Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dance


Living on the top floor of a high rise apartment and the tallest one amongst the apartments in the vicinity, has its advantages. Some of which are, a great view, maximum inflow of good atmosphere and moving around the house inappropriately clothed even while the curtains are open.

That day on a weekend, I was, like on most weekends, sitting on the cane swing in the verandah. It was twilight. There was a slight nip in the air. I was taking in the chill while trying to reading the book in my hand that I had been trying to read for very long now. And as always, my mind kept wandering off to random thoughts and romanticizing life. That is when I saw her on the terrace of the new apartment that had come up just across the road. They must have moved in very recently as I had not seen her before.

She was a girl of around 15 or 16 years of age. She had a pretty petite face with what seemed like delicate features, which I could make out from the distance I was at. The kind, one immediately falls in love with. Her hair fell in waves on her shoulder and the breeze kept trying its best to blow them over her face. She was wearing a blue ankle length skirt and a black shirt. There seemed to be an aura of happiness, a certain glee around her. Her entire presence instantly reminded me of a line from a song in ‘The sound of music’, “I flit, I float, I fleetly flee, I fly”. That’s what she was doing. She was flitting around in a trance. She seemed to be humming to herself. And then suddenly, just like that, she started dancing. And oh she danced. There was something celestial about it. The passion with which she danced seemed like she was releasing the life that was trapped within her. There were no inhibitions in her moves. She was dancing for herself, forgetting the world around her. She was delicate yet fierce. Her arms moved elegantly but with a sudden sharpness. Her hips swayed and curled with grace and no obscenity. As she twirled around, her hands up in the air, she was in a daze and she gave me goosebumps. I had never ever seen anyone dance like that. It just took my breath away. The entire performance gave me a chill down my spine. And then she suddenly noticed me looking at her. She stared at me for a few moments and then ran away.
                                                  
I tossed and turned in my sleep that night. I just couldn’t get over her. The dance kept haunting me. I had never experienced anything like that before. For the next few days I would consciously and subconsciously keep a look out for her. Every time I would go to the verandah I would glance at the terrace to get a glimpse of her. There were times when I would deliberately go and wait at the verandah trying to locate her. And then one day, over a fortnight later I saw her again. As soon as I saw her on the terrace I hid behind the curtain. I didn’t want her to see me. It was drizzling that evening. She was wearing a bright red salwar kameez that juxtaposed with the colour of the sky that evening. And she began dancing, as wild, as passionate as she could be. The rain added to the wildness. As she moved and swayed without any reticence, wet with sweat and rain, she looked like a mesmerizing nymph that could curdle the blood of any and many. I gaped at her with my mouth wide open. The entire act was hypnotizing. I couldn’t stop myself from coming out of my hiding and as soon as I did she saw me. This time I made an applauding action and she gave me a fleeting smile as she ran away. I carried that smile with me for long. It made me smile at nothing in particular.

The next time the wait wasn’t too long. A week later we had our little rendezvous again. This time I did not hide myself. She saw me and smiled. I waited. It took her sometime but then she started dancing. She seemed a little conscious today. I blamed it to my presence. But after a while she got into the groove. This time she danced for me. She would glance and smile at me during her performance. And well, that made me feel special, very special. After she was done, she lingered on around for a while; smiled, waved at me and went away.

In the meanwhile I also figured out that she lived in the apartment just below the terrace. I had seen her at the window sometimes. But she never seemed to acknowledge my presence from her house.  She, I presume, lived with her parents and two brothers. She always seemed very busy with household work whenever she was there in the house. From whatever glimpses I got of her through the window, she appeared extremely docile and completely unlike what she was up on the terrace, her dancing self.

I looked forward to our little performer-spectator meetings. They continued for over a year. She was splendid every time. Her dance would emit various different emotions in me every time. Sometimes they would fill me up with immense happiness, sometimes with melancholy, sometimes ecstasy and sometimes mischief. There was a very nice bond that had formed between us. She communicated, emoted, and expressed all her desires, feeling, and thoughts with her dance. I had not seen anyone dance like this ever. She should have been doing this professionally. The world needed to see her dance. Many a times, I thought of meeting her. Telling her to go all out with it but never really got the chance to do so. Or maybe I did, but something always held me back.

And then suddenly one day she just stopped visiting the terrace. I would see her at her home. But she would just not come for her dance sessions. I had got extremely used to her. The absence of her presence disturbed me. It made me very distressed. And then one day I saw a lot of people in her house. All dressed up. I realized she was getting married. It was her wedding day. It troubled me. She had not seemed old enough for marriage. Or maybe I was mistaken about her age. Somewhere I felt extremely heartbroken that day. She had unknowingly become a very significant to my life. I had got used to our terrace to balcony meetings. I felt a void as I realized that this was probably the last time I would be seeing her. Even more, I would never probably see her dance again. And I waited the entire day to get just one glimpse of her at the window.

I brooded for her for days to come. And slowly I got over her, as other insignificant things became of importance in my life. Life went on but I somewhere never ceased to glance at her house or terrace every time I went to my balcony. There was always a slight hope that I might just see her once again someday. And then one night, it was way past midnight; I had woken up for a drink of water. As I stood with a glass in my hand I just happened to glance towards my balcony and there on her terrace I saw her silhouette against the full moon. I hurriedly switched on the light of my balcony so that she could see me and rushed to the balcony. She stood there facing me for a while. I couldn’t see her face, just her outline. She was wearing a sari. She seemed to have lost a lot of weight. And then she started dancing. She danced like never before. There was a lot of agony in her moves. She seemed hurt. She seemed angry. The wrath flowed from the steps that she took. There was an attitude in the way her feet shattered on the floor of the terrace. There was brashness in the way her hands swung around. She looked wild. She terrified me. I felt this intense desire to go hold her and ask her to stop. And then she stopped. I could figure out that she was panting. She was looking at me. I knew it. She walked slowly towards the railing of the terrace and before I could react, she climbed up the railing, took one last glance at me, waved, and jumped off the terrace. She just jumped off. Just like that. I stood there startled and numb. Not knowing what to do. And she was gone. Forever.




13 comments:

  1. Wooops! Never thought it would end in such a way. Amazing swing of mood at the very end! Very well written again. What is also interesting is your attempt of not revealing the gender of the narrator !

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  2. Very well thought of and well written.Liked it.A different flavor.

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  3. Amazing! captured my attention till the end.. very nicely woven :)

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  4. I had tried to predict as I had read on, but could not.

    PS: Paragraphs. Please.

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    1. Sigh! Yes. Long way to go. :) Thanks a ton.

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  5. Very well written diptee. You have an alternate career choice that is shaping up well :)

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    1. Thanks a ton Magic Quill. A long way to go though. :)

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  6. Very well written and well formed. Characterization is excellent.

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