Narratives

The Park

Do not judge her based on her aloofness or hostile temperament. If she asks you to stay away, try not to be offended. She doesn’t hate you, it’s just that she is not used to your unexpected presence. And if, despite her meaningless hostility, you still decide to stay with her, you would slowly and surprisingly discover how feigned her hatred is! The fact is she had been waiting for too long for someone like you to keep her company but just like everyone else she fears that you too would leave her eventually. And it is the inevitable truth, isn’t it?

She likes to believe that her life has been built over her choices rather than some bunch of uncontrollable circumstances. Is it really true? How does it matter even if it isn’t? In labyrinth of her thoughts, she has the liberty to believe in anything she wants to. In labyrinth of her thoughts, she doesn’t have to differentiate dreams from reality. Her dreams can be misleading but she has seen too much of life to care about this trivial thing called truth. Had she always been like this? In her days of youth, she recalls that that things had been different. In her decaying memories, there still exist the echoes of those noises that had once both annoyed and excited her. What was it like back in those days? When she was young and beautiful – when the swings weren’t broken, when the slides hadn’t been rusted, when the see-saws were capable of being used? What was it like when the children loved visiting her, annoying her, infuriating her, tickling her and making her laugh from the core of her heart? Faint projections of the past trickles down her hazy memory. “It was beautiful!” She exclaims. It was beautiful! Those were the days when each setting sun brought different stories, when imaginations of young minds would disperse incoherently in the air she breathed, when she was the canvas where each day creativity was splashed over in unpredictable ways; when she had the ability to be the island surrounded by river filled with crocodiles, when she could transgress from being a mere children’s park to the peak of the mountains or the sea of molten lava. Where have her shape shifting abilities disappeared? She is just a deserted and forgotten park now. What happened?

She aged.

How come, though? Wasn’t she supposed to live a long youthful life? Or was it just her immature assumption? After all, the things that glorified her, were paradoxically also the things that destroyed her. With the imaginations that excited her and made her feel invincible, came also the veiled curse of several diseases and senescence. She recalls how those very children who loved her also broke the chains in the swings, stomped too hard on the top of the slides, dismantled the seats on the see-saws and no one! No one ever bothered to take care of her or even think of rescuing her from her deteriorating condition. But they adored her, didn’t they? Then where did their cruelty and indifference stem from?

She immediately rebukes herself for blaming those kids. They had never been cruel! None of the bruises they inflicted on her was intentional! They were too innocent, that’s all. She should know that! Yes, they had been the harbingers of her downfall. Yes, the things she once flaunted off with pride, also brought her own doom. But isn’t life always like this for everyone – An irony? Things wouldn’t have changed even if the circumstances had been entirely different! It would have still been a tragic paradox.

Isn’t god overusing a trivial literary device? When would he retire from being this arrogant poet? But nothing matters now. Nothing matters. She remembers how she had also hoped for peace. She remembers how she had longed for calm sunsets. And now she has all of these in acute abundance. She gives away her toothless smile. Happiness peeks through her wrinkled face. The solicitous tears of sorrow accompany immediately as if too scared to leave happiness alone. The deserted park embraces them both and then suddenly, scorns at the funny looking thing, who stood scribbling in its notebook at her broken gate, shamelessly interrupting her private moment. “Go away you insolent thing!” she shouts through the rustle of leaves and a sudden gush of wind. The insolent thing doesn’t budge. Instead it stands and stares at her as the yellow light illuminates her face and the musical notes of melancholy floats beautifully under the unusually silent night. When the song finally ends, the funny insolent thing whispers “You are beautiful.”

“Oh! You liar!” The old lady whispers back through her disagreeing blush and laughs herself to sleep.

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