Light poured in from a window; covered by sheer curtains that failed at their attempt to block the powerful rays from the mighty orb that shone bright at 5 PM. It was the month of March. My mother found me at my old Oakwood table, which showed a very small area of its lustrous polished surface as my books lay sprawled over it; and me on top of them. I had dozed off. Drained out and enervated, after a long, vigorous session of cramming those fat books in monochrome. Exams were at close quarters and the pressure could be felt by every individual of my age.
My mother caressed my hair as she woke me up from my siesta, a soft smile on her face. I looked up at her with my eyes partially squinted. “What time is it?”, I asked her.
She laughed and shook her head as she leant forward, shut my books and cleared all the paraphernalia that lay strewn on the table. I looked at her with dismay. “What are you doing, Ma? I have finals in a week. I need to study!”, the angst in my voice was evident. She looked at me with a sagacious face and said, “Go to the City Park, you need a change of scenery.”
The park was empty; it was too early for the young frequenters and too late for the older ones, who usually came around in the morning. I looked around for a while, just trying to figure out what I was supposed to do there. Complying with my mother’s earnest request, I did not carry my phone with me. I spotted a lone bench in the far end of the park, placed precisely under a mammoth tree, whose name I failed to recollect. I made myself comfortable on that bench, plugged in my iPod and played my go-to playlist. I looked up after I had settled in. It took me one glance, and I was transfixed; just like the tree above me.
The smoldering glow of the Sun was so replenishing, I could pen down an aubade while I gazed at the flaring star. With John Denver echoing in my ears, I closed my eyes and tilted my head to the back; I wanted to embrace every sound, every smell that was redolent of ease. I could smell the fragrance of freshly cut grass; which was followed by an aroma similar to that of petrichor, as a slow breeze blew against my face. The zephyr moved past me, with a wondrous blend of all the scents it had picked up as it brushed pass the multifarious flowers of the park. As it moved past me, it seemed to withdraw from me all the worries that had clogged the veins of my body. I could feel fresh blood gush through them. I unplugged my iPod.
The knots in my mind unwinded, one by one, as I heard the mellow warble of birds; it was as if they were singing a lullaby to their young ones, beckoning the moon with the same. I opened my eyes and looked up. The fiery fiesta of the westward bound sun had become placid. The subtle sounds of the crickets that had recently emerged from the dense foliage behind me, seemed to be a harbinger of the approaching twilight. I waited a few more moments as I tried to garner every little occurrence around me. Finally, I got up and walked back towards the main entrance of the park. It had just been an hour, but it felt like an aeon. My steps felt lighter, I felt revived. All the monochrome that my books had imprinted on my soul, now seemed to be of a million different hues.
I reached home and smiled a wide smile on seeing my mother. She looked at my face and mused at the ingenuous sparkle in my eyes. “So, how was it?” she asked me with a smug smirk.
“It was like revival”, I said, as I opened my books and sat at the Oakwood table.
This work has been published in Beetle Magazine's June 2020 Issue. Read the full issue here: https://issuu.com/beetlemag/docs/june2020
Illustration by Dhanashree Pimputkar