This is my "boldest" piece till date. Haha. I wrote it without anybody in mind. I think I like it.
If you're gonna read any further, please ignore the fact that "I" am the author. Thanku.
She sat by the porch looking at the setting sun. The sky was now a faint tinge of orange interspersed in the blue.
It brought back memories of the lost days. The years lost. Her youth, which was now a thing of the past, flashed before her. Those who knew about it were no more to tell the tale.
She grew up in a quaint village near the East coast. The sun, the sand and the sea; that was all her life revolved around. She wasn’t really academically inclined and in those days, it didn’t matter either, so she preferred going boating with Ajay or climbing trees with Arvind, or maybe just stargazing on a clear night with Vani and Varun.
She was the black sheep in the house. Her siblings, accustomed to her wayward and lackadaisical lifestyle, didn’t chide her anymore, but regarded her as nothing more than a piece of furniture. Being the youngest in the family helped, and she was adored by her ageing father.
The years passed, and she grew up to be a young damsel. Her sisters, after completing their basic education, were now married into wealthy households. Her brothers too, were either studying or working in good positions. First, it was her grandmother, then an aunt, and a neighbor; all suggesting the same thing: she should be married soon. The time was ripe.
Only, she had no matrimonial inclinations. She did not wish to be tied down. She could not imagine such a life. The rendezvous under the trees, by the setting sun on the beach, inside the ruined temple on the hill; this was her life.
She rebelled. She created a scandal of sorts by running away to “The big city” with the postman. It broke her father’s heart and he did not live to see her again. The sleepy village did not hear about her until a few years later, when the schoolmaster’s son announced to all those who cared to listen, that She was now married to a wealthy politician and lived in a lavish bungalow. Although, it was unlike her, they were happy that she had finally “settled down”.
It was the year 1950. She returned. Well into her thirties, she was now a mother of two. She was no longer the dusky temptress. Age had mellowed her down, or so people thought. They proved to be wrong. She now lived in her childhood house. She was seen by the beach every evening. By the setting sun, she stood, looking into the distance. Was she waiting for her knight-in-shining-armor?
The house had few visitors, most of whom preferred to make nocturnal visits. Her life was a mystery and try as they might; the simple villagers could not solve the enigma. For nearly 10 years, she lived there. Her children had none of her charm and grace and neither did they did not resemble her even remotely.
She left the village in 1960, never to set foot again. She relocated to Bombay. A sprawling mansion facing the Arabian Sea was her new residence. Her children now lived across the vast Ocean in another continent but she preferred her seaside villa. She was content with her evening walks by the shore. Here again, she had few acquaintances and fewer friends. She rarely ventured into the city. Visitors were a rare sight.
Age encumbered her strolls. Gone were the days of the maiden who broke many a heart. The deep dark circles were the only remnants of her striking eyes which mesmerized many men decades ago. The lustrous black hair was reduced to a grey crop and her face was wrinkled with time. Yet, her heart was young. She contented herself with gazing at the sea from her porch, with such longing in her eyes, that it wasn’t hard to know the reason for her ritual.
It was yet another day. Circa 1995. She sat by the porch looking at the setting sun. The sky was now a faint tinge of orange interspersed in the blue. Life, she thought, was a journey, and she had nearly reached her Destination.
Here lies the soul
Of a lady in love with the sea.
Neither by life nor by death
Shall the two lovers part.
Thus read her grave, just as she had desired.