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The Man Selling His Breath In The Form Of Music

Tags: life, battle, pain,

My hands shake while I write this and I doubt if at all I'll be able to justify his battle with life, on my paper. Connaught Place couldn't have been a better place on New Year's Eve if he hadn't been there.

Cold breeze and temperature around 6°C, he sat firm and stable on the marble bench which was no less cold than ice. His hands quivered, not because of the cold; age was the factor, I guess. I believe, he'd be in his late 80's, but the way he played that harmonica was the epitome.

When almost everyone there was soaked in the rhetoric New Year's vibes and drunk decisively, he single-handedly elated the environment by his own enigmatic way.

We all stood around him while he puffed his chest up and took the harmonica in the most pompous manner with his wobbly fingers. The crowd had no anticipation. Visualizing him was like seeing him breathing his last and fingers not rationalizing with the body's senses. One of the guys from the mob said, "He doesn't look happy." He kept a 10 rupee coin in his cap and left.

Gathering all the courage he had, he took the harmonica and touched it to his lips. The moment he blew all the breath he had in his torso, he melodically poured magic into the air. He astonishingly hypnotized us all with his silvery-toned lyrical composition.

In a matter of just 10 minutes or so, everyone hummed along; couples started to dance with their hands held tight to each other and, some of them even kissed. Eventually, we all had smiles on our faces. He certainly was a sorcerer. He poured that magic spell on all of us.

At long last, his cap was full of notes and coins while he still played that harmonica wholeheartedly with his eyes closed. And I still could see some tears at the corner of his eyes. He completed his act, the surrounding was charming, everyone had a satisfactory smile, and we couldn't let our hands stop applauding. It won't be a cliché if I say that people applauded more than his performance lasted.

He kept his harmonica aside to finally break the silence to speak. "I'm not sad; this is what makes me happy," addressing to all our happy faces, he said. "Stress is the biggest killer of the human kind" he continued, while I wondered, "Was this money enough to give him?" 

I did not keep anything in his cap, I remember, for he deserved more than just that 'Cap full of Notes,' I thought. 
Continuing, he said, "And music, is the biggest stress buster, I feel happy when I see your happy faces" as he concluded. Hearing this, I was awestruck, and tears rolled down my cheeks. I couldn't do much, instead asked him for a hug.

While I hugged, I asked him, "'Since when are you doing this?"

To this, he answered, "Since I was fifteen. And since then I've been selling my breath in the form of music. And I promise this harmonica will go to my grave with me."

His words pierced through my heart and I couldn't look into his eyes again; I felt too small for such a charismatic and modest persona as him. I had nothing to give him in comparison to what he truly deserved, and I left with a heavy heart without having left anything in his cap.


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