on Friday, January 13, 2012

I never cleared the dust off that window. I always knew what lay behind it. I mean, I could guess. It was not a big window. It was small. Not tiny, just small. Often I would see sun's rays filter through its dust rich glass and cluster in a small square of light on the grey floor. This square of light would stealthily broom across the cracking grey floor, leaving behind not footsteps of light, but a trail of darkness. Rather, greyness. I often liked to play with that little square of light- skip in and out of it. My darkened, weather beaten, less than ordinary looking feet would momentarily be purified by sun's white light as they skipped into that square. When they skipped out, they would enter again the ordinariness which has for long been their home..

This game with light was a passing distraction. My larger fascination was with that small window on the opposite wall. The window accumulating dust, giving only a hazy glimpse of the picturesque scenery that lay beyond. A chirping bird perched onto the overhanging branch. Glistening dew precariously hanging from the tip of a luscious green leaf. Orchids-white and purple and carnations-white and purple lining the fence in a mad array of grandeur. Just a hint of redness of an occasional rose, breaking the sacred monotony of my favorite white and purple flowers. A pair of rabbits, white balls of fur with their beady red eyes, dashing playfully through the greenery at the edge of the pond. The pond divided in two zones, each rich in fishes of differing hues. Its left side green under the overhanging canopy of huge summer trees. The right side bare, allowing sun's rays to prance around it's watery surface. Through the dust, I could figure out all the silhouettes-the flowers, the trees, the fence, the branch, the pond.

All this lay beyond that window. Yes it was a small window, but it was my only window. As the four ugly walls of that dingy confine of a room seemed to close in on me at times, the presence of that window would provide me respite. I feared the world beyond my door, with known foes and known miseries- I seldom ventured out. I was enchanted by the world beyond my window- I always kept an eye on it. I painted happy pictures and waited for the day I could be one with the wilderness the scene beyond had to offer.

I had never gone near the window. I always kept basking in the balmy light it sent in my cold room. I always kept imagining the scenery that lay beyond it, the beauty I remembered from more than two years ago when I had last ventured out. I had romanticized its translucent potential. I even spoke to it sometimes, beckoned to the heart of nature which I had believed to be sacrosanct. The window was my companion, I was its. I trusted it to open itself to me when it thought it should. May be when the heart of nature ripens to glory.

Today, its tiny panes flew open. I smiled at the invitation, but then I feared. There was some stench of ill-begotten pandemonium. I took a few steps towards it. The silhouettes I saw through dusty haze were there, but they were just that- empty silhouettes.  The scenery that lay beyond the window was as per my thoughts, with only one marked difference- there was no life in any element which I had painted in my imaginations. The outlines were there, the colors conspicuously absent. The leaves, the flowers, the water- was shivering under a windy pandemonium. They seemed lifeless, but attempting to exist somehow.

I felt a surge of sorrow. Then a surge of empathy. I thought I could get closer to the window, peep out, and see how I could help restore the beauty. I took but one step more and a strong gush of wind forced the rattling panes to shut with a bang.

I looked back at the door- a world I had consciously shut out.
I looked at the shut window panes- a world no longer the calming beauty I had thought it to be.
I looked at the walls. For the first time I felt faithless. For the first time, trapped.