When she first heard his voice, there was silence - and then, meekly, and almost reluctantly, she said 'Your voice, it wasn't what I expected it to be.'
'Did you expect it a few pitches higher?'
'Yes, but it's so..'
'It's so,' she hesitantly continued - as though admitting it would betray her gender. 'It's so.…sexy.'
'You must sing,' he said; saying it, as he usually does to most people because he liked people singing. Of course, he never expected anything good of their voice, he just liked them to sing. And she, calmly, but with that peculiar sense of womanly reserve, and with that red on her cheek, sang. The world, halted. He was on his lonely bed - again, and the world halted. Such a voice he had never heard before - not at least in lay people. He thought, just then 'I've beheld beauty.'
'Sing me something,' he'd say.
'Surprise me.' And she would, with her angelic voice. Again. She was his lullaby. And one day, his lullabies ceased. And she, like that phantom that appears only in the night, disappeared. It was morning now, and morning held no place for her. She came in his night, and left in her morning.
His night remained still. He did not know which part of him died then, he merely knew something did - like the stench that emanates from something dead hidden within the bushes. He last heard, that she seldom sings now, and she last heard, that he seldom sung too. And their song, died.
But lo and behold, their trace - like fresh steps upon still white snow - remains. And how it remains - oh God, how it remains!
Ram aur Aparna