Saturday, September 26, 2009

44. Broken

Sitting across the verandah of her palatial condominium, she was lost in thoughts of her own when a silent tear found its way on to her skirt, only to get lost in the ocean of thick fabric. It was raining quite heavily outside. A headache that had been smoldering for the past half an hour finally matured and hit her hard on the middle of her forehead. An early darkness was slipping down. Her eyes settled on the pillar across in a flat, unblinking way, while the state of her mind was quite the opposite. It had been a nomad since she had grown to know about it in vivid detail. She knew she had to act like lightning, else she would sink into spaceless chasms beyond the control of her mind. It amused her how the climate was perfectly analogous with what was happening in her life. It had been pouring off late. She could only wish it were good things. This was the perfect time to treat herself with a strong cuppa coffee. Or maybe, masala chai. She headed to the kitchen leaving behind a trail of thoughts directed elsewhere. An oversized white mug emblazoned with red letters : ‘What would I ever do without you’, glared at her. She smiled. She drained the lukewarm tea.

Another little stream of drops trickled from her eye onto the basin. She realized she had been smiling to herself all this while. Feeling silly, she gave herself a tap on her head, as if talking to her thoughts. The mention of masala chai always sent her into a surrealistic world of nostalgia. Those days. Those days when they used to sneak out of hostel at midnight just to catch one cuppa ‘garam masala chai’ at Venu’s. Many-a-times, it was only the two of them at the shop at that time, otherwise usually accompanied by truck drivers on the highway. It was times like these they longed for. When they used to dance on the lonely highway, and tickle and chase each other till they rolled down in laughter. Ah, young love, sweet love. She almost had to shake herself out of her reverie each time she followed this trail of thoughts to nowhere.

It had become routine now. Coming home to a silent apartment, the silence of which, she thought, would drive her mad someday or the other. She would climb into the shower and let ice cold water course its way through her shoulders, wishing it would wash away the loneliness of the present and the doubts of the future. She would bite her lips, as she thought of all his sacrifices and all her selfish choices and of all those times when she had been wrong. Completely wrong.

She often tried to hug herself, wanting to fill him in the space between her arms. She gave up. The pain had boiled up inside her, and she feared it would keep simmering and would eventually burst out of her tubes if she didn’t find a vent. She longed for that feeling of completeness. The perfect gift that he had given her. She couldn’t have asked for anything more. He was God’s answer to her prayers. But now, there was no telling what the future held.

There was no shortage of space in the two-storied home they had built together. The Ganesha on the door was meant to ward off evil. They were on a high dosage of happiness. They would need it. The purport of it stared at her as a living irony right on her face. The house, their house, they called it ‘Swapna’ - their dream. They had yearned for it as much as they had longed for each other. There was so much to plan, so much to do. They had painted it in a theme of crimson. The study was an antique in itself, with all manner of memorabilia tacked haphazardly onto the softboards – the pictures - those of frequent group hugs, of the gang’s day at the beach, of the shadow dances they did with their hands, of the long walks they took hand in hand, of the day they decided to tie the knot and of the day they did. The lampshade was his choice. She knew it didn’t fit into the theme of the house in any way. But he had wanted it there. Just right there. She realized now how perfect it was. How differences blend and make the scheme of things perfect. The shelf held all the junk he was so fond of collecting. The things she had gifted him, volumes of letters that she had written to him and everything that he deemed precious and was ‘of her’.

So this is how it felt to lose a part of you. So this is how it felt when death crumbles your world down. And her tears started to flow all over again. It was time to declutter, not only the shelf, but also her mind.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. hey hi,

    thats really a heart touching write up which took my breath away..

    I didn't want the story to end but it ends..

    When will u post second part of this....?Am a regular viewer of your blog ..keep posting.. :)

  3. @Hare,

    Thanks and welcome here. It was just a random short story that originated in the insane realms of my mind. Sorry to disappoint u,but the ending had to be this. :)

    Maybe the next one will end the way u want it to :)


  4. fact: all random short stories end up being tragedies.

    critical review (:P): well written."..lost in the ocean of thick fabric" - brilliant usage. the nostalgic bits were especially nice. you lost me at a couple of places with big words though. and i'm not going to work on my vocab so you know what to do to maintain your readership :D

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. @Sid,

    I beg to differ, your honour. All short stories are not tragedies. I have read so many that end on a happy note. Tragedy might be a part of the story somewhere though. I think that adds meaning and balances the content.

    Thanks so much for the critical review :) And glad u liked some titbits here and there.
    You made me read through the entire story again to find those big words. I guess it will always be like this for the author. Anyway, will try not to use bombastic words next time on.

    Thanks for taking time to read! :)

  7. k...i understand...

    I find U have strong command on language and ur words creates an scene of the story in mind..Ur words have life and originality in them.

    I have a beautiful story but I need somebody to tune it and bring life in it..So r u interested in joining me for the story..?

    We can later try to print .I know sources... believe me this can happen..I just wanted to know whether you can give some time and interested to join me..

  8. Absolutely amazing. Each and every sentence has been brilliantly strung together. But what I really liked was the ambiguity surrounding the tale. No details provided, no delving into specifics, nothing. Beautiful!

  9. @Ultimate Idealist,

    Thank you! :)

  10. OMG! That was SO moving! I know EXACTLY how this feels. Felt a surreal sense of deja-vu as I was reading it.

    Although I know my ending won't be so sad! :) I hope so!

  11. Loved reading this.
    I have my in laws staying with us, and there is never a dull moment at home.
    I abhor to think what would happen to one of them when the other will have to go.
    (you can see them in "The Onam Menu" in my blog)

  12. @Avanti,

    Glad u liked it! :)

    As for the ending, I hope no one's ending is like that! That's one thing about fiction... You can feel the pain as you write such things... But I would really not want such things to happen...

    Thanks for visiting! :)



  13. @Haddock,

    Touchwood for all the good times in your life... and welcome ere :)


  14. nicely described :)


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