In the hidden lanes of the city (let’s call it My City), there were many who wished to be revealed to the world. One such wisher was our friend Max. Hard worker and more importantly a believer, Max never gave up on his pursuits. Times were tough but so was his resolute.
So, the time was 20 past 2 in the afternoon and Max who was a flutist, had everyone in awe with his music. The scene is from a café where our friend worked.
Days went by and Sun’s heat grew stronger. Along with the heat, our Max’s popularity too grew. Pieces were starting to fall into the right place.
One day, the doorbell of the cafe chimed and in came a young girl wearing shades. She sat at the corner most table of the café and ordered tea. Sipping while Max played his craft. For some reason, she started frequenting the place. Everyday the same: Walk in, sit at the same table, order the same tea and just listen to Max while keeping her shades on.
Our Max, who was moved by the patronage, decided to compose a song for his new admirer and show is appreciation. He named it, Shaded Eyes for she used to keep her shades on.
It was somewhere in Autumn as leaves had started to bid farewell to their branches. The young girl walked in as usual, Max saw her and stopped playing the song he was performing. Drank a few sips of water and took in a deep breathe. Exhaled and said: Shaded Eyes.
But today it was different. The young girl got up and left without ordering anything.
Heartbroken and confused, Max didn’t know what had went wrong. Perhaps it was his music which she didn’t like, thought Max.
A few days went by, she didn’t visit. The artist lost his touch as if the spirit of music had left his flute.
The one thing which made Max the unique and gifted individual, had now left.
This was too much for our friend to bear as he decided to leave the hidden lanes of My City.
While waiting for his bus, our irresolute Max looked up to the sky and asked, “Where did I go wrong?”
A voice sounded: When you played your Music for someone else.
Surprised, our friend looked at the source of the sound. There she was… The young Girl with her shades.
Max at once rushed towards her and asked: Where were you? I couldn’t play like myself after I saw you leaving abruptly.
Did you know, that song was meant for you?
She said: Yes and that is why I left. When you use your gift for the sole purpose of seeking appreciation or some sort of validation, that gift becomes tainted and thus loses its spirit. Just like your music lost me.
The Young Girl: I was the spirit of your music which couldn’t stay after you sought external validation for the mere purpose of showing appreciation.
Max’s flute never sounded the same.
Last Work: Sedimented (Poem)