ByÂ Smriti Mahale:
Suraj returned to his silent home. Being the CEO of one of the biggest company of the nation was a tough job. He still enjoyed it. The reputation, the wealth, the respect, he enjoyed it all. Even though it meant, no friends and family, no informal parties, no simple joys of life, no laughter… It was a life of fake relations, plastered smiles, formal gatherings. After all – money mattered. After all years of study, hard work, sacrifices, struggles achievements, had to pay their price someday. He missed the old times: the jokes, the love, the magic. It somehow did not seem to matter now.
He freshened up for a silent night. He sat back on his maple bed wondering how life could have been different if he had made a different choice ten years ago. Would he still have woken up to a breakfast from the next door five star hotel? Would he still have dressed in the navy Armani suits? Would he still mingle with the elite? Would he still go to sleep in a room adorned with ivory mantle pieces? Would he still travel day in and day out to luxurious countries of the world? Would he sometimes regret and forget?
As is he was still examining his chain of introspections, his eyes fell on the box made out of the finest rosewood in the universe. It lay there for quite a few years now. The maid dusted it from the outside, never bothering about its contents. The shimmer from the outside never faded. Suraj had carefully hidden her there. Though there was no place for her in his life now, he wanted her to be a part of his life. And she remained in the box, a part of his life, as aÂ secret of the misty past, as a reminder of a world of ‘could have been’ to Suraj. There were many occasions when Suraj was tempted to open his well hidden past. But he was scared, scared to feel her olive skin against his, scared to rekindle the love, to reunite the passion, to lose himself into her undesirable spell. He would never let anyone, evenÂ his old love ruin his wonderful life of monopoly. He would never let anyone snatch him from the clutches of precious time he devoted for master minding ways to amass treasures.
He moved towards the box, each stride reminded him of mesmerizing moments of oneness he had enjoyed with her. With her, it was a different world, a world unknown to the known, a world where spirits danced to the glory of cheerful melodies, a world where he used to get lost and find himself. A longing for a companion on that solitary night of a new beginning made him open the box. There, she lay, the way he had left her eons ago.
Suraj was fifteen years old when he had first fallen in love. On the sunny afternoon of his birthday, his father had brought her home. She was wrapped in the golden flames of gift paper and had brought a glow to Suraj’s face when he opened his gift box. He had a flair for music from a very young age, and had expressed his desire to learn violin inÂ the following years. His parents had catered to his wish and gifted him a violin on his fifteenth birthday. For the next few years, Suraj spent most of his free time with his new found love. He played beautifully, the melancholy of his soothing union with his violin created a world of cheer around him. He loved playing his violin when he was sad, when he was happy, when he was angry, when he was lonely. She seemed inseparable from the very existence of his soul. Everyone around him thought, he would be a violinist, a terrific one that is, but the future had other plans.
The love for money overshadows the love for everything else. A corporate career brought home a new love for Suraj. Tempted luxuries tampered his love for his violin. With time, he got so busy that tunes of cheer dissolved themselves into the ocean of green cherish. One fine day, he put her away in the box made from fine rosewood, and there she lay, forgotten, unloved, separated.
He picked her up, like a gentleman lifting his lady love for a moment of desire. As the night stroll to a new beginning, the magic was rekindled. He felt happy, he felt satisfied, and he felt himself. He let the moment transcend for the whole night, the new year had given his life a new direction, pointing towards old ways. He wondered how many cameras, pens, books, palettes lay hidden is the rusts of ‘old love’ all over the world…