The Source

There… I hear it again.
It’s the umpteenth time that the little sound has distracted me.
Where did it come from? Who set it loose?
I glance around the room to hear charades of laughter.
Animated faces. Some happy, some sad and some just pretending.

As I try to figure the source, I lose the geometry of sound.
There is so much noise. There is so much clutter.
And a tiny sound amongst a million voices.
The needle in a haystack would have been a walk in the park.
And yet, I pick up that little sound again.

I set out towards the sea of people.
The shimmering diamonds and the rustling chiffons.
Sometimes rubbing, sometimes pushing aside shoulders.
I twist and turn to make my way.
Glass in hand, I balance my gaze and my ears.
While my feet guide towards… well, I don’t know what.

Why can’t I be a character out of a spy novel, who are trained at this stuff.
Trained to put the geometry of sound to the trajectory of sight.
And do it while standing in Madison Square Garden for all you know.
Fuck, I should have taken physics seriously. Or whatever science deals with this stuff.
I seem to be firing in the dark. Firing blanks that too.

This time it came from behind me.
No, not exactly, a little to the right maybe.
But I seem to have got the general direction right this time.
I set out like a man possessed.
One gulp and the glass is set aside on the table.


Shit… this is what happens when I drink Pepsi instead of Coke.
I hope my hand covered my mouth in time.
Did someone see me?
Do I really care?
I have a task at hand. And I sniff a kill.

But what is that sound?
Why am I seduced by it?
Why does it seem like music?
Why does it seem like a whiff of fresh air, in a room that is almost an incubator for Eau de Toilette?
Doesn’t seem human. But then what?.
Plastic? Metallic?
And such effect on me?

Is steel hearted same as brave hearted?
Pathar dil ya faulaadi dil?

I arrive at the bar, where according to my calculation the sound came from. And I see the happy part of the crowd.
The ones that started early and will finish late.
So, just about as of now, they would be at the optimum stage of high.
High being the part before you are smashed. And smashed always leads to wasted.
They didn’t emit any sound I would have followed.
But then where did it come from?

I snap around almost too suddenly and throw flash glances across the room.

Laughter. Turquoise dress. Big diamonds. Fake smiles. Lonely faces.
Flirts. Liars. Cheaters. And a few good people.
And not a trace of my sound.

My sound?
Am I already so crazy?
And why the hell am I so desperate?
What the hell is this sweat on my forehead?
I throw a wide angle static glance across the room.
And decide to take one last chance.
Before I hear it again.

This time it was closer.
And right ahead of me.
And not in bits and flashes but now it seems to go on.
It seems to be making music while the room seems to have lost its decibel.
I start walking. Slowly.
Slowly because there is no need to rush.
The eyes have cross synced the geography.
All I need to do is follow.

I see myself walking through the same people again.
They seem less fake now. They seem less lonely.
More happy. More content.
As if my finding the sound has infused everyone with a sense of erotica.
There seems to be love in the air.

And I follow the sound blindly.
I am led outside the hall, as if the sound beckons me and seeks privacy.
From hall to hallway. From hallway to driveway.
I follow the sound with a touched heart.
And a face with a smile that’s running a mile.

And then it all stops.
I look around the sprawling gardens and the moonlight pastures.
And all I hear is the engine of a car starting.
The car leaves the driveway as I make a dash towards it.
And come to a halt from where the car had started.

I see the tail lights. I see the thrown up dust.
I see my gaze fall to the ground in utter disgust.
I see something shining in the moonlight.
I bend over and pick it up.

I give it a little shake.
Yes it is the object that made the sound.
But it doesn’t sound as good.
It doesn’t have the soothing touch of before.
It is the sound I chased, but yet it is not.

I hold it in my hand, the solitary anklet. The payal.
But I still wonder about the source of the sound.


the pooh said...

excellent... I tried to guess ...but u got me there... :)))

Minakshi Singh said...

ahaa... "Hum se toh achchi teri payal gori... jo baar baar tera kadam choome" ;-)

Nice... well written as always...

"Yes It is the sound I chased, but yet it is not." very romantic...

how about writing a part 2 as well?

Anonymous said...

Nice Work! Buddy

shikha said...

very beautiful harjee!!

as they say, more important than the destination is the journey...you may/maynot get/like what you wanted...but the journey helped you grow...made the destination worthwhile...

Very nice imagery!!!

Yashita said...


Tony said...

you, Dev Anand, you.

Anonymous said...

there u said ur story uself harjee ji.....the rest is too complicated....too complicated....do not try to chase illusions...its hurts...it pains...and sunshine hurts too..doesnt it....the spider keeps on spinning its web....its web of deceit , lies lust and then one day gets trapped in it anyway....but this post is beautiful...pata nahi...but the man i talked to is different from the man who writes....who is real...cant conjure the two pic together.....harjee ji and that makes all the difference....

Psyche said...


and oh cheer up I will.

Thanks for checking on me pal... appreciate it :)

Sargi Mann said...

I guess the sound was not divine enough to entangle the attention beyond the fading lights. And not simple enough to not get the curiosity rising.

Deepa said...

Real nice post...the patterns of sound was really amazing.

AakASH!!! said...

I did leave a comment here.

Th equestion is: where is it now?

Tony said...

chup kaise ho gaye?

Minakshi Singh said...

Still waiting... kuch toh likhiye :-)

Anonymous said...

ek pal sab kuch sach hai dosre hi pal jooth...

ravali said...

when the source left, the destination remained. You remained, the only one who reached out for the source. Every being there heard it, the sound that you searched for. But only the destination knows who belongs there. and the source searches on in silence, in its vacant glances out the tinted car window, out into the darkness of the night. The source followed by its destination, little does it know. little will you know.

Meeta said...


wiseling said...

beautifully written..

aakriti said...

ur a bloody romantic through n through. which is not such a bad thing... usually ;)
great piece.

Spazsim Chasm said...

very very nice. i've come here after a while, but it was worth it. You know what i thought it was, Silence... I thought you ran out beyond the fake faces and the glittering diamonds, to silence :)
Very nice.. had me with rapt attention..

faith said...

well written *smiles*

The Grouch said...

ur the only guy in my feed who hasnt updated his blog since three months. come on dude.... how many dead presidents is it going to take u to write again.

Rangbadloo Girgit said...

A face with a smile that running a mile:)

Anonymous said...

kehnde ne mahilwal nu sohni di aashqui maar gayi,
tuhade te taan ghunguruaan di awaaz hi cha gayi!!!
labh ke tan dekhde thoda hor,ki pata "the source" mil hi jada??

Hamster Babe said...

Wow! Who knew!! I didn't even realise it was a payal! Very well written, I really like the build up :)