The Bridge Over Untroubled Waters?

"To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower:
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour."
        - William Blake

The bridge was his favourite “my place” in the town. He loved to go and stand by its iron railings, whatever the weather. The warmth from pristine sun rays created a shade of chocolate to his black hair. However rare an occurrence, it was a memory he came to associate with warmth ever since. There was water, a vast expanse of it as far as one could see, and then there were trees, with 
leaves of all colours and some without any – fall had set in. And every time he used his camera to take pictures of the place, he went back home to discover something new. Something that the unassuming gaze of his eyes had missed but the detail hungry viewfinder of his camera probably hadn’t. This time was no different. Browsing through his pictures for the day, he saw one, of 
chains, locked in place, to the railing.

Andrew loved memories. Memories preserved in the chronological order of their occurrence. They grew vague with time, he tended to forget a few of them and added a few imaginary ones, and ended up with a rather interesting story of his own, but he loved them, nonetheless – memories. And that probably was the reason for his love for photography. The pictures were the method to his madness and helped him keep the “my stories” in order. Well, just about.
He was still staring at this particular photograph on his iPad when he saw the time. He had to call up his family back home. It was their weekly tradition ever since he had moved away. They waited for his call at this hour each Sunday evening; so that they could hear from him and ensure that he 
was well. The chains reminded him of the family. They never wanted to let him go.

“There’s a lot of things you can photograph here.” They'd exclaim. “Nobody is ever going to stop you. And you can learn all you want over the internet. Why do you need to go to a foreign land to be a photographer, of all the things in the world!?” 

But he was a free spirit, Andrew. In his mind, he had charted his path, the trajectory, the course, all the mathematics that a migratory bird figures out in its brain before it sets out for warmer 

He called them up, exchanged pleasantries as usual and then let them know he was fine. His mother asked him if he was eating well, if he had made any new friends and if he was avoiding bad company. These were routine questions with routine replies that he had on the tips of his finger, like 
the mud sticking out of his unkempt nails. They had been talking about ten minutes and at the back of his mind, he knew he'd be done with the ordeal soon, to go back to his pictures and the chains. Just when he decided to say goodbye and hang up, his father asked about his work. That wasn't a 
part of the script! They hated his work for all that he did. It was the very reason for this call, which would not have happened otherwise.

“I’m doing well, Dad.” Said Andrew, in an exaggerated tone. “You need to be really creative with this stuff, think different, and give routine happenings a completely different perspective, but I'm trying my best.”

It was probably the first time he had talked to his father about work. His kind of work.

“I’m sure you are. You don’t give up easily, do you? I got a Facebook account now. Show me those pictures when you have the time.”

His father had never been that interested in pictures. His pictures. Andrew was about to say that he was a professional photographer and didn’t deem it right to share them over Facebook, but he was too overwhelmed to say anything.

“Sure thing, Dad. I'll share them all! Take care.”

As he disconnected the call and looked at the roof to soak in all that had happened, he looked back at his iPad. The chains. There were so many of them, and they all had different locks.

“Maybe it’s a cycle stand for the enthusiasts?”

But he had never seen a bicycle parked around that place.

“I should go back to see what it is!” Andrew thought to himself.

It was cold and dark outside. He stole a glance at the thermometer mounted outside his window. 

“Four degrees below zero? Makes it all the more interesting.”

He wore that wry smile that had been missing for a while now; fastened his coat, picked up his camera, and closed his apartment door behind him as he left.

A closer look at the spot helped. But so did a different perspective. It was the lover’s point. How had he missed it of all the things in the world! The hopelessly-in-love had wished for their love to be locked up securely, away from all the troubles of the world. She ought to be here as well. With him. Ruby would love it. To be here; locking away their love for each other in a secure, safe, warm place.

Ten years down the line...

“So, can I take the blindfold off me now?” Ruby asked Andrew, as he finally made her stop and turn a little to her left.

She had been made to walk, blindfolded, for what seemed to her like an eternity. But it seemed like they were where he wanted her to be. Having waited for a reply to her question, she couldn’t be the patient one anymore, and pulled the scarf off her eyes.

“Wow! This is beautiful.” She gushed, as she saw the rusted chains and the locks tying them in place.

“Why didn't I ever see a picture of this?”

“This is where I realised how looking at things differently helps. And I wanted you to see it for real!”
“You could have at least told me about it. I don't have anything to tie here.” She didn’t seem to like the fact that seeing is all that she was going to be doing.

“But, I have this.”

He held a key in front of her puzzled face. Her hand mechanically opened as he placed it in the centre of her palm.

“Now all you need to do is look for a lock with your name on it.” 

“You've already tied one on the bridge?”


“What! Where? What colour is it then?” “I don't really remember the colour."

“Oh, gosh. Some love that is.”

“There were a lot less of these when I was here last time!”

“Sometimes, you're stupid.”

“I know. Now, make a wish and throw the key in the water.” 

“But I want to see our padlock first.”

“I have another padlock.” 


“In my bag.”

“Since when?”

“Since you called me stupid. Come on.” “What? Where are we going?”

“Start a love-lock bridge elsewhere.” 


“You can choose. Well, from a few options that I have in my mind.”

“Crafty. But, why does your camera always have to come along with us, too.” 

Listening to: Bridge over Troubled Water

Dedicated to: Simon and Garfunkel

Images Courtesy: asdClicks - that's what I plan to call my soon to be launched photo blog.

PS: The story helped me score a cent percent score in my creative writing course at JYU. Close to my heart? Hell yeah!

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