Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Banyan Tree

Blood on my hands had to be a dream. I tried hard to fall asleep. And the more I tried, the more conscious I was of being awake. And aware. The more I tried to shut out the sound, the more it seemed to filter into all of my senses. It was raining, the kind of rain that seemed to defy all sense of logic and purpose. It was loud and torrential, more to me than anyone else I think. It was the kind of rain that you expected in a sequence to murder in a bad thriller. It was the kind of rain that seemed to be talking, laughing and falling, all at one time. The wind made loud noises, as if to remind me to listen, to not shut that sound out for even a second. The banyan tree in the outside verandah seemed to be wailing in pain, as if in every stab, of every agony, it relived a moment of forgotten ecstasy. I remember giving up even trying to sleep and walked to wards the window. It was like a strange force was drawing me to it. I remember standing at the window and looking out onto the verandah, at the tree. It was then that the wind picked up even more and I hoped with a strange fervor, that the tree would get uprooted, broken or badly bent at least. But it was a banyan, it stood strong and resolute. It just made me angry and after a while I felt nothing. I was hypnotized, and with every gust of wind and every sway of branch, just sank deeper and deeper into a trance, of meditative nothingness. Except, it wasn’t really meditative.

The wind and rain outside just grew louder and louder. I couldn’t tell if it was a happy sound or one of sadness. All I knew then, that it was loud and I welcomed it. It was as if a symphony was in place, meant to move me to tears, meant to make me feel, but I was that unfeeling, indifferent spectator in the audience, growing more restless with every passing moment. It was then that it dawned on me, aren’t I the one conducting the music? Was I so involved that I even forgot to feel? Was I so broken? I remember looking around as if I could see the million pieces that used to be, a disintegrated puzzle called me, just waiting to be put together. I don’t know how long I stood there and I don’t remember deciding to finally try and sleep again but as I was heading to bed I caught a reflection. It was a woman, someone I used to be I think. Strange how you can’t meet your own eyes; never knew that feeling until that moment. The more I looked away, more compelled I was to look at her, with every difference I spotted in her and me, I found a disquietening sense of relief, with every hint of resemblance, the walls closed in a little more. And then I saw her mouth move, beginning to form a word. It was at that moment that it stopped raining, the wind dropped and an eerie quiet descended. And a shattering scream rang out. It was morning.

And I woke up screaming.

The guard heard the commotion and came around to check if everything was ok. It was then, that it dawned on me, the blood was real.

No comments: