It was afternoon when I walked in. She was there sitting with her legs splayed, a violin resting delicately over her shoulder gracelessly obscuring her lithe body behind wood and string. I has always seen her hair as a wet collection ending in little droplets that ran down to her skirt at the temple, today however they were dry, and beautiful though a tad colourless. Lengthy strands moved lightly near her face, and one troublesome bunch strayed across her eye, she brushed it casually eyes sparkling with the promise of music to come.
“I’m really rusty you know. Not proficient or anything, I just dug this out today”
And then with the incongruence that betrayed her shyness she blurted out
She slowly began, her arm moving in a rhythm, gently poking me every time she moved up an octave. I was captivated. By the music as well.
Absorption into music comes suddenly. One moment you are there listening to ordinary sounds, the telephone, people moving about, the trees rustling and the next second you are spellbound, stuck within a world without any escape. What happens in those few seconds of rapture I know not but the realization of having been lost in music always comes about as wondrous and novel. She moved through familiar notes quickly and I was humming at the crescendo I squeaked. She opened her eyes her large black orbs moving about a little shocked a first, with the intrusion of this alien note in her world of rich sounds, then a little apologetic.
“I’ll shift lower, how do you want it?…no no sing. I’ll continue”
And I slowly found strength to go over those notes with her. Shyly at first barely audible, then moving about cautiously as if testing the raga for endurance before breaking out, into full throated exuberance. Faster and faster she moved her arm, keeping up with my new found tempo across Shankarabharanam and Mohanam. Unawares except for constant poking of my chest by her elbow, dimly aware of her presence and completely ensconced within the confines of a few notes. Her string snapped with a sudden twang at Hamsadhwani when our eyes met. I was in a cold sweat.