She was standing surrounded by pianos and keyboards. Gentle music was being played. A part of her brain was thinking that someone must have carefully picked out songs that were both famous and had a prominent piano music as part of them.
Her cellphone was still in her hand, and the screen had a small box which said “Call Ended”. Sighing, as the message faded away, she put the phone back into her bag. She proceeded to ask them if they could wrap the package with water proof polythene cover, so the rain doesn’t affect it as she rides back.
There were a couple of forms to be filled and then they opened it. Her musical keyboard. She’d been waiting for this moment for as long as she could remember. The day she would own her very own musical keyboard. The love for the piano had started way back in junior school when she had gone to music classes for 2 years. Ms. Vanilla Devi, the woman who made poetry come alive and made one want to dance with the music she played. As far as she was concerned, Ms. Vanilla was the best pianist ever. And the best music teacher. She sadly remembered that the only music she still knew how to play was ‘Mary had a little lamb’. But that was going to change soon. All those countless times when her fingers had played the imaginary piano while listening to some song, can now bear fruit. She will learn to play the keyboard. And like this dream came true, she hoped that one day she would have a Grand Piano Forte in the home she will eventually have.
“Please sign here”
Back in the present, she quickly signed the card slip that would officially make the keyboard hers. ‘Vanilla’.
Her dad was away. Her sister was mad/jealous or just too lazy, so had refused to come with her, to help carry it back. People at home repeatedly asked why she was making such a sudden rash decision. She knew in her heart that it was neither sudden nor rash. It has just been a matter of timing, and now she could finally afford it on her own. She had learnt the hard way that putting off something would only decrease the probability of ever achieving it. And she had put this off for way too long already.
The keyboard was wrapped and ready. The friendly guy at the store helped her carry it back to her bike and placed it there for her. She sat on, and was relieved that her head was above the box. Barely so. Her chin was actually hidden.
She slowly started the bike, adjusting herself and the box to a more comfortable position. Gingerly she drove on, the 4 kms from the showroom to her house.
She knew that this was possibly the highlight of the month. A dream of so long coming true finally, should at least deserve the ‘Highlight of the month’ title. She wasn’t excited though. She wondered if she was even tad happy, and didn’t know the answer to that. The ride that seemed longer than ever finally came to an end, in front of her house.
She pushed the gate as usual, with her hands. It didn’t budge. Someone had latched it from the inside. Sighing a very heavy sigh, she got off carefully to open the gate from the other side. She went on to place the keyboard inside her house, in the dark porch.
Suddenly she felt very very alone. Not lonely. She knew what it was like to be lonely. This wasn’t it. She just felt all alone. She had had a tiff with her dad earlier this week. They hadn’t spoken in 5 days. Things had ended with her best friend a little before that. Something she knew she had to do, had done it very reluctantly, and now can’t think of a reason why. She hadn’t spoken to a good friend of hers, with whom things had gotten messy because of something silly she did months ago, for a few months now. She had just 2 friends now. Both of whom had enough problems on their own to deal with.
The I-m-fine-I-give-a-damn-I-just won’t-think-about-any-of-it exterior which she was so carefully putting on suddenly felt like a heavy … heavy burden.
An island… that’s what she felt like. I cold barren island.
Her tears had dried out. So she knew that at the least, she wouldn’t have to enter the house with tell tale tears to explain.
Wishing desperately that someone would just give her a hug. Or let her lay her head on their shoulders as she just sat for a while, she parked her bike inside.
The keyboard was placed, package and all, in a corner of the living room, and forgotten about.