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  • Writer's pictureNiranjana


“ When this letter finds me next , I will be gone. I have waited in fortitude, through the sands of seasons and the beats of the clock to tell you this. But today feels like a different day, Today If it pours, I will muster up the courage to look myself in the eye.  Only if it pours…”

Another  summer afternoon has  rolled around - around the same time my story ends.  It is a humid day, but a white necked eagle has been  sighted as she soars graciously across the shrine cupola, arching her back sensuously as she rakes into the arresting blue of the  southern sky. From the barbed windows of the white tiled house  hidden under the comfort of the areca nut trees, a pair of big marbled orb like eyes follows the eagle’s erogenous skittle across the plains.

“when the Bhramini kite is sighted flirting with the glow of the piercing sun, it is said that the showers are crossing the bay , prowling the skies to soak into the seeping soil , the kernels of love are being sown …” . The sandy voice of Mutthassi from the house adjacent to the white tiled house wafts in through the warped windows. Her astuteness is greeted with the muzzy nodding of heads and the  flicker of eyelashes one associates with an afternoon that hung sleepy with drapes of the rain.

A dusty gust of wind pushed her way in, a harsh cold breeze that almost blew my tendrils around my face. I hastily beat a retreat from the bedroom into the contours of the house through corridors that stumbled under the weight of the artfully hung cobwebs all the way . The tremble of thunder stings loud in my ears and I heard the gong of the signs  egg me on, but I cower.. people like me are expected to  shy away from the hails . I am used to spending time indoors, typically at my table lacing yarns and yarns that flow all the way to the floor, and then draping myself with them… This is my world , a beautiful  yarn spun out of threads of deceit, lies and a make believe monotony , some call them masks . I don’t know what to call them. I don’t have a say..

I make masks for a living. Rather I have a lot of masks , that I can afford to spare. when the masked desire me, I invite them into my sacred sanctum- where I size them up, and  set to work making the veneer as beautifully as I can, and they reward me . I keep the rewards stowed away in an urn below my bed. They enthuse me, because the urn contains bales of unusual sensations…I forget how they taste though- my taste buds are dead, I have kept them pickled away for a rainy day… Maybe today.

Time is running out. The hands of the clock seem to be beating in my rib cage. I make my way cautiously into the room. the room I have cowered from. The room had a mirror. A tiny wooden one that hung precariously on a tooth shaped nail. The last time someone looked in the mirror, she was a little girl with pigtails who loved talking to the person ‘on the other side’… until the person on the other side took over her , forcing her never to look up.

I creep into the room , and stand before the mirror my eyes tightly sealed shut. The room has dimmed into a seedy shade of olive green  , as the billows gave way outside , throwing buckets of water on my tiled roof , the pitter patter of the water drops falling on the banana plantains is the only sound that I hear.

I have to bend down on my limbs slightly to see myself in the mirror…I vividly remember a pigtailed girl straining on the feels of her feet as she arched up to look in the mirror. The memory makes me shudder. Or probably it was burst of chill from the rain surging ahead

I force my eyes open, I look past the warning signs and see myself stare back. I am a sham!

I pick up the hem of my skirt and rubbed the grime off the mirror, a pair of dull kohl lined eyes stare back , the corners of her mouth turned up in a cheeky smile and curly locks that billowed in the wind.. I am beautiful, but I am not for real because the girl on the other side  does not  look me in the eye . she has her eyes set on the window, her eyes dance to the tunes of the rain, rather longingly..

The crash of thunder nails it down , and a streak of lightning bolts through me! a sham. I finally  rasp, in a garbled voice that reminded me of a pigtailed girl from another life.

The girl in the mirror glances at me, through me.

I close my eyes in prayer.  The splatter of the rains urge me on. I hear the chime of bells in my head , peeling on . the urn behind my bed cracks open. My jar of pickled emotions come crashing to the floor…

I turn on my heels and clamber down the stairs, out the door and into the fuzzy rains.  The girl in the mirror smiles before turning her back  .

And the mirror on the tooth shaped nail wipes itself clean .

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