Music to my ears

Her pink shirt, white skirt and the two tiny little braids made her look as a life-like fuchsia. Shreyas smiled, thinking to himself, how beautiful the world was now. Earlier it was just him and the music. Now, the music was for real, it could be felt in and around him. The way she laughed, moved, sneezed, giggled and even sobbed, it was melodious. The little fuchsia could sing. He need not be worried about anything anymore.

Shreyas was 35, Madhu was 40, five years older to him. Everybody was apprehensive about the successful running of their relationship. But, they had music to keep them together. They had watched August Rush together and had dreamt of having a child who would be that passionate about music. They never believed it when Raaga entered their world and realised their dream. How could they get so lucky?

She was just five but, she knew keyboard notes by heart. She was three, when for the first time she had touched the keyboard and their little house, in the suburbs of Delhi ,was resonated by a music they never heard before. Their neighbours were always humming tunes created by the magical music prodigy of theirs.

On her first day to school she made innumerable friends. Everybody used to love the hazel eyed princess. Her angelic face and warm demeanour made her everybody's favourite. They made a beautiful family. Madhu used to teach her to sing, while he groomed her to be what she wanted to be. He never taught her a instrument, like he did to others. She had her own way to look at things, look at music. She created music as if she could see it.

Whenever she was left alone in the attic room of hers, the home was no longer a home, it felt like a dream. Shreyas and Madhu were living in a dream. But, one day the dream started to vanish. Raaga lost the colour of her cheeks, fatigue took over her and things were never the same after that. Earlier they thought of them as growing child transitions.

When things did not change life came to a stand still. Everybody was worried about her, they came up with various ways to cure the princess. The music lost could never be redeemed. Doctors could not diagnose the causes for the present condition of the kid.

Shreyas and Madhu knew their dream was about to end. They knew they will never be able to collect the shards of the broken dream. They were losing her everyday. The reports confirmed their fears. She was suffering from Acute Leukemia and her days were counted. Shreyas could no longer hear music around him. Madhu's vocals lost her soul. They thought of giving all their time to Raaga. They wanted to spend the last few days of soothing music with her.

It was 12 June when she asked for her keyboard and a pen and a paper. She demanded to be taken to the attic and to be left alone for a while. They debated on the issue but with Raaga nobody else had a say. She had the final word in all the fights, always, including this one. They knew it was the last time they will hear the magic. Still, they did not want to hear it anymore.

She never came back after that. But left a little gift of her music for everyone. That day in attic, she wrote the last note of hers. She created music and enchanted the room with her warmth. A little blue notebook, a wind chime comprising her clips, marbles and glasses and the keyboard.

Shreyas and Madhu left playing or listening to music after Raaga was gone. She left her melody packed in the wind chime which made the most spectacular music when a gush of air brushed it. The notes she left were essentially never played by Shreyas. They decided never to open it. Ragas' s world was of her own. They spent most of their time in her room. But never dared to open what she left for them.

Madhu was not doing too well after Raaga's loss. Shreyas was worried as she did not even care to see a doctor. She smiled for him, and was perhaps living for him. One day when Shreyas returned from the grocery store, he found Madhu unconscious on the floor. He was devastated, not ready, never ready for what he saw. He called for an ambulance and just kept praying to the god. Raaga was gone, now Madhu, no not possible. The negative thoughts haunted him.

In the hospital Madhu opened her eyes after an hour and handed him something. He did not realise all this while, that she had something folded in her fist. He opened the page and a tear or two trickled down his face. It was Raaga's handwriting. She had finally read it. He scaled a glance towards Madhu when the Doctor entered and said, "So, you are the lucky father. Take care of these two. " Shreyas cried his heart out and read what she had left for them.

"I may not stay
but, the music lasts
in the wind
in the meadow
in flashing past

I may not stay
But the magic spins
in the wind
in the meadow
in the soul within

I may not stay
But you will find me
in the wind
in the meadow
in the music you see ..."

It was June the 12th next year when they were blessed by a little baby girl. Music came back to their ears, the moment they had the courage to see it...

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