By Mayank Mohanti:
What would you do if it all came back to you? All the woes and worries that you had been wary of, the ebb and flow of waves crashing at your doorsteps—would you let it in? Would you listen to the call of wind, or still be living in a shadow? Well, the latter might seem a preferable choice given your tragic past experiences, but the question remains the same: do you have what it takes to go all the way?
A hundred such thoughts flashed by Maverick’s eyes as he lay seated on the terrace watching the beautiful sky. The magnanimity of the blue canvas interspersed with the thick white fluffy cotton smoke would often leave him in a daze. On days like these, his eyes would drift towards the picturesque hues of the setting sun and the varied V-shapes into which the birds flew back home. He would be stupefied by the mammoth concrete structures and the sheer distance that he could see. Never was he disturbed by the indistinct clatter down the street, for he always basked in the pleasures of gazing at people—the young and pretty, the sad and drowsy, the ones pedalling hard and the others, riding fast.
Every Thursday, he would pay the terrace a visit and would lose himself in the serene surrounding of silence and solitude. But today, it was different. As he climbed the stairs, he could see that the Earth was enveloped in darkness. He turned his gaze towards the heavily laden grey clouds hovering over the sky: perhaps, trying to find a resemblance to something symbolic to his imagination. It seemed to ask him something, something that no one else had bothered to care:
“What’s wrong Mav… Why do you tread on such horizon?”
That was it. The sheer timing and the categorical ambience of that question overwhelmed him to the point of shutting down. Maverick had buried those pain and pleasure moments far down his artery and left them untouched so that they could be forgotten with time; but sadly, that was not to be. We don’t really have total control over our thoughts, do we?
He was frozen into stillness. His heart pumped the blood deep, intermingling it with the emotions galore that laid a complete seize over his body and mind. Not wanting to fall weak at that moment, he made a feeble attempt to rise from his stupor, only to be disappointed. His eyes followed the dark clouds—they reminded him of the days she would excuse his silent affection and ignore the cry of his soul, no matter how loud they might be. Nonetheless, he carried on: hoping against hope that it would be different tomorrow. But then, our Mav had forgotten that his life was no romantic fiction that deserved a happy ending. It was only but obvious that the hammer would strike someday: the only question was, when?
It was March the 5th, the day when Maverick was fiddling with his phone and social media that he saw her donning an ethnic wear—she was walking hand-in-hand with someone down the stairs of a historical monument in India’s pink city. Fearing the worst, the immature little kid went on and on to browse numerous other uploaded photos: of her, that stranger, and every other mutual friend that might give some clue to the unnerving curious case. He had lost track of time but found out the thing that mattered him the most.
Though his heart was broken, he didn’t let his composure go downhill for he could bear a thousand needles pierce through his body, but he couldn’t stand her living a life full of guilt. ‘The burden would be too much for her little heart to carry’, he thought and then resolved to stay away from her forever.
Suddenly, there was a spark in the sky and for a moment, everything became visible to him. He could see the trees swaying in the wind, the empty clothesline above the adjacent building, and a couple of alien heads basking in the beauty offered by this unpredictable weather.
And then it rained. It came down hard and fast and heavy as if they were the last hanging up in the sky. It seemed as if these drops from heaven were in a hurry to kiss those moist eyes, to soothe his otherwise disturbed plight. He remained seated with his head over his knee and hands wrapped around his leg, letting the torrent wash away his worries—all those salt and sweet moments that he didn’t want to remember any longer.
When the downpour did finally come to halt, our Mav was a new man; or, perhaps that same smiling soul that he was in his childhood. That chill in his drenched body made him realise the essence of letting go. He understood that the feeling could choke himself if he were to hold on to something that was never meant to be his. “Life is not about confining yourself, but in traversing new horizons”, he told himself as he ruffled his wet hair into the towel.