The man of the house had a fetish for musical instruments. He had a huge collection from round the world and was extremely protective about them. You see he had two kids and a callous wife who had little regard for his fancy. They had to be reprimanded repeatedly to understand the value of these and appreciate their delicateness. The younger kid would throw half chewed pastels in the body of the guitar which then had to be retrieved with great difficulty. The older kid would get into a fictitious sword fight with the violin bow which then needed frequent replacement. The wife with her little intelligence would clean the piano with a wet soaped cloth. So the man reminded them everyday not to touch these and simply stare at them from a distance when he is playing them with great admiration.The stacks of guitars,piano ,drums etc had a room of their own in a rather crowded house where the others jostled for their own space. Things were fine till one Sunday afternoon the unthinkable happened.
It was just another Sunday afternoon a busy time in the living room with everyone home. The younger kid was sitting in a corner chewing toys, her face dripping with saliva. The mother in an oversized t-shirt sat on the rocking chair with a big fat book.The main door was open ajar sometimes banging shut loudly as the wind picked up speed. It was kept open as the older kid made several rounds and the parents got tired of answering the doorbell. The idiot box was on at top volume airing a solemn black and white documentary. The man of the house was seated in the sofa in front of the TV. He was quite oblivious to his surroundings trying hard to find a solution to world problems that plagued him deeply in the few wakeful hours he spent on weekends. His priceless guitar which he had passionately strummed few minutes back lay unclaimed right beside him on the large sofa. You see the guitar was more expensive than most of the things in the house and while the man of the house could bear to get his eyes poked he could not think of any harm come to his beloved possession. He had ordered this handcrafted special guitar from a luthier in Spain.
The older child arrived once more screaming loudly followed by a bandwagon of friends. They had spent good part of the summer afternoon playing cricket and now the sweaty young ones filled the house breaking the peace all at once.The older boy’s friend a plump oversized boy double his size was never quite welcome in the house. “Aunty water please” ,he said. Reluctantly the mother left her chair and went to the kitchen and came back with a large jug of water.Before the mother could stop her the kid had parked herself in the empty space on the sofa and underestimating her own size a large portion of her back was resting on the fragile body of the new guitar. The instrument made an uncharacteristic noise and a giant crack appeared on its body.
There was pin drop silence, the whole household slowly gathered around the now cracked guitar.The man of the house was misty eyed and stroking the guitar gently unable to speak. The mother came running with the phone which had numerous numbers of luthiers who had in the past successfully rescued the guitar from pastel scratches, spilled milk and swallowed parts but this was much more severe a crack on the body. By the time he could gather his wits he screamed at the kids , who disappeared in a minute outrunning each other. The older child stood with his head hanging low receiving a mouthful from the wrath of the wronged man. After numerous tries one of the local luthier’s agreed to take a look at the guitar in emergency distress. So now the man,his wife with the little one tucked on her side and the older child with his head hanging low marched on the road with the guitar in tow towards the shop at the corner of their house. The mother had remembered to carry a large bottle of water and coaxed her husband to take few sips now and then. She wiped his face and blew his nose from time to time.
Alas they arrived and found themselves outside a crowded guitar shop where two salesmen were struggling to attend twenty people. Amidst this the man entered the shop howling and the luthier came running almost panting. You see he was the only one who understood the gravity of the situation, a crack in the bond between the guitar and the man brought about by mortals. Alas he smiled broadly and said the crack is all but superficial. He may need to keep the guitar for a few days but it was nothing serious. The crowd heaved in relief.
The man shed a few tears and hugged his family tightly. Alas the imminent danger of loosing one of his own had passed. Since then years have passed and the guitar today still gently weeps, the older child still has his friends visiting his house and the mother and has told this story of the strange guitar episode to any willing ears.