Wild Imagination - 5 new articles
She gritted her teeth and punched the horn. Again. She knew it would achieve nothing. The red tail lights of the car in front of her would continue to wink through the torrents cascading down her windscreen. The rain washed dark green color of the filthy truck would continue to obscure her view. The RJ would continue his mad chatter, as if he were sitting on a different planet, in another galaxy with a satellite feed of this traffic jam filling up some random monitor in his room. Nothing would change. Yet, she had to do something. So she punched the horn. Again.
She glared at her iPhone settled comfortably in the seat next to her. Dead. What a day to forget to carry your car charger! She had a million calls to make. Why couldn’t the universe understand that? Why did it have to rain in March? When did it ever rain in March? She wanted to scream. There was nobody in the car but her. It would be alright to scream. No one would hear her above the din of the rain and traffic. But she could not. It was not who she was. So she punched the horn twice.
And then sighed.
She rested her forehead against the steering wheel. Something on the radio caught her attention. A song. She frowned and tilted her head to hear it better. She smiled. She turned the knob and strains of the song filled the car
…Ajeeb dastaan hai yeh...kaha shuru kaha khatm…
The sun was setting against the balustrade of the small balcony. Raindrops hung like dim fairy lights from the patterned railing. Soft tendrils of smoke rose from dainty blue cups of chai. She was too young to have chai. She sat holding her cup of milk, feeling great about sharing this evening with the adults. They were talking. She did not remember much of the conversation. But she did remember that every now and then the conversation was punctuated with laughter.
And sounds of the rain.
She just sat there grinning from ear to ear. Clueless about the conversation around her. Yet content to be among people who were so happy. She remembered how her mother’s bangles jingled softly every time she lifted the cup to her lips. The way her father affectionately tousled her hair every now and then.
And she remembered the song.
She remembered the soft melody of the song filtering on to their little balcony. She still remembered how her father’s face beamed with mischief. He pulled her mother to her feet and just like that they burst into a dance. It was no choreographed performance. But she remembered thinking how beautiful they looked together.
She could still see her mother throwing her head back and laughing as her father tried to sing along. He had then let go of her mother and stooped to pick her up. He danced along with her. It was the best dance ever. She had laughed and laughed.
And she had fallen in love with the rain.
The last strains of the song faded and the RJ shrieked in the closed confines of the car. She smiled and turned the volume down. She looked around. Nothing had changed. The truck was still next to her, the car still in front of her.
But something was different.
She no longer felt like punching the horn.
“The world is full of monsters, darling,” he smiled as he tucked his three year old daughter under her soft Winnie-the-Pooh blanket.
“What kind of monsters?” She asked without looking at him. He watched as she carefully placed her stuffed elephant on the small pillow next to hers and arranged the blanket around him. She turned her black round eyes filled with questions on him and raised her small eyebrows in demand. He had not answered her question yet.
“All sorts of monsters,” he shrugged. “Some monsters are bad and the others much worse. They come in all shapes and sizes. They wear all sorts of clothes. The bad monsters; they look ugly. They are rude and mean and they scare little children away. But then you realize that they are the least of your fears. The really bad monsters, the worst kinds? They hide inside of people. They hide inside of the nicest of people. And when nobody is watching; they come out. Unannounced. Unsuspected. Which is what makes it so difficult to fight them. More than half the time you don’t even know who you are fighting and why.”
“I don’t like the really really bad monsters daddy,” she shook her head, her eyes wide with fear. He hadn’t meant to scare her. He had just gotten carried away with his thoughts. He wanted to reach out and console her. Tell her that it was all going to be ok. But how could he? He was not sure if and ever anything would be ok. He gave her a very watery smile and patted her hand.
Instantly she shed the blanket aside and threw herself at him; her tiny arms wrapped tight around his neck. He could smell faint baby soap and strawberry shampoo. She had just been bathed before bed. He knew if he hugged her, he would feel the softness of her young skin. He knew his touch would assure her. He knew her touch would trigger emotions in him he was not willing to face.
“It will be ok daddy,” she whispered in his ear, her soft breath dissipating against his cool skin. “I know you will be there whenever a monster comes.” She kneeled on the bed in front of him and held his face between her tiny hands. He winced invisibly. “Not matter how big or bad the monster is and no matter how deep he hides, you will save me from that monster.” It was not a request or a question. It was the most obvious thing in her life. “You will do it because you love me daddy!” She kissed the tip of his nose and wiggled back under the blankets. He watched her little body squirm as she struggled to regain her position on the bed.
“I love you too daddy!” She beamed at him. He smiled. He chucked her under her chin and mouthed and loving good night. He turned the lights off and watched the moonlight filter in through the partially opened window. The silver light settled like a halo around her sleeping form. He sighed heavily and closed the door as he walked out of the room.
He walked to his study and pulled out the file buried in his last drawer. He had a past. A gruesome, ugly past. This file was a reminder of that past. It was seven years ago. Sometimes those seven years stretched to cover a lifetime, sometimes it was as close as yesterday.
He had fallen in love with a five year old little girl.
He had been enchanted with her. He loved her touch, the feel of that soft skin under his fingers. He never wanted to stop touching her. When she was around him the need to just reach out and touch her was so physical that he hated himself for it.
Thankfully before the urge overpowered him, he had found his wife who had given him the strength to fight this flaw in she had. She had given him the courage to grow into a normal human being.
And she had given him a little daughter, just before she died during delivery.
Every night he prayed that tomorrow he would wake up to a grown up daughter, capable of looking after herself. Someone who did not think of him as the savior when he was the very monster she should be running from.
Every morning he woke up realizing that his battles had just begun.
On days like these; she hated the internet. She knew she ought to do something more worthwhile but all she really managed to do was scroll lamely down her FB Timeline. Some newlyweds had posted pictures of their perfect honeymoon. If their honeymoon was so perfect, they wouldn’t be spending time putting pictures on FB!
Scroll to the next update.
Another friend who was hovering in her forties, wanted to look like she was in her twenties and was gloating about how a twenty something hottie had been hitting on her. Cougar. Or so he must have thought at least. Young men always had a thing for women twice their age or something like that.
Birthday. To wish or not to wish? The last time she had interacted with this person had been about seven years ago. Of course every year he dutifully posted a “Happy Birthday” on her timeline and she replied with a thank you, but did that qualify as an interaction. Postpone the wish.
Not more baby pictures! Agreed the baby is really cute. But frankly, now the world was overdosing on the pictures. Even the number of likes on the oh-so-cute had dwindled to a mere four, which she was sure was mummy, papa, dada and dadi. And this was so not the baby’s fault!
She frowned and scrolled all the way to the top of the page.
A friend’s request.
Curious she explored further. The second she saw his picture, her heart stopped beating. Again. Like it used to in high school when he wore those funny half pants and she sported ugly pigtails. She found him unbearably handsome then and right now he was Adonis!
She quickly clicked to check more about him. If he was married there was no way she was accepting this friend’s request.
Relationship Status: It’s complicated.
Complicated? Complicated was her middle name. She could do complicated. He was the Director of some company called Mo’sse. Since he was heavy into music and arts, she figured it would have to do something with either. She should have been Sherlock!
She could be Sherlock reborn.
There was link to his company. She could explore it. But why bother right now? Since he had sent her the request like a minute ago, the chances were high that he was still online. She should respond to his request ASAP!
But why had he sent her a friend’s request after all these years? Had he chanced upon her through common friends or actually bothered to search for her on the vast web world?
She quickly checked to see if they had any mutual friends. Seven of them. All from school.
She was hardly in touch with any of them. But he seemed to be. What if they had told him she was a snob? What if he was getting in touch with her out of sheer curiosity? What if the complicated part of his relationship was one of the common friends they had?
Did she want such a mess in her life right now?
She stared at his picture again. He was unfairly handsome. She clicked on accept and sighed.
She could do complicated. Complicated was her middle name.
A warm memory
Beats in her heart
Of a girl from her past
She weaves a dream
From that sunny laugh
And keeps it in a raindrop
Which is a part of a song
Then some day
When she trips and falls
When she is pushed
Up against the wall
She finds this song
And hums the tune
Of dewdrops kissing
The sun in June
That little girl
She laughs again
As the raindrops sing
Her happy refrain
With colors of rage
I paint the day
And then embrace
The dark of the night
I see you stare
And walk away
You'd never understand
Why I feel this way
With a soft whisper
And a cold kiss
With a warm hug
The oldest fix
A new color
Makes its way
Brighter and bolder
Than any other shade
It dulls the rage
It kills the fear
It paints a new dream
This one color
As a part of the Poets of the Page Mini Challenge - Day 2