September 11, 2012

The Vase Full of Sand

Once I owned a Vase. Owned it with my heart and soul.

Everyone had a vase of their own. One girl I knew bought it at the flea market because she could afford one. Another one bought it because she felt bad for the lonely piece which no one would buy. I also knew a guy who bought one every month. He was a connoisseur - of vases. They all had one. The one they could call their own. Even had their names engraved on them. I heard that the couple next door recently lost theirs. They were speculating the idea of buying a new one. The missus of the house hates a house without flowers. They all had a reason. They all knew what they wanted.
I was never into vases. It was not something I would buy; for myself or for anyone else. Not even for the couple next door. I was not looking for vases until I met her - The Gypsy from Andalusia. She was on her way. I never bothered to ask where to. I doubt if she knew the answer herself. She stayed over. A company like hers would never disturb me. The vase was a gift from her. It wasn’t even a vase. More like a jar.

Each morning she woke up earlier than the sun and waited for the first rays to hit the ground. With the first sparkling rays she packed a pinch of sand and sprinkled it into the jar and quietly brought it back inside. A pinch a day. Everyday. Till the jar was full and it was time for her to leave. The last day of her stay was a celebration. Just the both of us with good food, a beautiful rendition on her guitar and light chit chat. She left the next morning after thrusting the vase in my hands without saying a word. That’s the last time I saw her or heard of her.

The jar was painted pretty red and filled with sand from my backyard. I kept it like a handsome knight in front of my army of books. The very first to wake me up and the very last to put me to sleep. They said it’s just a jar full of sand. What good could it bring? Some suggested I grow a plant and some wanted to put flowers. How silly would a knight look with a plant or flowers in its head? I chose to let it be. A jar full of sand is what I wanted. A jar full of ‘Sunshine sand’. I grew a fondness for the jar while it stood on my bookshelf motionless staring back at me. The more people despised the handsome knight the more I developed a pride in ownership of this vessel. It was mine. It had potential to be so many things. But I loved it to be the Sunshine jar. Many told me, “It’s not even a Vase!” I agreed. I never wanted a vase. The Sunshine jar was doing its work. I smiled. I worked. I was happy.

Till one day. That one wretched day when I disturbed my army of books. The jar fell right off the shelf and got smashed into a million gut wrenching pieces. Pieces I wish I could put back together. But the sunshine got scattered all over the place. I scrambled on the floor to save my sunshine. I gathered all the sand I could and put it in a plastic bag. The sight was painful. Warm tears were soaking the sand now. I could feel the sunshine escaping. The shards of the broken jar had to be saved. Some cut my fingers. But who cares about finger cuts when your sunshine’s escaping. I put the remains of the jar in an old shoe box. Spent the entire night staring at the dead knight and crying. There was no one to put me to sleep. Maybe this was a nightmare or maybe I just woke up from a dream. I lost the sunshine that could never be owned.

I was never into vases. I never wanted a vase. I would never buy a vase. Not even for the couple next door. 

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