The Funeral in the Savanna
Some of you are excellent writers and even better story-tellers. This piece was a random thought and really didn’t have any story or so then, but now that I look at it, it does seem to be a scene frozen from a much bigger plot.
So I propose lets make a story about or around this man wearing a hat standing with a flower in front of the gravestone under the small acacia like tree…
It can be a love story, a quirky fantasy, a horror, a sci-fi anecdote, a poem even! anything, only constrain being it should include the above imagery, somehow!
I shall compile them and update them below!
He turned around and drove away
With a small baby girl
He vowed to never return
To the city, that had robbed him of her
And had left nothing
To the city who had failed
All those who protected it
To the city, that had burnt
And rightly so.
Someday, he would tell his daughter the story
Of a wicked landlord
Who tortured and enslaved
And of the beautiful hero who stood up
Her mother, his love
He will tell her
Of her bravery, her beauty, her strength
Of the battle she led, and won
Of the life she led and lost
He will tell her of her grave
And the rose they planted at dusk
For her memory
At the fallen city gates
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The Funeral in the Savanna
Once upon a time there was a girl. Sweet, shy and simple. She believed in dreams, that wishes come true, that there is magic. She was happy yet sad. She had friends around yet she felt lonely. She was strong yet seemed weak. She was almost ready to give up.
Until she met him.
He was unlike any guy she had ever met. He was charming, adventurous and strong-willed. He had a heart of gold and an uncaring attitude. But he was warm and selfless too at-times. He showed her the world in a completely new light. He made her love herself. He made her accept how different and unique she was. That she deserved the best and that she was worth every happiness. All she had to do was believe in herself.
As time passed their relationship strengthened and even though she was careful and cautious, she fell in love slowly and then all at once. But she was scared. Scared to tell him. Scared that he may not accept her. But it was tough to keep it to herself when everyday all she wanted to was just tell him. Tell it all.
So she started writing. Penning down her thoughts helped. She could think more coherently and she started convincing herself that maybe it wasn’t meant to be and he was worth someone way more pretty. All she wanted was for him to be happy and have all he ever dreamt of.
They fell apart but kept coming together again and again.
But as time passed, they went their own separate ways. She was different now. Stronger, happier and bolder. She made new friends, lived her dream but she could never forget him.
And then one day, she fell ill. She fell badly ill. She knew her impending death and all she wanted at that time was to see him one last time; to be able to tell him how much she loved him. Fate can be cruel but it can be fair too. She remembered his birthday was near. And although she had not spoken to him in so many years, she wanted to send him a gift. She sent him the only thing she could. Her diaries. Pages and pages filled with all her thoughts, happy thoughts. She knew he always admired his writing. And this was the only way for her to confess her feelings.
Funny as life is, the diaries reached him the day she breathed her last. He heard of her death before he opened them. He rushed to the cemetery where she had been buried. He saw the people at the funeral and smiled. She had made friends, he was glad. But somehow his heart ached and he cursed for never having been there for her.
He waited for all to leave.
And then he slowly walked up to her grave. He had always been bad at such things. But he couldn’t bear the silence. So he opened the diary he had been carrying with him and started reading aloud. It started with normal day to day entries and he laughed a bit at the funny parts she had penned down.
Then came the part where she had confessed it all. And as he read each word slowly, his voice started shaking. He couldn’t finish it all before he finally broke down. He had always thought he didn’t deserve anyone’s love and he had seen her eyes full of it. He had always cut himself off from it because he had wanted the best for her.
And today as he stood, holding her book, he realized he had lost something really valuable. He kept standing still for as long as one can. He opened the diary again, to a random page and found a dried flower stuck to a picture.
It was a picture of the two of them together and there was something written behind it.
He read it out,
“If you are reading this, then I am probably just a memory now. And all I wish to say is I Love You. No heavy poetry, no dramatic setting. Just three simple powerful words. I love you. And all I want you to do is remember me. Remember me when you feel like forgetting yourself. Remember me when you feel alone. I will there in the sunlight, in the raindrops. In the wind and in the sea. I will always be there smiling away. Just remember me. Forever.”
He kissed the picture and put the flower on the grave and looked at the sun that was setting and remembered her forever.
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The grave had an inscription,
“We should be buried where our heart is
most true to us.”
… and as the old man looked through his teary eyes he
remembered the time when she had told her these words looking at the same
sunrise. He smiled… and said “This place is our paradise! The sunrise on
this savanna is the place where we expressed our love for the work we do and
for each other today I am an old man and I still love you till the time I see
He stood silently. The soft breeze in his face reminded him of her touch, and he just couldn’t hold back any longer. A hundred stringed instruments rang in his ears, lending voice to his emotional dirge. All those years of bittersweet bliss and serendipitous memories were now more a burden than consolation. And yet.. and yet..
“CUTT! Arre bahinchhodd tumko samajh nai aata kya! Abhi baarish shuru hona mangta hai! Pipewaale ko ready rakho yaar.”
He sips a glass of water and wipes his face and takes his position in front of the camera again. Rose nearly wilted, stifling a yawn, he prepares for the fifty-second funeral of the wife Perfunctorily, the violins ring out.
How distinctly can I recall your words years ago, “Why are people so afraid of the dark? Why is it that sunrise means celebration and joy, while we wait for the night to pass soon enough? Why do we need a full moon or a star filled sky to appreciate the beauty of the dark? Why can’t the night be accepted just as it is, in its raw form, it has its own identity doesn’t it? The identity of white is glorified because it is compared to the dark, Black is the cause, White the effect, right? Just like I am in love with you not because of all that you have achieved in your life but because I know your worst side and your greatest fears too and I have accepted them as an integral part of you. Never fear your past or your worst fears or the dark.” And here I am years later meeting you right where the ends meet, where the extremes meet to celebrate my wonderful past with you, for I have overcome all my fears.
What happens when we die?
We were driving home and there was an injured bird on the side of the street. We brought it home and fed it with a dropper, but the next morning, when I tried to set it free, it fell three storeys down from my window, with a crunch and a splat on the concrete below.
When we die we go to a better place. You become a star and you watch over everyone you ever loved. You become a guardian angel.
You die because your time is up, I was told. We are all time bombs, some of us go out with a bang, some of us quietly slip from one realm to another.
But if you think about it, all those answers only explain what happens to the one who dies.
What happens when we die?
Some people who knew you, barely knew you, will be incredulous for a little while, and then you will be a sombre conversation starter. “Remember them? Yeah. Dead. Life is fucking fleeting, man.”
You can’t know most people, so most people will probably remain completely unaffected by the fact that yesterday you were here and now you’re not. They’d probably say, “Oh, I’m sorry, my condolences”. Some of those people will probably mean that line too.
The ones who love you? They could say a lot of things like you will be missed. You will remain in my heart and memory always. You were an important part of my life and I want to get over your absence, but I don’t think I can, I don’t think I want to. I want you to be happy, but I feel like if I am happy again, now that you’re gone, it would be insincere.
You linger in traces, some mornings I set a table for two, and then I realize I don’t need to, anymore. I eat from both plates because you hated wasting food.
Some nights I sprawl over your side of the bed, and I want for you to come and yell at me, play-tackle me, push me back to my half. Inevitably we would wake up a tangle of limbs, but what used to be too little bed for two bodies is now a vast expanse of sheets I no longer have the courage to explore with anybody else.
I thought grief would be fits and starts of hot tears, that it would be a sharp, keen pain that would eventually go away. It is a throbbing headache that comes and goes as it pleases. On some days it is debilitating, on some other days I find the will to power through.
It is true, they say a lot of things when you die, but the hardest thing to say is a definite goodbye.
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He stood there for a little too long. He felt no sadness but still happiness was far away from him. He stood there in silence, he felt numb. He stood there for hours just staring at the grave before him. His wife sat beside the grave, screaming and crying, shouting at him to say something, asking him to not be so emotionless.
What she did not know was, that it was the silence of a broken man, a man whose life was taken away from him, whose life was lying in the grave in front of him. He wanted to scream, but it felt like all his energy had been sucked out of him. He did not know what he would live for anymore, he did not want anything from life anymore, his little angel was dead, he felt like his life made no sense anymore.
He looked at the stone and got lost in the memories he had with her. He never knew that it would be the deathbed where he would see the last of her. He broke down. All he thought and wished for was to see her one last time. But she was gone, gone forever. She let him go because he wanted to be gone. She let herself drown in the sadness but he never even heard a flying leaf whisper to him about her.
He stood up and walked away. “Be ready for the worse things to happen”, he told her while he left her then. And now he was walking away realizing the worst thing that could happen to him is now knowing she doesn’t exist in his life anymore, and the worst that happened to her already was him not being with her. He stopped midway and looked back at her grave, under the tree. He sat down where he stood and looked up at the sky as the birds passed by. He knew she was watching over him, and he called out even I have always loved you.
“love is not all about staying together, love is there even if we are far away from each other.”