Monday, July 5, 2010

The Strangest Melody

It may just have been coincidence that had brought them together. Or was it fate? But to me, it was most certainly the music- the music that melds the various rhythms of different lives to give birth to a whole new tune which is strangely magical and yet, so earthy. In our case, the music was the soul and the progenitor of the story; a passion all of us shared. It was very clear each day that the eight were getting closer than ever. What I saw, however, was a wholly different perspective, now. One I have learnt a lot from although even that knowledge seems too feeble a weapon for defense in my most recent personal war. Like I said, it’s the music that brought us together and it held us together like a magnet. Sometimes, there was nothing in the world except music that united everyone but other times were different. Youth is a strange melody by itself. It was deeply ingrained in us some time ago; especially the five boys. But it was not the only beat that made the songs then mystical. Each one of the eight had a beautiful tune to their souls. Every single one had a power that spoke to the other with such intensity that I often wondered what would happen if, one day, all the whispers became loud and clear. Of the three girls, one was always the centre of all attention. The lark’s song and the bear’s hum was she; an intimidating beauty with such energy as to shame even a lively spring. She was the prime singer. Her accompanist was also much the same, although most of her charm lay in the admiration of her friend. Ever the companion, she was already spoken for, and hence, her beauty was veiled and sometimes, unnoticed. But it was the other girl who brought with her the mysterious beat which changed the sound of our lives to actual music. She was the new singer, a talent everyone coveted and a quiet charm that held all in the vicinity speechless. It was not that she held any particular beauty. No fairies wove her hair into gold and no flowers lent their petals to soften her skin. It was the smile that captivated any beauty she possessed and yet, her silence stole into everyone’s mind. Who knew that silence, too, was such a haunting melody?? The spell had slowly descended on each young man.
Smitten first was the lead guitarist; a dark, handsome fellow with words like warm, molten chocolate on his lips and the eyes of fire. Each time they spoke, everyone knew, and yet, all they ever talked about was music. It had all started with whispers and then, a gale had rushed it on. Now, the drums were beating a steady drone. Only the pianist seemed unaware of the new notes discreetly filing the air. Perhaps, he was too lost in her deep brown eyes to notice? He drank her words in and his eyes danced at her sight. Every question she asked was abstracted by the guitarist but the pianist filled in all the gaps. He answered all her questions, gave her all the keys and surrendered completely like a vine on a tree, in complete faith during a lightening storm. The girl was puzzled, the staccato beats of her life were beating, now, too fast and her heart silently wept. The guitarist, you know, was not very considerate. He was also very moved by the prime singer. He swayed to her tunes and danced in her sunshine, sometimes forgetting to whom he bequeathed his heart. Harsh cymbals were his lips, to the girl’s ears, each time the prime singer was in the room and our girl still spoke to him tenderly. Her song faded and her silence stopped breathing the fire it normally did. But it is not to be forgotten that all the youth in the house was already charmed by the silent beauty. Her soft brown eyes and her lively ways, like that of a child, held their hearts. This did little to console her, though. All she saw was the guitarist, his words, his intellect and now, his silence. But he was too enchanted by the prime singer. He went so far as to tell our lady to stay away, in less subtler words than you would imagine could pass between two people who are so smitten by each other. She smiled and stepped away but all she thought about was his sweetness and missed, each day, the words he had said, like feathers on her ears, in times of pain. Her only comfort was the fond friend she had found in the pianist. Slowly, they grew closer. Sometimes, a sharp note form the strings, would remind her that she was bring watched, but she couldn’t care less. The nights she had spent with lonely songs on her lips, the beating of an aching heart and the whispers of the winds of change were all she heard. She only saw the times the prime singer and the guitarist spent together like lovers who could not see or hear anybody else. She felt slighted, hurt and avoided, like notes in a melody he had skipped to make his song better. But what use was the song he sung now which would but last a minute? Our girl had seen the prime singer talking thus to many young men. She was a common note in many songs and one that often destroyed those who depended on her. She pretended that her life was an open book but, in fact, the hidden notes of her life were only heard by those who were not smitten by her loud exterior. They were raucous like a crow cawing in the middle of an orchestra and the orchestra itself was contributed to by too many young men for it to hold any remote beauty.
Time passed and she learned to slowly look away from the guitarist and his wily betrothed. She saw much of the pianist now, but there were things about him she never understood. At times, he was a soft melody that lingered near her with warmth that touched her heart. But mostly, he was a discontinuous song. It was like listening to a tune that suddenly sky rocketed and then died down, only to rise again a moment later with the right stimulus. Still, she felt her life was not completely empty. Sometimes she ached for the fullness of the guitarist’s words and cried her heart out to her pillow. But more or less, she had learned the ways of the song she lived and learned to burn quietly when in the prime singer’s company. Once in a while, the piano keys struck up a lively tune and she smiled away the minutes and hours. The rest of the time was spent with her friends, with the thought of the guitarist always at the back of her mind. She hated attending gatherings now, to watch her love being played with. But she had to and she did, thus, bleed.
One such fateful day, at their last-gathering-to-be, the pianist playfully handed her a rose. Innocently, she took it with a sparkle in her eyes, right in front of the others. It did not matter to her as to who was looking, in her opinion; the guitarist cared not for her. But who knew a rose was such a terrible curse? Maybe its pouted lips that burned red were frozen in an eternal song that spoke of an unrequited kiss? The skies descended on our poor girl that very week. The guitarist was now open about this cold war with her. He refused to talk to her. It pained her so much. The secret of her silence had been the wounds of all the years that had scarred her heart. The worries of home, the absence of friendly prayers and now, this new tragedy was pulling her further into the dark abyss of pain than she had ever been. She tried and tried to convince herself that if he skipped her notes, she must not worry about his. But somehow, she cared too much for him. The pianist was ever present, all through, like a visiting tune.
One morning, our girl finally plucked up the courage to write a song for her beloved and sent it to him through a messenger. To this day, she awaits his response, listening for the slightest note in the absolute silence.
On my part, having heard her tragic tale, I wonder, as I stare at the pictures in my hand that had brought back all the memories to her like an eternal song waiting to be sung.
My wife’s beautiful face was peaceful on the pillow. She had just poured her heart out to me, including the details of her long wait. After twelve years of marriage, I found out who truly held her heart. “Love is a strange malady”, she had said before falling asleep. Suddenly, I found myself thinking back to our special moments and wondered if she had said all those things she had then to me or to her lost love. The wind blew in a draught and a lock of hair covered her face. There as a tiny tear on the edge of her eyes, waiting to drop softly onto her cheek. The trees outside hummed their lives away in a tune no one seemed to hear these days. As I looked at her and the song that she is, the rhythm that had breathed life into my eyes, I heard the beats change and mingle with her laughter. “What a strange melody love is”, I whispered to the trees as I bent over her eyes and kissed her tears away.

-me :)

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