Friday, April 08, 2005

Reaching for the Stars

(Bellowing out with all the strength in her lungs) HELLO!!!

(Aside) I seem to have mastered the art of becoming invisible. It took me several years to do this, but now that I’m there, its not nice being invisible. Why won’t anyone notice me?? Damn but you there, standing there with the smirk on your face...listen to me! YOU!!!
(Screeching with impatience) Guess there's no undoing it now is there. Invisibility sure sucks though...Christ what I wouldn’t do for a tad wee bit of visibility.... hey...I think that girl saw Hullo??? Yes, you in the red shirt...odd, she looks at me like she’s seen a ghost...a little inconsequential wisp of humanity-once-been. (Fades away into the crowd of humanity....)

Shaking herself consciously, she forced herself out of the reverie. She turned to sit by the wall, overlooking the horizon. But now, her back was turned resolutely to the waves breaking behind her on the beach. The sea – it represented a myriad of things to her. At daybreak, it held the promise of life. The motion of the waves crashing against rocks, on the beach, retreating, only to return again, represented the cyclic motion of life. She was a firm believer in “You reap what you sow”. It will always come back to you, so do unto others, as you would like them to do unto you. She repeated that often enough didn’t she?

At this hour, when the sun no longer shone on the water, making it glisten and shimmer as the light waves bounced off the waves, the sea held a dark, haunting quality. It was beautiful no doubt, but it no longer beckoned to her. Around her, her friends sighed at the beauty of the sea in moonlight. Not her. She was filled with a sense of emptiness. The sight of the blackness, stretching out endlessly, away from her, reminded her that life seemed to move away from her. It filled her with a loneliness that she couldn’t escape from. It made her feel empty. A hysterical laugh threatened to escape from her throat. She was beginning to think like one of those sappy women on those soaps she held in disdain.

She tried her best to restrain herself from treading that beaten path once again. But failed. Her thoughts seemed to have a mind of their own tonight. Before she knew it she was back…

Back in the classroom. Conversation swirled around her. Mrs. Sharma was late for English grammar II. The others were making the most of the free time – a paper plane flew across the class onto the lap of a girl. She heard the girls giggle over the new boy in Class IX-B. And she sunk in further, trying her best to blend into the woodwork, bent over book. A little nobody, she was good, but not good enough. She has potential, but not the drive to get what she wants. Hadn’t she heard that often enough?

Her friend shook her. She looked at her and smiled weakly. Sorry, I got lost there for a minute. Of course I was listening. The beauty just overwhelmed me…Liar, a voice inside her whispered. She ignored it, but she found herself growing increasingly listless. How many years had it been? She had worked so hard at not being noticed, at staying away from the glare of the spotlights, that no one paid any heed to her anymore. Well she’d gotten what she wanted. She no longer stuck out like a sore thumb. She had a reputation of being safe, dependable, efficient. But that’s it. She could be relied on to do the job, to finish it, but come up with a new idea? HER? All those years had conditioned her to stop just short of reaching for the stars. Today no one thought she wanted the stars – sensible people don’t have dreams do they?

She did. What did that make her? A dreamer? No, that wouldn’t do. She didn’t want to be a square peg trying to fit in a circular hole. Sensibility had always been her armour against the world. Stupid! To allow herself to look over her shoulder after all these years. The darkness was bound to try and drag her back.

Life moves on. The waves continue to come and break on the beach…and stars? They were just gaseous masses in the universe.

May 2003


Daneshia said...

Hi Geetanjali! I've been visiting your blogs for the past few months. I like your style of writing! And your stories too! They are wonderful! But this one simply rocks!

Stars - just gaseous masses in the universe......... too good yaar!

And your adventure ride piece also made for an interesting read!

. : A : . said...

Nice imagery,

"At this hour, when the sun no longer shone on the water, making it glisten and shimmer as the light waves bounced off the waves, the sea held a dark, haunting quality."

Geetanjali said...

Daneisha & August - Thanks!

Phal said...

me likes. its different.

Paddy said...

Extremely fluent quality in the stream of thoughts presented. I am hazarding a guess that this might be a li'l autobiographical because it seemed like so humanly innate to me.

If you take away the foundation of this plot being autobiographical, then you truly are superb.(For example, I imagine you looking into the eyes of a person who was imagining it and concocting the story).

Either ways, its a fresh offering from your repertoire of writing styles.

livinghigh said...

ok... i took so long, cuz I didnt know u'd posted a new one. (how COULD I have missed it, I wonder?)... it was a beautifully sad little piece. (what a weird phrase, na?!) But yes, i think it's something a lot of us can identify with in some stage of our lives... i certainly can. sigh, does dat make me a dweeb?


(no need to rush back with an answer)

Geetanjali said...

Phal - Thanks

Paddy - Well to tell you the truth, there's a little bit of me in everything I've written so far - it always stars with something I thought/experienced and then i build on it to create a fiction. This one was sparked off by a visit to Bandstand (Bbay) late one night with my friends...wasn't in a good mood that day and generally found the sea very dark and uninviting, as opposed to what my friends thought of it...and so came about the story.

This was actually my first piece of fiction writing...

Rahul - Thanks.
What's with the "Dweeb" obssession today Dude? ;-)