The Last Grey Scene
He walked in tune with the waves crashing on the shore. Even the sand shrugged away from him as it slipped past his feet. His shirt seemed to have a mind of its own as it fluttered in a wayward fashion. In the distance, some trees rustled in consonance with the wind. He wondered whether they really meant it or just went along with the flow. Was it possible for freedom to be completely void of boundaries and definition? Or is freedom that one subtle string of enigma through which every organism is intricately bound to one another?
He had been walking for quite some time now. There were not very many people loitering around the beach at this time of the day. It had an unnatural sense of calm that beckoned him closer. Either way, he thought, he was the last person who could be termed as normal. Somewhere, in the horizon, a faint trail of smoke drifted lazily up into the orange sky. The ship was moving in an easterly direction, towards the pier perhaps. He suddenly felt the urge to soak his feet in the cool clear water for a while. Time was of no value anymore or maybe it had stopped completely, without telling him why. Either way, he did not feel the urge to jump back into the neon world just yet. A busy life does not allow luxuries such as this. Now he was finally here, soaking in this alternate reality. He took off his shirt and let the water caress his chest. A shiver ran down his spine. It was a good feeling, a new one. He tried to laugh but he was not young anymore and could manage only but a despairing grin. There was him and there was his life – two separate entities forcefully brought together to fight for a lost cause. It was like two gladiators fighting against each other, knowing fully well that they were both going to meet the same end in the same heartless manner.
Thoughts poured in and out like a torrential river uncertain of its own course of action. The gentle ripple of the water lulled him into a dreamy state. It was a day such as this, in the autumn of 1972. He remembered his sister playing in the sand and his mother shouting after her. She had never really let them feel the absence of a father in their lives. She was such a strong-hearted woman. His sister, too, was just like their mother. How he adored them. If only he knew that that was the last memory he would have of them, he would have probably let them know how much he loved them. The water felt nice now. He had longed for some peace such as this; like a quaint home where he could carve out a place for his own.
It was nearly dark now and the sun had retired for the day. It had forgotten to bid adieu to the old man, just like everyone else who even bothered to get acquainted with him. He got out of the water and put his shirt on. The water drops clung on to his shirt, resisting to let go as long as they could. He ran his hand across his hair, marvelling at how little things had changed around the beach. He felt happy today, a genuine happiness that filled his body with a new fervour. He walked on. The beach did not seem to end today just like there was no end to freedom. Somewhere in the horizon, he could see two individuals. Intrigued, he walked towards to them. He knew them and they knew him. He smiled.
Copyright © Samantak Bhadra 2013