Friday, November 30, 2012

Jewel Box of Sadness

Guest post by AFK, the beautiful, scary-smart rock in my life.

My grandmother’s old house was my childhood haven. It had everything a child with a wild imagination could ask for; a garden with easy to climb trees, French windows that opened onto a backyard which had the same forbidden feel to it like a sultan’s harem, a locked up attic which I was told housed a lost soul (Nani told me that they were people who had died, but did not know it so they just kept on living like nothing happened), a big store room full of old family furniture; but the thing that fascinated me the most was this gorgeous silver antique jewelry box. One of those musical jewel boxes with a ballerina dancing in the centre. There was a wilted tree pattern along the edges and a dark blue emerald stone set on the lid. The key was a rustic silver color with an alloy blade and a tiny scepter for the bow. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever laid eyes on.

The jewelry box with its haunting music and the ballerina with her sad eyes would leave me enthralled for hours. I envied her. I envied her for this beautiful cocoon she lived in. I wanted to be her. I wanted to lie in the soft, blue velvet cushioning inside and have someone shut the lid. But as I grew older, it became an object of revulsion. I felt nothing but pity for the ballerina I had once desired to be. The realization that the box was nothing, but an illusion; she was doomed to exist forever in this prison; albeit an aureate one, but a prison nonetheless. She could never be more than what the maker had intended her to be, she would know no other color except the blue and silver of her world. She would know no other music except what she danced to and what was worse, she would dance forever to someone else’s tune. I wanted to take her, smash her against the ground and end her misery. I think my grandmother saw how agitated it made me; I went to her place one day and she had had it locked away. I haven’t seen it since.

But this afternoon, I dreamed about it. It was around dusk, I was sitting alone in her lounge near the French windows, staring at the ballerina swaying. There was no music, but she was still dancing. And all those feelings I had years ago, the pity, the rage, the need to free her from her mindless existence, came crashing back.

I sighed. “I feel sorry for you.”

And then, it happened. She finally stopped spinning and stared back at me. The look in her eyes sent a cold chill down my spine and made me feel sick. She was staring back at me with the same sympathetic look I used to give her.

“We are all dancing to someone else’s tune”

I picked her up and threw her on the floor, the fragments of glass a reflection of my own shattered reality. 

AFK's own blog:


Furree Katt said...

This was written beautifully, I loved how everything was described. Best part: There was a lesson in it.

Thanks for teaching me a new word (aureate!)

Kashaf A. said...

This is beautiful.

Maryam A. said...

What Furree said.

A. said...

Thanks guys :)