Eloquently Yours

She looked at the jungle of words on the screen in front of her. She had been furiously nudging the keyboard for the past half hour, putting together word after word, pouring all that was ravaging her heart on to the email textbox. Now that she had exhausted the downpour, she scrolled up, surprising herself to find such a lengthy and verbose mail.

He is never going to read this. Never mind. She hovered the mouse over the ‘Discard Drafts’ button, before settling on Save and leaving it in the middle of scores of similar drafts languishing in her mailbox. All words and emotions she had wanted to express, but never could. The recipient of these mails was a considerate person, she knew, but for some reason, she felt reluctant to share her thoughts with him. A deep sigh escaped her, and she shook her head. No use thinking of all this. She got up and walked towards the kitchen.

As the tea leaves boiled in water, she couldn’t help going back to her thoughts.

****************************************************

Ma’m, its called Fumigation,” the girl in pigtails shot her hand up in the air. The rest of the class turned to look at her in surprise. 

“How did you know, di? Ma’m just taught this!” exclaimed Anju, her BFF.

“I read through it yesterday,” she said, a smug smile on her face.

“You read the science book for fun? I mean, who does that!” Anju could not believe her friend’s enthusiasm. 

“That’s very good, Anu!” The teacher nodded in appreciation. Anu was happily drinking the praise when a voice at the door interrupted the class. “Ma’m, Principal Ma’m has asked Anu to meet her.”

Generally a student would have shivered and quivered at the prospect of meeting the Princi, but not Anu. She knew Princi had a task for her, the leader of the entire senior secondary section in school. The science teacher was not surprised either. This was but a common occurrence, Anu being called out of class for one reason or the other. Sometimes it was a new cultural programme, sometimes it was a speech competition. This girl was into everything – dance, music, sports, oration, and writing. The teacher found it irksome at times, but there was no reason to complain. Anu was among the top tank holders in the class, consistently.

****************************************************

Anu felt like screaming with her full throat, but nowadays, no sound came out of her vocal chords. Her vocabulary had been reduced to items of food, domestic concerns and childcare. She wanted to go out and talk to someone, but was afraid that she would be laughed at. When did I start becoming like this? Anu sat on the sofa and turned her thoughts backwards again.

hermoine granger

It must have started in college. She remembered, at first she had been as Hermoine-ish as in school, jumping at every question thrown at the students and always coming up with the right answer, much to the annoyance of her classmates who thought being studious was uncool. But she had wanted to be cool too, especially since the hot back bencher dude, who stole her sleep away was the coolest person in the class. She noticed him smirk whenever she answered a question, or solved a problem. So she started keeping mum in the class. She couldn’t lower her grades even if she wanted to – that was just not in her blood. She dropped out of competitions, or did not bother to perform well in those she took part.

No matter how foolish, first love always leaves an indelible mark, even if it was not really love. There she was, dreaming of securing lucrative jobs along with the love of her life, and then convincing both their families about their true love and getting married happily. And there he was, flirting with another girl behind her back, and ditching her unceremoniously one fine day, just before the exams in the final semester. If she was shattered, she managed to hide it well. She went about her studies as usual. Concentrated on her final semester project, laughed out loud with her friends. But never again was she able to voluntarily speak in a group. Never again could she assert her logic with as much force as four years before. Never again.

****************************************************

Raghavan was typing some complex commands on the terminal of Anu’s laptop. She had complained about the system becoming very slow. Anu was busy making tea for Raghavan, when he noticed that her mailbox had not been logged out. Not one to read other’s stuff, even it was his own wife, Raghavan ventured to close the tab, when his eyes fell on the drafts section. 164 drafts? What the…? What was she writing in so many mails and not sending it to anyone?

****************************************************

Anu gulps as she looks around the room filled with people. She had never thought there would be so many people. Her palms start to sweat and she edges closer to Raghavan. He takes her hands into his, brings out his kerchief and wipes her hand. Squeezing her palm, Raghavan whispers into her ears, “You can do it Anu. I know you can.” She smiles at him, grateful for his presence. As the chief guest arrives, the MC signals to her to take the dais. “Now go rock the show dear,” Raghavan says. Anu walks up the stage, glancing up at the huge backdrop proclaiming – The Launch of Right Out of a Woman’s Heart by Anu Raghavan. Her eyes fall on the pile of books with her name on it arranged as the centrepiece on the stage. Her draft box is empty now. The pig-tailed girl from school has arrived in life. A smile lighting up her face, she turns to face the audience and give her speech.

This post was written for Project 365: We Post Daily. Today’s prompt was – Are you comfortable in front of people, or does the idea of public speaking make you want to hide in the bathroom? Why?

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9 comments on “Eloquently Yours

  1. Pingback: Eloquently Yours – Guest Post: Yamini Vijendran | Project 365 : A post a day

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