(On the occasion of one year anniversary of our blog I had written a short story, which didn't turn out to be a short story rather a reflective piece , I wanted to edit and present a better story out of it. Yet I felt doing against it, technically its my second short story, the first has to be revised and will be put here then. So hope it is readable to you.)
As the wind blew in through the open window of my room, I realised it was quite late at night. I peeped out to find my adopted street dogs were asleep. I could look at the houses visible from my window. I saw the last house biding goodbye to light. Now it was my room and the street lights making darkness alive.
It was usual for my parents to find my room bright at midnight. But it was a strange surprise for my neighbours . The exams were over, so no study was suppose to take in my room. In general I did not stay wake to study whole night, but read other books, read online, and keep my mind busy. Other nights I was the unofficial watchperson, my light kept the thieves away till seven houses down the lane. Now staying awake midnight was a habit that would not die. So tonight was not going to be any exception.
I was in my twenties, I just graduated and was unsure of my next course of life. My life had been very good, I had comfortable home, good education and upright upbringing. Yet I was restless, through out two decades of my life I wanted to stand out. I felt one day the room which I inhabited would fall on me. I feared being ordinary.
Creative path always attracted me, Frost’s Road Not Taken had been path defining words to me. I had no special qualities, my creative experiences were limited to one day of Vocal training, six months of guitar learning, one year of Kathak training and I held a Diploma in painting. So I knew where I had my feet on creative path.
I next ventured into writing poetry, which made my professor comment poetry comes out of extreme emotions. He further explained, I had no pain felt by Keats, no happiness for simplicity like Wordsworth, no command of language like Spencer. He asked “ Miss do you feel the pain of Poverty, Hunger?” “Do you no the pain of Rejection?” “Have you ever felt extreme desire to make Love?” The answer was “No.” Yes I had no experience of extreme of emotions. Nor did I have a inspiration, a source of energy, neither did I have a Muse.
My mind was always filled with the thought of being different, yet I had nothing on basis of which I could claim my difference. I was a aimless protagonist of a plot less story. There was no story inside my story, no turn of fate behind my motif. Was I destined to be a reader never the wordsmith?.
Meanwhile I had fallen in love to spirit who was tame less and restless being like me. Our love was not any different from others. We were not separated by religion, we had no tragedy till now, no ballads were sang for me, we were not in the urge to elope and cause scandal, nor did we have a third person involved like the novels for entertainment . Everything in this life was ordinary, my studies were fine, I graduated and will soon join Masters. Despite having all the charms of a happy life, the passion to be me was not letting me grow. Poetry was never going to be my friend, my prose was utterly common and had no charm. Again my professor explained, I had good words in my kitty, but I have no emotion to feel them. Did it mean “I lack emotion”. I was a protagonist with no emotion, I was meant to be the forgotten piece of writing which never claimed fame.
But suddenly my wild thoughts and past memories came to an halt, my cellphone rang, it was the love of my life, the closest friend in twenty years. The words flowed “Why haven’t you graced your bed, are you trying to make yourself ill to pen literature out?” I had no reply, he knew I was worried, but the reason of my distress was not known to him. “Did you meet your misguiding professor again?” he asked. “Yes” was the only word I could come up with, I could not lie to him. “So why did you meet him again? You graduated did you not ?” he asked. “Well I went to say final goodbyes to my professors and get my mark sheet and certificates.” I replied.
“Then what happened?”
“Then what happened?”
This question compelled me to trace back the event of the gone day. I met professor again, he asked me to stop my hand in writing, he said since I was so engrossed in being creative that I failed to grow my intellect. So it was better for me to pursue my Masters and do some courses in Journalism and be on my so called path of creativity. He said I could never be what I wanted to be, as it was hard path. The very same pearls of wisdom was enthralled on me by my student councilor. She had told me “The path you wish to follow is very complex and too romanticized to young people like you”
I was again lost in the thoughts of me. Had I been to selfish to ignore the aspirations of my family and him. “You have to stop listening to others.” broke his voice to me. “you are to consumed in being accepted. You don’t need someone’s approval to be you. Who said success was easy? ” “Yes, who told me? No one said success was easy.” I uttered. He was right. I could not stop myself from asking him, “Am I being too selfish to you? It has always been about me.” Before I could say more, he spoke up. “No”. I was about to protest, I had evidences, when we met I would tell him about my problems never inquire about his, I would take him for granted, not since we fell in love but ever since our first day of friendship. I was too dependent on him. As the past memories ran back to back, he blurted out “Live your own legend its time to make mistakes and learn not regret”. “When did he grow so wiser?”
Tonight was destined to be same, was it not, I finally told him, “I lack a source of inspiration”.. I was no Milton, Homer who had a Muse. Nor was I a male artist who had his heart dedicated to universal beauty of his beloved. I was a woman, could I have a Muse? I needed a source to dedicate my work to. Yes the woman who gave me birth was my source of inspiration, but she could not be the Muse. Nor could my best girlfriends be my Muse I loved them, I was not passionate, obsessed and dedicated to them.
I felt all this was going on inside my mind, but without noticing I had spoken every word to him. I was in a trance, I was lost. Had it been Midnight Summers Dream I could have been cast under the spell. There was no spell to bind me to a Muse. He said “Muses were daughters of Zeus, but does a Muse has to be a female power.” Muses were representative of the Feminine power of productivity I knew that. “You can be your own Muse.” What did he mean was I in too much love with myself? “You draw your inspiration from your self, be your own guide.” He again
had a justification, I was a woman, I had the power of fertility and productivity. I could be my Muse, could I?
When my professor said try being a Muse to your lover, I thought he wanted me to be mere object of fancy. All he wanted me was to be a inspiration to him. If the male power needed the female in form of Muse. I being a feminine power need the masculine power. So why not him? I shouted, “Will you become my Muse?” At first he was dumbstruck, but I could imagine a faint smile breaking on the other side. He had no argument to put forward as he said it was not compulsory for a Muse to be female.
I was blind, for first time in months I felt beauty of midnight. Darkness always meant absent of Light. My mind was full of chaos, in the urge to stand out I forgot the joy of ordinary. It was him, my Muse who was always there, the simple words, the fragile flowers, the daily wishes. I again transported to the Famous balcony scene of Romeo and Juliet. I just had to be thankful for the love and source I drew from him. He was my Muse, wild, restless, unapologetic, honest and blunt.
After assigning him the task to be my Muse, I slept in a peaceful dream. Creativity was not a being different but presenting ordinary in a beautiful way. In morning my Muse rang me , the words “Good morning” were never so sweet. After few words, I sat on my study, to start afresh. This was no invocation, but few words Dedicated to My Muse.
“Let every word I pen down be inspired from you, may I not attain success, but I shall never besiege.”
After so many days I could write without worry, and glide to an unknown future. I again peep out, find my adopted street dogs have woken up and are running down the road. Now I see the
last street light biding goodbye to me
till evening, the real source of Light was rising magnificently. May be every
sunrise was same, but today the Sun rose for my Muse and me…
P.S- I promise to work hard, to be a better writer.
P.S- I promise to work hard, to be a better writer.
thanking you to bear with me