Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Other Side

It is 5 minutes past 1:00 pm. I step out of my dreary one bedroom apartment after ages. The February air is still chilly but the sun is out today and I can feel the sunshine caress the back of my bare neck. I suddenly realize my hair is still up in a bun, knotted, tangled from the many sleepless nights; an unweeded garden, not just my hair, my entire being. I remember Hamlet's soliloquy,
 How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable 
  Seem to me all the uses of this world! 
  Fie on't! ah, fie! 'tis an unweeded garden 
  That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature 
  Possess it merely.

A rescue van whizzes past me making me loose my balance and I catch myself from falling off the pavement. My legs are waking up, slowly remembering what it is like to walk again; from small cautious steps to long confident strides, I can feel the blood rush to my calves, and I settle on a slow jog trot heading to nowhere in particular. I stop to catch my breath at the signal and cross the street as the sweet sound of strings fills the air. I turn back to see a young lad busking at the corner, his eyes half closed, his fingers moving magically across the harp. I wonder what brought him to the streets, perhaps a gig fell through...

And me, what brought me to the streets today?

I could feel the bile rising in my throat yet again, but this time it wouldn't come out in tears. I had shed enough, ashamed and angry, in the darkness of my home. I up my pace, and walk towards the Woodside grove and take a left onto the path leading to the Swan Lake park. This is where it will end; I'll make the two ends meet, completing the circle. This is what urged me out of my cocoon today, to put an end to my despair.

I walk with a determined pace under the white blossoms, each step bringing me closer to the sullied lake, but the giggles and chatter of children distract me. I look at my brushed nickel Bulova Caravelle, his only memento, and allow myself to be drawn towards the Rosewood cafe. 1:40 pm. There is time to have a last cup of tea.

I sit facing the sun, my back towards the cafe entrance and let the surrounding voices tease me. Each string of half heard conversations pull on a nerve in my brain, making memories rush back.

"This way, Helen" an elderly male voice booms, and I make a quick judgement on the type of person Helen is married to. I sense authority in the voice, and I am reminded how I had once lived to please such an authoritarian myself.

"Arthur? Arthur?" A red haired boy of about eight runs behind his Cockapoo, I strain my neck to catch them play. "You sneaky little thing" he calls out lovingly and disappears at the back of a tree. I instinctively get up and follow them. But there are only remains of 'us' behind the tree.

I feel dizzy and know I can't take it any longer. I need to drown all the remains, down to the oldest memory, till nothing is left. I make my way to the lake and stop just a foot off the edge. I am not afraid, yet I hesitate. But I can't go back now. I move an inch closer. 'Getting to a place of comfort can be uncomfortable' I remind myself. Just a few inches more, and I'll be on the other side, I smile knowingly.

"Miss...Miss...excuse me. Hello?"

I hear a strained voice, then hurried footsteps. Whoever it maybe, I decide not to look back. I've got to go to the other side...

(To be contd...)

P.S Linking to BAR's Wordy Wednesdays

The Other Side (Part 2)

19 comments:

  1. ohh your narration!!! I have always been a fan of it... the way you unfold the story... slowly... waiting for more :)

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  2. Awesome raconteuring! It was totally gripping and so vivid. Eagerly awaiting the next installment.

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  3. Looking forward rather anxiously how the story would unfold itself.My hunch is it would be on a happy note.
    It is very nicely written.

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  4. Brilliant. Felt every word. I'm hoping harp boy will be her guardian angel...

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  5. Waiting for the next part, what a tight story you have weaved. So much sensory input.

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  6. Waiting for the next part, what a tight story you have weaved. So much sensory input.

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  7. I wonder what is next too. :) Engaging so far, and very vivid.

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  8. Amazing narration. It was gripping till the very end. I often think of my writing style while reading other blogs. There were times in this one where I would have concluded the story or the crux would appear. But you and your art of telling stories in parts! :)

    Hoping to read the second part soon !

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  9. I have gooseflesh Aditi... just don't know what to say.. I was there through every word and photo frame you created :) Looking forward

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  10. I looove that I character! How do you do that- makes us fall in love with them instantly, wondering about their past, where they are going... The magic in your story telling dear friend. Cant wait for more.

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  11. Ohhh....what is she going to do?? Cant wait to read the next part!!
    That's some great story telling, Aditi!

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  12. Wonderful style of story-telling...gripping!

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  13. What a captivating narration, Aditi! I really want to know what happens next. I was really drawn in by this phrase - "an unweeded garden, not just my hair, my entire being".

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  14. O it was really engrossing Aditi.. Tell me when's the next part coming?

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  15. Love it Aditi. So gripping - can't wait to read the next part!

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  16. Extremely engaging! Wonderful narration Aditi....can't wait to read the rest of it!

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  17. Phew! I need to read part two right now.

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