Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Loss

As she neared her house carrying the heavy load of grief over the unexpected loss, she thought she would break down then and there only. Even though her face was straight and the eyes had a fixed look, her sight was turned inwards. She was trying to put on a brave face and look normal not only to anybody who happened to meet her perchance but also to her own self. Though there was noone either in the street or in the compound to catch up with her at that time of the day. It was evening teatime. But she was judging herself through the eyes of others. And hence did not want those eyes to see any signs of distress, that had broken and killed her heart. Face isn’t just the index of mind, she told herself wryly, it can betray the deepest sorrows. Especially her face. How many people have told her that she could be read like a book. Her face was like a theatre for the myriad of emotions and feelings that she felt deep inside. She tried to focus her mind on something else. The small garden inside the compound looked still sleepy in the afternoon light. She had spent several mornings and evenings among those plants and trees happily dreaming about the blissful life that waited for her round the corner. At this familiar sight, the magnitude and meaning of her loss hit her with its full force.
Forcibly shifting her eyes from the garden, which had shared all her aspirations and dreams, she climbed the stairs to her first floor house. All pointless questions were tearing her mind in to pieces. Who could understand her calamity? Why it had to happen her? Is she to take solace in the reasoning whatever happens happens for the good? Isn’t she the one who had decried it as the loser’s way of thinking?
She had to search for the keys in her overstuffed bag. At last she found the key. It was a small issue, that is, hitting upon the key but even that in a ever so slight manner brought some relief to that gloomy spirit. The key was inserted into the hole. It was turned twice clockwise. She pulled out the key and pushed the door. It was as though she was trying to push out the dark and depressing thoughts from her mind alongwith the door. Unknown to herself this mechanical action pulled her back to the real world. She was inside the house now, closing the door behind. She had decided to give vent to her grief by crying to her heart’s content once she reached home. But she could not cry now. It was as if the ruthless silence in the house threatened her against weeping or any kind of expression of sorrow. She stood slightly bent against the table. Her stretched palms tightly pressing against the edges as though expecting to draw from it some of its woodenness to herself. She muttered to herself, ‘No, it can’t be true. It’s a mistake’. There was helplessness. She felt angry and wretched at the same time at her own vulnerability. Which poet was it who talked about two roads in the woods and the road not taken making all the difference? What did he mean? She was not much of poetry person. She could never make out whether the poet was beaming with pleasure or was sighing with sadness as he pondered about the road not taken. Had he also met with a dead-end like her? Dead-end. The word reverberated in her mind. At last the cruel word opened the floodgates. The tears streamed down her cheeks. How happy and joyous she was, while making all the plans. Now they have come to nothing. A naught. It was very harsh for her. She was now down on the floor clutching both her knees together and weeping loudly. Dead-end. A point of no return. Nothing can be crueler and harder than this, her 23 year old mind repeatedly told her.
After a while she went to the toilet to wash herself but was stopped by the the horrid reflection of her aggrieved face in the mirror. She considered herself beautiful. But how ugly she looked now. Pinkish-red cheeks and nose, swollen watery eyes also red. The repulsive reflection triggered a strong repulsion to the cause of her grief. She couldnot possibly allow it to reduce her to this. The gentle evening breeze carrying a cocktail of smells from the garden hit her as she came out. Yes, it is a dead-end which has changed her life unalterably but it cannot end the living force in her, she thought. As she watched the sunset with its brilliant colours scattered in the sky, some corner of her mind was thinking about the sunrise as well.

No comments: