Thursday, April 07, 2005

Torn Wings

She sat at the edge of the water, kohl streaks smudges across her cheeks, just above her swollen, trembling lips. Her face felt sticky with tears and grime. She had run away from all those people and now she sat by the river, her broken wings lay across her lap. She plucked at the bird feathers of the wings. They had all laughed at her. She, a butterfly, with her dark complexion and heavy hips, sniggers and taunts, till the tears came out and she ran away, so that nobody could see them.

It had taken her almost a week to prepare for the fancy-dress party. She had made her wings from feathers she had been collecting for the last many years. Each morning while waiting for her school bus, she would pick up the feathers, which often lay tangled in the bushes or lay by the dirt road. Mostly white but a few gray and black ones too. She would clean and dry each one of them and store her treasures in a box lined with tissue, under her bed.

Carefully she had painted the feathers in all the colors of her paint-box and glued them on the cardboard wings to wear over her white frock. Only her mama had known about her wings and she had smiled and kissed her when she was all ready to go. She remembered Mama had said, that she was her beautiful butterfly, the tears began to roll down again. It did not make sense. She had been so proud of her wings. She had wanted to dance and laugh with them. The river surged through her wiggling toes

Many years later

She is all grown up and pretty now and she does not need them. She does not run away anymore but stands her ground; firm and strong and looks them in the eye. Sometimes she can even laugh at them though mostly she could not care less. But some nights she can still hear them, feel those hot tears welling up in her eyes, after all these years. Somewhere deep down her wings are still soiled and torn.

What will it take to mend them?

16 comments:

M said...

Insecurities....they haunt us.

Like a shadow, you can stand in front of them at times, and at other times, they loom over you, dark engulfing figures, clouding your life.

Misreflection said...

Nothing , just true acceptance and moving on, and hopefully realising that soiled and torn wings can still make an angel( in fact a unique one), lifes too short to dwell too long on our insecurities, we all have them , the more often we face up to then the less significant they tend to became...

sal said...

many years later...

alright, the growing up process. hehe.

ps: hey, you want to see my pic huh? hehe.. sideways i look like beyonce babe.. front.. jennifer lopez.. my hair.. longer than sushmita sen.. oh and my eyes... aishwarya rai's. oh, that was lame na. hehehe... ok, i'm goddamn bored. that's why. c ya.

enjoy the rest of the week gul!

bablu said...

To quote Aerosmith -->
"Life's a journey, not a destination. How far can you fly with broken wings".

"She could not care less" thats what life has taught her.

Akruti said...

The question haunts me day and night,what will it take to mend those broken wings,what will it take to stop those tears,past!! ! but still there,in a few silent moments it takes me back to those haunted lanes which i am running away from,the more i struggle to comeout of them the more they take me deep into it.
It took lots of time to comeout but i would admit it here,i still have those tears,at night,in the darkenss of the room i still feel the pain,i cry and get into sleep and then a new day again...such is life,so a i am going on with it:)
Well,u want to see my pic then i can post u one,but i am not beautiful.just simple plain average girl:))
And,gul,u write wonderfully,amazing talent:)god bless

Jyotsna said...

It is our broken wings of the past thate help us soar high later in life...without them we would never ever grow.I loved emotions here,the sensitivity,the love...

gulnaz said...

M, well put but like you said insecurities are mere shadows, why should we take them for real figures.

Missy I think you are right, internalising the opinion of others and then feeling good or bad because of them is not correct. angels with soiled wings can look rather intersting.

Woman wow you mean to say that you look like the poster of a multi-starrer. :)i am sure you look even better :)

bablu yeah, give a damn :)

Neelima thanks once again sweetie!!! :) listen you are young, don't fight this pain, just let it sit there, let it make you cry but don't force it and believe that you will find somebody else someday who will stay on with you. don't be angry with the guy who went away, it doesnt help. that guy in breaking your heart, showed you the depths of your heart, for pain comes from there, so thank him. enjoy the rains like you do. :)

Jyo Thank you Jo! So broken wings are not that bad after all. :)

bablu said...

Broken wings are better than broken hearts ???

gulnaz said...

to my mind broken hearts equal broken wings

. : A : . said...

Yes, the past comes back to haunt sometimes. Maybe, getting over the broken wings will mend them?

Prat said...

Beautiful piece of prose, the mages really stand out.
And as to what it takes to mend broken wings...new ones, perhaps?
Learning to fly with them yet again...aint life one big metamorphosis?

Geetanjali said...

Hey have you seen the video of Blind Melon (I forget the title) with this little fat girl who gets dressed up like a bumble bee for a fancy dress competition and gets jeered at by her classmates? Your story reminded me of that...in the video she finds people like her - I wonder if your protagonist does that too, or does she simply conform to society's ideals and lose track of her inner self?

gulnaz said...

.:A:., Hmmm......Yup. ;)

Prat, Thanks :) yes, absolutely...metamorphosis.

Geetanjali, I have always liked this name, isnt there a book of poetry by this name? Yes, this incident reminded me too of that song and thanks for telling me the name of the group...i was rummaging though my head but could remember neither the song or the group. Well, i hope she doesnt lose her true self...though its easy to.

bablu said...

Geetanjali - You said it right. The song by "Bling Lemon - No Rain" does remind me of this post too.

calvin said...

beautifully written!!!

iamnasra said...

after all these years. Somewhere deep down her wings are still soiled and torn.

Some pain linger forever in our soul
Unerasable in our mind
Has been engraved, in what once was ...
A virgin palm