That imminent thing was waiting to happen. Yamini recoiled at the thought of it. Yet she could not control the rising emotion to waive off the danger that was threatening to damage her sanity. The onlookers paid little attention to the danger that was about to tear down the layer, not only the outer but even the inner texture of her being. Why was the corrosion happening in the first place? Then why did the slow scrapping of the layers not seen or felt by the person?
The endemic disease that always accompanies the cyclic rhythm was a manifestation of the corrosion of the mind. She went through it and the fall from the status, if at all it was there, was a tangible fact to the occurrence. A thin film of layer made of senseless mettle formed in her eyes to black out reality. The real and the unreal, the fact and the fantasy, the dream and reality were fused into one being. Nothing was visible except the slow banter of babble that had lost the meaning long back. The host on the other side was in revelry. Why?
The answer to this question cannot be given in a sentence or two. It is a slow poisoning method that began to work in full swing. It is a disease. Yes it is. The disease is time bound. How long? Nobody can tell. The revelry began with the rising crescendo. The group shifted and the fray looked as if it was disinterested in the chorus. Probably they were. But the hands extended to assist the opponent in her fairness of state. Those arms took her hands and held her by the waist to see to it that her frame was bounded out with careful safety and cushion the injury caused by the utter cruelty of some incoherent piercing words. Her emotions mattered much to the helping hands and the corrosion that threatened to damage the environs stayed there like an ugly mark of remembrance of the grinding day. A spate of destructive theory had set the wheels in motion. The wheels of indifference turned as the heat of the day rose in circles.
She stood there all enthusiasm drained, all unretaliated anger crystallizing into a ball that could not be thrown at the target. The truest feelings, truest actions, truest concerns faded into thin air as it had no relevance in the forum. She flustered words at them but even the echoes failed to ricochet. The words sounded disembodied and bounced off into the layers of air. What was left for her to do? She saw the bars raised deliberately, the bull’s eye shifted and with utmost care, so subtle that everything looked blank and void. However, her desire stayed to find one consolation in the forum. She would have welcomed even a nod, a smile, a word, or even as much a tender look, but nothing came in sight. Denials were never delayed.
Why was Yamini left to fend for herself? Why wasn’t she cushioned then? Why was she a target for the others like a punch bag? She was defenseless, exposed to the vagaries of stale thoughts passed from one to the other. A raw deal extended to her with much spice and pungent mixture, something that was sure to reduce, ground the morality she was holding on to, to pitch her stay. The biggest question was why? There was no answer tangibly known. After all, every ‘why’ does not necessarily come with a ‘because.’
‘A victim of her own making’ were the words of some saner members whose history was stamped on time, not by deeds of greatness but by sheer finely tuned years of obsequiousness.
Every thought has a pre-history and a post-significance. So was hers. But hers were her own, with no taker on the willing spree. No memory of hers was ever short-lived, no mistakes forgiven, no past moments forgotten. Everything had a bouncing effect on her alone. Why? There was no answer. As if the Gods looked askance at the noble foes, noble because their blunders were markers of discoveries, the din was quelled with calm. Formidable force decorated on silver platter was what was offered and she had to reflect voicelessly time and again in the foray for the deadline was too close.
The onlookers came not for assistance, for paucity or cessation of half uttered words. The heat of the anger beat down upon her and her shadow diminished in size till there was hardly anything at all. Do shadows desert one in misfortune? She had no time to think.
How much was the damage done? That wasn’t the time to weigh.
The slow pounding in the head turned to a throbbing ache. Words failed and faltered. Dryness, Oh, God, in this state the erosion left her devoid of any more images to retain. The images she very much wanted the world to see of her. The images she liked to be in, but the forms broke, the frames broke and time was null and negated. She had to redo her image. How do you begin from the scratch? Her labors will not be rewarded, this was her thought. Why then should she build an image? She wondered why people believed in images. Images were dynamic. They restricted you until you cease to be natural and normal, until your identity is fully masked with deceit and decoy. This was another mindset she had to do away with.
Now the question was what were the words that fell in torrents into the ears that had ceased to listen? How to balance the tilt? The very core was crossing over the boundary and letting the steam in, into the pit. The steam scalded the brain, more than that nothing happened. The crowd, the mob, dispersed. The place was cleared. Silence loomed large. A vacuity crept in the holes laid on the walls of her mind. What was the mantle that sheltered her?
‘Voilà tout, rien de plus’. This is all they are, nothing more.
Thousand stars danced before her eyes and she fell into a deep trance. These were stars of despondency and disturbance. Yamini saw herself crumbling into the pit, mired in it. A great nothingness swallowed up the thoughts so much that her steps quickened to the steps, if she crossed then there was no return. So she turned back. A great mistake, that of conscientiousness and ignominy engulfed her being, she blamed herself and this overwhelming self pity consumed her fully with an ennui that was difficult to explain. But she walked the entire length. There was peace waiting at the end of the tunnel, finally.
One empties only to recharge. Now having gone through this exercise she felt recharged. She had moved a step further. Let all the thoughts be, she thought. Life was much more than one collapse. After all it wasn’t colossal, just an experience. She was a little more experienced to handle tough times.
Yamini wanted to welcome the deep silence within but instead she opted for more and intense responsibility though the path was long and lonely.
A bird on the fence sang and life moved on.