plaitsnponys

Where Talent meets an audience…

The Last Sunset…

on March 15, 2015

So is this the end of the world as we know it? Lounging in the stifling comforts of a bedraggled former paradise is the silent hope that none of that was ever true. That somehow somewhere there was someone watching over the calming force that swept past her face and coaxed her into its harsh absurdity. The ram shackled remains of Satyr’s betrayal was all that rippled past in cruel contrast of the cold cataract of emotions pursing through her veins. 

The shadow of that day had long since weakened on her retina. The light had escaped from behind her creative lashes- like her essence had been drained from her being the way the women in Mumbai’s slums would beat the dirt out of the laundry; the purpose a polar opposite. A broken record, the memory kept playing before her eyes- like a futuristic pair of glasses forcibly adhered to her skull compelled her to relive it’s morbid veracity. 

Satyr aka Satyaram was the boy who would leap off the tallest branches of the village landlords mango trees to steal the prized fruit for her rosy lips. He would turn up bruised and battered like a war veteran fresh from the barracks at the Line of Control, clothes stained with the recently brewed muck of the dark earth below the tree top he had just abandoned . He would merrily lead Parkiram, the frazzled, thinning old man, who technically used his cheap coconut leaf broom to beat up errant village lads more than to rake up the stubborn leaves his beloved trees would shirk off in disgust during the scorching summer months, through a physically draining set of laps around the massive property. All for Pari, he would  justify to his pricking conscience. 

And His Pari loved the attention she got from the boy she so idolized. He was not mean like tall Raquib or petty like Manveer or proud like Laheera . He doted on her like the big brother she never had and the village panel never saw it any other way. He loved Ammi’s ghee fried chappathis that she would faithfully dole out early Sunday morning and Baba’s slow and tired tales of how the irregular monsoons wrecked havoc with his annual yield. 

He would sit glued to her side from dawn to dusk like her own personal slave, all governed by her late grandmothers death bed wish. A much younger Satyr, whose family drowned in the throes of financial turmoil, crouched low at Baddi Ammi’s bedside, waiting with baited breath for a faint whisper of a command- a glass of water, an extra sheet of cotton to cushion her aching bones, anything. But besides an occasional grunt or groan in agony, no sound escaped from Baddi Ammi’s parched and cracking lips. And then she spoke, in a volume disputed by those around, for the sole purpose of Satyr’s hearing ability. “Pari…” She croaked as she made an effort to reach for his young hand, He knew what his Baddi Ammi had asked of him as the light went out from behind her eyes. But that was years far gone for Pari to recollect any such binding contract, in her youthful languor, skipping around while the others bid adieu to Baddi Ammi.

Now, well into the mesmerizing beauty of her youth, she failed to comprehend the complex set of thoughts that Satyr tried to force upon her. Faced with the impending ‘doom’ of a loveless marriage and a partner qualified in age to be her father, she knew not of the “ways of the world” her Ammi kept referring to that prevented her union with Satyr. She had forced herself to believe that the feelings had been mutual and not much against any such “ways of the world” her Ammi kept mentioning much to her chagrin. Neither did she understand how a union that had the blessing of the family matriarch could withstand any other such obstacle the world could throw at her, them. And in all of this, Satyr had left her side- exposing her to her first taste of disappointed hopes. Unable to wrap her tender mind around her bleak future after the ruckus at the village carnival involving a hot headed priest, a stubborn Satyr and a distraught Pari, resignation seemed the only alternative. 

Under normal circumstances, he would have been the one to help her out of sticky situations but he too had fled, leaving not a trace behind as to his whereabouts, taking with him his family- lock, stock and barrel. Growing up with him through school and tears, she never really understood the employer relationship her father shared with Satyr’s family. A simple contradiction to the exertions of a willing heart. 

And yet here stood her last sunset, dipping behind the shades of murky blue in a hazy blur at the edge of the horizon. The betrayal had left her broken, irreparable and unforgiving in the cold light of the morning that would dawn. Societal doctrines barred her from attempting any of the  youthful responses of freedom she had learnt all too well. But Satyr had left, and with him he had taken all the possible eventualities of hope, freedom and happiness..never to return. 

And her last sunset sunk behind a thick creamy curtain of the deepest blue she had ever seen..

 

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.
Rabindranath Tagore

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