Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Rhythm of Rain

It was a rainy day. I was standing there near the entrance of the college, completely drenched and shivering with cold, waiting for the rain to stop so that I could go home and rest idly on my warm and cozy bed listening to the soft and enchanting music that the pelting raindrops made outside. But the rain showed no signs of stopping. THe whole verdant canopy was adorned with jewels like a modest bride. 



I was awakened from my rambling thoughts by a young girl with an umbrella. She understood from my face that I hadn't her question. She invited me to join her till the bus-stop. Though, I hesitated her friendly smile reassured dared my mind and I joined her in her little world. 

The moment she began to speak I labelled her as a "qualified chatterbox". The distance we had to cover stretched before us...farther had we had realised then. She was short and petite with the look of an innocent child. But what struck me most was the trace of wildness flickering in her eyes whenever she spoke enthusiastically of something. The rain had stopped but we seemed to be in no mood to depart. But we had to. She went away smiling while I stood thanking her kindness. I reached home in a trance. 

I began weaving dreams around her. Her piercing eyes with a wild look...they haunted me...throughout my sleep and my waking hours. I decided in my mind to see her every day. But then what? Will she refuse me? I tried in vain to discourage my eager heart by making her only an acquaintance met by chance, who may become a friend later, but not my love. Still I found consolation in despair. 

By some kind of an intuition I knew she would be there next day at the same spot. As I thought, she was there. As there was no rain I got no chance for accidental jostlings but still I was happy. I wondered how beautiful it would be if we shared an umbrella of life, a life of laughter and tears? Then with an ache I thought how a jobless youth like me unable to support himself would think of marriage?

Our walk became a habit for us. Talking trivia and enjoying life. I found myself borrowing her ideas and catchwords, her enthusiasm and even her philosophy of life. I read with ardour not my books but her. Every feature on her face I studied with close attention. Especially her eyes which had a keen gaze and her smiles for different occasions. Though she was not stunningly gorgeous, her enthusiasm and cheerfulness added bounce to her features and mobilised her face into a beautiful sight. To me, the most cherishable part in her was her sympathetic self that went out in pity foreveryone and everything in distress. A day for me ended at the bus-stop with her departure,

One day she remained agitated and remained silent and unresponsive. As we walked together that her parents wanted to marry her off to someone working abroad and had settled the union without even asking her approval. Her dreams of an academic career and economic as well as individual freedom were strangled in silence. 

Though her heart was breaking, her voice choked with tears and eyes brimming, she controlled her tears. As we parted, I thought her eyes had a lost "look". What had she lost? Was it really her dreams? Or...was it me? What prevented her from saying that she loved me?

That night I kept thinking of that tear that did not fall. It was for me...it was for me...my heart kept telling me. But alas? She had not said a word. 

Two days later she came to our favourite spot walking in the rain. Raindrops were trickling all over her.She tried to smile  and gave an enthusiastic talk on her love for rain. The raindrops racing down her cheeks made me think that there may be tears in them too. 

We rambled through our familiar path. I found her shivering with cold. My wild heart wanted to put my arms round her protecting her from the cold and the rain, to hold her close to my heart, to kiss her and to make her mine. With much exertion, I reminded myself that she was betrothed to another and I controlled myself. 

As if she was reading my thoughts she turned and fixed her enquiring glance upon me. We stood there face to face. She moving my heart with her pleading eyes..to change her life. To my surprise, she caught my arm and placed it against her cheek. I felt a tear on my hand. I turned her towards me and gently kissed her on the forehead.She smiled through her tears and rested her head against my chest. I ran my fingers all over her face and kissed it myriad times. We departed in silent jubilation. I was ecstatic with the thought that I was worth her love. 

For some days she didn't come to college. Then a friend informed that she is in the hospital with high fever. But the tidings that came next shattered me completely. She, whom I loved more than myself, the throb of my heart was dead. After suffering for a week she quietly slipped away in her sleep. My qualified chatterbox. 

I couldn't bear the thought of seeing her lifeless...without that wildness flickering in her eyes...I denied myself that torture. But just as in the fairy tales I thought won't I be able to rouse her from the sleep of death by planting a kiss of true love upon on her cold lips?

Now, it's raining outside. Nature dressed  up like a bride is waiting for her beloved, and I think somewhere in time she may be waiting for me too, with a pleading look in her eyes. Though she is gone from the world, I feel her living in me as my life-throb. Whatever I may do, I won't sleep this night, for a pair of eyes with a wild glitter in them will sing to me, new joys of love, till I wake for her from the dream of life.