|Home | Issues | The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 7, Tuesday, February 16, 2010|
Absent in the Spring
One fine morning last spring, in spite of her busy schedule, a peculiar loneliness closed it's tight grip on her- stifling her, suffocating her as she quietly sat in the half-lit niche in her room with vague thoughts criss-crossing her numb mind.
She extended her hand to reach for the phone, picked up the receiver and dialled a number overstepping her code of conduct. Why? To this day, she'll never know. Lost in a sphere unknown to her, she waited. A moment, and a voice answered on the other end. She instantly burst into a monologue that lasted for hours.
What she said and how, she couldn't recall. He listened with patience and awe, until she hung up. Amazed at her own audacity- what celestial influence brought her age-old pent up sorrows and horrors to pour forth to someone she hardly knew, someone who was just a social acquaintance?
Was she turning insane? She asked herself. Where was her usual compose, reservation and an aura of aloofness she so deftly maintained. She was ashamed of herself. Was she looking for sympathy? The thought struck her so hard, she drowned in self-pity.
She embraced herself, shrugged and went about her chores. Soon enough, the call was returned with reassuring words of encouragement and understanding. She shied away as she knew deep down that it was not her cup of tea. She had subconsciously turned the knob of a door only to step out on a road with an unknown address.
The calls continued. Soon, in fact, a little too soon; it took a vibrant and enthusiastic turn cajoled by the Elysium mood of the spring. She felt uncontrolled and scared but at the same time she took it in her stride of acquired boldness.
It felt like going out for a walk you didn't want to take in the first place. You'd think what's the point anyway. But as the fresh breeze touches your face with a scent of sweet fragrance it gradually effuses your mind and step by step you go ahead light-footed like a deer.
The conversation was tuned with the humming of favourite love songs and word quotes of great poets, finally emerging words of their own.
The chand and chandni were totally absorbed in the essence of their names by which they called each other, engulfed by the full moon they both cherished with child-like enchantment.
At the back of her mind she knew full moon wanes, spring fades away and so will her love eclipse someday. In fact it amazed her why it has taken so long. So she wasn't surprised at all when the calls dwindled, followed by lame excuses.
Gone were the days when he rang throughout the day and night encouraging her to look and check out new spheres and take a firm hold on her life, think positive, guiding her to a world of self-assurance and confidence.
Beside all his chivalry he also had streaks of typical male chauvinism, and so needed to move on for obvious reasons. She stepped aside and let his footsteps on the hard gravel fade away into the horizon. The soft breeze caressed the strands of hair at her temples as she watched the moon and wondered would she miss him in the next full moon or the one after? Or when the sky would be overcast with dark, clouds, or the freshly rain-drenched evenings because that's what brought them close. They never met, never went out together.
A short laugh escaped her lips. Was it all a dream in the spring? Romance impregnates the spring air, cupid do take care, as the day of Valentines draws near.
By Khurshid Chowdhur
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