Saturday, 2 March 2013

The complexion

The summer dawn was taking over the reign of the dark night sky. The slow chirping of the morning birds accentuated the steady awakening of another summer day. The constricting garrulous rivulets which laced through the rugged contours of those endless equatorial woods fretted the tranquil silence. The rivers had started to bare their muddy beds and the miniature marine creatures swam into deep crevices, where the acrimony of the summer Sun could not usurp the water from those gorging depths. The verdant foliages had been translated into a yard of dry carcass of unclothed trees. It was the onset of summer in the Indian terrains of Sukhpur.
Molu and Daru, treaded through that desolate wilderness in each other’s company in the rains, in the spring, in the early fog of the winters and in every other season that the forest witnessed. They leaped around the woody scarlet crested ‘Palash’ that adorned the mundane pale visage of the summer thickets. They cavorted around, drunken in their innocuous playfulness and ventured into the unanticipated perils of that rustic wood. They talked of the giant mules that the villagers said infested the yonder edges and scampered after the scuttling hares. Molu, like some forest phantom, carried that little girl on his feeble shoulders as if she was his responsibility. He leaped across the lacing brooks from one stone to another, ensuring his precarious foot holds on each of them, with that frail girl clinging to his scrawny back.
Molu had been her keenest playmate since the day she had been his friend. He was perhaps a couple of years elder to Daru. They were sent to the same school in the nearest hamlet. No one ever saw them as disparate beings. They toddled through those bare groves, strewed with the skeletons of the trees and often held grave disquisitions about the patterns of the clouds that fleeted through that clean blue canvas, about witches and magic. Years ambled past with briskness and Molu grew up .Daru metamorphosed into a little mature teenager.  And the subjects of their debate matured as well. They talked of time and people. But the amity stood unwithered and unsullied as stood the summer woods of sukhpur.
Daru often lifted her dark dazed brows to clasp the endless proximities of the infinite sky and wondered how time stroked at everything and translated every single object that the human intelligence contemplated. And the little boy politely interrupted, “Not all Dara. Don’t we stand the same?” and Daru scurried away in her usual gait. Molu could never probe into the reason of her inexplicable sentences. She still remained the same and so was he. Then what was it that time had distorted?
It was another summer then. The trees had been charred to dark timber and the woody skeletons shuddered in the sudden strokes of the warm ephemeral breezes. Daru ripped the dry lean boughs off those dead woody carcasses and tucked it into the massive bamboo basket that nested on her tiny crest. Molu surveyed the other barks from which they could procure more dry branches.  The wind played into the barks and swayed her in its tender gentleness when suddenly she slipped off and dropped on the jagged floor. Molu loped towards her with a rapid swiftness and grabbed her slender hands in his’ to pull up her meager frame but she jerked away. She pushed herself away from that little boy and stared at him with a baffling astonishment and a strange loathsomeness. She picked herself up with a jolt and fled away.
Molu stood speechless in deep bewilderment. 
His curiosity was answered.He recognized that it was just the complexion of the innocent relationship that had metamorphosed in those departed hours.


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