The man was standing by the lighthouse with his focus firmly on the instrument he was holding. The decrepit looking lighthouse was no more in use, time had exonerated it from its duty, nor it had much to contribute to the beauty of the beach. But, it was still there, becoming a part of nature, so much that its existence as a separate entity ceased to exist.
The man was standing by its side, with an old violin in his hand. The lighthouse at the backdrop was a perfect match to the worn out trousers and an oversized shirt he was wearing, the squalor together producing a painting, much like a surreal one by Dali. The sun was taking its time to sink down into the deep blue water, giving a golden-orange hue to everything coming into its realm.
On a single bench out there on the beach, a lissome silhouette could be seen. Anyone could detect it as that of a female, who sat there with her two hands resting on the knees, savouring the beauty of the sea, the sun, and the sand.
But a closer examination of her sitting posture would reveal something more. With her shoulders stooping and head a little down, she was not looking at the rushing waves, she was contemplating, her mind surged with a myriad of emotions.
I had no idea what to do, or where to go next. The experience of the last few hours had sapped out all the energy. It’s not like that I’m physically devastated, but the psychological stress, the emotional tampering are hurting me more. I’m feeling like a ship without direction. Yes, living together with my boyfriend was my decision, nobody compelled me, nobody thrust their desire upon me or tried moulding me, not even Rohan.
On this very day, one year ago, we decided to shift together to a 1 BHK flat. It was a big decision for a middle-class girl belonging to a conservative family and having fed with a litany of tedious rituals, ethics, and tradition from her childhood. Still, I felt the urge inside, I wanted to spend every moment of life with him, being in love was such an amazing feeling!
I never felt penitent of my decision, in spite of the critical opprobrium I faced from my family, I stood strong. I believed in myself, my faith, and my conviction. And, above all, I trusted my man, Rohan. No, Rohan didn’t ditch me, he never ever would do that. The past year was the happiest one of my life. I woke up every morning with his fingers caressing my lips, his masculine smell driving me crazy whenever he touched me. I felt complete within his arms, my mind singing a hundred happy tunes in unison with him.
It was all hunky dory until this morning. Rohan said that he would be shifting for a couple of weeks to his friend’s place as his parents were coming to Mumbai. To my utter bewilderment, he assured me that this would be just a temporary settlement, his parents know about our relationship, they would drop in here to have a conversation with me. I still didn’t get his point. If all were fine, then why was he moving to some other place?
Irritated, he stopped beating around the bush and told me, he didn’t ever inform his family about our live-in relationship.
Oh! What a hypocrite! He was ashamed of being in this relationship all the way through, his morality, his pride, and above all, the flaccidity of his character have blocked him to reveal our relationship. A relationship for which I fought with my family…my people! Love is nothing but a four-letter-word! It’s the one word too often profaned.
I felt asphyxiated.
I felt like a trussed chicken.
I felt like a victim.
And, then, I went berserk.
I left ‘our’ apartment with all my belongings. Let him live with his hubris, I thought. I went to one of my colleague’s house and remained defiantly taciturn in spite of all her queries. I know nobody would probably support me with my decision. Everything is perfect according to others. Women adjust in a million ways to have a happy married life. In my case, it’s just a little chicanery on my part.
But I’ve my own philosophy and wisdom. I hate hypocrites. I want to cry, I want to scream for losing Rohan, but nothing is coming out. Oh, Rohan! Why did you lack the chutzpah? Why did you fail to respect me? Love, respect, trust, friendship- all these are concocted together to make a perfect relationship. You failed me, Rohan, it’s my failure.
Still, I can’t live without you, I’m already feeling alienated from this world, I can’t keep going with my life alone…I can’t….
What a conundrum, see, Rohan! Neither I can live with you nor I can live without you. A perfect cul-de-sac. There remains only one option left…..
The man by the side of the lighthouse suddenly watched a female figure walking slowly towards the sea. The sun moved downwards into the sea a little more with the waves romping in the molten gold. The slowly moving silhouette created a mesmerizing view. The man felt an uncontrollable urge to add a little melody to this magical canvas of nature.
Ruby was approaching to the waves as if in a trance. She was not looking at anything. The blank, glass-like eyes made her look like a marionette. She had only one thought…the final one…
Suddenly, a tune made her pace slower. That was not a popular song or music, but an eternal one. She knew it, recognized it instantly and, her heart skipped a bit.The intensity and power of the four-note motif stopped her and jolted her back to the present.
She stood there, rooted, soaking in the music through every inch of her body. It was Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5; she neither had any idea nor did she want to know who was creating the magic. All she knew that the Fifth was ameliorating her wounds, her pains, and sufferings. The balmy effect soothed her down; the passionate outpouring came to a halt as she could feel warm teardrops moisturizing her parched cheeks, and perhaps, her soul.
She turned back. With the sun behind giving its last kiss to the world, she was returning to the shore, to life.
Several kilometres away, Rohan just stopped the music player. He was listening to Ruby’s favourite, the Fifth in the C minor; the spontaneous flow of the musical phrases made him visualize the struggle of the individual and the Fate, and the final cadence, the triumph!
He wanted to make a confession to his parents. Determined, he dialled his dad’s number.
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