Children of Azure
Ariktha M Koundinya
Despair climbs into bed with you, sneaking in under the covers, dwelling in between the sounds of wisps of air forced out from your lungs, as it creeps into your mind, slowly into your ear, tiptoeing by, and lingers there before you fall asleep with the last glimpse of the stars outside your window – the stars that you, so fondly remember; that you, so fondly wept for as they took you in their arms, in beams of their light and held you as a child.
But the stars have moved farther now and the despair lingers in the coldness of the thinning starlight, dawning upon you the insignificance of your existence and the burden of yearning for purpose. It reminds you of the madmen before you – the artists, the poets, the dancers that left behind their legacies and of their stories engraved in history books (you’ve imagined sharing the pedestal with them), these protagonists, walking through their pages, but no, they didn’t just walk – they strode. Their lives documented, never to be forgotten, their existence, copious with purpose, leaving behind a scent of greatness, pages and pages of literature of the madmen that had the courage to dream and the dreamers that dreamt of the deranged.
The poets, that wrote about the moon, but no, they didn’t just write – they caressed her, gently, in their wings; Draped with clouds and a cape made with wind with a sword made of stars; of the dreamers that touched the sky, but no, they didn’t just feel – they brought it back in a jar of glass; stars in their hair, the children of azure that strode with a cape of wind.
The stories that were told: of their ribs that were plunged by shrieks of passion, of their dreams that bled out of their ears, their minds that crumbled at the pursuit of greatness and their lungs that ruptured from the screams.
The story of the spark that burned through their eyes, flames of beryl and cerulean and blood; of the walls of the sky that shattered at the feet and of the Gods themselves that were brought down to their knees! And the world watched them as they took their bows, their capes that fell off their shoulders and the swords that clattered to the ground;
The story of a blue sky that they brought back in a jar of glass. The despair has seeped into your dreams now as you sleep, shaking you awake in dead hours of the night, the stars seem a little closer now, whispering to you stories, stories that you’ve heard over and over, of the boy that spread his wings and danced and the girl that wrote with a feather quill, and on and on.
You sigh – a heavy one, quickly clogging your lungs with a deep sob, not a sad one, but a relieving one, a sob of a lover that weeps at the beauty of his love, a sob of a dead man buried with no flowers on his grave, a sob that reaches the very ends of the floors of the sky and make them quiver.
A sob of passion, of urge, of childhood nonsense and of endless desire. A sob – of a self absorbed narcissist slobbering over the bed sheets being panged by the obvious irrelevance of his existence, following the death of whom, the earth shall continue to revolve around its axis, humanity will go on and that space and time will not, in fact, collapse into itself in his absence. And yet, a sob of beauty, of the world that you were left behind, of the art and the blue jars handed by the poets and the azure that stained your eyes.
A sob, like a shriek of madness plunged into you ribs, a sob that reminds you of the world, of the beryl skies and jars of blue, suddenly overwhelming you with the obligation to give back to the world the beauty that you took from it, to break free from the rhythm of life in the pursuit of momentary greatness, to give back to the world the beauty that you took from it and the sudden exasperation of wanting to give so much to the world and being able to, yet give so little; and knowing in the end, that your insignificance is as irrelevant to the world as your existence and that art is simply just that – Art.
Because that’s the thing about these madmen, they were always so mesmerised by the stars that they overlooked their existence, children of azure, dancers of the sky, mesmerised by the stars, they forgot to live.
And the world watched as they took their bows; they brought the sky closer. Capes that fell from their shoulders, swords clattering to the ground, curtains of clouds that began to fall at the final curtain call; the purpose of life being not in measure of significance, but in debt to the world through mediums of art, to write poetry of cerulean flames. The purpose of life being to bring back the blue sky in a jar of glass.
Ariktha M Koundinya is a 16 year old who believes in fairytales and is deeply frustrated by the crushing reality of human existence. She writes poetry of her madness, winding it with metaphors so as to make it look pretty. More often than not, she is found with ink stained fingers, looking up at the sky expecting it to shatter and fall to the ground like shards of broken glass. But more than a poet or an artist, Ariktha is simply a little girl, lost in Enid Blyton fantasies, who knows that magic only happens when she closes her eyes, and so she smiles in the darkness.