Mad, Mad Starlight

On Frankaffe, Sushrut Munje shares his experience of stepping out of his comfort zone, this time, at a music concert while walking up to a delightful lady.
courtesy: Yang Cao

I had to show up. Music has always been charming, taking me to heights undefined. A celebration of the self had been in order. I knew I had to dress up and show up. An explained pull ensured I was in on time, with a strange calm settling in. I was at the right place tonight.

Bumped into an old acquaintance. It was bound to happen. There was no surprise. A few familiar faces in the crowd. Cradling a cold Corona, I waited for the music to start. Eyes scanned the scene, it was comforting to feel joy around. People were happy to see each other. I was happy to be present.

Fortune has always been kind. Every moment is a cliff. Hesitancy keeps us from the leap. Faith promises a world unseen. Wind nudges you along. Yes, Morpheus, I always choose the red pill. The rabbit hole is deep and full of wonders. I stood at the edge of the cliff. Warm spot in the tummy asked me to have faith. I leaped. Holding my liquid courage close, I waded through the crowd towards the stage. It was the most natural thing to do.

Beautiful people all around me. Customary smiles were exchanged while walking past, no words. I have always wondered what keeps us from being affectionate to good strangers around us. We often fear what the reaction might be. We fear what we might be perceived to be. We fear the whispers. We fear the side glances.

I adore the happiness in air – and it is wondrous to tell people that they look good when they smile. If we don’t spread the love, who will?

It was madness under the starlight all over again, when our eyes met. My attempts to describe what transpired is leading to visualizing a whirl of colors – the kind a moist brush leaves behind on a coarse canvas – the texture stands alive against our will to color the paper. It stands alive, tempting us to caress it. She stood alive, right there. Her gaze was unapologetic, mingled with slight surprise. I sensed curiosity. I remember the softness. Her eyes carried the warmth of her smile, and had the distinct strength of a coffee well brewed – sharp depth and the acrid itch at the base of your throat.

Just the right kind of overwhelming flavor which keeps you on your toes.
Just the right tenderness to make me go weak at the knees.

I stepped out and took another leap. Walking up to her delightful self was the act of being comfortable with potential discomfort. Taking her hand in mine as we introduced each other was a new door opening where there was none. Imaginary walls of air were no longer keeping me in. Thanks to the good madness under the starlight, my world had changed again, and it would never be the same again.

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