The Sound of Silence
– A shortttt story by Abhilash Vinayak
Newman’s piano was playing in the lift. Every note was followed by an anxious silence. He stared down through the misty glass wall – at the cars parked below, trying not to think. Even as the lift opened to the fifth floor & he walked past the corridor, the music refused to leave his head. He rang the door bell, twice – knowing very well that there’s no one home. Yet, in an act of denial, he rang again before fetching for the keys in his jacket.
He was blown out of the water when Bano opened the door.
Iqbal Bano, young & graceful.
He looked around & then looked at her. She left the door wide open – for him to step in. He did. Cautious and careful.
”Hum Dekhenge…” there was a wide smile on her face as she graced his cheeks. “Lazim hai ke hum bhi dekhenge…” He walked past her, silent and amazed.
She was not alone in there. There were people in the house, all known to him. He walked through the crowd. Faiz, leaning on the parapet in the balcony & smoking his pipe howled at Mr. Morrison, reclined on a wooden chair – ”Abstract bull shit. That’s what The End is. Abstract Bullshit”.
Jim had his finger raised in irreverence. Gods must be crazy. He threw the bag on the chair and bent his neck backwards. ”Let me not be carried away”.
The old clock was ticking ahead as usual. This must be real. He acknowledged. Disquiet.
Mr. Barret & Mr. Waters were curled up on the floor, in the darkest corner of the living room. Barret was staring intensely at him. Waters’ humming softly.
“It was just before dawn, one miserable morning in black forty four…”
He refused to react and moved into the bedroom. Grace Slick in her green scouts jacket was seated on the floor, hands wrapped around her knees and heeding keenly to Begum Akthar
“woh jo hum mein tum mein qarar tha..”
He noticed the silver line on her forehead stretching till her ears. She signaled at him to sit beside her. He refused to respond & chose to leave the two alone. Trepidly he entered the study & threw himself on the chair. ”Let me not be carried away. Let me not be”.
Preisner walked in, put on the record and swung in animation as Veronica silently wailed about her double life.
“I am not afraid. Not one bit. If this is schizophrenia, then schizophrenia is good.”