As I put the pen to the screen I feel the sound of paper being scraped …the lucid ink flowing smoothly over the milky, white ,lined pages creating a pattern of English words , an abrupt phrase and finally a sentence. Thus, I begin to write.
I am doing the very typical act of sitting pensively at the edge of my burnished uncomfortable chair with the electric heater, blazing like a false fireplace waiting for myself to come to an idea. A pertinent question that the mind asks me at this moment again and again is….what shall write? Would I write to prove a point or express my thoughts over things that bother me most? What shall be my subject? It would be common to say my subject would be me!! But no let me not set my goals right now. I just will write to create …what I donot know.
A cold sensation of a hand touching the only inch of my skin that lay bare in the November winter startled me. I saw the long , straight fingers firmly set against my bare neck and got glimpse of a thin gold band merely shinning on one of those slender fingers. For a second I felt paralyzed but turned back only to see the express outline of the dark , beautiful , majestic trunk of an old banyan which I had just crossed. I stood still for a moment and soon felt too numbed to move forward . My mind told me instantly that I was going to faint….
The smell of perspiration combined with that of unwashed linen for days wafted in…why do people not wear deodorants I thought But strangely I am asleep! While I travel in busses, in the metro or in rickshaws I tend to frown when people stink. Perfume for me is one essential marker of grooming…which I feel free to say all should wear. The behind of my skull throbs and a semi-transparent liquid touches my hand …oh god …am I bleeding!!! But blood is thicker….where am I? what happened ? I quickly fight to open my heavy eyelids and see an usual sight. Many heads and eyes I see pouring inquisitively onto me as they question …”aap kaise feel kar rahe ho” I distinctly hear “…chalo inko hospital le jaye.”
I try to haul my body but realize that every inch of my back is reeling with pain…yet I pull myself .Presence of too many people have always made me do more than I could, right from the age of five when a shy child had to repeatedly recite before varied sets of unknown guests “ Johnny , Johnny yes papa” with unfailing enthusiasm . “Inko Ct scan karane le jayiye, ” the nurse said. The machine was large like a cauldron and I did change into a robe to get inside it. They put me on a bed and the conductor asked me to keep my eyes shut. I did as told and soon slowly felt the sensation of being gobbled up by a big blue darkness…this darkness….I thought is not black!!!
I touched the bare skin with these fingers, these fingers ,these very fingers. Astonising, bewildering ,impossible…how could these fingers fail. They are charmed , they do magic , they exorcise the soul of any person, they make one go mad with exhilaration and ecstasy. See there , there, over there on the walls they create the magic of a masque…Juno and Jupiter dance in shadows as they look into each other’s eyes. The orange that the finger still holds I squeeze and droplets of sweet, light honey spreads all over the marbeled floor. As I smooth over the crumples of my red bedsheet I watch the verdant green appliqué leaves unfold and silently wind up and spread from one end of the bed to the other. I lie down, wanting desperately to fall asleep…but my eyes remain fixed at the tall, slender fingers. White and smooth. Each initiating from the middle of the palm and going straight up to tingle the air. The veins run in blue under the fair skin making each finger look more solid and tantalizing, as they melt with the torn moonlight that’s entered the dark room despite the silver curtains. I see the rounded edges of the nails and wonder at their patena…as I slowly bring the all the fingers closer they languish together making a soft arch towards the tip and the light bounces over the edges to enter the palm creating a chiarascuro. The slim gold band stands gleaming on the ring finger, enhancing the contours and perfectibility of the scene. The sight intoxicates and generates desire. As the spectacle continues my eyelids feel heavy, the hand slowly touches the softness of the bed and a thought lulls my sense as I feel the coming of deep sleep….
…..well Midas your touch could not turn her into gold!!