The Music, The Crescendo, The Enigma
‘What is it exactly? What is happening to her? It’s getting on my nerves,’ she said over the phone. ‘I am not sure either. It seems she gets a high occasionally. The music overwhelms her,’ the voice from the other end said.
‘No, not drugs. She came clean during the test.’
‘Then what is it. She gets so excited one moment and the very next moment breaks down crying or just keeps looking at the sky lying on the dance floor with her earphones on. She doesn’t even respond to anyone- it’s as if she cannot hear us at all at that very moment. Then again later, she doesn’t remember anything of this behavior. I’m worried, doc.’
‘I understand. But she was healthy a month ago. How’s her dancing going on?’
‘Good. Rather great actually. I wonder where from she suddenly gets so much energy to dance till the crescendo. Earlier, just after one, she used to feel so drained that she couldn’t even continue. But now, she does whirl to the crescendo thrice without a break. Amazing development, I’d say. But it’s rather uncanny to see her cry the whole while after that. Do something, doc. I don’t wanna lose my best dancer and best friend.’
One month back….
She stood on the galaxy stage with her heart beating wild and palms beginning to sweat. Two more minutes, and then she would face the audience. The color red suited her fair complexion well. And the half veil gave her an aura of mystery. She just wished and hoped she could dance till the end, else all that practice would mean nothing.
So many faces! The gallery was vast!
And the music began. The enigma!
She moved from one end of the stage to the other, then back to the center, swaying to the rhythm, sometimes elegant like the swan, mesmerizing like the peacock, and sometimes slithering fast like the snake. The rhythm gradually changed to the high notes and she increased her pace of swirls, facial expressions, and movements to match up to it. It was tiring. It would take more seven minutes to reach the crescendo.
She was afraid. She was too tired to dance the climax. She feared she would faint. The crescendo was about to start.
A ten-second sudden pause in the music. The audience, the orchestra, and the stage were silent. The lights went off. She tried to gain some semblance of balance. No, it was difficult. She felt drained. She couldn’t, she realized.
Just then a hand slid on her left palm, another slid around her waist, and someone’s warm breath touched her neck. She stiffened and tried to move away. ‘Shh…,’ she heard him say. ’Don’t,’ it was a gentle command.
And then it began.
Loud and overwhelming, the Crescendo!
The music enraptured her senses. She was losing herself. The mysterious man led her on the stage- fast like a pro. They whirled together for a whole three minutes- him guiding her, yet she didn’t get a single chance to see his face. Who was he? He was dressed in black and gold. The color complemented her so well. Her hands felt his hair- smooth, longer than normal and golden brown; face- a hint of a beard, no, rather an overgrown stubble. Then she realized- he didn’t let her see his face. He made her swirl around him, taking care not to reveal himself.
And the note ended. The applauses were louder than before, louder than any she had ever heard. She bowed. The man was nowhere on stage. Vanished in thin air!
Later in the changing room, she heard her dance mates praising her. ‘But who was he? I had never practiced with him. And the steps and the entire climax were improvised. How was I not aware of it?’ she asked.
‘Who are you talking about?’ was the reply she got.