Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Silhouette
Attached to the city’s cathedral was a missionary house which, by the looks of it, manifested nothing less than a palace. As the dusk arrived, the weather outside was growing sullen, quite in accordance with Kamala’s disposition. All the lamps were out, save the ones on the staircases.
Mother Rosemary vigilantly stepped into one of the rooms, holding fast to her lantern.

‘How is she now, Sister?’ she asked addressing Sr. Joyce in her customary poised tone.

‘I just now only returned out of her room, Mother. I am very much worried about her, and also double worried for her child. Until yesterday was she crying and crying, but today she has not expressed a word!’ came the answer, in a thick Keralite accent.
‘She refuses to talk to me also!’ she added, sounding fairly hurt.

‘Well her state of mind is such. We must understand. Poor girl!’

‘Even I am seeing the situation, Mother. But she is not even wanting to have a look at her child! That delightful baby! He is not deserving this!’

‘Sister, she is just a young lady herself and has suffered a lot. It is now our duty to take care of her child, just as we did while adopting her.’

‘Oh! How can a mother not bother to give a glance to her baby? I can not abide with such irrational behaviors! Already she has done enough damage and now she will—’

‘Hush!! You mustn’t speak like that! You very well know it wasn’t her fault.’

‘But she shouldn’t have gone there at such a late hour.’

‘How was she to know? She trusted him. We all did. So we let him stay…..’

It had started drizzling by then. Kamala gingerly moved across the hall. Without a source to guide her, she tripped a couple of times before reaching the terrace.
Then, there she stood. Alone and drenched. Drenched in the drops that brought down all the smog and burnt her very being. And it came back to her.., all of it. The sweet talk, the offering, the touch, and his face. That friendly old face. One that was never seen again, after that night.

Ah! Finally it is out. Now I’m free!

She had expected to be treated with empathy, but the condemnation which she received had accelerated her emotions to such a height that every impudent word uttered would exaggerate in her mind and burst!
Her eyes flared up, and she let out a scream. Only, it was mute.
She looked at the sky with eyes filled with terrorizing revulsion, as the rain continued to pour. Her mind was like a broken mirror, all the pieces reflecting the same design. A one-way escapade.

I’m free now. They can’t stop me.

The rain ceased, and silence clouded over. She stood at the brink, motionless, till she couldn’t endure the clamor of her own overflowing thoughts. She stood there, staring into the nothingness above, demanding an answer. And she moved forward.
A sudden bolt, and the silence was disturbed. She withdrew her step.

Huh! I can’t even do this, she cursed herself.

Overwhelmed, she decided to retrace her steps and headed back to her room.
On finding the door to the Prayer Room ajar, she went in. Even though she couldn’t see a thing, her hands were clasped in hopelessness and knees bent in submission.
And she cried. She cried like never before. She cried till she fell off the____.
Then she rose, took a deep breath collecting all the frustration that had accumulated, and exhaled. All of a sudden, something strange occurred. It was out of the ordinary. A beam of soft mystical light filled the room, to form a figure in silhouette. A familiar image of a woman holding her child to her heart.

What is this supposed to mean?
Petrified and bewildered, she gave out a shriek!

Mother Rosemary and Sr. Joyce rushed into the Prayer Room with their lanterns, only to find Kamala sitting in a prayer-position. Her dry eyes closed, and shivering lips chanting the same prayer, over and over and over.

“Hail holy Queen, Mother of Mercy. Hail our life, our sweetness and our hope. To you do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To you do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping; in this wail of tears. Turn thy most gracious eyes toward us. And after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb- Jesus. O, clement. O, loving. O, sweet Virgin Mary."

The glim was doused.

1 comment:

  1. an emotional short story based on the outline of a cathedral.Sr. Joyce , the head nun and kamala are the primary chracters, some things in life leaves a greater impact. the way our society and our biological self works is far far different, desires and rules are complicated to manage together, and in a world full of ditchers, the way a mother tends to behave with her child is though strange but bitter truth, by such a young writer, its a tremendous worl of capturing various intense circumstantial responses of adults, its an achievement at ur part to script the lines the way u had done them."That delightful baby! "a faboulous word usage to leave an impact,"young lady herself and has suffered a lot."simple expression of complexity at both ends there... all conversations had been well written, gets a thumps up from my end!! good work again goldhawk