05 April, 2009

My Moonsong

It was a strange night; fulfilling , almost serene as I looked down the long and winding road. The project had been wrapped up and within me was the satisfaction of a job well done. The drive back to the hotel was long and was in no particular hurry to reach back either. It was still a few hours to dawn and I had my thermos flask filled with strong coffee from the client’s pantry in the car. It was a lovely drive and the night was breezy and cool. The road curved around a hillock overlooking a lake and here I saw the moon; a full moon and stopped the car on the dirt patch well away from the mainstay near the edge. There was a milestone that said 75 the painted name of the city completely worn off from years of rain and grime. Opened the car door and just sat there looking at the moon. It was that kind of a night. A mood rather soft and reflective settled around me, not a soul was in sight, no car was on the road and I was well away from the city dwellings here.

Leaving the door open, I sat on the bonnet. My back resting on the windshield, the flask by my side while the hand fumbled into all pockets for a smoke, found one and lit it. As the smoke tendrils curved and moved heavenwards through their wispy threads the moon looked at me. It was a communion, the kind no logic would possibly decipher. As I exhaled the blue smoke and took a sip of the coffee she talked to me and I listened. She (The Moon) had been the mute witness many a times when I held hands with the few who had walked into my life. Today she smiled that I had stopped only for her and not used her as a prop in the background. She reached out her silvery arms and held me companionably and kept talking. My heart swelled up and I thanked her for just being there; making the world a beautiful place to be. And then she asked, have you thanked those other hands too? The ones who at different walks of your life, were beautiful milestones like the one here. Mutely I shook my head as a lump came up the throat.

I had held a few hands but the heart had not missed a beat for all of them as much as for that one pair who had always held mine. I still remember the first time; a long time ago. I was too much on tenterhooks when I asked her out and she had accepted. Then in my nervousness had behaved like a stiff upper lipped gentleman from the Victorian era till she had very casually slipped in her hand into mine as we crossed the road. At that very moment would have been happy to be run over by the fast approaching truck had she not pulled me across. I need you for the whole evening, she had said fiercely and am not gonna lose you to a truck. I recalled all those times as we sat holding hands, just staring across the sea, not speaking till the moon rose.Our silences were companionable. Her paw was rough and dry and when I had raised my eyebrow in question she merrily laughed saying "Don’t you know dear ‘Rough paws mean warm hearts’. That was the one period when life fluttered & flew on gossamer wings. Our roads had parted and life went on but there was something special about that time when the world was lost to us and us to it. The only one who knew about us was the moon. Now,when asked me the question, I remembered our parting where she had insisted that I take care of myself. That I had done, but instinctively had known she was the one who possibly needed taking care of.

As if by magic, I heard the strings of a gently vibrant guitar and the curiously conversational voice of Mark Knopfler. It wafted across from the softly playing radio that was on in the car. With eyes closed I just listened and teleported those words to her with the moon

Baby... I see this world has made you sad
Some people can be bad
The things they do, the things they say
But baby I'll wipe away those bitter tears
I'll chase away those restless fears
That turn your blue skies into grey

Why worry, there should be laughter after pain
There should be sunshine after rain
These things have always been the same
So why worry now

Baby... when I get down I turn to you
And you make sense of what I do
I know it isn’t hard to say
But baby just when this world seems mean and cold
Our love comes shining red and gold
And all the rest is by the way

Why worry, there should be laughter after pain
There should be sunshine after rain
These things have always been the same
So why worry now

The strings at the end of the song kept strumming for a long time and had finished my coffee. My eyes blurred and as the moon cocked an eyebrow told her, it is just the smoke. Smiling benignly she said "Don't you think I know you better than that; will deliver the song to her". My vision cleared with happiness. Crushing the butt under my feet in the preparation to start back, I noticed it was getting lighter. My heart was full as I said my goodbye, the last fleeting ray of moonlight caressed my cheek. The feel was that of a warm and rough palm.


Bhagyashree said...

This post is really beautiful. SO many angles to it and covered so well.
Just a small request can you please increase the font size of your blog.

Kau Kau goes the Crow said...

Thank you very much...Glad that u liked it Bhagyashree.

On the font size , I will definitely do that, but then they seem so very long.

The other option when one reads is to use ctrl+ and the font size increases on your screen.

Vish said...

this is beautifully written... u are gifted my friend... it almost felt like i was hiding behind a tree watching u talk to the moon ;) i must have told u umpteen times... u have to write a novel... it has to be a bestseller!

on another note.. is this a real story or just a muse ;)

Kau Kau goes the Crow said...

Gee..Thank you M'lady..
thine kind comments aid my resolve towards the book...
as to your question..where does fiction end or fact begin or vice-versa...the dividing line has blurred completely

veena said...

The Moon. the Man
the smoke, the song
the mind, the psyche
stillness of the night
what a way to unwind !

Kau Kau goes the Crow said...

Take up poetry for a living Veena you shall rake it in by the buckets ;-) . U seem to be a natural at it...

Srini Kesavan said...

Excellent one Kau, but why did you part ways with her in the story?
I can see a sequel to this story here where you bump into her again suddenly after many years ...

Kau Kau goes the Crow said...

That can be another story altogether Srini...
This was just a case of reflections..some trigger sets off a chain of recollections and music more than most.

Neeta said...

This is a beautiful piece....something about it says is it true!!!!

Kau Kau goes the Crow said...

Thank you Neeta...

Why is it that people want to know the background is what i always wonder, of course all my stories and writing are nothing but the absolute truth.

The writers imagination refuses to see it any other way ;-)I should soon change my name to Bond...James Bond

Neeta said...

There is no need for u to change ur name; the James Bonds r the "us" folks not having learnt to draw a line between the fiction & reality. :-)

Kau Kau goes the Crow said...

Whew Neeta....

You have saved me from a predicament of both the embarrassment as well as the cost& hassle of being called "James"; then changing all calling cards , documents transactional & legal.

Second imagine going home to Mrs. Gauri Bond and asking her aaj jevayla kay kela ahes ga? ;-))))She just may give me a stiff uppercut pure Brit style to her own 007

neenas said...

very nice enjoyed reading it after a tiring day at school.

Kau Kau goes the Crow said...

:-) Thank you Neena

Rishiraj Tripathi said...

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kau kau goes the crow said...

Thank you Rishiraj, good to have you here.