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Valentine’s Day Contest: Judge’s Choice Winner – Sip of Rhododendrons by Anusha Garg!

By Anusha Garg

26 May, 2018

Sip of Rhododendrons


14 February 1999

  I was sitting on my couch uncomfortably comfortable, in midst of all those last night quivering leftovers of wine and the box of puzzled old DVDs. Even those were looking at me and laughing inside with a note "rhododendrons?"   Yes, I spent the whole night in that old stupid colorless CDs, the sparkling hell lot of colors at its bump side for no reason that can engage me or roll my consciousness. They had nothing except drama which hardly happens to 1% of the population and involves 99% of the population. They all want to run from their actual life into the dramatic fantasy may be to align themselves with the shameless idea of glittery buttery havoc. As per se, me. I am a kind gentleman 10% of the population, still was enacted as one of the endangered species. So, I realize this thing, that I am not the 90% but belongs to the other side of the closet.   The subject was CDs, I just lost the track for a while. This happens to me quite often nowadays. The song which engaged me for hours on the loop was, "bat niklegi to fir dur talak jaegi" by Jagjeet Singh. And then I realized, that I am not the only one.  This is the solitary souvenir, that held the broken spirits of this middle-aged man, who is already old in time and lost himself to an old winter. 'old' just like black and white, winter with ruffling willows and bats sleeping upside down on clumsy vintage cloth less tree.   That winter when I was asked "how are you" and believe me these words are not easy to hear with so much precision and clearance underneath. It weighs more than me. I replied with truth "not good,  just like you ". "still that offer is valid " he smiled and replied " offer" I enquired "the one with rhododendron juice " And I was awestruck that this being was the one who made me love me for me. The one who played that JagjeetSinghh track. The anonymity of him had made his voice so deep and grey. And with that one word he mentioned I was new again. He was the one used to send me the CDs of songs to make my life easier. I walked towards him.. And took a note out of my pocket and gave him. The note which was written years ago and stayed in my pocket as it is,  since then. The note with the life of his own, that old tattered piece had lived more than that bat. He opened the note... And started to gape like a kid. He held me, hug me as tight as possible with our obesity in between.   Dear frontbencher,   "just like every Valentine, you had not forgotten to send me the reality with yet another soulful voice. These voices are easier to relate to and are closer than most of my relatives and you my dear lovely anonymity is the reason I live every year with some bottles of red vine and breaths. But, one day with your presence I will dance in the mad aroma with the madman inside me.  The man who is also growing old. Can I hug you! And say thanks"   With lots of cheer to rhododendrons, Your backbencher beloved!   To read more short stories and creative writings, follow our online digital magazine, BananiVista. Do "Like" and "Follow" us on Facebook.