Sunday, February 5, 2023

Words for a wordsmith – Anandita Tewari, Mumbai


The lamp was still there in the room, with too many wicks burning. The oil could flare away at any time and the flames were struggling for life. The lamp would not have called my attention, hadn’t I noticed someone sitting beside it. A woman of nearly my age was there reading a book. I bent down a bit to notice the name on the book. THE GLASS PALACE was printed on it in bold letters and that thing amused me for a moment. This book I had given to her husband yesterday. Something unusual was about her. Her tickling golden bracelets broke the silence every minute. She was turning the pages gently like she was plucking the flowers in an orchard. The lamp couldn’t appreciate her beauty well and neither I could. But certainly the darkness was fortunate enough to do so. Darkness like an obstinate aesthetic was sitting to admire the shimmer of her eyes and the pearls that she wore around her neck. It seemed like her complexion and her soft skin were amiable to every ornament that she wore.

I lit my cigarette and went into my room. I laid down on my bed and slept at once for the first time. My eyes opened to the sound of the rains. The pattering of droplets against the window of my room reminded me of that lady again. I was envious of the darkness that took so much time to walk away. But it seemed like the droplets were whispering to me about her. I took a sip of the hot tea and exhaled deeply. The dictates of the sounds by the rain took time to assert their sway. I took out my umbrella out of the cupboard and walked out. The roar of the clouds sent an encouragement to my heart that had earlier been filled with despair. I was about to take a step when I heard a call. I flipped back to see the person. She was there with an umbrella and the book. “I know this is a bit absurd but I am here to thank you for this book. I loved it. I know it will be strange that I am here in the middle of this…but I couldn’t keep myself from thanking you for this thing.” she said and stared at me in an expectation of a reply. She was dressed in a green bright silk sari with golden temple borders. The design on the sari was inspired by the scriptures of South Indian temples. Her hair was tied to a small beautiful bun. I walked towards her. Her beauty simply enhanced as I got a perfect view of her visage. “I am glad that you liked it. I think we have a similar choice.” I said eloquently. As I was going to utter the next words, I heard a car horn. “Sorry, I have to go now. There is a wedding in my hometown…and it was nice meeting you.” She rushed, escaping the rain.
In the midst of these heavy showers, my life gave me a plot for my new story. The talk that I intended to have with her, I would unfold in my story. The benevolence of my life finally reached me and I got the best plot ever.


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