The dark clouds stealthily started to gather bit by bit, inching their way across the vast backdrop of the evening sky that contained only a tinge of the fading crimson from the setting sun. It seemed like the drop of watercolor that accidentally slips off the painter’s brush and dissolves into the blurry water. The drop had already lost most of its intensity by now. The chilly breeze ran about in child-like delight announcing the arrival of the rains to the thirsty earth that had endured the intensity of the sun all day long. I sat in my luxurious balcony perched on the twenty-fifth floor across the beach, with my pen and paper, pretending to play the quintessential writer, and searching the sky, the setting sun, the clouds, the earth and the chilly breeze for my muse to reveal itself from behind these. But my presence seemed inconsequential to the rest of the cosmic plot that unveiled itself with mesmerizing precision, almost as though someone had been softly announcing the cues from behind an invisible drape. I continued to relentlessly elbow my way through the wide yonder looking for my place in the serene landscape.
It occurred to me just then how much the concept of love resembles the skies above me. I have heard people often declare what love means to them. It dawned on me that just like the vast limitless sky love is infinite and immeasurable, and what meets our eyes is simply an evidence of our restricted vision and our perennial need to define everything. There still exist depths of unstirred silence behind and beyond what our limited vision discerns. Just like love, the sky too dons different shades on different days each as much real or surreal as the other. While the warmth of the sun radiates in crystal blue on certain days, the pensive clouds give the sky a chimerical dreamlike appearance on other days. On some days, the colour of my tinted shades adds vibrant hues to my perception just as much as the presence or the absence of a person affects it. Then there are days when the city’s high-rises obscure the glorious firmament and distract my attention away from an unobstructed view. I know now that the sky is ‘love’ and ‘love’ is just like the sky – devoid of any single definition. It is simply a matter of belief and perception.
My gaze now returned to the earth which, like my heart, held in its bosom the warmth to nurture and create life after the skies had kissed it with rain and sun. But as my mind carelessly wandered about, my muse yet refused to appear before me this evening. By now, the sky had turned into a giant black hole within which sparkled a zillion fireflies! The clouds had melted into rains that tapped softly upon the earth bringing me a fresh scent of wet mud that lingered on in the darkness of the night. In some stretches of space within the compound walls, closer to the ground, the scent of wet mud blended with the fragrance of some wild flowers and leaves creating an untraceable soothing scent that appeared and disappeared as passers-by went past. Disappointed yet rejuvenated, I retired within the four walls of my room where my iPod lay. The soft yielding wires of my headphones had managed to entangle themselves for the hundredth time during the day.
My old discoloured iPod, on several inspiring evenings and sleepless nights, has gently walked me through or even rescued me from slipping into the black hole that exists within me; this black hole has no fireflies in it. The music that plays is the resonance of my own choices and inputs into it, so much like the mechanics of my own mind. From time to time the iPod needs to be recharged too. And when its wires get tangled and messed up as my own life often does, I am required to patiently untangle those knots one by one each time. I plug in the earphones now and pick up the pen as soon as this uncanny similarity strikes my eyes. It seems as though my muse has not stood me up this evening after all. It paid me a visit, just when I had stopped looking for it, just where I had least expected it to be. The soft tapping of the raindrops continued outside my window as the forces continued with their business. As for me, it was time to pick up my pen once again and put it to good use.
© Madhurima Duttagupta 2014