The Grand Piano

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The city is busy
Caught up in its own mayhem
Traffic lights, stampedes and horns
So much to achieve
So much to condemn

Yet she remains unshaken
Alone; amidst a crowd
Peering through the window
of a music shop
she’s just found

Time passes, seconds die
Yet quiet and still she remains
Her blank, vacant face
No expression
seems to contain

Her eyes remain transfixed
A spell is being cast
That huge Grand Piano
has caught her attention at last

Her surroundings fade away
The noise dies out
It’s just her and it now
In the centre
of an enchanted crowd

Clad in a white flowy gown
She takes her seat
A hundred eyes follow her
In anticipation
of the opening beat

Her fingers linger
over the white and black keys
Anxiety overwhelms her
There are so many ears
for her music to please

She plays the first note
and takes a deep breath
The second and third follow
and before you know
she has completed the octet

She’s lost in the flow now
Nothing can bring her out
The melody of her instrument
is echoing her soul
that is singing aloud

Every note, every rhythm
Sends chills down their spines
So enticing is her magic
Simple and pure
Yet one of its kind

She’s never been happier
than at that moment right then
Baring the raw passion
of her craft
seems like being born again

The song soon ends
The trance has been broken for a while
The audience is at their feet
A thunderous applause
for an artist so versatile

Tears drop down her cheek
The emotion in the air is high
She stands up and and bows
and thanks the Lord above
for perfecting this beautiful nigh’

Thud! and she’s out
Reality has grabbed her back
Enough of these daydreams
Enough of these wishes
Enough of trying to get out of track

But musicians never seek reason
for anything that they do
They’re wanderers
looking for a love
that’s eternal and true

One final glance at the piano
and she sets off, oblivious to mankind
Walking home and humming
the little song
that’s still playing on her mind

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Many years have passed
Five or six I assume
Some heartbreaks, several failures
and many more milestones later
The Girl is now in bloom

Hardships she has faced
Lessons she has learnt
Tears wasted
Blood shed
Oh! How much wiser she has turned

But through every tiny experience
Through every stone that’s thrown
She holds on to her dream
The dream upon which
she has hopelessly grown

It is the same old one
Repeating itself time and again
The piano, the gown, the applause
Oh! to realize that vision
is worth every pain

And that’s why every day
since the time she’s known how
she’s saved every penny
every dime
to one day attain her true love

Every coin in that box
came at a small emotional price
But as the money accumulated
week after week
The deed seemed less of a sacrifice

And now today she comes home
Her first salary in hand
It’s not much
just enough
to possibly buy a keyboard stand

She looks through the drawer
and takes out a sealed box
that’s never been opened
old and rusty
Never ever been unlocked

‘It’s time’, she says
to see the fruits of her efforts at last
The years have dragged on
The extent of her patience
has long been surpassed

But she hesitates
Afraid she will watch her hopes crash
If what she finds
does not suffice
she’ll be left abashed

But she opens it anyway
and views its contents
with half open eyes
preparing for dejection
after a long haul of suspense

She counts them slowly
One note at a time
Forcing her heart
to not expect too much
as though hoping is a ghastly crime

But as the value of her loot
increases by the second
Her eyes widen
Pulse quickens
And her self imposed rules are bent

For what she’s collected before her
is a small treasure on its own
Exceeding even
her wildest dreams
The result of the sacrifices alone

She kneels down slowly
and tries to regain composure
It feels like the floor’s
been dragged from under her feet
Leaving her fazed, unsure

Covering her face with her hands
She rests them between her knees
Her dream is coming true
The finishing line is here
And she begins to cry in peace

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

“Dear friend” she read
The letter firmly in her hand
“It’s been a while since we met
Two years exactly, I understand
But every day spent without you
It’s a day spent without laughter
Every memory created without you
has no happily ever after
Friends come and go, they say
But, you are a rare exception
Perfect you are in every way
And this is not just my perception

I don’t know how you’ve been lately
Do you miss me the way I do?
We may have our own lives now
But mine seems empty without you
I miss the days of our youth
Our carefree days together
Nothing feels the same anymore
Things never did get any better
Whenever we’re too busy for each other
It aches to accept we are drifting apart
But the smallest gesture from your side
Assures me I’m always in your heart

We are separated now by mere distance
Our minds are intertwined as always
But in case you wish to overcome that too
then fate will truly work its ways

It’s my birthday as you know in 2 weeks time
But this day has lost all its charm for me
Another year of blowing candle alone
just brings me unending misery

Besides its only in your presence
that I find a reason to celebrate
It might be eons before I see you next
but your smile is worth the wait

Sometimes I don’t just wish upon stars
I plead to entire constellations
that the day of our meeting arrives soon
For that will truly be a day of jubilation

But until then I earnestly hope
You remain in good health always
I will keep in my prayers
Forever, till the end of my days”

As she finished reading the letter
The Girl knew not what to say
A strong gush of nostalgia hit her
and she began to reminisce about the good old days

There was a heavy feeling in her chest
Her movements seemed not light anymore
It’s like someone was picking on a scab
and revealing a scar formed long before

Oh! How her mind yearned to embrace
her dear old friend once again
Tell her new dreams, passions and aspirations
Share in all her joy and pain

But somehow nothing made sense to her
Life has suddenly become a haze
Was this normal? A passing feeling?
Or was this a permanent phase?

Everything seemed so trivial now
that she could no longer see her friend
She hugged the letter close to her heart
and hoped she wasn’t witnessing
their friendship’s gradual end
_______________________________________________________________________________________

Words, they say, can convey emotion
But an embrace can bring out the unspoken truth
Hugging her best friend right then
felt like sipping nectar
from the Fountain of Youth

Everything began to feel like
a magical surreal fairytale
Nothing had rhyme or reason
But the moment was perfect
until the finest detail

Had she been told a week ago
that this reunion would happen today
She wouldn’t have believed
Not one tiny bit
and would have laughed them off saying ‘No way”

But she couldn’t have been happier
that the impossible paved its way to reality
The price she paid
to give life to that moment
would have driven any other to insanity

Strangely, she felt no regret
as she spent all her piano savings in one go
to buy her ticket
and traverse the gap
separating their opposite shores

The piano had always been her dream
but even that could not surpass
the warmth, the love, the tenderness of a friend
After so long
of staying so far

“You don’t think it’s over, do you?”
the friend interrupted her thoughts
“You surprised me
by coming here
So I have something for you, in store”

Before she was given time to comprehend
what had been told to her
she was dragged away
by the hand
and led to a room with a shut door

“What’s inside?” she asked
But all she got in reply was a smile
Curiosity filled her being
As the door slowly opened
she was left in the lurch for a while

But when the interiors came in full view
she gasped loudly in shock
for what stood there
in all it’s glory
took her completely aback

The friend watched her expression
as she watched the Grand Piano
Radiating in its monochrome beauty
A spotlight hovering over
the star of it’s own one man show

She felt her eyes turn moist
“What is this?” she wanted to know
“For you.” she answered
with equally damp eyes
I had started saving years ago

There was only silence after that
No word seemed right
So they just walked hand in hand
towards the instrument
that summoned it with gracious might

As they approached nearer
her apprehension slowly grew
Was this real?
Or a figment of her imagination
The whole world seemed strange and new

Once she finally caught hold
of the reality unfolding around her
she sat down
and began
to play; trying not to falter

As her melody caught pace
The music and her felt at one
Her consciousness disappeared
Hers doubts died
Half the battle had been won

She lost herself completely
She has escaped to another world
Weaving magic
with every touch
Life no longer felt absurd

Her friend watched her as she played
Enamored by her skill
Accompanying her
as they sailed together
on a voyage of musical thrill

She had always been an angel
but today she found her wings
Flying high
above the clouds
As the bells of heaven, above them, ring

Beautiful is an understatement
Her music surpassed the limits of that word
It was more than alluring
Mystical, maybe
Soothing all those, who, it heard

As they sat in each others midst
Listening to the Grand Piano
they cared not for the song being played
for deep down they both know

That friendship is the only instrument they need
She is the melody to her harmony
The song they create will resonate forever
To infinity and beyond
Till the end of eternity

Dedicated to the most talented keyboard player I know and my best friend, Anshu Saran

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2 responses to “The Grand Piano

  1. hey Dalia…Sabah here….Sabah Batul from nexus 😛
    I don’t know how,but I found your bog.And reading that poem,which I had read before through Facebook,I realized this is you….:)
    well anyway these are my sites…check them out.and tell me what you think of them..
    sabahbatul.wordpress.com
    sabahbatul786.wordpress.com
    Happy Blogging:)

    Like

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