The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Edited by: Lavanya Goswami
Gather around for this collection of words – much is said and much is not. There is beauty and there is the rain. There is youth and there is experience. Hunger resides in the body and the mind.
There are royals and there are hags. There is an Ursula, an Ariel, and a host of other Disney characters – only the ones of the sea are mentioned because water plays a very important role in this tale. I call it a fairy tale because it is a recollection of happenings that happen, dancers that dance, and consumers that consume. There is even an all-seeing who is very bad at their job.
No one has a fairy godparent to whip up a new outfit for them. That doesn’t stop them from pulling out all stops. Everyone dresses up. What is a tale without a costume?
They rush to their rooms for a shower, dry their hair with borrowed hair dryers, and call in back-up for making fashion decisions. Councils are held amidst fabric explosions in each room – black, white, pearl, neon, etc lay wantonly on the beds. People huddle around each other as some hold a wand of mascara, a glitter eye pencil, and a lip stain made from the crushed shells of forest beetles. Calls are made to determine the theme – to be part of a group is a basic need.
Stories are made-up and faces marked-up. They remain unaware of the tale’s twist.
The theme is disco, the venue: a grass field. The stage has been set, amidst strings of golden light. The silver is confined to one frail backdrop, fluttering weakly in the wind. A photo booth of diligent memory-preservers is beside a stall of Siyahi skin decorators. A certain corner smells of fried food, another of bad decisions.
Light skitters across luminescent skin, every person hand-in-hand with another or part of a smiling swarm. There is something ethereal in the air – perhaps the anticipation. Or the wide grins. Mixed-up perfumes, crushed grass, and a sharp, cutting scent accompany the crowd.
The people form a bioluminescent sea, calm before the storm arrives.
There is music to get the blood running, and the drinks flowing.
They surround the performing bands. Muses are found and lost. Sure fingers string together lingering tunes. The band members crush the audience’s hearts. Their voices are hoarse under the harsh lights and the awed gazes. The tale’s characters, for once, live through another tale – a fantasy of falling in love with a rocker.
They are yet to dance.
Every person meets another. Familiar faces become unfamiliar, and unfamiliar become familiar. This is how it happens – a tale brings people together. What they do after that, is their responsibility. An exchange occurs, of giddy joy and exciting danger. To be alive is to stumble and fall. This is a tale of surrendering to a spirit once lost because of isolation.
The all-seeing have a problem with this, but this is not their tale.
They start up the DJ and life swells. Moving bodies and flashing colors – who cares what dance steps they perform? The cardinal rule is to let the music move you. Music that is nostalgic, and music that worms into one’s brain – even the ones eating dinner cannot resist tapping their feet to it.
The clouds break, and a pin drops. It rains. They remain to dance.
Yet, the music stops. The all-seeing control the ears too, it seems.
Everyone is a sea creature touring land – that, or a drowned rat. Colors stream down cold skin. Some seek another’s warmth in shadowed alcoves. Some seek Fuel Zone’s warm hot chocolate.
All talk ill of the weather. Yet, is it not an experience in itself? To dash through the freezing rain in sodden finery? That is what transforms a tale into a fairytale.
The people migrate to their rooms. These four-walled spaces with a roof and windows – looking into them reveals a kaleidoscope of celebration. The young can never be stopped. Even the all-seeing try, but really how much can they see? How much can be seen?
The following year will bring another tale. Perhaps, more rain too.
Yet, this one ends here. There is no riddle nor a moral, just a wistful goodbye. And rhinestones left at the oddest of places – bathroom mats, pantry sink, the stairs leading up to the library, an academic block’s water filter, and the Coca-Cola ad-stand near Dosai.