No one had told her that breakups were this bad. From best friends to magzines, each stipulated a certain period. Each prescribed certain rituals, gave the same advices over and over again.
But nothing prepared you for this. For the sheer terror of getting out of bed. The feeling of dread that sunk in when you opened your eyes. And felt thoughts rushing in. Every sms that beeped, every object he had left behind, every friend who faked sympathy, every nook and corner, every day that went past.
The curling of the toes, the stiffening of the arms, squeezing the eyes close in the hope of exorcising it all. The blanket that seemed to shut everything out. The pillow that would bear the fury of it all.
The house was chaotic. Scattered clothes, fallen hair, half-smoked stubs, the stench and the stifling.
She chose to get up. Shivered as the toes brushed against the floor. The cold of the wintery morning seemed to have settled in. Nature had a sense of humour.
She looked around with slits for eyes. Her hair undone. Her gait unsteady. Her hands grasping forgotten territories.
The handle of the cupboard seemed frozen. She jerked it open, almost stumbling upon the chair nearby.The nauseating smell of naphthalene balls and cloistered life.
She groped around in a frenzy. This darkness she wasn't used to.
Her hands finally grasped the wooden handle. The strings twanged a bit. It seemed a mockery almost. Nature, life and love .. Were all in harmony.
The weight of the tanpura was enough to make her sway on the spot. She sat down. Her back frigid. Her head throbbing. The strings cutting lashes into her frozen fingers. Her throat rebelled. Raspy, dry and wanting.
After what seemed like an eternity, she managed to hum. An old thumri. A new context. Or maybe the context was old too.
'Balamwa, tum kya jaano preet..'
( Beloved, what do you know of love? )
A ray of watery sunlight seeped in through the window behind her. Through the mustiness.