Sunday, October 16, 2011

The silhouettes [Short Fiction]

It still looked the same as it did a year ago. The waves still shimmered as the sun lingered clumsily on the greying sky.  There were the usual sounds - a melancholic overlap of laughter, conversations, some hawkers and, most soothing of all, the gushing waves.  And then, there were silhouettes- few young, few old, some lovingly coupled and some miserably lonely -lonely, like her. She longed to step into this withdrawing day and become a faceless counter, a shadow on this beach.  Disappear away- like him.

Here she was, after a year of inconsolable sobbing, denial of his absence and accepting the unfair life.  Her life, at the this moment, was defined by the profile of woman- hands folded, neatly resting above closely drawn knees, the outline of her face looking at the beach. Her hair flowing freely and her mind knotted with thoughts and memories-just another silhouette with a story. It was here that she had found him, a few years ago.  From a blurred black image of a stranger, he had moved into her life - filling it with all colours of joy she could have imagined. She held back tears that threatened to break into an outpour of everything she had deeply shut. An unbearable pain rushed through her body. A boulder of grief shattered her like it had happen just yesterday. Destiny had wiped him out of her life cruelly. The dreams they had built together like gleeful children, collapsed overnight.  She felt a stab as she watched the kids build sand castles,” Don’t, it won’t stay.” She wanted to warn.

It was then that her thoughts were suddenly interrupted. She felt the eyes of a stranger glance upon her. She fidgeted uneasily embarrassed about being caught in a private movement.  She stared blankly at the beach still cautions of the man, trying hard not to look at him. She felt weak, vulnerable and strangely exposed. But he stood there adamant, his eyes still caught on her.  She emptied the sand from her sandals and in one hurried movement got up and started to walk away. He followed. Her heart paced and her feet dug deep into sand as she ran, slowly, awkwardly, not wanting to give away her fear.  For a minute she contemplated about stopping and confronting him.  But then she heard him call her, “ Please, wait! Wait.. a minute. I need to thank you.”

She stopped and turned to find the middle aged man run towards her. She saw his face now, he looked dignified and there was genuine look which kept her from running away. Catching breath while puffing and panting he spoke,“ I am sorry, You don’t know me. I.. I wanted to give you this.” She took the photograph from him with trembling hands. He continued,“ I had clicked this about a year ago. I have been trying to find you both since then. I am a photographer. And this photograph has become one of my most appreciated works. I wanted to thank you and gift you this. I bring it with me everyday. And finally, I saw you now. I wasn’t sure at first. But then..”  he stopped as he saw her cry with joy and pain, her eyes never moved from the photograph. She looked at it dearly and clung to it like a scared child to a mother. Unsure what to say he finally said,” I am sorry.. I didn’t mean to

Without a word she hugged him with the deepest sense of gratitude, her gentle sobs with a dash of laugh confused him. He let her hold him not knowing what to do.  She loosed the embrace and spoke hugging the photograph close to her heart, “ This.. this is the biggest joy that I have felt in my life THANK YOU. I have no words to express how grateful I am. He died the night this photograph was taken. This was our last moment together”. The man was so moved he only managed to mumble in a muffled voice,” I am so sorry to hear about that.” They, two strangers, now connected by a mutual grief sat down and wept- two black contours on the magnificent beach.

Later that week she got the photograph beautifully framed. It was a silhouette of a couple, him and her holding hands and walking, with him leading her and guiding her as the sun silently withdrew throwing a golden light on the beach-the photographer had put up an apt caption,” I will walk you through darkness-forever.”  She had found her strength to live by.

P.S: This was supposed to feature in Captured Writings. But somehow the story didn't seem to fit well with the photograph and new story replaced this one to compliment that image. You can read that version here.

12 comments:

Rahul said...

Daaaaamn!!!!!!!Sheer awesomeness all the way!!!!:-D

Red Handed said...

Forever Always!
How beautifully you captured the emotions. I have no words.

Loved the storyline!The pain f loosing sumone gets dimished by the good memories you have with them.

Vijitha Valsalan said...

Good one Sam. :-)

Saru Singhal said...

I'm at loss of words right now. Speechless...Where you get these ideas from?

TheBluntBlogger said...

Sameera, how do you manage to think of something so different, always?

She felt a stab as she watched the kids build sand castles,” Don’t, it won’t stay.” She wanted to warn.


you know i tend to feel so sometimes...like the lines i copied...

and knowing that your last moments were captured :'( with the one you loved so much...sigh...

much love....

umashankar said...

I was quite overtaken and wanted to mumble a few words but realised 'the blunt blogger' has alraedy said it! Yes, that 'Don’t, it won’t stay' is the most beautiful and poignant part of the narrative.

Guess I will return to your blog again.

Rahul said...

Accha,can I request you to put up a happy-happy-feel-goody-good story sometime in the near future???:-D

Sameera said...

@Rahul- Thanks!! Yep.. this was a cheerful blog.. I had made a cautious decision not to dump people with sadness when they come to this space. But some how.. experiments with writing. :) I am working on something funny.. lets see.

@Red- Thank you!! :D

@Vijitha- Thank you! :)

@Saru- Ideas.. I have no clue. I start with something in my mind and half way through the story I change it. Writing till ideas last. :)

@Chintan/Shubh- But that is the beauty of life.. to want to build castles. If we always live in reality we will never know the miracle of a dream.

@umashankar- Thank you so much!! Hope I live up to your expectations . :)

Kunal said...

hey Sameera,

Really liked the flow..The first part is a bit sad...but then liked the way a ray of hope came in the way of the girl. when in life, we lose something or someone very dear and close....everyone needs something to hold on to...something strong and tangible ....and here their last picture of being together fits perfectly with the loss that she has to cope with all her life.

KP said...

Hi Sameera,

I loved this one too.. just like the others.. on the whole i like the way u take on different emotions of a women and put them up as fiction..

This one was heart wrecking and would remain imprinted in me for a long time..

Thanks,
KP

Sameera said...

Hey Kunal-Thanks! So true.

Hi KP- Thank you so much. Yes, I like to write about women. We are beautiful people aren't we. So much to emote. :) Glad you like it.

Roshan said...

been going through the 'short story collection'.. loved this one the best..

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...