Monday, May 4, 2009

Going Under


The wintry breeze gave goosebumps on her pale skin. A morbid aura of pervasive petulance, mingled with the faint fragrance of tender palms, hung in the air giving her a dizzy feeling. The salt laden misty sprinkles from below the sea sprayed on her face. The rocks on the barren cliff were so vitreous that she could see the image of her despondent self reflecting from them.

The environs came to a standstill, frozen in time and space, segregated from the rest of the world- a world where so called happiness lived and lips curved into a smile. Everything was so eerily silent and dead, far removed from serenity. A state of spine-chilling spookiness prevailed scaring her heart thumping audibly in her chest. Her breaths were shallow, and laborious. Her palms felt sweaty. Her legs quivered with uncertainty and frisson. She constantly mangled her fingers with tension. All she could hear was the rickety twitter of the crickets leaping on the barren rocks and the violent roar of the waves splashing against the foothills of the cliff.


The ball of gleaming full moon looked down on her, consoling her heart, heavy with imbued grief. Her angelic white gown swayed in tune with the splashing waves and wavered in rhythm of the flowing breeze. Gloominess was evident everywhere—her white laced gown, her as-pale-as-snow face and the white milky moon competed with each other for the highest intensity of lifeless white.


The cliff adjoining the Bay-of-Bengal was deserted that night or any other night or at any other time of the day as a matter of fact. The cliff was claimed to be one of the most dangerous and precarious suicide spots with slippery pinnacles, steep peaks and lurking ghosts of the grave. The sea beneath contained unfathomable depths and swallowed greedily into its womb, those willing to sacrifice themselves, stiffing them mercilessly in the undulating layers of waves and tossing them sadistically in the escalating and ebbing tides.


She went to the edge of the cliff gingerly and carefully, pulling up her gown. Confusion gripped her mind and made her doubt her every leading step towards the edge. The pebbles underneath her stilettos slipped and she was about to skid off almost into the merciless sea. But she quickly gained control of her balance and sat down on the rock with frantic fright. Her heart pulsated loudly breaking the eerie silence and her heaving breaths dominated the uproar of the waves of the boisterous sea.


Not yet! God, I’m not ready yet! I need time.


It took a lot of convincing of herself to undertake this – sacrificing into the sea. She had a deep inflicted hysteria of vertigo. But she amassed all her courage for that and she was convinced.But not yet. She needed some more time.


She held her hand against her heart to feel the reverberating beats. The diamond ring brushed against her silky laces and rustled. She glimpsed her ring finger and the image of her ring surged her into a maze of retrospective memories of her past filled with love and colour. Life was so beautiful then, as if there were rose-hue tinted shades on her eyes through which she gazed the myriad coloured vibrant world.

“Will you marry me?”

“ Hell ! Ya !!”

And then he slipped the ring on her tender, long fingers. She brought the ring close to her eyes and the sparkle of the ring glistened in her already diamond -studded eyes.


But that was then - another era, and altogether different life and time. Now, all she sees is black - black rose, black rainbow, black sky, black moon, black everything, as if the world is stripped off its pigments of colour. The heavens claimed his life and she was left all by herself battling against life, succumbing to despair and loneliness in this pretty rotten world.

She shivered out of vacillating dilemma over such a bold attempt than out of the bone-biting chill.

The wind played with her cascading tresses. She looked up into the moonlit sky and momentarily saw the image of her departed soul-mate as an angel surrounded by a halo. The vast expanse of the sea spread in front of her and stared back with harsh strangeness.Unknown perils lingered in its depths. The blue sea was unending till her eyes could glance, and at the farthest end, its outline touched the fringe of the horizon and mingled into the sky of the universe as one entity. The mountains of the valley stood majestically around the backdrop, in utter callousness and hostility. The rocks and sand on the cliff resembled the barren land of craters of the moon.


She needed a more convincing reason for her attempt. She thought heaven must be so beautiful that the dead preferred living there to returning to this world. That’s where her lover was gone, probably drinking nectar and dancing with fairies.


Yes, that was a reason enough to be convinced. And she was ready. There were no more apprehensions and regret in her. No more looking back. It was only the vast sea that lay in front of her.
She took a deep breath and sighed. Perhaps she should go down the memory-lane and recollect of whatever faint streaks of colours that was left in her life. She wanted to contemplate, and remember happy moments out of her dusty archives of life chronicles. She tried hard. But all she could see was black. The part of the brain which registered those happy moments became cold and necrotic now. It refused to unlock memories. She rather concentrated on what lay ahead.


She closed her eyes, got up from the rock and went to the farthest end of the cliff. She opened her eyes and looked down. She was not afraid anymore. Now, closing her eyes was no longer necessary. She was brave enough to face it with open eyes.

She bent forward, raised her hand towards her, removed the ring adorning her finger and without any second thoughts, threw it into the open sea. The ring took a long time on its flight down the steep cliff, and disappeared beyond her sight. But she could imagine, the splashy sound as the ring striked the water surface, cut through the waters and got submerged to the profound manifolds of the sea.


That was it. She felt light and free now. She turned back and slowly walked from the edge.
She saw the moon and the stars. They were white.
No more shades of black in her life.

16 comments:

  1. Wonderful one, Aparna! luvd da flow and the style used......awesome effect.....nd da ending was way too good! Luvd dis one! :)

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  2. twisty end...didn't expect that...well concealed....
    for the most part i thought she was thinking of killing herself n will finally get an epiphany n turn back...

    n really u have a great vocabulary...had to search for a lotta words used...

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  3. this was certainly a much better readin experience than the previous one. actually this was really wonderful.

    but there were a fault.

    look at your first line "The wintry breeze felt bone-biting chilly with a morbid aura of pervasive petulance, mingled with a faint fragrance of tender palms which hung in the air giving a dizzy feeling. "

    it has some of the most difficult words one can find. difficult in the sense that nearly anyone around hardly ever uses such words. your first line was so intimidating that it could have scared people from reading ahead. sometimes simplicity carries of the meaning in a lot better way and is more easy on the mind. use short sentences and avoid the use of such words.

    apart from that one line, i found the story enthralling!!!!!

    P.S. as far as i remember there aren't any cliffs overlooking the bay of bengal. do check the geography once. i may be mistaken

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  4. very well written...great work...do publish a book of your work and copyright all your work...!!!

    Cheers !!!

    Take Care!!

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  5. wow. this is nice.. loved the way the plot builds and then reaches a climax. Really nice!

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  6. Extremely descriptive piece of work .I momentarily lost my thought of the picture that I had formed in my mind as I read along.I think the plot was superb but too much description made the story a little muddled.Some times non descriptive simple sentences will give more impact and give balance to your writing.
    Pls do not mind this positive criticism.
    Keep writing.

    http://cutestangel.wordpress.com/

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  7. Did you just finished one of Rushdie's rituals or preparing for CAT's reading comprehension?

    Too much for retards like me.

    No comments.

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  8. Aersh dear: thanx for pointing out the virtue of simplicity to me. I made the necessary changes by breaking down some complex sentences into simpler ones.

    As far as for the cliffs, there are so many to name at my place, vizag. Kailashgiri for instance and many more so.

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  9. A wonderful picture portraying the bouncing back of someone in pain...

    Just loved it ...

    Cheers,
    adisha

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  10. Gothilicious! A sea of despaired feelings in darkness ethereal :P

    Loved it. Glad you avoided the suicide cliche.

    This might be found to be really wordy by some, but I think it fits in perfectly with the tone of the story.

    Magnum opus, no questions!

    P.S. Minor geographical error :P

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  11. You know what this remind me of? That song by Lucky Ali..Gori teri aankhen kahe!

    You are improving a lot!! :)

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  12. beautiful descriptions... good flow.. the plot could hav been a little more compact... but that not a big issue here... its a wonderful piece... waiting for more from u... regards.

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  13. beautiful... the darkness and the contrasting end... mesmerizing...!

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Please be nice :)

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