Only gods, sages and monsters can escape the flames of attachment.

Bitter moments make you take decisions that you regret for a long time to come. In one such furious moment some years ago, he had decided not to play the guitar anymore. A childish and impulsive resolve, that he had to melt down five years later, now that her memories didn’t haunt him anymore and he didn’t care a fig what became of her.

Why did he have to make a sacrifice of music you ask? Because it is something that helps make a person become more sensitive; it leads to the weakening of the heart, fills him with foolish hopes, urges him to find innocence in others. It makes an idiot of him who day dreams. But it is this bundle of emotions though that separates the red-hearted from the blue ones. It brings a spring in our step, lets us see the bright color in the beautiful petals of sunflowers, sense the freshness of a fellow passerby, who probably had an hour ago taken a long bath, leads us to ride on the swings of intense passion, and see a gentle heart in a woman. Music is the alcohol of emotion and therefore he had resolved to abstain from it.

Moving in with two new mates in the month of September, he found out that one of them owned a handsome guitar. The moment he picked it up to play an old tune, strumming the strings gently downwards, playing the G chord, he felt as if the veins in his heart had twitched a bit. All the frost in his chest now started disappearing, as the warmth of music once again reached his cold heart. He latched himself onto Classic Rock and in the next months ended up learning many popular licks of The Beatles and Pink Floyd. Oh the joy you get when you are singing and playing the instrument, when time comes to a standstill and you for that period are in a dimension of bliss. He grew so much attached to this musical piece of wizardry during the winter, that by the end of it he started feeling as if it were his own; like a neighbour’s child who comes to talk to you and requests to play with you often, because he finds too much comfort and joy in your company, in your playful jokes, and your stories, here and there containing nuggets of history. You on the other hand grow ever so more attached to him forgetting he is not your child by blood.

One evening he was having his dinner in the hall, watching his flat-mate play Hotel California on it. His feet were going slightly up an down in response to the riff without his realizing it. What he did sense though as the music stopped, was that the guitar was about to fall down. It was because his friend after playing it, had not kept it in a proper upright position against the wall. It was sliding down with every passing second. Though it were not his guitar, like a mother bird who rushes in flight to catch the hatchling that has fallen down from the nest in mid-air, he almost flew to save the guitar from falling down, before he or his friend could understand what had happened. It was an instinctive reaction. There wasn’t even a doubt as to which would have hurt him more – a scratch on the guitar or a bruise on his knee.

It was time to move on. It had been two months since he had injured his knee. He had found a job in a new city for which he had to wait for a long time. He packed up everything and stuffed it all in his three heavy bags and ensured that he hadn’t left behind anything. He stared at the empty room for a minute. It seemed so spacious, now that not an article was left in it. Sunlight entered through the window and though it was a bright, sunny day, he couldn’t help but feel gloomy leaving his cave and this city of snow behind, forever. Night before his last day in the house, he had especially asked his friend to keep the guitar out of sight in the morning. He jokingly threatened that he’d steal it otherwise and run away with it. His friend, with a smile on his face reading pain in his joke assured him that he won’t find it anywhere the next morning. Now he went downstairs without looking back in the hall, went out the front door, headed straight for the cab he had ordered a few minutes ago. Seated in the car, he plugged in his earphones and turned on In My Life by The Beatles to get lost in the memories he had created here.

© The Flowers of Art



6 thoughts on “The Borrowed Son

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