Tonight I could sing the saddest lines. Tonight, a starry starry night.
Far from it. As occupational hazard would have it, I was at this posh pub in the city overseeing, as the public relations manager of the hotel, so the scheduled event went well. Predictably, the turnout turned out to be nothing short of spectacular. Even more spectacular was the media attendance. And why not. It was Anjan Dutt who took the stage with son Neel Dutt and buddy Amyt Datta. The friendly barman asked me if I would like a drink. To which, of course, I replied a hesitant yes. The mandatory pleasantries were behind me. Hellos were floated, eye contacts made, dispassionate hugs with the familiar womenfolk exchanged and soon, I snuggled in a cozy corner with my Budweiser.
As luck would have it, the cushy-ness of being cornered and in a good way was gone soon as the artistes on the stage started strumming Vincent. I knew what was coming. A deluge of psychological tears. But before the mind melted, I focused my attention on a not-so-popular actress hanging with a popular award-winning director. I concentrated on her knee-length boots and wondered why would she be wearing leather boots in the sweltering heat. But Vincent wasn’t an easy pal to let go of. The pretty lady’s leather boots soon became past tense as I pictured the flaming flowers and the brightly blaze. A couple in front of me broke into a gentle sway and melted lovingly in a swirling embrace.
Shadows on the hills.
Now I understand. What you tried to say to me. Yes, I have suffered for my sanity. My insanity as well. Trust me, I have tried to set them free. But they keep coming back. For they did not know. They did not listen. Perhaps they’ll listen now.
Colours changing hue.
A brilliant purple light bathed the artistes on the stage. I realized that in between dreaming of the trees and daffodils, I had also engaged in a random conversation with an ex-colleague, a reporter with my previous organization. But, dear Vincent, you were sorely missed. I remember chasing that swirling violet haze with you on the roller coaster on balmy, summer sundowns. I remember the times when no hope was left inside, how we repeatedly took our lives, as lovers often do. Your eyes may not have been China blue but I still remember how the morning fields of amber grain reflected fire in those deep brown pools.
The strangers that we’ve met.
Common friends on phonebook dials. Happy faces, eager smiles. And yes, I met one such happy, pretty face and believe me when I say this, Vincent, I was never so elated to see a face as hers. Her’s was withered in the 3 years that I hadn’t crossed paths with her. Lined with pain and fraught with pleasure.
You are everywhere, Vincent.
The band wrapped up. Ragged men in ragged clothes. The silver thorn of a bloody rose. Ouch. Your absence hurts.
Dear Vincent, they did not listen and they are still not listening. Perhaps, they’ll listen now.