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Saturday, May 14, 2016

Deafening Silence

It seemed to be a quite day , not unusual for this part of Moscow , it has just rained , and it's still overcast ..... It's kind of appalling or god has just cast a sad spell .....a Very ...... Very sad spell .. there are very few vehicles on the junction .. As one walks by ... one can see the reflection of the dark clouds on the tall glasses of the pre revolutionary buildings ...... Perched nonchalantly on the sill of a closed window , a small magpie ... hops along the length of the ledge as if trying to escape the growing dark clouds appearing on the reflecting surface of the window ..magpies last hop takes her over the ledge she escaped the dark shadows much like what some humans resort to , but unlike the magpie they don't take the safe haven flight .... Hmmm ... Down at the street the wrinkles on the road have started to give away the city's age .... The undulating surface had created small pools of water close to the pavement ....  Egnor was standing close to such a pool looking at his own face .... Disheveled hair ... A weary face carrying a stubble , Hands in pocket .... Looking down as if that pool of water was the deepest lake in the world and those eyes were trying to find some unknown meaning in that water ....

Egnors trance is broken as the tranquility of the pool is disturbed by splashes of water .... His face dissolves into the buildings behind him  ... As he watches the city bus's front left tyre roar into the bus stop .... The hydraulic breaks screeching bringing down the diesel beast to a crawling halt ...the engine still humming eggs Egnor to move ... He stumbles along and reaches out to board the bus ...

There are not many souls on the bus ... Infact there are only six people .. Egnor takes the seat right in the front and glances back .... There was a Middle Aged woman dressed in smart casuals , her reading glasses gave her a studious look .. Another guy with his hood and ear plugs had his head down and was rhythmically gyrating to the unknown sound from his music player ..... The only thing significant about this bus was the unremarkable last seat which hosted three teens ... All three teenagers were exceptionally beautiful .. Perhaps stunning was the right word and three of them were engaged in such a boisterous conversation that they were totally oblivious of the world around them ....

The bus had started rolling forward all egnor was able to make out the girls were very excited ...... He could just see them but couldn't hear as they were far back .. Egnor for some reason couldn't take his eyes off the girls ... he turned around ... Put his right arm over his seat and nestled his chin close to his elbow and looked dead straight ..... The girls were immaculately dressed , they belonged to a school as was evident by their crisp blue  and white uniforms .... Two of them were blondes and one had auburn hair ... They were throwing their hands in the air ... like crazy and were anxiously looking at each other's faces as if they were trying to reach ahead of each other's thoughts and anticipate what one was about to say ..... So much happiness so much joy so much exuberance so much ....... Life .... Their conversation was like a lone lamp with a withering wick bearing the burden of hope in an otherwise stormy dark gloomy night ....

Egnor couldn't bear so much joy ... It has been two days that he spent pacing up and down the corridor of Emergency at the General Medical Hospital .... He didn't sleep , barely eaten anything for last two days ...... His wife left him 10 yrs ago , he was away to pick up their daughter from the play school ... 3 yr old Tyra was clinging on to his fathers little finger and was hopping back to home ... She always liked "hopping" as she felt she was a kangaroo :) .... Egnor and Tyra were welcomed by a pink note on the main door ..... "I am sorry" was all the was scribbled in a hurry ..... That morning was the last time Egnor saw his wife ....

A single parent and as a father Egnor had raised her daughter with lot of love .... Two days back 13 yr old Tyra met with an accident ... She was crossing a street when an over zealous teen overlooked her and rammed her coupe into her .... A teenager was behind the wheel infact the two girls were high they shouldn't have been in that car in that stage .... Infact Tyra shouldn't have been on that street at that hour ... She was walking back from the public library that evening ... Tyra was an avid reader when Egnor found her back in the hospital her belongings had a bookmarked "Saving Zasha" .. Will she be able finish that book ? Wondered Egnor ... It has been two days that Tyra is in coma along with Tyra, Egnors life also seem to have come to a pause ..... So many could haves , should haves , would she , if only's ....

The gargantuan diesel machine met with a speed bump which jolted Egnor back from the flashback .... These three girls with their exuberance were at total contrast to what Egnor was feeling ....and Egnor was now getting miffed ... His stressed red eyes squinted a bit ...he gripped the seat handle a bit tighter .. A frown started to develop ... "What are these girls talking about ehh ..... Boys ? .... My boyfriend is an  all star athlete ? What's your into ? Prom Night ? What will you be wearing ? What where and who did they party with last weekend ?" What is it that's so exciting ? Why are you so happy ? Why are you smiling and laughing ... When I am NOT ?? When my Tyra is not .... !!!

His eyes swelled up a little ..... The bus was grinding to another halt .. He got up before it could stop .. Stumbling to hold on .. Egnor fell down the bag in which he was carrying Tyra's belongings fell open ... "Saving Zasha" slipped out and bounced open .. The bookmark flew out as if it had its own wings ... Egnor watched that bookmark fly with that he felt his hopes sinking .... The bookmark fell in the laps of that studious looking lady ... Egnor got up ran after it and reached her ... She smiled and asked are you Ok ? Handing him back the bookmark .... Egnor took the bookmark startled by the fall and still was in agony over the thoughts of those happy girls and their discussions ... The bus had halted ... And people started to disembark .. He saw the three girls also still giggling and walking down to get off the bus ... When the three were down the studious looking lady followed them and stood close to them ... Egnor realized she was with the girls .... Putting his bag back on his shoulder and book and bookmark still in his hand ... He approached her ... "Excuse me are you with these girls ... I am sorry but I couldn't help notice the energy levels and excitement of the kids what are they talking about ? " ..... "Talking ??" The lady was surprised as she took a look at the pretty girls and back at Egnor ... "My dear , these lovely girls .. unfortunately are deaf and mute .. They belong to an orphanage and today is the first day that they have been given a chance to participate for "Talkable" , a technology which  allows not just the hand gestures to be translated but the sensor close to their throats estimates the vocal cord movement to guess the words .... they are practically hearing each other for the first time ..."

The girls just stood there and smiled at their teacher and the stranger ... The stranger just managed a wry smile and a wave of hand .... Trying to say hi .... The magpie seemed mto have followed Egnor and the bus round the block ... The chirpy bird quietly settles near Egnor .... His phone rings..... It's from general medical .... He listens to the call ... Puts the phone down .... Opens Tyra's book and places the bookmark on the first page ..... The magpie starts chirping again and flies back to another ledge .... Eagerly waiting for the dark clouds to give way to a ray of sun .....


Notes

Apart from a bird , a magpie is also used for an incessantly talkative person; noisy chatterer; chatterbox.

Pre revolutionary buildings in Moscow had tall imposing facades with big glass windows .

Saving Zasha is a popular teen novel in Russia

Talkable is currently available under different names but still is at a crude development level .

3 comments:

Aquarian a . k . a (sound) said...

Good one sourabh .. Keep writing

Priyanka Srivastava said...

Superb Story Sorabh, it almost kept me too on the edge...
Keep penning down your imagination !! Good one :)

Sorabh Saxena said...

Thanks Priyanka love your inputs ... keep encouraging :)

thanks Sound... look forward to more inputs .. :)