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The Bleak Hour

Sadness is an eternal tale enacted in episodes, projected through situations — protean, ubiquitous.

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The Bleak Hour

Like light, sadness is rampant; like darkness, it obliterates hope and vision; like the original sin it is ingrained in the destiny of all and sundry.

Sadness is an eternal tale enacted in episodes, projected through situations — protean, ubiquitous.

It is silent and corrosive; it is loud and abusive.

It pries unobtrusively as beauty scans the mirror to catch glimpses of the past in dyed strands of hair and foolishly daubed cheeks.

When airy dreams depart, it steps over the threshold to confront mocking reality, which flaunts its cache of unfulfilled aspirations and fractured hopes.

Unable to provide a morsel, it gazes helplessly into the gaping maws of hungry fledglings; it sobs quietly when poverty sends her children hungry to bed.

It is tragic when an egoist stumbles and confronts his own mediocrity and, shorn of all delusions, is visibly truncated.

Sorrow is embedded in the history of mighty edifices, mortared with toil and sweat, collapsing under the onslaught of nature’s fury. It underpins the tragedy of falling prey to perfidy and deceit rather than to a warrior’s sword or a martyr’s commitment.

Sorrow broods over the possible and probable, on what could have been, but wasn’t.

The futility of life with its quota of cares, chores and responsibilities oozes a miasma of depression, which darkens the mental landscape within which sadness dwells.

It dwells in the whimper of a child unable to understand why the mother won’t make the pain go away. It is redolent in the mother’s helplessness, while nursing the grievously sick child.

It caresses the cringing edges of flaccid decaying leaves.

It rides up with prayers that ricochet, linger in hope and die in despair.

It looks beyond the fragility of dawn, which never lasts and is shred by sharp shards of brassy daylight.

Sadness lies in sleepless nights and toilsome days destined to end in the whimper and whine of failure.

It tells of impulsive youth, which violates itself and perishes at its own hands that could have built anew, retrieved a saving grace from the debris of disappointment.

Sadness nestles in melodious songs with tragic themes. It smiles at success that comes too late.

It can be frivolous, like the spurned lover tucking in a hearty meal and sighing all the while; at times it is dark like the black hole with its swirling vortex of bitterness drawing every vestige of negativity into itself; but it also has the fierceness of the reckless warrior who can take on the world.

Personal sorrow is cruel with a sharp cutting edge; when experienced vicariously it has already been honed down to a smoothness, which slithers in and out of the crevices of life.

But nothing in life is static — beginning travels to the end and gets re-positioned at the starting-point. Sadness is born, changes, intensifies or diminishes, dies and is born again in different situations, experiences and ambience.

But it is there for everyone.

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Life | Commentary | Bigger India | May2015

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