“Look at the clouds.”
“Yes, there they are.”
“Why can’t you trust me?” The woman asked, anxiously.
“I trust you.”
“You never like anything that I like,” said the woman, bitterly.
The man raised his brows and stood up heavily. Without uttering anything, he strode straight to the window where the woman stood already, holding the dark blue curtain slightly above her right shoulder now, not waiting for him to come. Her smile had gone somewhere.
The man gazed at the sky through the glass. There was no sun today, only thousands of cumulus and stratus, disorderly scattered all across the sky. Even without experiencing the usual morning warmth, he could say where the sun was. His eyes took no time. He could always sense the things and he had taken no pride in it. The result had been rarely good for him. And the woman stood there facing the clouds, perhaps hiding a lot of things beneath the skin of her perfectly lined face. He didn’t want to sense that. The man moved closer to the window glass, not willing to open it today in this adverse weather, and only touched its coldness. Unlike the woman, he hated all this what was out there.
Standing there for a moment, he felt her eyes on the right of his neck. He turned to her. Their eyes met and then she dropped down her head. She looked on the floor thoughtfully, with her hand still squeezing on the curtain. Before the man could say anything about the clouds and the sky and the whole scene out there, the curtain fell down from her hand abruptly and there were no more clouds, only a navy blue silky sheet hanging wide across his face.
The woman stepped backwards and sat on the sofa, burying her head in her arms, only staring at the whiteness of tiled floor. Right in front of her eyes, on the table, was the half-filled coffee mug the man had left. The mug had been warm in his palms and he had liked holding it, but now it was cold there and alone in this weather. He wouldn’t drink that coffee for sure yet he felt bad thinking about it.
The man made up his mind and lifted the curtain, slowly as if it was a heavy thing.
“Yes, they are beautiful,” he said.
“I don’t know,” the woman replied from behind, head down.
Without letting the curtain fall, the man looked back, saw the whole of her at once.
“I thought you liked them.”
“Yes I did but you didn’t.”
“I just said the clouds are beautiful, didn’t you hear that?”
“That’s the matter with you. Always.”
“Don’t talk to me like this.”
“I am talking fine. I am fine.”
The man tried to smile. The woman sat there still, not moving or caring to answer him and then he wasn’t fine.
“That’s the matter with you, always!” He blurted.
“Please,” the woman said, closing her eyes. “Stop it.”
“You started it.”
The man glanced at her feet, her fingers were moving and toes were squeezing one another, frantically.
“What?” he asked.
“Suddenly, they are not beautiful now ?”
She stood up, exhaled heavily and, not trying to look at him, put her hands in the pockets of her overcoat and stood there.
“Okay then,” the man shrugged and turned ahead.
He heard the woman shuffle across the hall to the kitchen and then heard the click of the door. She always does this, he said to himself. He stayed still and hard, only shook his head a little.
Yes, clouds were beautifully moving there but he would have liked the sky more if it was clear and blue and spotless like yesterday morning. In such a weather, you could also open the window glass and feel the warmth of sun right on your face that could melt down your winter- tightened muscles. He liked the sun very much. Everyone should like the sun and no one should have said that the clouds are beautiful in such a damn morning of this cruel month. The clouds have filled the sky needlessly, he thought. Then he looked down on the floor as he heard a strange voice coming over to him. She always does this, he said to himself, disgustingly. He watched the closed door of the kitchen, his hand, frozen still holding the curtain.
“You were right. These are really beautiful clouds. Aren’t they?”
“Shut the fuck up, Rahul, please. I beg you. Please.” She shrieked in a not so womanly voice, that echoed in the kitchen.
He closed his eyes more tightly than ever and shook his head harder. Now, he let the curtain fall. Maybe I should have said the clouds are really beautiful, then even I feel they are not, he thought. He sat down, heavily on the sofa, with his head in his hands.
‘The Curtain and The Clouds’ shows the mental state of the characters in trying to have a good married life. The clouds represent the man and all the hope for good life. The curtain shows the mental state of woman, as like a curtain she had closed herself. They are both opposite in nature – the man wants good weather but the woman wants adverse weather; the man wants a good settled life but woman is looking for adventures.
0 comments on “The Curtain and The Clouds by Divyank Jain”