She looked outside the window and noticed the moist ground, the slightly wet trees and that smell you get from the ground after a shower of rain. She smiled and wondered how things could change so fast. When she had left for lunch the ground was absolutely dry – as if it were a parched throat in need of water. And in thirty minutes it looked so beautiful. There had barely been a shower, for the amount of rain that had poured was not much. Yet, that little rain was enough to transform the ground. She realized that it was the same with life. Life needed a little shower to bloom. On the previous day, she had thrown party for a good friend and the day had gone splendidly. But when she reached home she was faced with a different atmosphere. She had to make a choice, and her career depended on it. But it was so difficult for her to choose that she couldn’t sleep well that night. As a result, she had been grumpy all morning. After snapping at a lot of people, she finally calmed down after lunch. That was when she realized that, though she still hadn’t come to a conclusion, all she needed was a little unexpected shower in her life. and her frown would be turned upside down again. Life was unexpected, and the lows would come along with the highs. All she had to do was wait.. She smiled and continued to look out of the window.
She came in, late as usual, threw her bag on the desk and sat down. She looked out of the window so that no one would see the tears she was trying to hold back. After a while one tear slowly trickled down her cheek. At the same time a cool breeze blew across her face. She looked outside the window again. She thought about what had happened. She had been talking to a friend about life in the small town she lived and life in the outside world. The friend kept telling her how many opportunities she was missing being cooped up in this small town. They kept talking about all the things they could do in a bigger city. The freedom they would get, the open-minded people they would be around, the facilities they would be provided with and basically the standard of living they could experience. The jobs and pay scale, the malls, the parks, the infrastructure, etc. But she kept arguing that this was the best place in the world for her. She had lived here all her life and she intended to live here for the rest of her life. She still had a lot to discover in this small town of her’s. She loved it with all her heart and did not want to live anywhere else. But the friend then asked her to imagine what her life would have been like if she had grown up in a bigger city. She asked her to think about the things she had missed. She thought back to her childhood and saw all the things she had, but then she saw all the things she could have had. Wouldn’t she want her adult life at least to have all the opportunities she possibly could have? The friend then went away. She was still in a trance. She heard the first bell go. She got up and started walking to class. She realized that her life could have been much more than it already was. For the first time in her life, she hated her town for the things it lacked. That was when she had come into the class – frustrated.
The wind became stronger. The trees on the ground started shaking and all of a sudden it started raining. The rain was so furious that the lecturer couldn’t be heard. The light spray of rain coming in through the window fell on her face. Her hair started flying. She closed her eyes and smiled. In that moment, she suddenly knew why she loved that place so much. She couldn’t really explain it and there was nothing very unique about that place, but her heart was set there. From the minute she had started observing her surrounding – she had fallen head over heels in love with the city. She opened her eyes and continued to look out of the window.
ten teenagers were sitting on a table in a coffee house. although everyone else was either talking quietly or watching the other’s talk, two people seemed to be yelling at each other. well, the girl was yelling at the boy and the boy was just trying to get a word in. as the girl kept yelling at the boy, the waiter came over and kept a cake in the middle of the table. the girl didn’t give it too much importance and continued yelling. then – she stopped. she looked at cake and saw ‘happy 17th’ written on it. she looked up at the guy and he gave her a big grin. they all yelled ‘surprise’!!!!!!!! she then felt completely stupid for yelling at the guy who had bought her a cake. after laughing it off, everyone asked her to make a wish and blow the candles. she looked at the candle and her mind went back to the previous day. she was arguing with the same guy and this time, he was telling her that he wouldn’t wish her on her birthday. she kept telling him that there was no way that he could resist wishing her. he walked away after saying, “lets see.” at 12 o’clock one of her best friends called her up. it was exactly 12.01 when she called.
she asked, “was he the first one to wish you?”
the girl replied, “no.”
“aww.. too bad, that would ave been cute!!” said the friend.
“knock it off!! he doesn’t know i like him.”
“and i still can’t figure out why.” said the friend with a smirk that the girl could here over the phone.
that morning, as she was surrounded by her friends, this guy walked up to her.
he smiled. she smiled back.
he started talking about normal stuff, and she replied innocently.
he lasted 6 minutes. and then he said, “ok! ok! i can’t take it anymore!!”
“happy birthday!!! “
the girl then said, “hah! i knew it!!”
he gave her one of his infamous grins and said, “yeah yeah.. whatever”
all her girlfriends started “awwwing” silently from behind. she gave them a murderous glance and turned away. he was very sweet that day. he didn’t argue much, he let her win every argument they inevitably had. and he smiled – a lot. almost everyone had asked her if they were dating. so many of them had come up to her and told her that it was just cute the way they kept arguing all the time.
she looked at the candle.
should i wish for him? almost everyone thinks its going to happen. and it would be incredibly nice if we were dating.
he smacked the back of her head and said, “you know, you only have 24 hours to celebrate.”
she looked at the candle again, closed her eyes and wished…
i wish that i do well in my board exams this year, and i am successful in choosing the right career for myself.
a month after that, he told her that he had been crushing on another girl for the past 6 months. she smiled, thankful that she had wished for something that could actually happen.
love is never dependable. people might tell you that it will work out/everything will be fine/ he will ask you out.. but it doesn’t have to happen. if you are lucky, it will. but most of us out there aren’t. so concentrate on everything else in life – your family, friends, studies, hobbies, blogs – everything else. love will come and go on its own. don’t spend your time fretting over it. i know today, that not telling him was a very good step. had i listened to everyone else i would have lost a very good friend. today, i no longer feel any of those things. but i have a reliable friend. so what are you going to do?? blindly believe that you will have your own fairy tale or take control of your emotions and ensure that you don’t end up getting hurt?
When Berry and Ray met for the very first time, they looked right into each other’s eyes. They were standing in two different corners of the cafeteria and though the place was crowded it was easy for them to look right at each other because both of them were tall. Unusually tall. When Berry saw him, she thought, ‘wow. a guy as gawky as me.’ And when Ray saw her, he thought ‘hmm.. a tall enough girl.’ Then when they both realized that the other person was looking at them a strange thing happened- a single thought occurred to both of them. ‘He/She might be the one!’ It was like all the other people bustling around the cafeteria became tiny ants and they could see nothing else but the gawky stranger in front of them. Then for the first time in her life, Berry smiled at a guy. It was the easiest and most natural smile she had ever given. And then the bell rang. Suddenly they both could see and hear everyone else around them and they felt very stupid.
That evening when Ray got on the bus he saw the girl again. Though she didn’t see him, her presence made him smile. A week later he mustered up the courage to talk to her.
A month later when Berry stepped into the restaurant for her first date with Ray, she realized that the place was very crowded. And when she looked up and saw her date across the room her eyes lit up and she smiled- something which she had been doing quite often now.
The day they filled out their college applications Ray picked up the phone and called his girlfriend and asked her, “Hey. You’re not changing your mind are you? We are applying to the same college right?” He smiled when he heard her say “Of course. Why would I change my mind?? “
Berry frantically walked up and down the hall. She kept looking at the phone. Ray’s call was due. His job interview should have been over by now. Her parents wouldn’t let her move in with him until he had a good job. Though she understood that they just wanted to protect her she also thought that it was quite silly of them to ask him to get a job first. It’s not like they were getting married tomorrow.
Ray slammed the door and stormed out. He stood outside for a minute but when he heard her cry he left the building. Not today. He needed some time to think. Some time to be alone. They had fought in the past. All through the 7 years that they had been together- they had fought like any other couple. But this time it was different. This time there was a possibility of the whole thing ending. He sat down on an empty park bench and considered the option. Things had not been going well lately. But after a moment or two he realized that the 7 weeks that were strained were nothing compared to the 7 years of bliss they had had. No. No, he could not let her go. They had been through half of high school, the whole of college and the beginning of their first jobs together. Why would he want to give up all that on a few strained weeks??? No way. What had he been thinking? This was Berry!! The girl he loved! He could never let her go. And definitely not over some silly argument.!! He ran back to their apartment.
Ray fidgeted with his hands as they walked through the park. He thought of the first time he had seen her. Across that cafeteria a million years ago. An odd thought had struck him, that this would be the girl he would end up with. How stupid had it sounded back then. But today as he ran his fingers over the ring in his coat pocket, it didn’t seem so stupid. When he popped the question, her eyes welled up with tears and she hugged him tight. He wanted to laugh loudly and scream and sing and thank the universe and its creator at the same time. He didn’t know which one to do, so he just hugged her tightly and began crying before she could. He knew that all his life he would be made fun of, for laughing before the bride to be. But he didn’t care. As long as he could have a family with her and tell their kids and grandkids about this day, he didn’t care if they would all laugh when they heard that he had been the first one to cry.
As she looked into the eyes of the man in front of her, she could see the reflection of her white gown in his deep, black eyes. She thought of all the moments they had shared-laughing, crying, studying,cooking,yelling,snuggling, relaxing, hugging and she couldnt think of a single person she would rather spend the rest of her life with.
She focused her thoughts on the priest and smiled as he began to say the most important words of her life.
“Do you take Rayner Evans to be your lawfully wedded husband, to share your life openly, standing with him, in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, in hardship and in ease, to cherish and to love, so long as you both shall live?”
“Do you take Bernadette Mitchell to be your lawfully wedded wife, to share your life openly, standing with her, in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, in hardship and in ease, to cherish and to love, so long as you both shall live?”
A song was playing and she was dancing. Everyone watched her, ridiculed her. She watched their faces, their expressions, the disappointment; the shame-she watched it all. Let them ridicule me, she thought. Tomorrow they will realize that I am doing nothing wrong. The song ended and she got off the stage. Everyone moved away from her. She walked away quietly to her shack. It wasn’t much, but it was her home. It had a huge banyan tree next to it and she could practice all day under it. The villagers never came to that tree, because they thought she had cursed it with her dance. They called it the dancer’s tree. No one dared to come there, for if they stepped near the tree, they believed they would be cursed forever. Whenever she went to the village to get her groceries they all glared at her, and refused to touch her bag. They gave her whatever she wanted with the help of a stick. No one offered to employ her, and most of them thought that she earned her money as a mistress. Little did they know that the flowers that entered the village everyday were handpicked by her from the forest. She went there every morning to get baskets full of flowers and then supplied them to the florist under another name. And nothing had happened to any person in the village who used the flowers. But they wouldn’t listen to her when she told them that she was doing no harm.
That night as she walked to her shack a tear slipped down her cheek. She knew she had to be strong, but sometimes she just couldn’t take all the hatred. She danced because it was her passion. Was it her fault that the villagers thought of it wrongly? She strived to make them realize that dance was an art-a great art, which would be the passion for hundreds after her. No one before her had openly acknowledged to being a dancer. But she had seen, the barber’s wife dancing to a simple tune in her kitchen while the barber got ready for his day. She had seen young children dancing along the way to the river, when they went to fetch water. But none of them were willing to give up the norms of the society to be able to liberally dance without putting up pretences. Bur even they believed that they might bring harm to their near and dear ones just as she had done.
She went inside her home, took the pitcher of water and drank some water hoping it would ease the tension in her. Then she lit the stove and started preparing her meal. As it cooked she watched the flames and remembered that day- that solemn day. She had been married to the village woodcutter. A strong, bright minded, young man. She was glad that it was him, because he knew her secret. He had come to cut her banyan tree and had seen her dancing. He promised not to tell anyone and also not cut the tree. Once she had been married to him he made it public that she was a dancer and a good one at that. The village elders had warned him that it would be a bad step to take. That such uncouthness would bring no good. He did not listen to them nor did the rest of the young blood. 3 days later when he was cutting down a tree a huge branch fell on his legs. Despite the best treatments, he had been paralyzed for life. That had been the first mishap. The elders had expressed their concern again but he had lent a deaf ear to them. At this point a lot of other people had become concerned about the so called curse. Sometimes she still wondered if she should have stopped then. For, though it would mean giving up her passion, it would also mean saving a life
After the paralysis he would sit in his room all day and she would bring him whatever he wanted in there. It had been a dark, windy night. She had taken a candle to his room and opened one of the windows to let in some breeze. She had gone out to secure rest of the windows and doors when a strong breeze came in. she went out to bring in the clothes fearing rain. What she didn’t fear was the breeze being strong enough to push the curtains far into the house knocking over the candle and starting a fire in the room. When she turned around to face the house she saw the flames in the back of the house. She screamed and the villagers rushed towards the house but it was too late. He was gone.
She slowly finished her dinner and prepared herself for bed. She closed the only door in the shack. She remembered his house, how she would go about closing all the doors and windows. But after his death the village head had sealed the house and given her this tiny shack. At that point no one objected, for they had all seen what had happened. There were days when she too believed that she was the root of this misfortune. Every week the village panchayat would assemble. She took her chance there. She offered her devotional dance as a means of prayer before the meeting started. The only reason they let her perform was because they believed that denying the devil something would only arouse the wrath of the devil.
She slept on the bamboo mat that she had just laid. A few more tears trickled down her face as she recalled her husband. Yet another day had ended the same way that many before this dusk had done. Tomorrow’s dawn would show her the same things that she seen today. But yet, she believed that someday there would millions waiting to stand under that tree, waiting to dance.