“Did you see the flying lanterns?”, I asked her. She paid no heed. I asked her again, this time a bit louder. She shrugged off. I stood up from my chair, faced her and holding her at her shoulder I shook her hard. I found a sudden change in her eyes. She seemed to have been suddenly catapulted to reality.
“They are simply passing”, she replied reluctantly…
I was flabbergasted, not because of this utterly casual and carefree attitude of hers, but this time because I could trace one of them right across the black of her eyes. What added ornament to the moment was the glow in her eyes, which hardly woke up from what I always considered to be the murkiest and the most drab boring.
I could see the whole of the show right in her eyes, I didn’t need to venture for the sky at the back of my head. Till she pushed me aside with a hand of hers for she missed the show…
“These are all simply passing, then why do you even need to care for them?”
I enquired, only to encounter an even better silence of 30 seconds. She didn’t answer. She Clearly avoided my question pointing her fingers to her ears on either sides, and the bursting, loud crackers in the sky…
It was after quite a while of boredom that she finally managed to break the silence.
She placed her hand on mine lined on the arm-rest and said, “Why don’t you simply rest your lips and gaze at the night sky, in the way you taught me, in that way which is rightfully yours?” Now a bit exasperated she said, ” Why don’t you understand that I m trying to memorize all those ways, you taught!”.
She surprised me.
I certainly failed at being silent.
I pinged her again, a bit sheepishly this time,” You remember that?”
“Not exactly, but traces, that’s why I m trying to remember them, don’t you get?”, She replied firm.
“You know, I always regretted not being able to teach u that in person, and all I remember is scampering from the rooftop to the telephone every time I spotted one, ignoring everyone in my path.”, I told her, excited once again. I again started, ” You remember you were sick that day and couldn’t scale to the roof so I was kind of making a live commentary of sorts, till u finally managed to spoil it all. You asked me to call it a day for what I called love, and you, a mere emotional aberration.”, I said.
“I had to, it was leading us to nowhere, and I found it as a mere wastage of two years of my life. I was never having fun with you, though I somehow ended up being happy!”, She added.
“Isn’t that good?”, I asked. “No! I didn’t want to be bound with something as much confusing”, she shouted at my face.
It was pleasing to find how easily I calmed her still, just by wrapping my hand around her shoulders…
“Anyway, bunk that shit. I finally got a chance to teach something that’s rightfully mine, to someone I felt as much, such!”, I said.
She stayed on silent…
“So, you see that one approaching from the east? Doesn’t it look like an yellow firefly? And by the time I finished renaming it, see it’s big enough. Its coming to you… probably not to you in specific but towards you! And even if your life is complete without it, your eyes are insatiable enough to keep gazing on at it, and your mind directing your thoughts for it. None actually care, for if you care. They are bent upon to exercise themselves…they ask you to be judgemental, unlike your heart that only asks you to simply be mesmerized and feel it. That’s effortless you see.”
And I continued, “Once it’s right atop you, instead of soaking in the ethereal visual treat, you end up being keen to capture it in ur memories…which ultimately never happens. And once it’s beyond you, you just let it be! Did you ever interpret time that way?”
“No”, she said.
“Even time asks you to live the moment, not repent over it having passed or fear it approaching.”
“Think of you no, I could never make you live the present or believe the happy past, and all that you could focus on was the approaching time and the misspelt words from past.”
I saw her sarcastic gaze soften.
She bursted out,” I don’t know the heck you are talking about!”
“For the first time I feared about future, about my mother, and it was true. I lost her in a few days. You never contacted me after that, nd you were untold.”, I said.
“I don’t have even a whisker of an idea of what you did after that, but as I said I kept on loving you to this date. See, you were 21 then, now you are 60. I don’t know what will happen tomorrow. But I remember all that was happiness between us. See I won. I still have the quirky, smartass, sarcastic, 21 year old I loved, and you have a 60 year old hapless fellow, reminiscing his past…!”, I said, the joy of being victorious stamped on to my face.
Tears welled up in her eyes. A few of those drops trickling past her cheek glistened in the halo of the led lights in the fore…
“Don’t cry”, I said, wiping the tears with my own fingers. I had been touching her in years and evidently felt the wrinkle marks that were once drest in utter fluffiness. “There’s only one thing i never celebrated with you, I guess it’s time now. Wait a minute.”,I stood up saying and left.
“Whoa! A flying lantern! For me?”, She asked.
“No, for us, it’s Diwali afterall. Come-on hold it on that side like this and let me light it up.”, I said.
We sat down on our respective seats, she snuggled into my arms just as she did at the movie-theatres. We spent the whole night watching the dark sky, through smoky filter. It felt good.
“Thank you, for again letting me have fun again!”, She whispered to my ears.
Patting at the back of her head, I said, ” But I felt that I was happy ‘rather we’!”
Somewhere dead in the night we fell asleep. As I woke up I found her crying over me, a few people surrounding us. She had the same lantern in her hand coz before letting it into the wilderness of the night sky I tied it to a long string, written in it was “I will always love you!”, ‘extinguished’.
Wait, who was telling the story then?