Saturday, August 14, 2010


The day had dismissed me, of both work and of much speculation. Up above the eagles circled, regarding the convoluted valleys below with a superior disdain. I didn’t take lightly to their mockery, but there was little I could do now, so I trudged on, towards the bus stand, towards the end of another day.

A hand that held loose change waited, impatient to appease luck to take her home. As it is in these long summer months, all lingered drunk below the sun’s intoxication, drooping like my tired shoulders. A perfect stillness—inanimate and fevered.

No winds stirred to ecstasy the Douglas firs, nor dimmed the relentless beat of the heat, so furious and burning. I hated waiting for busses. It was just another normal day. Just a lack of any new possibilities. Maybe I should be glad for that?

The wait turned weary as shadows grew longer, and the battery charge on an iPod began to move from a happy green to an alarming red. I yanked the earphones off to face the abandonment that I had screamed away and a fruitless hope, unrewarded by patience. “You are late. There are no more busses today,” said father over the phone, somewhere from a coast away, “What are you going to do?”

What are you going to do? 

His long lecture simmered with the panic and concern, even over the phone. Somehow, the alarm didn’t quite register into a numbed brain, so dazed by the maddening stillness. The sheer enthusiasm that had made me stay back in college today to watch some specimens in lab still stayed as a residual joy in my heart, amongst the dramatic turn of events.

The day had just changed. There were no more busses to take me back, nobody to travel with. No easy way home. Great, prayers answered, just great!!! Said the fury. I let a long sigh escape me, collapsing. This was just sad. Inevitable. Irritating. Troublesome. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Wait….she whispered back, the senseless dreamer in me. Wait and look she said. I turned to where the phantom voice pointed.

Clear blue skies. A long winding road. Stillness. A transient calm. Look.

What? I barked back, irritated. “It’s just a stupid long road.”

“No, it’s a possibility.”

The inevitability tried to force a mutter of curses like a dull incantation from me. No! she suppressed it adamantly, no, this is not a stupid long road. And this is not a stupid hot day. This was a possibility. A possibility to find something. A possibility, which was painfully distant and out of sight. Something out of reach, but something that existed, nonetheless.

The sweat built up steady and the road stayed long and winding. Consumed by passing thoughts and vehicles, the observer looked to the light blue skies. Maybe I would find the “best” of everything down the road. Maybe I wouldn’t. But I knew that I had to make this fun. Or else, it wouldn’t be a day lived fully. And today wouldn’t last forever.

I weaved in and out of the spruce lined lanes, forgetting about everything else but the present. Purposefully scuttling in and out of the shade, I played cat and mouse. The sun enjoyed my act. He filtered down from between the branches with determination, but I was fast in avoiding him. I smiled back from within the little shade-cover that was the oasis that I had managed to isolate myself in, and quickly darted to the next. Oh yes, this was quite a foolish adventure. But it didn’t lack the thrill I associate with an original one.

As my game grew tiring, I passed a fenced school play-ground. The summer crowd was around, kicking footballs and playing catch on the sprawling emerald on the grass, toppling, laughing and running about. From the newfound shade of the sparse maples that dotted the sides, I watched them play—a freedom so unbounded spoke back to me. I wanted to rewrite myself and belong there too—roaming about with nothing but whipping hair, scraped knees and living lives that were full of that nameless possibility. The sun was now behind me, and I realized how late it was. I signaled to them as I walked away, hoping that that their distant forms acknowledged my presence, hoping that they'd remember me.
The sun was thawing. I could feel him slink away, melting and sulking into the darker, sinister shades that now emerged, pouncing and crawling. A gurgle from faraway sneaked into my ear slyly, and unheard stories took shape within my head. I strayed towards the beckoning fountain in the twilight, infatuated.

My heart skipped a beat. "Aha, see, I told you!!" said the dreamer from within my head, " I told you you would discover a new possibility." She was right. I had discovered what beauty looked like!

The last of the fading sunlight sprinkled a shimmer on the pool, a perfect farewell. They were little beads that glowed and pulsed, in myriad hues and colors. The soft glimmer warmed my heart, and I felt the reverberations break. Barefooted, stayed by the pool, bathed in a surreal glow. Now, the possibility had become a reality. I felt the joy explode within me, as an infant gust of wind blew, seemingly elevating a raised head even higher. This felt like a whole new world.

                               Oh, how many times I had glanced at this park from my bus window!!! It never had meant much to me. But here, in the now, a lost opportunity….a possibility, came to be discovered. Another secret nook, another escape, another favorite place to hang out. I knew the dreamer in me had shown the way to happier possibilities. I walked away with a discovery-- homewards, and leaving home behind as the sun submerged himself, unfurling a creaseless velvet sky in his wake.


praneshachar said...

what a way to express the whole thing feelings are just poured in. lakshmi u r gifted I adore u. Its just taken me thro a whole galaxy of events just I was imagining at each event where I am stuck and how to move as if I am the affected cool writing keep up all the best