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The Blue Mist Mansion (standard:romance, 925 words)
Author: SylviaAdded: Oct 07 2003Views/Reads: 2016/1Story 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! 


   


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