Thursday, February 19, 2009

Magic

Desperately seeking solace in an otherwise infuriating city, I wandered in the ancient Lodi Gardens. The tomb of Sikander Lodi, with the high walls surrounding it, is usually a good bet for tranquility, but today was the day the lawnmower chose to make its racket inside. So I headed right outside the tomb complex, and sat perched on a rock facing the 500-year-old Akbar-era bridge, which spans a lotus pond, that was today sadly devoid of lotuses. I opened my book and began reading. The late afternoon sun illuminated the rocks on the bridge to beautiful effect, and the ripples of the water cast dancing shadows on its underbelly. Apart from a half-hearted beggar, I was left alone to my luxurious read. I need this beauty, I thought, I need this magic. That’s it. That’s what I need – some kind of magic. Outside there are horns and unfriendly drivers and traffic jams, pollution and economic crises, jobs lost and identities yet to be formed. Sitting here felt good.

A scream snapped me out of my reverie. A couple, boy and girl, were standing a few feet away and staring excitedly at the same scene. The girl clutched her boyfriend and seemed to hyperventilate as she pointed to a fountain in the pond. The fountain had barely registered to me, in spite of its considerable height. It was hardly a fountain – just a sawed off pipe that gushed water upwards with surprising strength. The shrieking continued – “Look, a rainbow!” Indeed, in the spray of the fountain, a little rainbow had formed. “But how is this possible?!” she yelled, “It’s not even raining! And I’ve never seen a rainbow so close to the ground!”

Eventually she shut up and the two of them retired to the lawn nearby to hold each other and stare some more. The boy wasn’t too concerned about the fountain, it seemed, just content to see the girl excited. I had just managed to forget about them and return to thoughts on the poetry of the setting; when I heard the same voice.

“Ma’am, excuse me! Excuse me, ma’am!”

I rolled my eyes and turned to the couple, who had extricated themselves from each other.

“Ma’am, do you know if the rainbow is natural, or caused by some kind of lighting?”

“Natural.” I muttered

“What?”

More loudly, and enunciating my words carefully this time, I tried again.

“Its natural – something to do with drops of water filtering the sunlight, I think.”

“Wow,” she said, turning back to her boyfriend. “It’s, like, magic, no?”

2 comments:

Nishant said...

You possess a gift for writing effortlessly. The words just dissolve and what remains is the story.

Sanjana said...

im convinced that getting laid off was good for you :-)

by the way, have you heard of everydayfiction.com ? you should send some stuff over..