A shapely silhouette – a sleek youthful outline of black sat at her desk bent over an erratic pile of – fallen leaves. At this moment of silence she appeared calm and composed which is good – at least for now! The perfect monochromatic photograph comes to life when her silhouetted hand reaches out for a pen on her desk. Taking a closer look, we can see that she is inking words from her soul that appeared to walk slowly on the variegated lamina of the fallen leaf. The outline slowly glided through the darkness towards a moonlit open terrace. She then extended her hand and placed the leaf on her palm. As though sent from heavens above, a stiff breeze appeared like a divine messenger and took the leaf from her. The leaf was tossed to and fro and then it was taken up, up and away to some destination unknown.
In the same city, elsewhere…
A gust of wind blew which tossed some fallen leaves around. Slow footsteps crunching the dried leaves can be heard, and suddenly it stopped. The cemented pavement comes closer. A leaf on the ground. A frigid and a nervous hand with somewhat bulky wristband scoops up the leaf on a gut instinct. It revealed it’s deepest dark secret – a blanket of words intricately woven in a beautiful penmanship.
The wind whispers your name.
“Stars light up my way to you.” it reads. No signature this time too.
The footsteps then head back to a room to pin the leaf on the pinboard along with four others. A smile spreads. Everyday had been the same – Eat. Sleep. Repeat.
Until one day everything changed, with these life-giving dead leaves. A pair of keen amber beads as serene as the morning dew silently skims through the words on the crispy dried leaves…
Want to melt into your being and disappear forever…
You speak in the language of my soul…
Love songs have started making sense these days…
You’re my sunshine… You make my heart sing …
Vinu hadn’t materialised yet. There was no sign of him showing up anytime soon either. We were supposed to meet up at the Beach Bay café at 11.00 am for a steaming cup of cafe lattes and bacon sandwiches. By ‘we’ I meant – Anchal, Diya, Ishaan, Manav and Poonam (that’s me!) – an ambitious, vibrant clan of college friends with the same – mental disorder! Priceless! It was so much fun being a part of this group which never lets you do silly things alone.
So, I suppose you want to ask me what happened to Vinu? Clueless. Totally.
‘What on earth happened to him, guys?’, asked Manav.
‘Hasn’t he even told you?’, inquired Diya, looking at me. I shook my head in response. Okay, don’t raise that brow yet. It’s not that we were dating or anything but…yes! we were pretty close. We shared a special warm relationship.
Vinu was always one amongst us and was always the focal point of our gang. A person with a great sense of humour and someone who was interested in everybody and everything under the sun! He was the one giving crazy ideas, motivating us to leave our comfort zones and explore life. And such a vibrant chap suddenly started behaving indifferently without any apparent reasons. When he was with us, he was in some other world lost in thoughts, silent. And lately, he had been playing the hide and seek game with us.
He hardly answered our calls and never bothered to call back either. Today too, before I left home, I did try reaching him but, in vain. It had now become a routine affair. And each time I picked up my phone, I would place it right back down on the cradle. Such a hard-ass he has become ! I thought.
That day ended with us having our share of cafe lattes and sandwiches and splitting our ways. After reaching home I looked at my cell phone. 8.00 pm. Still no phone call. No Watsapp pings either. No profile status too. I checked other statuses – our meetup clicks were there mostly with of course missing faces, someone displaying their new art, quotes, relationship status – you name it you will find it ! Let him call whenever he wishes to. I couldn’t be too bothered.
Of course! Vinu had a different story to say…
Yes! I was… the centre of the world for my friends! Like Poonam rightly said, I was so full of life. The one spreading positive vibes.
I did see the umpteen number of calls and Watsapp pings that came inquiring about my whereabouts but… I gave them a cold shoulder. Poonam, my soul friend, too had tried her best to reach me but… I… kept my distance.
I was never like this. I was at peace. Calm. Collected. Until… those… words… on the leaves came searching for me and totally… derailed my life. I strongly believed those words were meant for me and desperately wanted to meet the person who wrote them. An emotion which I had been so oblivious of seized me at the mere sight of the artistic handwriting on the crispy leaves. Everything seemed completely illogical, unreal but… there was this feeling in my bones which said – THIS IS YOUR GIRL!
These days I had only one thing on my mind – find out who she was, get to know her and make her mine… FOREVER! I was constantly wondering – what does she look like? How does she sound?
I had become deprived of sleep too. It’s 3.00 am and I was still on the phone engrossed in some social browsing. As I skimmed through the Watsapp messenger statuses one particular status caught my eye. It read…
Love conquers distance. We’ll meet soon…
Written on an extremely familiar… FALLEN LEAF with a note – Written for someone who I’m yet to meet…
I ran back to the pinboard at the rear end of my room… the same words… the same handwriting… the same LEAF! I could barely contain my excitement. I looked at the status again… YES! It was the same… no mistake this time…
My knees were weak…I couldn’t believe it… was it really her? Tomorrow…I’ll get all my answers. It was high time.
Next day morning, I was at her doorstep, knocking. There she was…at the door. She looked all the more beautiful today.
‘Vinu…where the hell have you been! How many times have I called you?’ She was agitated. I could clearly see that.
Standing there, I simply handed over the FALLEN LEAVES… with a smile! She looked at me. I didn’t miss the shock on her flawless face. Teary-eyed she returned a smile! She had all the answers she wanted. Me too!
Sometimes, 180 degree turns are the beginnings of something beautiful. So was our love story!
Life is surely magical for those who believe in miracles!
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Dear readers, I am Pooja Warrier, at least thats what my birth certificate says ! Since I failed miserably in finding a magical gemstone, I am an HR Generalist who works to earn a dime . As a creative writer, I have published a couple of articles on The ArmChair Journal and also coauthored some anthologies. Roles I juggle on the personal front : an unruly daughter, a pestering wife, a nagging mother and an overprotective elder sister. I admit having a somewhat unhealthy obsession with dancing, sketching and drawing. Would that be enough?
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