My ardour cooled after a while, and so did my tears...I stared at the wall before me for countless vacant hours. I was tired of self evaluation and tired of thinking. Was there not any solace left in this shelter? Could I not seek comfort in my own room now?
I wanted to rest and nothing more, I wanted to keep tormenting thoughts at bay... I was so tired.
It was only a performance, just a dance... why can't I switch back to being my cheerful, normal self? The question disappeared like mist before my eyes and emptiness returned as answer.
Bloody choreographer! could she not opt for something more conventional?why is she so insistent on trying out new things? look what this led to... i'm almost an emotional wreck!
I can still her her words ringing in my ears. "Passion! the only thing that counts is PASSION! passion for life, for your art, for your dance, for everything." She pointed towards her heart, "I want you to use this... you won't fail, trust me. Remember how pain feels, bring out those emotional scars Ria, and cry... i want you to. I want you to emote... i want you to feel. Feel grief. And i want the audience to cry along with you... this has to be your finest performance ever!"
Then she left me alone. Alone in that dark room for twenty minutes...all i could think of was 'Quit it Sonia, I'm not a bloody machine who will feel when you want it to. Give me a break- i've had it!'
The darkness began to sink in. I don't remember anything else.
Somewhere far off I heard people praising my performance..."amazing! she gave me an outlet... i have never cried like this publicly." that voice was drowned amidst the buzz.
"Did you hear that girl? You rocked." Sonia stepped up beside me and escorted me towards my car. I did not respond. Truth is I could not. I was numb with emotions, memories came flying at me from almost nowhere and it seemed someone had torn off something and i had been left naked, I could not cope up with them.
I don't even remember when the car started and we took off. All i could see was a child crouching against the wall of a tiny garret while her mother and father bickered loudly. I could see another image rising from the abyss, a tall lanky boy slipping out of the house in the dead of the night, turning but once to wave me goodbye as i stood near a window, my nose pressed against the misty glass panes. My brother. He left too, promising to come back and take me along when he could afford to do so. Perhaps he never came back, perhaps he did... I do not know. I remember my mother's funeral faintly...I had been crouching behind a lone tree in the cemetery where they laid her. Did i cry? i don't remember. I remember seeing my father for the last time that day- drunk, with bloodshot eyes. For a change he did not shout that day, he remained stone-still...
After mother's death dad left me at my aunt's house. She was widowed by then and was childless and for sixteen years now she has been my only family.
When i reached back home i dragged myself to my room and sat down on my bed. I fought hard to hold on to the illusion i've been under for sixteen long years... this is where i was meant to be and i had no father or brother...
Weary sleep overcame me soon, and i dreamt...I dreamt of the warmth in a mother's womb...the security of a father's hug...and yet i saw misty glass panes...a lanky teenage boy with unsteady steps moving away...the darkness enveloped him somewhere.