Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Grace

He lifted her chin up for him to see her moist eyes pour. Glassy as they were, the tears reflected his eyes as they rolled down her pink cheeks to reach out to the ground. It hurt him to see her that way. To see her cry. To see her in pain. He dragged the rattan stool near the bay window she sat by. She could see him settle down below her sight, for him to place his hands on her lap... to look at her with concern. She looked around his room to find something that'll stop the fall of misery from her brown being.. to find something to look away, from his inquiring stare. She could find nothing that could hold her back and her glance fell down.. to the hands that were holding her, in pain, in silence.

  " What happened baby?"
  "Oh.. Err... nothing. I'm.. I'm.. just thinking..", she stammered.
  "And you expect me to believe that?"
  "Why? Why won't you?"
  " Because, I don't usually see you cry. Tears are usually your last resort. So, why don't you just stop overacting and tell me what's bothering you?", he said.

    She kept mum. He sighed. A long day, he thought, as he got up to sit on the cushions, next to her. He took her hands into his, for her to see that he was right there, next to her. She looked up to see the sinking sun's evening rays hit his face.
    He didn't say anything. He just looked right into her eyes, boring for some truth out of her heart and some words out of her lips. He just sat there, next to her, for several moments, waiting for her to speak.. to pour it all, while, she stared back at his patience. Finally, she spoke..

   " It was this boy at college..", she mumbled.
   " Our college you mean?"

 She nodded her head in response to his query.

   "What about him? Who, anyway?", he asked.
   " Names aren't very necessary, because a lot of people say such stuff about and to me."
   "Who said what, my dear?"

   She reverted to silence for a minute, looking at some faraway doves flying against the orange-red sky. There was a raging fire excogitating in her eyes, yet something that flowed with the calmness and serenity of a flowing river.

   " Grace.", she muttered.
   "What?"
   "Grace. They say I'm not graceful. Not womanly."
   "And you feel bad about it?" he asked, his eyebrows arching upward in wonder and astonishment.
   "No, I don't always feel that way, but sometimes...", she said, dragging her words into an endless pit.
   "..But sometimes you do feel bad about it, right?", he finished for her.
  "Yes!"

     He sighed and looked out of the window. For a long time, he didn't talk.. It sounded like a silent predecessor to something deserving of crowning glory, in all quietness and suspense. Like the descending sun that was going to plunge the world into darkness. But, darkness just throws more light, she thought. Darkness is where people strain their eyes to see the truth...to put in more effort and to grope the idea of reality.

    She waited for him to speak, to break the pounding sound in her heart. He looked up to see her expectant face.. after she broke the silence, no longer being able to bear it.

  "Did I sound too silly? Are you angry that I feel this way?", she exclaimed.
  "No, just exasperated."
  "What?"
  " Yes, I thought a girl of your caliber would know much better than that!"
  "Don't I?", she beseeched.
  "No, I just saw that you don't."

        Her face fell. There was some sudden feeling of increased fear, anxiety and loss that radiated in dark circles from around her face. A feeling of being lost. A feeling of hopelessness in a land where she felt she would never get to know people, their ideas and conceptions. He saw her face muscles strain and her throat swallowing a gulp. He smiled, looking at his girl, that left her puzzled.

   "Do you know, baby, what it is to be graceful?"

 She thought for some moments. It sounded like a posed question in an exam hall. She wanted to make sure she had the right answers.

  "Hmmm... to be graceful.. is to be feminine? Walking and talking like a typical girl would? To be interested in  shoes and 'girly' stuff and not football... Everything that...", she paused for a moment. "Everything that I'm not.", she said, breathing out aloud.
  
   A clear ringing sound of his laughter rang in her ears. Startled as she was, she looked up to see if he was faking it to make her feel better. She saw, that it was pure unscathed laughter from the bottom of his stomach and soul. As genuine as melting gold. Nonplussed, she kept looking at him. wondering what she had said, that made his sides tickle so hard. He caught the look of question and confusion on her face and tried to subside his moments of roaring source of joy.
  And at last, he did. Slowing down, speaking carefully, his every word weighed against his heart and reason, he uttered..

  "Oh, how much you make me smile. Is that what you think grace is?"
  "Errrr... yes. Is it not so?", she asked her eyes wide with innocence.

 He smiled yet again.

   "Oh, my baby.. I wouldn't say so.Not exactly. It's a very superficial and dumb way of looking at it."
   "By that you mean?"
   "By that I mean, walking on stilettos, living on girl gossip or being fragile and petite, is not, being graceful.", he said emphasizing every word. "Grace isn't all this."
   " But.. but.. this is what everyone calls it to be. And that's why everyone calls me masculine in a lot of ways... because I live on sports, hang around in shorts and tees! Sometimes, I even feel scared you'd leave me and go because I am not elegant or graceful."

    His jaw dropped as she said that. the smile vanished but a hint of the smile remained.

   "Oh no," he said, "Don't even think like that. That, is not how I perceive you!"
   "Then, whatever do you mean by grace in a woman? I still don't understand what you're trying to say!"

He took a deep breath and spoke...

     "Grace is that abstract and innate aura in you that shines out brightly, from everyone else. It is the principles you hold and the deeds you do. It's the heart of yours that doesn't mind blood on your clothes when trying to help a hit animal. It's that smile of yours so passionate as you pass a child and the kiss that you give her, kneeling down on your knees.. going down to her level of thoughts and fun. It's the way you hit me, in full knowledge of being strong enough to hit me such that it pains, yet, pretending to be less stronger so that you wouldn't have my ego hurt. It's in those powerful strides in spikes across the stadium's track, those legs moving in expertise, living in its fleeting space in air.

 It is in that loud laughter of yours that lets out happiness without being bothered about another person's opinion... it's in your eyes that I see true joy and bliss, when you smile! Your, eyes, that smile. It's elegance that pushes you forward in a crowd of hundred to dance first.. a confident woman... It's grace, the way you ride my bike, which other girls might not even try, It's your hot temper that I see, and annoying nature that makes me think you're adorable. It's the guts with which you stand up for, when you know you're right... It's graceful, when I see you walk from far, waving to me.. and the jumps of a kid that you possess. It's that factor, that makes you go haywire and do things, gracefully, in a way, that other people are too scared to attempt.

   It's that grace in you that makes me love you. It's that grace that made me see the truth. It's that grace, which is you.!"


      He beamed, in seriousness. She saw the soft lines of his face and the curves of his smile. She squeezed his hands in gratitude and understanding. Looking down at his hands, she smiled and cried, a moment to herself. A moment to cherish.

   "So, did you now, my love," he said cheesily, "understand what it is, that's, grace and what makes you a woman more than anything else?"

   She smiled. the sun was fast setting and his face grew decreasingly visible. She knew, he was waiting for her, to speak. To reply.
And she did..

   "I don't know if I exactly understand,what that grace is, that makes me a woman..", she said. "But I know, now, what it is, that makes you a man."

Even in the darkness, she knew,he smiled to himself, satisfied and absolute.



~Hemu 

15 comments:

  1. Congrats on winning the second prize :)

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  2. wow! awesome post :)

    Congrats :)

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  3. Hey, heartiest congrtulations...out of sheer curiosity i read 'Grace' and wow, baeutiful, loved it!

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  4. Awesome post ! Congrats on winning the second prize...

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  5. Hema : Amazing post.. :) Graceful writing ;) Congrats.. U deserve it..:)

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  6. Hi Hema,

    Wonderful...congrats on a well deserved win.

    regards

    RS
    www.restlesssouldier.blogspot.com

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  7. @abha ji, anuroop, dollz, janu, arvindh and RS- Thanks a lot guys :-) your comments help me grow.

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  8. Hi priyanka.. thank you :)

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  9. Congratulations! :) Well-written post..

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  10. Hemu :P


    I read this one completely... Well written...

    Neenju

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  11. @neenju akka- haha :D atlast. glad you like it :P thanks akka :)

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  12. :)I still dont know If i understood what grace means but your blog does mean soooo much :) Keep posting more Hema :) lovely writing and more lovely thought flow :)

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  13. Thanks a lot mKris. We are on the same boat. I'm still searching for an answer! :)

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