The Park – The Final Part

February 8, 2006

The story until now…

A simple whine resulted in introspection. She was forced to think about things in a totally different light. As she encountered newer situations, she began to realize that the simplicity of life was not as simlple as she wanted it to be. The light began to dawn on her, even as it began to get darker…


They came to another section in the park – the Kids’ Section. He stopped there momentarily. He turned to look at her. She said nothing. Apparently, she had not yet recovered from the previous shock. He turned to look at the park. Kids of various ages were playing on the different amusements the park had to offer. The see-saw, the slide, the merry-go-round and the swing; all of them were occupied.

A young boy, aged not more than seven, sat on a bench near one of the swings. He watched the swings go to and fro and laughed in glee, clapping his hands every now and then. It looked like he was egging his brother on, who had occupied the swing.

“Why don’t you make that boy try the swings?”

“But he can’t see me!”

“Do you really think so?”

She knew better now than to ask any question. She silently went up to the boy and sat beside him.

The boy had a sunny disposition that could make anyone smile. And she was not an exception. She felt the warmth of his smile and instantly returned it. The boy returned back to egging his brother on.

She made an attempt to strike up a conversation.

“Hi.”

The boy looked at her, unsure of whether to reply. Eventually he did.

“Hi.”

“Why don’t you have a go on the swings?”

“I can’t?”

“Why? Why can’t you?”

“Oh it’s too much trouble getting me on the swing and then getting me off it. I wouldn’t want to spoil the fun. I am better off watching them.”

“Why is that? I don’t think you’re too short. You can easily reach the swing.”

“Oh I am tall enough, alright. But that’s not the reason. It’s this.” He smiled and pointed towards his legs.

She took one look at his legs and realized what she’d just done.

“I am sorry” was all she could manage and she almost ran back to where he was standing.

He said nothing for sometime. They came back to the bench on which she was sitting before and sat once again. It was to be sometime before he spoke in a clear, calm voice.

“Now, do you understand?”

“Yes, I do. And I am sorry. It won’t happen again.”

He smiled at her and she returned it. She stood up and spread her wings. With one smooth push of her feet she was away soaring high, into the sky.

Gabriel looked at the diminishing figure in the sky and sighed.

Well, there had to be one in every lot.

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The Park – Part III

February 3, 2006

The story until now…

She was sitting in the park unhappy and tearful, blaming him for not understanding her plight. He understood that he had to provide her with some answers…
The first two responses she received left her stunned, yet contemplative. Surely, this was not the way she was expecting her question to be answered. But they are answers nevertheless, and she must find the meaning. Soon…


(contd. from The Park – Part 2)

They kept walking until they reached the Fountain. People of various ages were sitting with their feet immersed in the clear, cold, blue water of the pool beside the fountain. He turned to her and asked.

“What do you hear?”

She replied hesitantly, “I hear the sound of gushing water. The most beautiful music that He could ever create.”

He smiled and turned to look at the people. Without looking at her, he asked again, “No really, what do you hear?”

The sounds of the world diminished to nothing and a new babble of voices broke out, rising in its pitch slowly until she could take it no more. She clamped her hands over her ears to stop the sound from blowing her eardrums. He laughed at this and said, “You can take your hands off now. It’s okay.”

She cautiously removed her hands and was relieved to find that the voices had died down to a murmur. “Now tell me what you hear,” he asked again.

She strained her ears to make sense out of the large plethora of voices that was the crowd. She shut her eyes tight hoping against hope that it would help somehow. And slowly the voices began to make sense.

‘I wish I could enjoy this peace everyday…’

‘I wish he would understand…’

‘I love my husband.’

‘I love her husband.’

‘My baby…’

‘Why can’t work ever be so relaxing?’

‘Man, she looks amazing!!’

‘What does she think of herself?’

‘Why did you have to leave me?’

‘How long is this pain going to last? I wish it would be over once and for all…’

This last statement particularly caught her attention and she started to search for its owner. She scanned the faces in the crowd hoping to find a clue.

She found a face contorted with pain and immediately moved towards him. As she drew closer she could hear him swearing. No, it wasn’t him. She looked around again. Every time she thought she had found the source of the pain, she realized that it was someone else.

She finally gave up and returned to him looking defeated. He asked her, “Would you like to see the person who said those words?”

She was surprised he could do that. But then again she knew he would do that. She meekly nodded in the affirmative. He began to walk and she followed.

He stopped in front of a clown. The clown had gathered a crowd and was entertaining it. Sure enough, she had overlooked this portion of the crowd. After all, there was no pain here, only joy. But as they drew nearer to the crowd she heard the voice grow stronger. She frantically scanned the faces in the crowd. That was when she felt a tap on her shoulder. He pointed a finger to indicate the direction of the source of the voice.

She followed his finger and her eyes came to rest on the one person she had never imagined to be the source – the clown himself. She stood with her mouth agape not wanting to believe, yet the evidence forcing her to do exactly that.

“He was diagnosed with a fatal disease last week. The doctors have given him a month. And he’s decided to make the most of it.”

With that, he walked away, leaving her to contemplate. She stared at the clown, wondering whether he could see her. He remained blissfully unaware of her presence and continued to entertain the crowd. She walked back silently to where he was standing. And they moved on.

(To be continued…)

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