Friday, May 20, 2005

The Fallen

I don't know anything,
But I was destined to do.
And I did the best I could.

The gentle breeze was making its way through the fallen leaves. It's the same as it was twenty years ago, except that it neither carried the charm nor the warmth once it had. And to feel the warmth, neither were there the two souls...

The big tree, which stands beside the river, had also lost the charm. At times, more often nowadays, its spirit remembers its forlorn past with hesitation. The moments, which made it realize how helpless a living thing it was, and how it would have been if things were different. One of the rare cases where the limits set by nature unravels its disadvantages. And the tree engrossed itself into its memories.

The spring had started singing and it was at its peak that I saw the young lady and the young man approaching my shadow. They were roaming around me for the last few days and I paid the least attention to them, since I was more interested in the song of birds in my hands, the stream near by and the breeze which passes by.

Don't know when their moments turned mine. And it happened that I equally engaged in their happiness the similar way I was engaged in the nature around me. I never saw their faces, but their gestures. I never listened to their voice, but their feelings. I never felt their intimation but their love.

Many a times I wished I could speak so that I would be able to tell them how good a pair they were and how better they understood each other. Spring changed, summer came, and the nature set into a languid mood, but the love between them grew stronger. Their meetings became more frequent and more passionate. And I was happy that I was able to give them my shadow in the burning sun.

One day they didn't come. I don't know why, and there wasn't that passion in their eyes when they came the next day. Something might've happened between them. They said something and left the scene immediately. But I saw the feeling of each other's need in their eyes. Without looking back they left the place. Round the corner, I saw the lady staying long and trying to return, but never did she put a step further and only moved back. The man came after sometime but he didn't find the lady.

I looked at the heavens, if you had given me the ability to speak I would've said them these and stopped them from being separated. But what could I do other than saying these to myself. As if to console me, drops from the heaven fell down. It started raining indicating the inception of rainy season. It didn't stop, as if to drench out my feelings. I was starting to console.

Morning. The rain had just stopped its reign. The river was flooded and each and every stream, each and every leaf of mine, and seemingly, the entire world was contributing to its anger. It was while looking at it that I saw the lady coming near me. She didn't show any feelings of sorrow and looked confident. She sat near me and for the first time ever, looked at me. Then she rose and walked towards the river and continued her way into its depths. Unable to move or act or even do something, I watched the whole thing helplessly.

Early morning next day, I heard someone's footsteps, approaching me. It was the same young man. I wanted to say all the things to him and console him. He sat on my protruded roots and looked at me, again, for the first time ever. Tears started flowing from his eyes as he stands up. He pulled some rope out of his pocket and threw it to one of my branches. I realized his intention and badly wanted to stop him from that. But what could I do other than watching his body slowly becoming motionless in my arms.

I don't know anything. But what all things I did; I was destined to do. And I think I did the best I could. May be at the end of my life, I would meet them somewhere in the heavens. It's been twenty years. And there isn't a single day that I didn't think about them. And I don't know how long it will continue. Trees are made to suffer from pain for centuries.

A droplet was forming out of its leaves, which became big enough to fall down. It fell down and en-route, after hitting somewhere, split into two and fell on the land, beside the tree. Two small clouds of dust sprang up and continued its way upwards...


MS said...

Hi Jithu,
Well, you know the thing that really interests me in your stories is the simplicity, not very complicated.Plus, I like your language, it is very fluid, contrary to mine.
In this story I really like the ending, it is vague and cinematic.
Trees are made to suffer?
I don't know.
That is it.

Jithu said...

hi ms,
nice to see u again. following is a prologue to the story. :-)

i always wonder about the life of a tree.. does it THINK about the day to day events happening in its life?? does it blame/curse a wood cutter cutting down its branches?? does it have feelings like anger, happiness, sadness etc.. they live for centuries as if they got a strong curse from someone. and the thoughts gave birth to, the Fallen.

Anonymous said...

nice read. it was well written. keep it up..

Jithu said...

thnx anonymous