M*U*S*H

The afternoons used to be unbearable with the blazing summer sun and the continual heat wave. She always felt an unquenchable thirst and to douse the parched feeling, she would consume watermelons and chilled litchees. She would rub ice on her face and stand in front of the desert cooler. Juices and curds. Lassi and Thandai. Books and Scrabble. Summer and more summer. She wondered when this heat would end. The listless afternoons when she would try to stand next to the window to steal a look into the streets. The roads would be deserted save a stray dog. The shady base of a tree looked the least inviting during this time of the day, for you already knew how hot it would be beneath the tree that gnarled in the intense heat. Loo. The livid winds that raged the land during summer. What angered it, she wouldn’t know. All she knew was how the Loo could dry up the last drop of fluid in her body. Her skin burned to a deep brown. Coarse hair flew about. Eyes squinted. Feet apart. Just why would people think of living here, in such extreme heat? She couldn’t take it any longer. She closed the heavy drapes in a futile bid to cool the room. She slumped on the couch absently staring at an old magazine laying a hand’s grasp away. But she didn’t bother to tug the magazine any closer; instead she squinted to read the fine print from the distance. Body contact with yet another thing in this room seemed unthinkable to her. The heat. She stretched her neck to face the ceiling. The ceiling fan played with light and shadow, twirling with a slight hum. More of humming and less of cooling, she mused. When she woke up, she realised that the roomy was stuffy. She felt claustrophobic. The ceiling and walls seemed to close in on her. And the feeling just got stronger. She left the couch to switch on the radio. The mindless chatter of the radio jockey did not alleviate the problem. Alone. She always hated the feeling of being alone. It only went on to become worse with the death that took place. Her routine had to change drastically because of the loss of one dear person. And now, there were longer periods of time when she had to remain alone. How long was that nap? There was a rain song playing. She turned the volume louder. That’s much better. She looked outside the window and what met her eyes made her lips curl into a smile. Earth. Water on earth. It was raining. She rejoiced silently. It rained on her. All over. Inside out. Green all over. Wounds washed out. Half-drooped memories came alive. Life flaunted itself in her face.
* * *
Dusk settled all over the area. The air was cool, but heavy. With moisture, cool, or thoughts, she wouldn’t know for sure. It was quiet inside the car. Peaceful. She got time to analyse the events that took place in the past few weeks. Someone drove the car. She didn’t care who it was. She didn’t have the energy to prode into that person’s affairs. She had her own matters to take care of. Love songs played in the backdrop. She wasn’t intently listening to them, but the beautiful musical strains were soothing her nerves. As in therapy, her body muscles began to relax and she began to unwind. This moment is for me, she thought, while readjusting herself on the seat and rolling down the windows. The wind played with her hair, driving the strands away from her visage. She saw the road unwinding in front of her. This moment was beautiful. She just wished the drive wouldn’t end. The male baritone flirted with the flute in the background. There was a melancholy strain in the song. Was he pining for someone? The bass guitar thudded like his sad little heart, rhythmic and soulful. Unconsciously, her fingers were tapping along with the percussion instrument. She became aware of a pair of eyes from the rear view mirror smiling enviously at her peaceful state of mind. This wouldn’t have happened if he had seen me a few months ago. Depression can become treacherous to come out from, intact. Six months ago, she never imagined that she would come out alive of the mess she was hurled into. Six months ago, to smile was a pronounced effort. Six months ago, she thought she would never live to see this day. Bags packed, books stacked, she took off. For a change. Now, as the car sped towards the end of road that never would end, she realised she had survived after all. With newfound wisdom showing in her eyes, she had changed a lot. Every move of hers reeked of determination and strength. Wisps of her jet-black hair disobeyed her and tried to escape out of the window. The breeze felt good on her cheeks. She closed her eyes and drifted off. This time tomorrow, I will be there.
[17th and 24th June]
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2 Comments

Filed under Musings

2 responses to “M*U*S*H

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Saj

    hmmm its working now. how sad :-(

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