts. For him, isolation was only a matter of choice.

But there are times when life has its own plans. It changes its course, sometimes to break the existing monotony, sometimes to make way for new beginnings.

Anurag’s struggling years were not yet over. He was unable to bear the rent expenses all by himself. So, he decided to let in a roommate. For somebody who is comfortable in the absence of a fellow human being, this was a tough decision.

Anurag had been restless since few days, thinking about his new roommate. Today he would not only meet him for the first time, but he would also be shifting in to Anurag’s apartment. Shifting in to occupy the space that he always selfishly enjoyed, not even shared with his parents. This mental shift was more significant than geographical one. What if his new roommate was not compatible with his thoughts? Anurag was unable to put an end to his thoughts that became more frantic with every passing hour.

Finally at around 5 o’clock in the evening, the doorbell rang. He took a deep breath and opened the door. A tall, lanky fellow with a handsome face smiled at him. He introduced himself as Rohan. Anurag greeted him and invited him inside the apartment. After showing him around, they both sat down for a cup of tea.

After a brief conversation that lasted only till the last drop of tea, both retired to their respective rooms. Anurag resumed writing. But it was not easy as he kept fidgeting with his pen. Suddenly the air in the apartment was filled with soft music. Every note from the guitar struck a chord of harmony and peace.

Anurag didn’t bother about the song that Rohan was playing. It must have been his composition. Anurag simply closed his eyes and let the music tune in with his imagination. He realised that this rhythmic streaming of his thoughts was the most beautiful thing that he had experienced so far. With every beat his imagination soared high.

NOWHERE TO HIDE

She sat in the tranquility of her cheerful garden, feeling the freshness surrounding her. The sun was shining brightly overhead but lent warmth that is sometimes missing even in the company of loved ones. The heat wasn’t scorching at all unlike some relationships that torch your existence with its bitterness, leaving you scarred for life.

Her face lit up with the sun. But it glowed with a difference. It was akin to a canvas splashed with colours of distress and pain. Red, black and brown marks decorated her face.

The sun gleamed like hope. She desperately wanted to hold on to it. But darkness was looming around, the animal waiting to prey on her. She knew that as soon as the sun would set, the devil in him would be let loose to destroy her.