The maestro was coming to town.
The whole town was agog with the excitement
of his coming.
He was supposed to play his sitar
for an exclusive audience.
A strategically placed sound-box
would quench the thirst of the townspeople.
The host was kind.
Night had settled in on the small town.
A small crowd of music lovers braved the winter chill
and waited with eager patience
outside the gates of the palatial residence
of the host.
Amongst them waited a small boy of fourteen.
The maestro started playing
and the eternal magic flowed all over them.
The feet of the enthralled boy carried him inside
past the unmindful guards.
He hid behind a pillar to listen and see.
The maestro played
and world was drenched
as music splashed all over them.
It felt as if the ethereal tune, in a torrent of joy
was cascading down the hillside
like a frenzied cataract.
He played and it seemed as if
thousands of yellow butterflies fluttered
to rise in unison over green meadows.
He played and in the azure sky
a pair of golden eagles wove amorous patterns of glory.
He played and fire-flies flitted about as in fairyland.
He played and dancing peacocks
put a rainbow to shame.
The sitar dictated even the uninitiated minds.
“Feel the joy,” it said,
and a deluge of ecstasy washed over all.
Then it sang, “Be sad.”
An overwhelming sadness drowned all.
The sitar spoke of amity, friendship,
and all tension was swept away.
Such an extravaganza,
the audience had never encountered before.
Then everything blurred for the boy.
A rough pair of hands
grabbed him by the scruff of his neck,
and threw him out on the road as a trespasser.
He lay there, prostrate, helpless, weeping.
The onlookers smirked.
The boy wept,
not for the pain. Not even for the bleeding knee.
He wept at his own humiliation and degradation,
never having experienced such outrage before.
A pall of sheer pain, born in music, from the sitar
floated over him, covering his shame,
as the street lamps became hazy
from the mist rolling in.
The maestro played about lost love.