I do not remember how or even when it happened. She sneaked into my life almost surreptitiously, like sadness, like happiness. I got up one morning and there she was, in front of the dresser combing her hair, as if she had alwas been there, an integral part of my household, my life, my universe. I don’t remember her saying anything to me, I heard her only when she asked the maid to take away the utensils or prepare a hot bath for me. Though I can’t say that I understood much of what she said, she had the most beautiful voice. I wouldn’t go poetic and call her a nightingale but believe me, the words coming flowing out of her mouth seemed to cause a ripple in the entire room, as if someone had gently stroked the invisible piano keys present in the air. I spent most of the time sleeping or staring at the plaster peeling off the white walls of the room, while she sat by my bedside, just looking at me, occasionaly smiling as our eyes met. I sometimes tried to guess what was going through her mind or more importantly who she was, but too much strain gave me a headache, so I just accepted her as she was, whoever she was.
I think it would be a little rude on my part if I don’t describe her mesmerising beauty in a little more detail. She was not like the movie actresses we idolize, nor was she extremely fair. But there was something to her, something beyond words, which made her look extremely beautiful, even to the extent of an angel. Think of a chilly winter morning, you are standing by your window and you see a dark cloud moving across the sky. The sun is still rather dull like an uninterested office-goer on a Thursday morning. The entire scene has a gloomy, depressing touch to it. You are lost in self-contemplation as the lonely cloud hides the sun behind it. As you look back at the sky, that very fluff of a cloud, reflecting the sunlight suddenly catches your attention, and leave you enchanted. Some people draw a parallel to inner beauty but I am talking about a different kind of a glow radiating from her face, lightening up the entire room and calming my nerves. I can go on and on describing her charms but may be, I ‘ll leave it at this; it would only add to her mystique and the enigma shrouding her very existence in my life.
There is a white board in one corner of the room with some numbers and alphabets scribbled on it under the heading ‘Schrodinger’s Wave Equation and human DNA’. It looks more or less like gibberish to me. Something tells me I was a mathematician in some early life but again the visions are too blurred, I get a headache and again go back to sleep.
On evenings when it’s raining she opens the windows. I love to see her playing with the rain drops, trying to catch them before they hit the ground, humming some tune to herself, the rain drops following the rhythm of her melody. She looks quite young, definitely much younger than me, umm….may be twenty years, no, not that much, twelve to fifteen, at most. Again, there is a piercing pain in my head, I fall asleep.
One afternoon, I got up only to find out that she wasn’t there. I felt an unknown fear grip me. Though the maid made sure that I had my sponge bath and meals at time, something felt amiss. At that time, I didn’t remember the word but now I can say most definitely that what I felt was nothing but love…love in its purest, most innocent form…This very thought brings a smile on my face. Love is such a natural thing, there I was bed-ridden, having lost my voice, my memory, my legs and most importantly my desire to live; and still I was hopelessly falling in love with her. Most of the love stories I have read/heard graduate from being ‘Lust at first sight’ kind of a thing to love. But me, I didn’t even realize at that time that we were different, that she was a girl, that I was supposed to crave for her body; while my eyes and ears worked, the information processing system of my brain, cerebrum…cerebellum…whatever the medicos call it, was in a state of comma…no, let me say semi-comma because there were a few things I understood and things which I still remember. I missed her disarming smile, the sparkle of innocent mischief in her eyes as she quickly lowered her eyes whenever I caught her stealing a glance at me. I look all around, she is nowhere. The maid senses my anxiety and says something but I can’t make out what she is saying. I try harder to hear her, another exploding sensation, I again fall asleep.
P.S. Re-reading the draft, I get a feeling that I might have lifted a few ideas/phrases from the books/blogs I read. Especially, the girl reminds of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let me Go…..If you get a similar feeling, do share…