Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence.
This week , I’m going to narrate a story for this unique challenge! Enjoy” The silent song”!
A SILENT SONG
The atmosphere was enchanting and vibrant in the lush green orchard where birds were swinging and the tiny colorful butterflies kept dancing from one branch to another. The clear blue sky allowed the golden sun to reach and kiss the ground quietly without any obstacle and hustle. The plantation had abundant mangoes hanging on the long branches and the fragrance of the ripe and raw ones filled the surrounding atmosphere. Faraway an old record was being played which acted as a background score to the scene.“on every flower he perches, dances, on every bud, the garden echoes with the song of nightingale… my heart thus sings the melody of a hidden blush!”
Binodini struggled to clear off the crumpled corners of the yellow ochre cotton saree which she wore. Pulling aside an end of the saree, she tucked the pallu to her front. She tried to reach the visible fruit that had gained her attraction. The sweet mango which was about to ripe and was still somewhat raw.
She kept on jumping trying to grab the yellow one that camouflaged with her saree.
The cuckoo loved her leaps and continued to sing her melody.
The dense mango orchard now echoed with the sound of her anklets, resounding every tinkling sound like a melodious euphony.
He watched the young maiden from far off. The saffron coloured tone of her skin was visible as her wrapped saree slid for few seconds… He looked in another direction. It could not hold his thoughts for long and he looked back again at Binodini.
She was still in the orchard, now sitting on the mat that was spread on the ground beneath the big mango tree. Her locks of hair flowed down in a gentle cascade and she hummed few lines, which he wasn’t able to hear. Although her moving lips indicated, she was singing.
As he tried to divert his attention from the young maiden, her magnetism pulled him more towards her. Although he had denied accompanying her to the orchard, his thoughts and mind did go along with her. Her formal disposition towards him had made him more uncomfortable. She still seemed to have the same innocence which he had seen in her eyes a decade ago. The gleam in her vision had the same sparkle that could make people envy of her contented nature and cheerfulness, despite all the glitches and snags of life.
All these years she had never tried to contact him nor did her behavior show any signs of grudge against him for not accepting her in his life.
Sanjay tried to avoid the intermingling thoughts, yet they seem to overpower his intellect and mind.
Few years ago, when his father had brought the proposal of Binodini to him, he had brushed aside the proposal without a second thought.The reason he gave was, he wasn’t ready for the marriage and would think on it after he returns from his higher studies and when his ambitious career reaches its goal while he went on the forthcoming foreign trip.
He liked Binodini, but always felt she was no match to his intellectual views and perceptions. At that time, she was just fifteen and her bubbly carefree nature made him think, she wasn’t the right candidate for marriage .Although he knew, Binodini liked him too and their parents had decided their marriage in childhood. He felt it to be an imprisonment of life living his whole life with a person who wasn’t up to his mark and status.
The two had been childhood friends and knew each other since they were just three.Binodini always had a dream of being companion of Sanjay and she always helped him through any endeavor and commitment.
His parents knew she would be the perfect girl for their family and that she had the charm and the elegance of being a wife of an educated man.
Sanjay left for Australia to pursue his higher education and to give strength to his wings of ambition. Soon he graduated and did his post-graduation in business administration, where he met Sofia, the blue-eyed girl.
He fell head over heels in love with her and she too started liking him. Within few months, they both had shifted to a new house to stay together.Back home, nobody knew about their living in relationship and they still kept on asking Sanjay about the marriage. He kept on denying and delaying the proposal by giving some excuse or another. Even though his parents tried to reason, Sanjay was least bothered to listen and never tried to go back to his home place even after years as he remained busy with his newly found attraction Sofia.
Sofia who was pursuing her doctor’s degree in political science was very keen in her studies and she always focused on her ambition above anything else. She was a bright student and was attractive. Unlike the village maidens, she was far more advanced and had an open outlook towards life.
Sanjay loved his freedom and was happy to get rid of the continous nagging of his parents.
Sofia continued studying even after she completed her doctorate and always remained busy in her scholarly research and groups. This left very little time with her to pay attention to their home.
Gradually Sanjay started doing all the household chores and didn’t get enough time to focus on his work. He liked to do everything for her but in this due course his work suffered. His earnings and savings got exhausted on large bills of Sofia’s education and socializing. Yet he was too mad for her and was happy to her with him.
Years passed and Sofia was now , no longer interested in the attachment and relation with Sanjay She fancied the attention that she got from her colleagues in her professional circle. Though she liked Sanjay, he felt she was not as emotional or sensitive as he had been in the relation.
And one fine day, she packed her bags to suddenly shock Sanjay and announced, “Iam leaving for United States. I got a good job and an amazing career awaiting for me there. Without a grumble, Sanjay just shook his head and he knew, she never meant to be with him for a whole life.
Her decision left him alone, stranded and abandoned at the crossroads. He lost everything there and then, his money, reputation, respect, job, confidence and love. She meant business and she did it well.
Months later, he got discharged from the hospital. He had fallen directly on the adjacent lampshade and his ears bled as he lay there unconscious throughout the night. He didn’t realize that he was in the hospital since the last fifteen days and was in coma. The fall had hurt his nerve on his head. He rejoined office after a couple of days, but wasn’t able to concentrate on his work and had to take a break. .
At that crucial juncture, he decided to visit his village the following summer, as he had been away from his home since years. Today he needed the support and presence of his family and friends, when he was left all alone. And after ten years he came back to the lanes of his old place.
Today he stood in the balcony of their bungalow and was watching Binodini, trying to take off his eyes from her. She was the adored member of his family and neighbourhood, for she had rose above the level and had touched the greater skies.
The previous day ,his father wanted to know about his intentions on his life and career.
He didn’t have much to say; as his ideas had been wiped off the moment he came to know of Binodini being married to his younger brother.
He had shelved his dwelling and establishment there abroad and had planned to settle in India. He had guessed,Binodini might have been still single and that her family would be delighted to see him comeback after years.
After all he was the favourite and the most intelligent boys of the village then. He had an appealing personality and everyone was proud of his achievements.
Yet today he was lost. Lost and forgotten in the folds of time by everyone, even Binodini.How had he missed her striking persona and overlooked her charming presence. Had he agreed to his father’s proposal years back, things would have been completely different.
A very well-known song was being broadcasted on the radio that night and someone from his family had exclaimed, “Oh! This is Bou di’s (new daughter in law’s ) song!”
Everyone was smiling and one of them turned up the volume. Sanjay was lost in his thoughts.
He was expressionless,as if he hadn’t heard anything.
Like her immaculate beauty, she was today known for the wonderful lyrics those, which adorned the Bengali cinema and music.
Sanjay had been surprised to learn about this development about her life and was curious since when had she started writing couplets and verses? He had never known about it.
How was she discovered and found by the people from the makers of Bengali cinema and then crowned with a grand splendor? Did she ever understood what people talked about her or how her lyrics turned out to be? He was curious to know everything about her that had made her so unique.
His thoughts suddenly came out of his imagination as Binodini slipped off while jumping.
He saw her getting up and in her hands was the half-ripe, half raw mango, which she was eyeing and trying for since the last half an hour. Instead of eating, she held it in her hands and brought it close to her ears. What was she doing?
Was there anything that she wanted to hear?
Then slowly she moved it to her nose and sniffed it.
What was she upto?He thought.
Meanwhile she went near the tree and laid her ears on the bark as if trying to hear some sound, and then she placed her soft palm on the trunk of the mango tree and smiled.
She had felt the pulse of the silent tree standing there since ages.
Within minutes she scribbled few lines,“I look at you in awe O! Wondrous wonder! Your fruition is so enchantingly aromatic Why are you quiet like my mute lips, through the rustle of your leaves I can see and feel… in silence I can sense your joy and ecstasy!!!”
The following night during dinner, he read an article about her in the newspaper.
One of the questions that he read echoed in his mind.
It said, “How do you manage to write such lyrics which have the fine intrinsic notes of sound of nature and feelings? How do you manage to discover this beauty?
Her reply was, “Destiny has deprived me of two important senses of sound and speech, yet my remaining senses reach out to the inner voice of nature and get communicated through the rhythm of life. I try to find out the melody of every beat that plays in the heart of each living being by touch. I can hear that melody in every heartbeat and pulse. For me, even if my physical being, disallows me to hear and speak, yet I am able to articulate through my words and verses. I can feel the throbbing of every heart through my perception and touch.Nature conveys in its own distinct mute language to me the truth of its eternal splendor.”
He could never guess or realize what her value was, then, years ago and here she was today, one of the prominent personalities of Bengal.
The famous lyricist, Binodini, who was born deaf and dumb, yet touched skies of glory and impossible through her simple nature and efforts.
She was now Sandeep’s wife, his sister-in-law.
Someone called his name from far off and he stood motionless and still.
He had lost his sense of hearing during the fall, which had paralyzed and left him hospitalized for days, way back in Australia.
Destiny has its own unique way and when its blow strikes anyone its severe yet silent.
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