Wings and Roots

It was not clear to anyone (including herself) why she decided to move southwards. Maybe it had something to do with achieving her dreams or maybe it was simply a desire to spread her wings. And that was how she landed here one grey morning.

What she saw did not excite her. She was not sure if this was the place where dreams could be realized. But she told herself not to be hasty in her conclusion. She would give herself and this place some more time.  She promised herself a year -but that was before, she met him.

He was a native in every way that she was a foreigner. He had been here since his birth and he had never left it. He could not imagine life anywhere else. He did not know any other language, had not seen any other landscape or experienced any other season. He took pride in what he called his “sense of belonging”. He stood tall and proud drawing his sustenance from where he was.

It was probably destiny that brought them together. Otherwise how a traveler with a restless heart and wings on her feet could be drawn to an embodiment of permanence?  The attraction was mutual. He was fascinated by her- this creature who had seen and experienced things that he had only heard about. He found her exotic. A small built being with big dreams and a voice louder than her body. She in turn was drawn to the aura of comfort and security he exuded. She loved his height, his strength and his soft core under the hard exterior.

Thus began their life together. Days spent braving the terrible heat and nights swaying in the cool sea breeze.  She introduced him to music that he had never heard   before. But she was not sure if he enjoyed it. You see, he took time to adapt to anything different. In fact, people were surprised that he had  let her make her home with him.  Some of the others, who also survived under his care, began to feel a bit insecure about this relationship.   But such was their love that outside forces could do little to shake it. They lived together happily, oblivious to their surroundings.

I would like to end this story here. It seems like a good place to stop. It would make you, the reader happy.  But  that would be unfair as there is so much more that happened.

The change began with her craving for change. She missed the wide open skies through which she traveled. She missed the landing into a new land, the excitement of discovery of a new language, a new landscape and the feel of the new season. She got bored with the constancy in her life.  Boredom led to frustration and slowly, the frustration took on a form – his!

He sensed her discontent. It was difficult to handle. He could not understand why she should crave for something different when he was providing a secure existence.  But he also knew that he could not hold her back. If he did, he would lose her. So, he encouraged her to spread her wings and fly. She was not sure if he really meant it or if it was just his way of telling her to get out. She hoped not.  She was not sure that she really wanted to leave him.  He assured her that he was just encouraging her to live her dreams . He would always be there for her whenever  she decided to come back.

So, she took her first flight out, heading west. She traveled along for a long time enjoying the flush of freedom. She had experiences that would never have been hers had she stayed on with him! But she missed him. There was no one who understood her the way he did. No one who could listen to her as she talked aloud. Patience was not one of his virtues but tolerance was. She missed those strong arms rocking her as she slept. She wished he were there by her side experiencing all that she was! A good book, a tasty meal or a unique experience – all of these require a loved one by our side to make them complete.

When she could bear it no longer, she decided to head back to him. She was not ready yet to call where he lived, her home.  She always thought of him separate from his surroundings- a stupid thing to do because  he was so closely  linked to those same surroundings that she found suffocating.

His joy knew no bounds when he saw her coming back. He knew he had been right about letting her go. She settled back into his life as if she had never left. He heard about her adventures and her experiences seeing them through her eyes. She was happy and he was content. Life seemed idyllic once again- until the desire to travel consumed her again.

This time the separation was less painful.  She knew as he did that she would ultimately come back. And thus continued their existence, she traveling and he waiting for her to return.

As the years began to take their toll on her, she traveled less frequently and for shorter distances.

She had almost decided that this would be her last trip. She would fold up her wings and spend the rest of her life secure in his arms.  She was so lost in her thoughts about what they would do together in their sunset years that she did not see it coming. A sharp pain flashed through her on the left. She felt herself falling. It was through sheer will power that she kept her strength up. She had to get back to her tall, dark and handsome tower of strength! She was sure she would recover once she reached home- there she had said it! Home, where he lived and where she now planned to live for the rest of her life.

She could see the familiar surrounding s from the air. The pain was excruciating but she forced herself to stay focused on getting home. As she descended towards the ground, she looked around for him. Where was he? Had he left? But that was impossible!

And then she saw him as never before – horizontal! Who were those people and the machinery? Was he ill?

Her strength drained out of her completely as she realized what was happening. These people had killed him! They had uprooted him, taken over his space and were now chopping him into bits with that machine.

Ashvatha was dead! Her strong tower of strength was now just a mass of chopped wood. Pakshi could take it no longer. She made a dive towards the ground and landed with a thud. A strong whirring sound was playing close to her ears. That was the last thing she heard before it all ended!

“ What is the matter” asked the site supervisor as the machinery made a strange creaking noise.

“ Oh nothing sir!  A bird fell into the machine. I will clean  it up and complete the work” said the workman as he removed her mangled flesh and threw it away.

It landed near his uprooted stump- wings and roots finally coming together in death!

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. KP
    Aug 07, 2013 @ 16:14:06

    It is an exceptionally beautiful story that foxed me completely.I thought it was the story of a man and woman with different outlook but brought together by bond of love.I even developed a dislike for what I surmised as a man for his rigid and inflexible attitude towards the woman till you brought about an expected twist.Then everything fell in proper place and perspective.The story left me sad at the end no doubt.

    Reply

  2. Meera
    Aug 07, 2013 @ 16:27:52

    Thanks KP!! I am learning from veterans like you!!

    Reply

  3. Aditi
    Aug 07, 2013 @ 17:17:46

    😦 Beautifully narrated but left me sad in the end!

    Reply

  4. Krupa
    Aug 08, 2013 @ 09:08:14

    It is a really beautiful story. the ending made me sad. liked the way you weaved the bond between the two.

    Reply

  5. Harish
    Aug 08, 2013 @ 22:28:12

    Beautiful story. How well written!

    Reply

  6. Sandhya Kumar
    Aug 11, 2013 @ 14:16:43

    Beautifully narrated story, Meera! Very meaningful one!

    I thought it was a story of a man and a woman…it fitted so well after knowing the end. Touched my heart!

    Reply

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