Friday, January 19, 2007

She Sang for the Last Time




“How few, of all the hearts that loved,
Are grieving for thee now!
And why should mine, tonight, be moved
With such a sense of woe?”
~ Emily Bronte





Her pale, diminutive figure drew compassionate glances that entire evening. I have never seen her wearing black… yet, here she was- dressed in her mourning attire, receiving bouquets of white roses and condolences.

“Does it not break your heart to see such a young girl…widowed so soon!” someone whispered to me, and left before I could answer.
What could I have answered?
That perhaps grief has lent an unearthly beauty to her eyes…
That there was a touch of moonlight on her pale skin this night…
That I perceived memories flowing in her veins…

She moved towards the piano and threw open the window facing the instrument. Everyone stopped to look at her as she sat down at the piano and ran her fingers lightly over the worn out keys… humming to herself a soft tune for some time. And then her clear voice rang out as she sang.

She sang for the last time that night. Somewhere her voice got lost amidst tears…she broke off and fell into a reverie, only to begin again. Sometimes she sang clearly, her soulful voice haunting us all- there was an unmistakable tinge of melancholy that pervaded all those verses she chose to sing. Her tears traced their ways down her cheek like serpentine rivers…salty streams…

She refused to close the window facing her. The harsh, bitter wind whipped her face and she simply said: ‘It keeps the wound fresh…’
For the first time in weeks she let her hair loose, they hung like twined brown tendrils, softly caressing her neck, her cheek…those gentle tears too…

Next morning we found her dead. Her delicate figure leaning against the piano… the window still wide open. No wind blew this morning. And here she sat, blue with cold…her tear-stained face lifted towards the skies.
I pried open her clenched fist, those numb fingers opened to reveal crushed rose petals lying in her stained palm… and a smile seemed to hover on those blue lips.

How unbelievable it seems when we say that she died for love, that she died of a broken heart…perhaps she will rest in peace. Perhaps not. Perhaps on such cold December nights she will come back to this room and sing for us…loud and clear, emotions clouding her voice at times, the wind chilling this very room… singing of something so commonplace…singing of love that rises like a phoenix from the flames…

7 comments:

Diya said...

where did all this pain come from? a discussion on the poem? or your own musings?

anurima said...

@ ms.banerjee:
I had read bronte's poem some days ago- and thought it fitted beautifully with an idea i was fiddling with then. I'd like to believe the pain came from my musings...:)

Suki said...

Oh my god. You make me worry, girl. This kind of writing, and then you not turning up in college... jodi phone ta didimar ghore na thakto ami ekkhuni ekta phone kortam.

But.. but.. can I just say this? That endless tears need not always end in death? Sometimes those wounds, that have lived for years, do heal - and that the ones we have truly loved and somehow lost keep on living within us, no matter what? I know it is true, and I just hope you can believe the same.

anurima said...

@suki:::

aww... love you! na na- don't worry...i'm fine. remember this is 'fiction'... oi majhe majhe ektu despondent type of atuff likhte ichhe koe. i promise i'm gonna write about lighter stuff next time. :)
and again: i'm fine and don't worry...

moumita said...

i'll say just one word:- superb!

Lost Poet said...

Beautiful is all That I can say.

And, Anurima, dear u must hold on to yourself. Feeling so hurt this way will not work out. You're a strong woman, it is time you proved that to yourself first, and then us. Do not let such pain be so raw on your skin. U must process it out.

But the the channelisation pain is remarkable. I guess only your future pieces will show which path you have chosen to walk. But your friends are always here for you.

Lost Poet said...

PS - I said all that because I am not really buying the explanation of the pain you're giving. Ur piece reminded me of the piece I wrote for my JUDE entrance exam, and I can still remember why it was the way it was. It was also about a funeral, or rather, on of the lovers dying away.