A Midsummer’s Starry Night

An Englishman, distinguished in his appearance, was pacing to and fro, by a bench in Hyde Park. He was brimming with angst, as he clenched his fist tighter, crumbling a bundle of papers he held. The fallen, brittle autumn leaves were crushed by his each step.

A Dutch gentleman was sitting on this park bench. Bent forward, hunched, fingers locked. He glanced upon the Englishman’s hands. The dark ink seemed to have found it’s way into the folds of his hands, akin to a dried up river bed. His gaze followed him, and matched his pace. The ink on the Englishman’s hands matched the myriad oil paints on the Dutch man’s withered fingers. 

The Englishman glanced sideward at him and jerked a swift second look. He walked towards the bench, as if responding to the Dutch man’s invitation. 

As the Englishman sat down by the Dutch, their different attires stared at each other. It was as if the Englishman lived in Elizabethan age and the Dutch man was from the nineteenth century. To a passerby, it would seem an instance of time travel. 

“Lend me your ears.” The Englishman started an abrupt conversation, hoping the stranger is a good listener. 

But alas! Like a lot of his plays, this too turned out to be an ironic tragedy!

He noticed the Dutch man’s Bandaged Ear and pain in his sullen eyes. It was as if the Dutch man had chopped off a part of his own ear! 

Images from the Internet. Courtesy Sapan Satia

And so they sat in silence, the poet/ playwright Englishman and the despaired artist Dutch man wondering what the Sunflowers on the Wheatfields of Cypresses would smell like on The Starry Night of this Midsummer’s Night Dream.

©Helina Desai & Nazneen Dharamsey, 2017. All rights reserved.


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