Written by Aparna Prasanna
You might not remember me but we first met on a Thursday, the clouds above us peppered in gray, and the people beside us indifferent to it. You sat under the shade of a tree, your face glistening in the heat and the tea in your hand, cold. I still can’t recollect if I tripped over a stone or my own feet but the cup in your hands spilled onto the road. Muttering an apology I went my way, indifferent.
I saw you often after that, sitting on the same bench, playing the guitar, a small metal box near your feet, the clink of the coins securing a smile from you. The music attracted the children of the park and soon you were the pied-piper of the vicinity, your guitar their magic wand. There was a certain charm about you that made people stop and stare and I would be lying if I claimed otherwise.
What intrigued me was not limp in you step but the words in your blues, the illusory of it. You sang of man, a monochrome, adding colors to his canvas as he progressed through it, a whole painting at death- green for love, yellow for anger, and brown for laughter. You crooned over pink moons and red oceans as though they were everyday sights.
Having lived a life of black and white, I found myself pondering over the hues that left me confused and I came, to sit beside you, bombard you with my curiosities and listening to me, you laughed- What are the colors you paint your rainbow with, you demanded, the riddle in your voice clear as day. The skies were streaked with droplets, the air around us rich with the smell of rain and I replied- Aren’t all rainbows the same? Splashed across the heavens, permanency embodied.
It began to drizzle and you removed your glasses, the splatters heavy on them. A moment of silence and you replied, a little smile on your face. Colors offer you an escape from darkness, the fear of mundanity, close your eyes and you will stop seeing as others do. Seeing with your eyes closed just might present you with the true image.
I never met you after that day, never allowing myself to come back to that bench. Your unseeing eyes had taught me so much that years of sight never could. The trees were now orange and the leaves a bright gold. You may never read this letter but I need you to know that I am thankful. I was blind to myself and you to the world, thank you for helping me see.
The girl who didn’t know color.