the perfect man

Who am I, and will, I wonder, this story ever end?

The sun is going down and I sit by the window of my locked bedroom, under the hazy fog of winter dawn as its grey damage thickens and spreads out all over the town, a cool breeze flows over the city, it sits looking over the harbor and the abandoned playground, on silent graves and moves on. The howling mechanical uproars of the city,the song of the birds, the buzzing of the bees,rustling of the leaves does not usually bother people.But it does, to some, particularly me, since for those who have never known or experienced what it is like to run naked feet on the grass flying a kite, or sit under a tree listening to the voices of the nature, or just walk out there appreciating the beauty of stars, it is like an escape from the cage that all fearful and imprisoned creatures like many out there are locked in, the escape though temporary, provides an experience of exaltation to everyone.The bars on my window do not serve their purpose as barriers between the exotic world that I’ve never been a part of and this cage where I’ve lived my whole life.I turn my gaze away,as darkness dawns upon the room and stardust flickers over my face.I shiver and draw the curtains down. I cannot risk feeling cold before the grand day tomorrow.I look at my room, the walls filled with posters of religion and demigods, a wan wooden bed on one corner, an empty closet looks at me mockingly, a few bags and suitcases lie on one corner fully packed with the stuff I might require after the grand day. I lie on the bed ,still restless,planning to make things right,still thinking to rebel against my destiny.My handcuffs cling to each other making the sound that bangles make.The henna that the artist has put so passionately looks as complicated as ever.My nails smell of acetone and my nose aches, being unaccustomed of the weight of a nose-pin and that too as grand as this.

Somewhere in the other side of the city,some one would be disposing the garbage of 12-A Dreem destorter, throwing the diaries on which dreams had been penned down to huge chunks of garbage,burning the torn posters of a few music bands and literature reformers that I used to dread and driving away all those feelings that used to fight against the force imposed.

I close my eyes and try to sleep. Sadness has become an addiction to me now.The heart has become this habitual to pain now, the tears itself has stopped coming.

***
I wake up to a loud thumping noise.Someone is beating a drum,I hear the door being open.My father enters.
“Good to see you still here.The bars and locks are helpful after all!” he smiles.
I look at him, open-mouthed.Of course, bars are so helpful to make a person give up.
“Come downstairs.A lot is to happen!” He says and leaves.
The house is bursting with activities.My father is busy instructing the cousins of how to welcome the guests.My mother is frying pakoras  in the kitchen, my little brother is hopping from one room to other, looking for the television remote.
“Oh! the bride is awake.” my mother exclaims.She calls out for the makeup artists,ordering her to make me look like the most beautiful girl on the universe.I sigh as they pull me to help me get dressed for the grand day-today-the wedding day.
***
It is two in the morning.
The wedding went good. No chaotic crisis happened.
No one cried,no one died.
No one got to know of the rantings of the bride.
The wedding went good.
The groom insists for a separate car for us. He smiles at me every five minutes. Every time he does that, I close my eyes and picture my late grandma sitting beside me. He is her selection.
“There is no perfect man for you. But he comes pretty close!” I remember her saying that. Of course he is,
He must be. Well-off, lives in a prestigious society, has charming looks, plays a guitar,did not ask for dowry, has two apartments, and is an engineer. Of course, he must come pretty close.
We drive away from the marriage hall.
“I wanted to be a guitarist.” he says,trying to start a conversation, maybe.  I nod.
 The driver takes some unexpected turns on the road.I know this road.But why? Why are we heading towards the airport?
“I got something for you.” He hands me a box.I unpack it slowly, the box contains a blue diary.No, it is not a blue diary.It is the blue diary that I used to write poems on. But how?
“How did you?… ” I look at him questioningly.
The car stops at the international terminal of the airport.
“Out!” he says.
I adjust my red lehenga and move out of the car.
He hands me an envelope.
“This is what I wished to gift you.” I open it.It contains a ticket to San Fransisco, a letter of addressed to me saying I have been selected for the ‘Camões_Prize’ for literature, and a newspaper headline about the same. I just look at the ticket, frozen,speechless. How come a person who has known me only for two months and three days understand me better than my own family who I’ve lived twenty three years of my life.
He steps back and takes my bags out.
“But why?” I ask, tears gushing in my eyes.
“I do not know myself. But trust me, you are a brilliant writer.” He says.
I look down.
“You see the sky? These are where my limits end. Yours go beyond it.Yours go somewhere in the universe.” He says.
“There is no perfect man for you. But he,he comes pretty close!” my grandma’s voice drift back in my mind

We walk to the airport’s main gate.
“This does not go with a traditional Bollywood script. The Indian directors would be so upset.” He says,laughing at his own joke.

He steps back when we reach the security check. “Go!” he says.
I look at him, dumbstruck.

“Go!” he pushes me away. I walk a few steps.
I look at him again. He has still arranged that smile on his face, i find a trace of moisture on his cheeks.He looks at me, right in my eyes, and the regret for his not being able to do what he wished to flickers for an instant and then vanishes.

“Is there something I can do for you?” I ask.
He smiles again.
“Dream.” He mutters.

Who am I, and how, I wonder, this story ends?

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