Gazing out at a tumultuous vista of stormy clouds and howling winds and pelting rain, I feel a small shiver run through me. The same sky that only a few hours back had been a glorious picture of azure perfection, with tufts of white cotton wool clouds suspended by invisible strings, was now unrecognisable in its fury. I see the same landmarks in the distance, the same trees, the same ribbons of road, yet nothing was the same. An infinitesimal moment was all it took for nature to toss away the erstwhile calm.
It makes me contemplate on the ephemeral nature of life itself. How easily are the moments spent contentedly floating in its undulations snatched away. Leaving you bereft, baffled at the suddenness of it. Memories woven lovingly, happily, now mere vignettes in my head. The sort that hurt each time they come to the fore. What did I do wrong? Did I do wrong? Why me? But why not me? A soft whisper lodges itself insidiously in my head.
I may think I am living, but life has a way of passing you by. Leaving you as a mere spectator. The love and concern of my family reaches out to envelop me in its warmth. But, I feel strangely disconnected. I am a different person from the one they are cosseting. A sense of disquietude washes over me, and their care feels almost cloying. And I hate myself for that. For being that ingrate creature who is unable to see and embrace what is genuine. For being that creature who needs to be cosseted.
As suddenly as the storm had made its appearance, it bid its goodbye. Leaving behind a wonderful sense of freshness which beckoned. Taking some bread with me, I walked to a nearby park. The bushes glittered with the clinging droplets of water the rain had left behind. Little rivulets made their way along the paths and disappeared into the warm depths of the earth. Occasional gusts of wind shook the water from overhead branches of majestic trees, showering me as I walked underneath them. It made me want to stick my tongue out to taste it. It made me want to grasp it's coolness in the palm of my hand. It made me want to run to stand under the next tree and do it all over again.
Laughing at my silliness, I continue towards the duck pond. I looked up to see an elderly man walking towards me. The dour look on his face putting a slight dampener on my nascent joy. But as he came closer, I see him give me a smile. Maybe it was in response to the remnants of the one still on my face, but that smile completely changed his grim countenance. Lighting up his face and giving me a fleeting glimpse of a person far removed from the one I thought he was. How easily we make snap judgements. What ravages has life inflicted on him? Was it loneliness that made him grim? Did I help in cheering him up, albeit momentarily? I feel a strange sense of satisfaction at that last thought.
Hearing a desultory quack in the distance, I continue down the paved pathway as it winds its way through the rose bushes. Their sweet fragrance more pronounced after the downpour. Their velvety petals drooping slightly with the weight of the rainwater. Bending to scoop a few scattered petals from the ground, I'm struck by how easily they were let go by the flower. Or were the petals themselves too weak to hold on? How does the flower decide what it holds onto and what it doesn't? Is it even a conscious decision? Why can't I shed those painful memories and embrace what I have wholeheartedly?
Most of the ducks have waddled out of the water and are huddled on the grassy verge, Looking a bit bedraggled and very sorry for themselves. I try and coax them into helping themselves to the bread I've brought, but not many of them are interested. Most of it is eaten by the pigeons who had swooped down moments after I'd thrown the first few pieces. Sharing a quietly amused smile with an old lady sitting a few paces away on a wooden bench, I empty the remainder of the bag and begin to turn away. But, a sudden despondency hits me. Even the ducks don't want to have anything to do with me. Self pity, galling in its existence, sweeps over. Tears well up, blurring my vision as I turn round. The abrupt movement causing me to stumble and nearly fall. Wincing at the slight pain that shot up my affected leg, I begin to limp away.
"Are you alright dear?" I hear someone ask. It's the lady with whom I'd shared a smile earlier. "I'm fine Auntyji", I smile "It's just a small twinge".
"Why don't you come and sit here for a few minutes?" She suggests kindly.
Realising it would be sensible to do so, I walk towards the bench. Seeing the wet patches there, I hesitate slightly. But before I could take a seat, she stands up, telling me to sit where she had been.
"This side is dry, beta. Sit here. I'll move over. I'm only going home from here, so a little dampness won't matter." She says giving me a warm smile. I remain rooted in place as I stare at her, struck by the selflessness of her gesture. My mind floods with the images of other premeditated acts. Ones painstakingly designed to lull me into a false sense of being loved. Ones drenched in perfidy.
"Hum hamare aanewali peedi ki mangal kaamna karte hai
Bilkul aapki saaya ho hamari santaan"
"Hamari zindagi mein aapki jagah aur koi nahi le sakta
Sabse pehle aap hai, Ye hamaara vachan hai"
"Hum aap par kabhi koi bhi sankat , koi bhi dukh
Koi bhi jhooth ya dhoke ki parchayi bhi nahi padne denge
Itna pyaar jo karte hain hum aapko Rani sahiba"
I don't even realise when that abhorrence spills over and streams down my face. Or when a gentle hand guides me to sit. Or when that hand, trembling slightly with age, strokes my head soothingly and silently. Allowing me to pour out my grief, my pain.
"I'm sorry." I whisper eventually when I find my voice, embarrassed at having broken down in this manner in front of a total stranger. Her kindness acting as a trigger to my pent up emotions. It has been oddly cathartic though. I feel lighter. As though the darkness of duplicity is not all that remains in life. There is kindness. Instinctive kindness. Of strangers. For strangers. For no reason other than because they can. Be kind.
I grasp the hand that had been stroking my head and bend down to touch my forehead on them. "Thank you ... just thank you."
There was an innate grace in the way Anjali carried herself. She had always striven to see her loved ones happy. And after finally accepting Shyam's truth, I think she would bottle up her tears for just that reason. Only allowing a few to seep out in private after the initial shock had subsided. But, bottled up grief tends to find its own way out, and not always when we're ready for it.
Thank you so much for reading. Please do feel free to let me know what you think :)
Kindness is more than deeds. It is an attitude, an expression, a look a touch. It is anything that lifts another person. - Plato
You have the ability to express what many of us may feel, but rather may not act upon in our busy life that passes like the wind. Does that make sense? I have always been in awe with the way you use your words, such elegance, poise at the same time they are powerful which comes from your heart... word for word. That my love is what makes it unique and so very special for me.
The Kindness of Strangers, brought tears to my eyes. In our day to day, we often forget giving someone a smile as we pass them, or helping someone in need, makes that person's day. And at the same time, it has a profound affect on them. Even us, to see what our little gesture has done for them. Doesn't that in itself a step to making this world a better place...
Here we see a woman burying her grief, not sharing it with her loved ones. She doesn't want to be a burden. But that doesn't make her weak, we have all done that in some shape or form. Haven't we? She has been cheated on by a man she worshipped above all. And for a woman that in itself seems like one has failed. I get her. I most certainly do. There are many Anjali's out there. But how she rises from this is what makes her strong. Kash we could have seen that on the show or perhaps, maybe you, my love, can give us that closure. I think this has a potential to be a story in itself, and I am greedy as you know ;)
Reading this from Anjali's POV has left a lasting impact. I strolled through the park with her. I could feel the wetness that mother nature leaves in its aftermath. But at the same time I wanted to hide behind those raindrops. A way to wash away the pain. But it doesn't. Instead a small act by a stranger touches her to let go. It's someone that can not judge her or point fingers. Her emotions sends a dull ache to my heart at how she looks at the world. Her questions me think deeply. Like the old lady, I want to comfort her, wipe those tears away and pull her into my arms.
Your words have soul in them... Loved it loved it loved it, just the way I love you so so so much!
JigsEdited by Chokri_ASR - 5 years ago
Topic started by Arshi67
Last replied by Arshi67