Song of the Storm

Shain lived in a picturesque little village in the backwaters of Kerala, in India. Her father owned and operated three houseboats for tourists, and was considered the most prosperous man in the village. She was the only daughter to her parents and the family might have been everyone’s envy, except for one aspect – Shain was born without the ability to hear or speak. She always felt tortured by her condition, and nobody had ever seen her smile in a very long time. There was a constant storm that raged in her heart, which made her always angry and bitter.

A few days after her 13th birthday, something happened, she communicated in the best way she could to her mother that she was repeatedly seeing a dream. She always saw the same thing – a woman standing on the pier near a lighthouse. Wearing red and black clothes, her long black hair blowing in the wind, she was playing a violin. While Shain could explain the physical details through sign, what she could not convey was that it was the first time in her life she had experienced music – it entranced her completely. She wanted to remain in that state forever.

storm

After she saw the dream three times, within one week, her mother started taking her seriously. There was a lighthouse, about 185 km away from her village. It was a historic structure built by the early Dutch settlers who came to India in the 1600s. The restored lighthouse was a popular tourist attraction in the area. Following Shain’s insistence on visiting the lighthouse, her parents relented.

When they reached the place, it was late afternoon, but the sky had turned dark, lightening streaked the sky, indicating an impending storm. Soon enough the wind picked up speed and it started raining. The family sat in the car, waiting for the storm to subside. Then suddenly, Shain just opened the door of the car and stepped out. Paying no attention to her mother’s shouting, she ran towards the pier, and stood almost where she thought she had seen the woman. There was no one there, only the raging storm. To hold on to the remnants of her dream, she tried to clutch the air. Then, her arms outstretched, tears streamed down her face, as she felt one with the rain and the wind.

Her father, who had followed her, forcibly picked her up and brought her back to the car. The family reached their village safely, and for two days Shain just wouldn’t stop crying. Those few moments on the pier had filled her with a completeness she had always found lacking because of her handicap. Her mother, who was initially perturbed, was soon delighted by the change in her daughter – the constant anger had given way to calmness. For the first time in many years, Shain was smiling again.  The storm, it seemed, had finally brought peace to her heart.

While Shain was too young to comprehend, but her mother often wondered who was the woman, her daughter saw in her dreams – was she a spirit? An angel? Just an imagination of a troubled mind? Or somebody else? Whoever she was, her music had transformed the girl. What her mother would never know was that Shain had found her completeness by feeling one with the elements of nature, and that she could tap into the source again and again.

 

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