The Happy Shadow

The Happy Shadow

I opened my eyes with a jerk and looked at the totally unfamiliar surroundings. KYANNNW! a short horn made me blink and swallow, I was seated on a bench in an empty railway platform at the dead of the night. 

I got up, stretching my sore neck and walked to the nearest display board – there was still time for my train. 

“Pa Ma Ga Re, Sa Ni Dha Pa” I turned my head towards the melodious, but muffled key sounds escaping from a rickety harmonium. I was always fascinated with the keys on any instrument. Black and white like yin and yang, they produced music when in harmony. I loved the way they came alive under my fingers, the joy of creating music was unparalleled. It was my moksha, from a disciplined lifestyle.

“What is that you are playing? Stick to the notes I gave; you think you are the goddess?” I rubbed my hand over the sweet spot on my head, a reminiscent of the whacks I have received. 

“The concert yesterday was a huge success. He will very soon be a big name just like me!” I had laughed inwardly, wondering if anyone ever noticed me, playing the Tanpura behind. The early morning moonlight streamed all around, painting everything in a dull hue. Even the shadows were gloomy and faint, like an afterthought.

“Music is a blessing handed over to us from the heaven. The sapta swaras are sacrosanct, how can we mere mortals turn into creators? This is how it has been; this is how it will be!” I had felt a giant, dark shadow threatening to engulf me completely.

“Step out of the shadows into the light, seek what you wish for,” my heart thudded loudly and my body shivered as I reminisced that first step I had taken on my own.

The morning sun rose with his might, and I inhaled the crisp scent of freedom. CHUGG…CHUGG… The augment of the train synced with my heartbeats and I wiped my hands to grab the chance to a new course, a new destination. 

I stood at the door of the compartment, letting the wind tease my hair, soaking in the warmth of the sun, racing away far ahead. THADAK… THADAK… the wheels of the train drummed on the steel rails and a new tune shaped inside me.

A faint shadow caught my attention. I waved at it, he waved back, its fingers were the same shape and size as mine. I laughed at the shadow; it threw his head back in tandem. It was new -short, sharp and dark, imperfect, amateur, charting his own path. Shadows don’t emote, but I knew it was happy. Finally, I found my own silhouette! 
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