The Flute1 min 13K 1 min 13K
It was 6 am in the morning when the cawing woke me up.
By the time I sat with the tanpura,
the pigeons had made an audience.
My voice was croaky as usual,
And the audience had started their slow brooding.
With a final squawk I managed to croon a clear Sa
And received some encouraging flaps.
The teacher’s words came back to me.
"You are a bit sharp", was her retort.
She asked the child to sing.
His voice, a soft husky conch,
made me think of a rill amid quietness somewhere.
I remembered the old family record
That had me chirping like a young nestling.
It had you too…
Like thin curls of smoke burning out of a joss stick.
Once when I had tried to woo a cuckoo, imitating its plaintive search,
You had stopped me, saying that I was deluding the lovers.
So I had gone back to imitating yours’.
The class-teacher had liked it back then.
He let me sing in the choir.
He said it blended well with the girls’.
And just to prove him wrong,
I tried singing louder than all.
When I reached the Nishad,
I seemed to miss the pitch yet again.
I looked imploringly into your dove shaped eyes.
You stood silently holding your flute,
Your eyes cast down.
You seemed like a memory of an inanimate past...
Then suddenly I heard the cuckoo back in the balcony.
I ran for him
And fluttered into the sky.