An old tune was playing on one of the Indian channels. She took up her crocheting basket and sat down. The words reminded her of another time, of another life, in a distant land, where people broke out in a song and dance just to make a mockery of the hard life they led.
A simple home, though to her, the house seemed immense. It had a large central courtyard, where every child from the neighborhood came to play. She was the youngest of her siblings, and stood by one of the columns, watching the boys play marbles and gilly danda. Sometimes the little stick would sail into the veranda, and she ran to get it and return it to her brothers. There was a time when that same little stick made a gash in the cheek of one of the players; it wasn’t a bad one, probably just a scratch, but there was blood. She cried till bed time.
The next day the boy came back to play the same stupid game. He had heard that she had cried, so he bent down to her and showed his cheek and told her that he was all better. He made her touch the scar. She remembered the way it felt on her fingertips. He was kinder to her than all the people in the entire house.
Easy when you can see the scars and can touch them and feel them and see them heal over days and weeks. What about the scars that are hidden in the depths of your soul? Those that you cannot touch, those whose keloid roughness rubs against the fabric of your conscience and makes you close your eyes so tight that your temples hurt? Moments when you want someone to touch them, kiss them and tell that all is well, and that everything is now healed and every surface in the catacombs of your being is steel thick, and indestructible; those moments just laugh at her. She laughs at herself. Foolish naivete.
She sighs and tells herself, ‘I am the eternal mark, an indelible stain of the numerous desires; I am quiet and silent, like the water from my eyes!’