Reading Time: 3 minutes
She was a 17-year-old,
she should study, that’s what she was told!
But she had a dream, that percolated through her voice,
she wanted to sing and travel, if it was her choice.


She was Mariam, a scared and confused teen,
on the 7th Nehru Street, at B-405 she could be seen.
She studied medicine, and so did her housemates,
diagonal to B-405 was B-407 with its lonely gates.
B-407 had two floors.
Hardly any human lives there, Mariam used to think,
except for uncle John, the landlord, an indoor person, fair and pink!
But no! ‘The fate of that building has changed’ her housemates announced,
a guy new to the city is housed!


That night, Mariam heard some melody,
it flowed smoothly from the balcony of the erstwhile lonely B-407.
She was glued to it with rapt attention,
her heart knew, it had made a connection.


Every day at 10, Mariam would rush to her balcony,
mellifluous tunes from a stranger’s guitar felt like alchemy,
a sweet nectar to her hungry soul,
as if it was a dream, making her whole.
The dark balcony didn’t reveal the stranger,
but what use was his countenance to her,
when she knew it was his tunes that had done the magic.


Mariam would wait for night to soak the landscape,
with mystery and anonymity that gave escape,
for now she knew it all too well,
how it was the night when she fell
for this handsome bloke, the possessor of the most charming spell!
She would record his tunes secretly,
And would later, sing with it.
They matched like Jam to Bread.
He was the bread, but the egg?
No, there could be no egg, no.
Bread and Jam are made for each other.
No, bread and egg wouldn’t go along well, she thought,
with her incessant inner doubts and demons, she fought.


All this happened in a flash,
Mariam didn’t have the courage, and had with her housemates a clash!
Whether to confess or not?
For them it was easy, for Mariam, it was not.
Only her first time, she couldn’t hasten and risk it.


Meanwhile, Mariam sang, and sang,
She never forgot –
She wanted to sing and travel, but her fears didn’t rest completely allayed.
In the dull light that was in between them at ten,
she realised how beautiful was life then,
she was just another human nearing death, before he arrived,
but once he did, it never felt the same again.


It went on for a month at least,
and Mariam’s feelings had grown from a tender sapling into a formidable tree!
One fine day, she decided, she would confess, all glee,
she went with a letter in hand, and feelings in her heart.
The cheerful gates of B-407 greeted her,
she went in, climbed up the stairs to the first floor.
It was locked.
She enquired uncle John about it,
“He played at the famous Mayor’s club here and has now gone to some other city”
“To play at another famous club”, Mariam finished his sentence.


Mariam’s heart sank, and in a split second exploded,
tears rolled down her cheeks,
Just like that he was gone,
leaving poor Mariam crumbled like a quivering fawn.
Soon enough, she gathered herself, asked uncle John the keys
and carried herself to the balcony.


The balcony brought to her his smell,
she looked from there, to b-405, to the sky and to everywhere,
as far as her eyes could reach.
A strong breeze blew, as if telling her secrets,
Bringing her memories, as if whispering to her,
His lost tunes.
But Mariam wasn’t lost.
She had a dream.
She wanted to sing and travel,
and now that she had experienced him,
she knew she could fulfil them.
she wasn’t scared anymore.


He would always remain her first love.
She hoped to meet him on some crossroad of life again,
Or some other handsome man,
who would, perhaps teach her a little about –
This fascinating, meandering, puzzling thing called ‘life’
and maybe, also, about the thing that drives it – Our dreams!

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