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)


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

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

  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.

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

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

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

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

  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 !

  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

  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.

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

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

  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".

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

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

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

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