The Masked Face
Raising my forefinger in sync with my head, I quickly plunge down my fingers with the heaviest force on the piano keys. The force was synonymous to the feeling in my heart if only I could release it. It didn’t produce the right tune, again. It was different, again
I knew I had become incapable of playing the perfect tunes. How ironical! But the black and white keys which were always the most beautiful rainbow of my life, now seem only black and white. I don’t feel anything anymore. Not anymore, because she is gone. And I have finally accepted that she is no longer around. Why did you go? Why did you leave me all alone?
I feel the pain but I do not feel the warm tears against my cheeks anymore. All I feel is a cold heart within me that has frozen every feeling I was capable of, except for sadness. The sadness stays in a prolonged form and it comes to me in every drop. People say I have every reason to be the happiest in the world.
“The 19-year-old, young pianist is creating some records all around”
They think this should make me happy. So, I pretend to be, what they want. It is hard to see myself pretending. Pretending like there is nothing wrong. I don’t feel like playing anymore. My head breaks and fissures develop in my heart, while I put on a plaster of smile when all I want is to run away from the chains, which are bound to me like the shackles of life. The black and white keys have stopped the music they played. I am tired of all the expectations, people have from me and I am tired of not being able to fill the void of my own expectations.
I don’t see my old self anymore, I miss her, I miss myself.
I feel like a different person, not how I used to be.
And I know my old happy self who found music in every form is gone,
I don’t play anymore to play my happy tunes, I play to just please the crow. I feel like a hollow body without my soul. They say I play the perfect songs, but, I am tired of playing to win their charms.
One day that magical spell is over and even they, my followers, see how incapable I have become of playing the perfect tunes. How far can I go, when all I know is that I have become replaceable? I used to play with my soul, those perfect songs, but the increasing glitz around my name has shredded my soul apart. I have lost my soul and I have become a failure that cannot sail any long. I see no other way now than to follow my dead soul.
With heavy steps, I walk to the kitchen and open the third drawer. Shining like my old self, I see blade labelled in some name. My hands shivering, I pull it out. I try to bring it closer to my wrist. I know I am not going to feel anything. The sadness will still stay but it will not spread like an infection anymore. My heart beats, still singing my old song. They had once called me a musician,
Who cares if one more light goes out, in the sky of a million stars, they flicker, and flicker. Closer as I bring it to the brim of my nerve,
My frozen heart thumps up and down,I can feel my beat after so long.
I do not know if I am ill,
Or I am frantic or just tired of everything around. Bringing it closer, I look at my piano for the one last time. And before I could smile back at it, my eyes meet with darkness. That was some kind of reflection of my heart and before I could understand, it is all gone. I am still breathing. Strange, my brain hasn’t stopped. I am talking to me.
And I see someone raising her head in sync with her fingers on my piano. I pat her, and I see myself playing happily after so long. I have finally found my old self, maybe I was never gone.
“No, cherry you are not gone. You are still with us.”
Maa, are you there?
Not able to understand,
I see darkness diminishing line by line,
I can see light again.
And I see Maa, sitting beside me on an old chair; I smile at her half recollecting of what had happened. I look around and see chains again, this time they just look like needles and machines in a hospital room. Her eyes looked wet but with happiness this time. She gave me a peck on my forehead and said, “We almost lost you Cherry. Why?”
What had happened to you?
The last time I had called you, you seemed so happy and why will you not be?
You are young and successful and doing pretty much everything you always dreamt about. Then what forced you to attempt suicide. Just, remember Cherry, whatever you are going through it’s not your fault. Promise me, you will talk to me”
Saying this, she burst into a pool of tears.
Her words struck me like the reality I was struggling with.
Yes, I should be happy but I am not. Even though, I have the reasons to be.
But, maybe it is not my fault.
I moved my eyes in shame and guilt and
I saw daddy and my elder brother with wet eyes and half curves of relief topped with happiness on their face.
I feel something, ‘Relief’
Even though I wanted to end my life, I wanted someone to stop me and tell me, ‘it is not my fault’. Finally, I feel warmth against my cheeks rolling down from my eyes. My mother told me, how she found me lying unconscious on the floor of my house when she decided to pay me a visit, the day I decided to end my life with a blade. It was like an end to her life, but I was still breathing and I was only murmuring my favourite song.
3 days of treatment breathed me back to life which I wanted to forget after all.
But, not anymore. Two months of treatment has worked on me. I feel like I am coming back again.
After all, I was never gone.
Doctors say I am depressed of the pressure and expectations, I feel people have from me.
It’s time I accept, Depression, as my flaw and work towards fighting it out. And now I believe, it was never my fault.
I raise my head in sync with my finger and bring it down on my piano keys. This time playing a miraculous new tune, this makes me happy after so long.
Maybe, this is the ‘Perfect’ I was always longing for.