“The news shook me from within. It almost paralyzed me with its profound void. For a moment I felt as if the world has collapsed, the crimson gladiolas standing tall at my garden, as if all turned into blood drop. I tried to cry, tried my best to shout loud my pain… but alas…..
Yes, I remember my pledge to write a posthumous memorabilia as I promised her. I have read various biographies thinking this would help me to limn what I promised. However, each time I tried writing, inevitably my personal reflection imposed on my lofty subject. And that hindered me from being just a biographer. I therefore abandoned the idea of writing and started transcribing what ‘they’ told me.”Deshraj
Deshraj, 38, Artist
“Hold my hand..we will fade off far away, dissolve to the vineyard.” – I was zapped when the message blinked. Sitting amidst the cozy comfort of the hotel room I was simply trying to toss off hours of nothingness. I happened to bump onto this name and then all it begun.
Have you ever seen any compromising the most significant thing that she possesses?Perhaps there is none in this world who offers their lulled dreams into the hands who crush them brutally...none but Roop.
“Cheer up Desh, there is a solution to every problem”… the message came when I was in dire necessity of comfort.
“But my paintings are always the subject to brutal comments, Roop..it kills me from within”
“Shhh… I will tell you a story now. The story of an artist. It was a dark cold December Night the artist perhaps travelled through the most ostentatious alleys to create his masterpiece..and then it happened!
Haha I will tell you tomorrow!
Life sailed as if there was no tomorrow. I fell in love with this mysterious woman. She was bizarre and I watched as if I was the bystander of my own life. My heart almost struggled not to allow itself to be seduced by the enigmatic illogical belle. I warned myself she did not belong to my world. Still,reason and logic lost the battle. I fell in love. I fell for a staggering force, for a magical fantasy and all I could do was to applaud for this unsolved mystery, surrender and then accept with all my heart and soul that I was in love.
Roop’s love led me to see things which I never ever imagined that they exist. Yes, I felt the splash of pink rains caressing my parched skin, I saw the much frequented lush park gradually metamorphosed into the primitive land as I watched the full moon at the odd hour of 3am.
I reasoned out everything. I could feel her madness creeping inside my veins however, her madness, her weirdlogic, her bizarre thought made their way to my mind quite proudly and with a steady stride.
“Have you ever seen the park beside your home on a full moon night?” Roop asked me quizzically
“Yes I have watched the full moon several times” I tried answering her
“You did not answer me Deshraj, have you ever watched the park in a night when the full moon hangs loosely at the sky?” There was something in her watery eyes- i simply lose myself into the gleam of those slightly asymmetrical dark eyes!
No I haven’t..have you?
“Yes, I have- you know what the park metamorphoses into a strange, nameless, endless primitive cosmos; and when the clock strikes at 3 am then perhaps the witching hour begin on a full moon night.” She smiled a half smileand continued in a trance like voice—“and then I simply leave behind the warmth of my pink sheets and rush to the terrace ..it seems as if the whole world has changed and has stepped back to the days of the cave men, to the hour of sorcery. My full moon has taught me to look beyond the four walls, the azure romance of the blue sky has taught me how to listen to the tune of the sea waves….and then I think I am still a primitive cave lady trapped in this brick and mortar world.
I did not understand what to say as this was certainly not my world! Still it was Roop’s energy which so many times helped me to confront with the utter cynicism of the art critics.
Since my love remains alive, the positive energy around me also palpates even though Roop is dead still the energy hangs, the dream thrives!
I want to go back to my world. I want to concentrate more on the traffic issues, the government’s foreign policy, feminism on art,I desperately want to go back to the world of bank tellers, LICs, and much more. This magical world of purple haze, pink rains and white patina of the silvery moon I can only travel while hand in hand with Roop.
Joe. 40, Banker, Roop’s husband
Who knows possibly she hankered for death like the victims of the wrecked ship longs to see a slice of land! I just guess that she might have travelled to the notorious alleys just for the hope that a murderer will turn up, or perhaps have waited for the last metro to hit her. Perhaps Roop tried instigating anger of the physically strong ones or waited for the muggers at the dark bypass! Don’t know because I have never being able to gauge her.
Still with Roop beside me often I felt I am at the cloud nine and the next moment she brutally stamped out my emotion with her sheer aloofness. Yes, it was a roller coaster ride and even after her death the katzenjammer almost deafens me.
Roop has been shot dead at an attic room. Her dress was intact, even her purse still held few thousands in its womb even long after her death. Cops therefore opined that it is not a case of mugging. I have stopped applying logic in justifying her behaviour.
“Joe, do you love me?” Roop asked me at the wee hour while awakening me from deep sleep.
“What’s wrong with you?”
“Nothing specific .. I just want to confirm whether or not you love me”
You are the mother of my daughter of course I do love you ..now sleep
No, Jojo..for once isolate me from everything, snap off all the strings attached and now tell me do you love Roop, the female sitting in front of you?
In the lightlessness of the room I could make out her slight movement from the ruffles of her chiffon nighty.
“you cute little darling, I do love you”
Then why I feel that the music has stopped playing. Why do I desperately want to free myself from carrying the corpse of the relationship! Why every time I feel that my soul is almost standing at the threshold ready to leave my corporeal body for the quest of love which I have never experienced!
I never could answer her because I barely understood her language.
Destiny first brought us face to face at the insignificant foyer of a more insignificant inn. I was travelling on business purpose where I had to halt for the night.
I witnessed her first conversation with the manager of the inn.
I do not have money but I need to stay at this place. – she said pretty convincingly.
It is an inn where you have to shell off few hundreds if you want to have the B&B, - the manager tried to say politely while sugar coating his anger.
But you simply can’t throw me out of the inn at this hour of night- what intrigued me is her strong convincing power even in this utter helplessness.
Excuse me – I called the manager
Yes Sir! The manager was pretty prompt.
Here is my credit card you can debit her amount also.
Right Sir- The manager faded away and for the very first time I looked at the female.
She is a rare combination of beauty and strength, Her wheatish complexion gleamed in the tungsten radiance. Her slightly asymmetrical eyes narrowed as she moved towards me with a catty walk.
Her long, lithe, shapely legs, narrow waist and auburn hair hanging loosely over her wide shoulder offered a whole new facet to her enigmatic charm.
Thank you – I was taken aback by her bold voice which was devoid of so called femininity.
Her femininity was as if shrouded amidst her majestic charm, in the midst of her intelligent gleam.
My pleasure- I shook hand and for the very first time I felt the current passing through me.
Yes, I passed a sleepless pillow. And that was indeed the first of many.
Roop looked at me and asked almost in a whisper while keeping the book aside--"how strangely one single stone was left behind! But you know Raj I would have simply loved the state of sheer oblivion; to be left out and to be with myself!"
"Come close you little darling"-I dragged her closer. Her deep darkeyes gleamed in the lightlessness of the fast approaching dusk.
"Roop, I love you..be mine forever" –I whispered.
"I love you too... her voice faded behind the closed door. She bolted it. The sound of the falling water and herhum of a strange tune made the dusk heavier. Yes, that evening I was feeling sad as I had to leave her now and that’s the harshreality.
"I am tired with all these hide and seek. I am thoroughly drained out with the idea of leading a parallel life! Do you understand that Raj? her eyes met mine in the mellowed darkness that hung inside my car.
"Few more days love! Trust me things would be alright."- I assured her as Iswirled my left hand around her neck. She looked at me with moist eyes.
Who knew it would be the last time I could ever held her!
Maa, am not finding my question bank. Its simply not there on the table. Have you kept it somewhere else? -- Maaa can you not hear me?—I heard Tinni’s voice wounding the silence. It perhaps shook Roop from her reverie!
"Yes , I have arranged your table and the book is there at the shelf .Tinni please try to look around and scout well before asking me"-- Roop's voice sounded course.
Tinni left the room in a whimper.
"Maa I will be late, will have to go the library today" - Tinni almost rushed out leaving the half finished breakfast.
"She is not eating properly. Why don't you try making the breakfast a bit interesting? may be she is not liking the same old juice, bread and egg! – I scanned Roop, leaving the morning newspaper aside.
She was silent
"Felt bad as I said ?" holdingher index finger Iasked.
Not really! However the fact is no matter whatever I try to make the plates 'interesting' Tinni will leave plates unfinished. For God's sake try and understand she is growing up and we also did the same! Or at least I did the same!"- Roop laid the table for him. The bitter sweet aroma of coffee filled the air!
We drank coffee in utter silence. We ate lunch in sheer soundlessness! And that became a routine.
"I need a date Deshraj" a Cut off time please because i believe if i cant do it in next six months i wont be able to do it in the next 60 years"- Roop looked at mewith her wide eyes fluttering in anticipation
"What do you mean by a cut off time?" there is in fact no cut off time i can wait for you till my last breath. Perhaps my earnest voice triggered her anger
"Why on earth will you wait for me and for what God damn reason?" I have to either make it now or break it tomorrow. I just cant hang on like this forever. That's not me and you know that, right? "Her voice cracked as she tried to hide her tears....
Tiktik, 20, slum dweller
Rupanjana – ahh what a musical name.I met her at the wee hour. She was making her way through the dark by roads.
She stumbled on me
What brings you here young lady? I asked
I don’t know what may be I am scavenging life! Or may be I am trying to fall in love with life. Or perhaps I am trying to fly away from life. Don’t know… Her voice echoed in the darkness.
A lady like you at this odd hour should be at home.
She lit a cigarette – and the heady smell of marijuana filled the air.
Where it’s written that I have to be at home!
Okay it’s not then tell me what are you looking for? I pulled her ny hand as a blue car zoomed out.
Didn’t I tell you I am scavenging dream?
HAHA – I laughed
Shhhh – the night is sleeping don’t wake her up! She whispered in a strange voice.
I could make out that Marijuanawas working.
She slipped in the darkness.
I did not see her since then..
In a city like Calcutta Burnt, disfigured corpses turn up almost every day.So we have to wait for the murderer!