Rosmin Elsa Mohan (21st December / New Delhi)
I saw them fly high. Red, green, turquoise and in a rarest blend of living colours.
As a kid they were my best companions. I used to talk to them. They did answer too. Wordless conversations that grew stronger with the breeze. The elongated oval shaped ones weren't my favourites. There were times when I'd hurt them much, even killed those spasms of air in a needle prick. The long wiry ones were my defenders. The valiant swords in the petite hands of an eight year old. I used to fight all the dark forces knarled with ever increasing curiosity. The attic of a paternal ancestral home that gave enough room to drift in a world of my own. I remember their slimy warmth that I used to hug at nights; the hugs as grew tighter they would scoot out in screams that I hardly ever noticed amidst naïve dreams.
Today they were full of life, depicting moments which grew weaker with time and within me. Pointing fingers to the ever growing classes of colours. The convocation ceremony was nearing its dusk. Five years cocooned in a nutshell. The growing numbness of the heart seemed to be the notch of the day. Accelerated streaks filled the skies in form of hydrocarbons and toxins. Befriending the tipsy crackers were the shaped colours that flew high. Inert gases filled their empty stomachs. I wished it was nitrogen; at least it would have given them a moment to chill!
The heights they could surpass weren't trivial to trail. I continued to look as much as my eyes strained. I saw one free itself from the constraints of its string. The mob hurled and whistled. One that would have stayed unnoticed save for its chaotic behavior. The deceased had become the don.
It occurred to me that perhaps it was the air within that described them wholly. Without it they were lifeless too. In a moment to fly high, in a moment to slow down and finally perish. Some were killed too like with a sharp edge. But still the basic urge was to float with minimal worries for the most cherished period of their lifetime.
I looked around. A friend was holding a heart shaped one. The manufacturers who did mould these shapes were artists. Perfect shapes enhanced with sharp curves. It occurred to me that perhaps the colours were not so naïve as they did seem. To chose our own colours on this planet. Some were bright, others dull. Some stumbled while the rest attained heights. There were yet the very few, who broke their strings only to stay aghast from their constrained lines.
To be free.
For a moment I wished I had wings. To fly back in time, to the space where I always wanted to belong. I knew I had missed the bus. In lure of what science had to offer. I paused. To think of it, I still am what I was. Science had advanced much over the last five years though. To me, it seemed like seconds.
I looked at the sky. The distance between us increasingly shrunk, I felt as though I was flying. The flying colours seemed much crisp; the fields greener beneath.
I knew I had much to stride. The sky wasn't the limit. In the skin where I wanted to be. Free; void of strings. I wanted to dream and scream. I wished for wordless conversations again.
The colours seemed to gallop away as graduation caps flew high.
Beside the clouds, a solitary string swayed gently.
Comments about this poem (Balloons... by Rosmin Elsa Mohan )
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