As she stood up from stage, beautifully tackling her red bordered raw silk saari, her elegant smile truly bowing down to the audience, I was once again held grabbed by the ground under me, fixated, looking at how grace floated in those slender arms.
As the audience boomed in applause, she however remained grounded with a subtle smile, and just a hint of blush. Oh what poise that lady held. What a bold figure commanding respect.
Her short poker straight hair complimented that thin face with the warm color of biscuit- her complexion.
It was just how charming her movement, her expressions, her eyes were, that I adored, apart from her music.
Ananya Swamiranganathan. A celebrated artist of 25. South Indian, with 20 years of carnatic music training. Her CDs were splurged around my studio.. and I was officially her stalker for about seven years. I had never missed a single concert, an interview, a newspaper clip, a CD of hers. But till date, I had never spoken to her.
Let me introduce myself. I'm Vinayak. Vinayak Malhotra. I'm the CEO of a small studio that I own, where I and a couple of my other professionally unsuccessful co-workers make music. And perhaps that explains my stalker-ish behavior to good artists.
Oh,and I'm mute.
Perhaps the reason to exploiting my ears so much is because there always has been silence on my tongue. And perhaps, I enjoy this exploitation so much because I can keep the art of melody just to myself, without having to share it around, opposing to them when they say art and knowledge is to be shared.
Yes, I'm a selfish person.
Anyhow. Coming back to Ms. Ananya. You know, in an artist, a musician, rather. .what we look for is melody of course, and a sense of depth. A sense of depth that needs to be powerful enough to hold that listener just strongly enough to not feel suffocated in the delicate mirage of unadulterated feelings.
That balance is so rare to find, that perhaps it's almost as good as finding an alchemist among steel melters.
Her voice contained a fluidity, an alcohol of sorts, that melted as soon as she touched every note.. Her eyes, perfect half moons, forever smiled to a growing dream in its lashes..
Her music grew in me over the years. My eyes would half close to Raag Malhaar or Hamsadhwani in her sweet voice, soothing my nerves, stitching resistance to the ferocity of my dreams.
As I came back to reality, staring at her, grounded, her eyes chanced upon mine and she gave me a familiar smile I'd been receiving since about seven years. I was the most loyal audience of her's, and perhaps the silence of an introduction was only pleasing.. For both of us identified with music and silence- which as they say, have the strongest voice.
I left, unintroduced, as always.
Ananya's prime years as a musician ended a little too quick. Being a south Indian brahmin, she got married at 27 and was the mother of a beautiful baby girl by 30... and like many of those dragonflies who were destined.... or rather expected to fly all summer, she shriveled into a firefly for who only day remained, and her glow faded as the night was forgotten.
"As she stood up from stage, beautifully tackling her red bordered raw silk saari, her elegant smile truly bowing down to the audience, I was once again held grabbed by the ground under me, fixated, looking at how grace floated in those slender arms...........
...........Her short poker straight hair complimented that thin face just like her mother's with the warm color of biscuit- her complexion.
It was just how charming her movement, her expressions, the same eyes were..... that I adored, apart from her music."
As I saw Meera mirror what Ananya used to be to my eyes, I wanted to scream for the first time. I didn't care how much of a noise it might sound, the exult of a mute man, I wanted to shout loud and clear, for joy. Perhaps it's that grace that overwhelmed my heart to pound to the reflection of beauty, or perhaps it was the brittle heart of a man who was now too old..
Or perhaps it was the legacy of music, that keeps you going, to imbibe in you, those passionate emotions to make a mute man resent having a silent tongue for the first time in his life. Perhaps, it was the legacy of that one woman I shared my emotions with the most, whose daughter carried the same humanity and grace that touched my heart with its tender arms, to lead me to realize that the dragonflies carry on, and that the night is never actually forgotten.
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