Sunday, June 7, 2015

Tearing Eyes

 She slipped into a pyjama, pulled the matching top down over  her head, and draped a shall over her shoulders. She took the purse out of the briefcase and slipped the cellphone into it and locked the room.  The veranda was stained with foot steps, muddy. In big and small sizes, they spread from the entrance to each room like leaves on a tree's crown. She paused at the door to slip her legs into her slippers. 


The air was a milky medium, cloudy and humid.  She held her hand out flat. It was drizzling.  Water drops raining down needled her skin and spread goosebumps all over her body.  Both sides of the entrance path was lined with hibiscus.  The path was unpaved. From both sides their long branches poked at her.  They should have been given a pruning long time ago.  The hibiscus flowers were jumping out from their branches in their childish innocence. Blood red, their corolla was splashed on with silvery water drops. Silver on red. 

The eastern horizon was big, streaked with sinthoor.  A  beautiful lady had sashayed along its sheets.  Only after a long time she noticed that a sinthoor canister had slipped off from her vanity bag.  Perturbed she bent down but each time her wearily fingers touched, it slipped off further and further away.  Soon the whole horizon was streaked with the sindhoor. 

She crossed the gate, passed the cluster of old shop buildings.  Men thronged  along the shop veranda sipping coffee, gazed at the females moving along the road in front.  At the last building she turned left.  There after it was a stretch of mud path.  Its surface smooth like glass.  It was easy to loose control on its surface, so she walked slowly. Yet she lost control and skidded sideways a few times.  As she walked along she noticed the mud licking on her legs,  slippers and the seam of her pyjama. 

At the exit of the path she entered the beach.  It was like stepping into a sand river.  She took her slippers in hands and wadded forward. Her legs squelched in the sand.  There was nobody in the beach, except a few youngsters were swimming in the sea far away.  She saw the cement bench from a distance.  

Beneath the sinthoor-streaked horizon, the sea stretched like an animal, huge, insects in millions squirming on its back. Through the wedge between the horizon and the sea, the sun was splashing a bouquet of golden rays. The gold gleamed on the squirming insects. It drenched the beach and the hairs on her hand. 

The drizzling took a break now.  The sun stepped onto the horizon, gracing the world with its bounty, the warmth.  It touched her bones. 

The sun was rising higher, its gold was making a lavish spread on the sea.  She felt the wait was getting a bit over. She unzipped the purse,  and on the cell phone touched the message.  It read 'sharp 8''.  And the time was now past eight. 

She passed her fingers on the bench, the familiarity renewed a while ago was coming to an end. Was it the rain, what has stopped him?  She glanced along the beach to see weather somebody was rushing along the muddy pathway, for the last time.  Would he be fatter, his voice older.  What about his family? His wife and children? .They were the thoughts she had been tossing in her mind for the last few days, since she got the message. ''See you sharp 8.''

***

The facilitators for the presentation entered the hall.  He wasn't among them.  Was it that her eyes were growing old not able to  pick him.  Or has he changed beyond recognition.   

''Can I have your attention please,'' a man among them moved to the front.  ''There's a slight change in our program.  Mr. Somanathan is not going to be with us.  But don't worry, we have an able hand in his place, Ms. Shriletha.''  A lady is sari moved forward. She smiled and greeted the stage with folding arms.

So what happened to Somanathan. Her heart began to race to jump out of her throat.  ''We sent Somanathan to head another team, next city.''   

She thought of another ''sharp 8" wait twenty years ago. Not in the morning but in the night, at a railway station. Her tearing eyes blocked her view of the conference hall for a full second. 

Linking to Day 6 Write Tribe Festival of Words#4