For a change, let the picture say it all!
It blows from one house to another. It sweeps through the veranda, picks up the dried leaves which the maid fails to manage every afternoon as she grumbles ritually. The leaves end up lying on her bed. The draft is as naughty as a young boy, wanting to touch everything that comes in its way. Ruffles the letters, dishevels the corner of the bed sheet , picks up the leftover smell of yesterday’s cut flowers kept on the study table and annoys the curtains before leaving the room to blow away in the courtyard and then down the road. One letter flies along with it. They talk to each other, the letter and the wind.
‘What’s written on you?’
Wind is curious.
‘How do I know! I don’t even know how to read!’
The wind chuckles do that.
‘How about you?’
This time the letter asks.
‘Are you crazy! I don’t even want to!’
‘That’s because you are always eavesdropping.’
The letter sounded a tiny bit cross. She loves to keep secrets. The words are tattooed on her chest, folded, and glued and sent to the person it was meant to. She considers secrets almost sacred. Wind blows and laughs loudly. He carries her in a rush and yet careful so that she doesn’t get hurt.
‘Secrets are gone the moment the other opens the letter. Isn’t it?’ It looks like the wind can also read the mind.
‘Moreover, people whisper to blow their words for another year. I carry their words, but I don’t carry their thoughts. You do the same, don’t you?’ Wind continued.
The letter was carried away in some thought . This is the first time she has left home and probably the last. Once you reach the destination, you are stuck there more or less. She is thrilled to be out with the wind and still long for the familiarity of home.
‘What is written on me?’
She wonders out loud.
‘Nothing that has to do with you or your destiny!’
The wind answers in a matter-of-fact tone.
‘What if it is bad news, grave, solemn, dark?’ She sounded concerned.
‘There will be tear marks on you. That’s all!’
Wind chuckled as he said that.
‘He is so thoughtless sometimes. The freedom might be the reason,’ the the letter told to herself forgetting that he can read her minds.
‘News loses its strength just like me,’ the wind whispered. ‘It gets stale and hardly has the power anymore.’
‘Do you stop? Ever?’
Letter asks softly.
Wind actually stopped blowing for a moment and she felt being dropped. For a moment only. He then picked himself up again and while blowing, softly said to her, ‘It is not in my hand but it is the current which takes me along. I ride but don’t drive. You are my company now and soon someone else will be. I carry whoever wants to be blown away. I take along whoever wants to go. I don’t feel sad when I part because my job is just to carry.’
She was quiet and didn’t think anything for a while. The words were truth and yet were hard.
‘What if you remain with me and I want you to remember me? What if?’ She sounded like a little girl, worried and restless with a fever.
‘Another wind will come to carry you away. It is the trip which matters not who carries you.’
Wind did not say that but kept quiet. He knew she could not read his thoughts and he did not want her to know all the truths of life.
They floated together, for a while, for some time.
(Artwork: Piu Mahapatra)
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