Saturday, October 23, 2010


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.


Waiting for your feedbacks!
Much love,


  1. I can't get enough of it. You know my reaction. You heard me. And this is by far your best. You've outdone yourself again. You're going to go places sweetheart. Take me seriously.. Get your ass to a publishing house right about.. NOW!

  2. Umm....just a can he hear when he's mute??? People are usually deaf and dumb right???

    And aren't the names similar to that of the guy and girl in Chetan Bhagat's '2 States'???

  3. @Shiv: Thanks babe.. Thanks so much. And trust me, the phone convo made my day :)
    thanks for so much faith, small things keep me going :)
    Hahha! Publishing house?! Lol, yeah right!

    @Eesha: I had the same doubt, asked around. it's not necessary. Someone who's mute needn't necessarily be deaf.
    And now that you mentioned, I came to think of it. Yeah, the girl's name matches..

  4. Hi Nil,
    Beautiful as always...
    You make me feel envious sometimes for not being able to write fiction even 1/3rd as well as you do...
    But the next moment also proud n glad that I manage to get a good read thank to you every now and then...
    You bring out people n situations alive...
    You make the reader move through each line with eagerness to know more...
    You end with a note of contentment for all those who traverse here:-)

    Great job done...I love the story:-)

  5. Dear Suruchi,
    wow. Lady you make my day.. You're much too kind, trust me. But I couldn't be happier that you like my work. That's all that a writer hopes for :)
    thank you so much for all your appreciation and encouragement. It keeps me going. :)
    much muuuch love,

  6. A nice idea, but I would have liked it if there were a few observations from the lady's perspective, specially on giving up her career and her daughter taking over.

    An "Oshmita's story" like experiment would be very suitable here.


  7. Uninteresting. Well written though.

  8. @Somak: Heyyy, seeing you here after a long time! Glad you're back, really am :)
    Thanks, shall try and do what you mentioned.. should be interesting!
    just let me fidn the time, and will surely try and figure it out :)

    @Tbg: Hmmm. I hope you'll like the next one. Thankyou, :)

  9. It was...okay-ish. A bit bland.
    it didnt have the "thing" that all the other stories of yours have.
    But yeah, its still well written..i especially liked the whole dragonfly para :)

  10. Hmm, will surely try n work on it! thanks a lot! :)
    oh yeah that was my favorite too :)

  11. wowo .. this is a good story...
    speechless I wish i could steal some of ur talent and write as good as that ..

    and yeah reading from the comments Mute doesnot mean deaf and dump..


  12. why thank you so much sir :)
    so very kind of you!

  13. loved the fact that the writing was soo fluent, the descriptions were impeccable.....

    not one of the greatest twist ending stories..but liked the strange melancholy in it :)

  14. What to say, it's Nilastic :)Mature treatment of an off-beat premise. You are growing as an expressionist and I am sure they only way for u, is further up. Great stuff - make sure u keep all of it well stacked, in preparation of the day of International publishing.

    Love n regds,

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. In spite of myself, I will have a couple of critical observations too. Of course in no way what they call "expert comments", just what remains of the 'feel' & structure once the rhetoric is ingested & assimilated.

    In fact I can already see a lot of active evolution from earlier pieces, which suggests u have been taking feedback positively and in constructive light.
    As far as I'm concerned, there are no 'do's and 'don't's here, should never be. That would be trying to lead ur individuality onto a path that is actually someone else' benchmark of prosaic styling.
    It would be very heartening to see proof of ur hard work n ever-progressing clarity of thought in things to come - personally a great & reliable reference point which I for myself can draw inspiration from & hopefully learn a New thing or two. I know your league's way past logical ambition but I'm just glad that I can perhaps adapt the minimalistic orientation to make me sound more lucid & relevant whenever I attempt to write.

    I'll drop them off @ FB inbox where u had sent me the link.
    Holler out when ur free, on FB. Lots to catch up on :)


  17. I'll only be repeating myself here...I love your's refreshingly unique. And pardon me if I sound condescending but for a 16 year old (aren't you?), the choice of content is is impressive.

  18. Thank you , so very much! :) To both of you!

  19. this is the deepest writeup i have ever read. Nothing more and nothing less.

  20. Another well written story. I'm glad you're so open in showing your talent to the world :)


Pour out your thoughts on mine.... :)