On the day of her departure it does rains.
As they go out for their last walk,
he warns her: let's take an umbrella--
I don't want you to get drenched
just before you leave. She’d laughs and says,
Come on, don't worry, it's won't rain,
with such charming and supreme confidence,
that even he acquiesces. Later, when they
take shelter in a deserted building, he says,
see, I've learnt that though I should defer
to you, I must not discount my greater
instinct or experience. They stand watching
the rain, which gradually encroaches into
their shelter. Aren't we blessed? she asks;
yes, he replies, rain is heaven’s gift to earth.
Suddenly, she moves, striding rapidly and
purposefully, first walking up and down
in straight lines, while he's rooted and still,
in the middle. She traces God knows what
mystic pattern or diagram, but he feels strangely
satisfied, as if he always knew that ritual.
Finally, she draws a circle, walking around
him thrice, and then, quite unexpectedly, even
turns the other way, undoing an arc.
She leaves that evening, though they've said
no goodbyes, just folded hands, with closed eyes.
When he opens his, he finds her regarding him
intently, with shining face and laughing eyes.
Afterwards, in her stead, a silence grows, thick
and verdant, like some bare branch, suddenly
bursting with foliage or wild grass growing
lush and rampant. The place they'd met so
curiously, by chance or design, is not his
home: a few days later, as he himself prepares
to go, it rains as he steps into the auto.
|Copyright © 2005 - Makarand Paranjape|