|The Blue Mist Mansion (standard:romance, 925 words)|
|Author: Sylvia||Added: Oct 07 2003||Views/Reads: 2016/1||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|An imaginary story based on an imaginary Portugese myth...|
Have you been to Fort Cochin? If not, you are missing something. Years ago the Portugese had landed on its shores mainly for purposes of trade. They came and left their imprint on the sands of Fort Cochin including their culture, cuisine, lifestyle, synagogues and so forth. A few of them stayed back enthralled by the Chettinad customs of Kerala. If you ever travel across the long winding roads of fort Cochin, you would meet all kinds of people, ranging from fishermen to the posh westernized youth. If you take a walk along the fort Kochi beach, you would see a huge mansion on its shores, looming by like a ship gliding on the sea. It is like an ancient relic still standing there like a priceless monument. It is said that, this Blue Mist mansion housed the first Portugese people years back. They were popularly called the DeSouzas. DeSouzas were gifted singers and could play musical instruments exceptionally well. Leander DeSouza and his wife Margaret had three daughters Joan, Ruth and Natalia. They too had inherited their parents' flair. Natalia was the favourite of all the residents of the locality. Being the youngest one, she was the pampered pet of all. Somehow she was the most talented one among her sisters. Her voice was like that of a flowing stream, clear and sweet, at times carrying pebbles along its gush, to an unknown distance or tempo. It was filled with innocence and lingering freshness. At times when she used to sing, the listeners' hearts used to melt with tears. At the age of 16, she fell in love with a Keralite Christian young man John. He was 20 years old, rugged and handsome. John was a choirmaster at the Jewish synagogue. He was also an excellent piano player. Somehow he also had enemies. One night while he was sleeping, some rogues attacked him and slashed his fingers. Thus John was permanently disabled and was only able to sing. Young Natalia was terribly moved at the incident. They were lovers who believed that they should share the same fate. So Natty, as she was lovingly called slashed her own fingers in anguish for her beloved. Natty favourite colour was blue. For her it symbolized freshness and liveliness. Most of the times you could see her clad in blue attires, if not completely blue with a dash of blue! One day she was in the church singing a duet with John for a competition. She looked angelic in a blue gown and John was dressed in a black suit. Happiness is ephemeral. As they sang together, mesmerizing the congregation, John collapsed and fell to the floor, unconscious. On his way to the hospital, he died. It was a sudden cardiac arrest. Natty was terribly sad. Her heart was as delicate as the wayside daisy. It couldn't stand woes or anything sad. She slid into a cocoon divorced from the outside world. She even isolated herself from her parents and her sisters a kind of self-imposed exile. She now sang more vigorously during days and nights. At nights, Natty used to go to her room at the top floor of the mansion and sing aloud. Some assumed that she had gone mad in her beloved's departure. But for her it was the only way of communicating with her John. This continued for quite some time. When the church bells chimed afar, it is said that John's ghost used to come to the Blue Mist mansion terrace and sing. And Natty too joined along. One day to Natty's surprise, the piano in her room started playing on its own. The curtains of her room danced in the winds. The lights flickered as if in response to a presence in the room... It played their favourite duet piece Sing, and you shall come to me across the valleys...for I am here waiting for you... She felt his invisible presence. It seemed like a haunting, beckoning melody to her... summoning her to join him in his world. The song indeed was weird to the neighbours too. In a flash of a moment, she felt that presence holding her with invisible hands. It caressed her hair gently... she got carried away to the past when he was alive. The song still continued. Natty felt as if it was emanating from the waves of the beach. She gazed outside the window wistfully, at the dark waves dancing playfully. To her, the song seemed evocative, yes; it was reminiscent of all the good times they had shared once upon a time. The song lingered, luring her into its magical cadence, as if someone was purposely doing it, the piano played on its own accord. The song filled her with yearning, drenching her in terrible sadness and anguish. It flowed on like a stream, doleful yet alluring; slowly Natty walked as if in a dream towards the source of that faraway song. It was her beloved calling her from across the valleys, amidst the winds and the echoes of the waves. She kept walking in her blue nightdress... Darkness permeated the shores of the beach. Now the waves beckoned her. The song still resonated, its rhythm echoed by the trees. Farther she ventured into the womb of the waves... They say her young spirit hovers around the mansion even now in quest of her beloved. At times, if you take a walk near the mansion, you might see a faint, blue flickering light accompanied by eerie music, it might be Natalia's or John's spirit! Tweet
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