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The pianist

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In the dim light, he begins his stint for the night
While the gathering toast to their success,
To them, his songs are an excuse to sway
Often drowned and unknowingly discarded
They, to him, are the subjects
Of his songs
He sings mainly of love – of different sorts and forms,
Accompanied by passion, lust and also wrath,
He sings of the conquests of women and the failures of men,
Of the selected heroes, unspoken of tales,
The prisoner’s woes and the dreamer’s hopes
Of revenge, of angered death,
He warns of the revolution, of the cold tomorrow,
Of a lost world and lost sorrow,
Through discord and harmony
He sings,

And as these songs turns familiar,
The spotlight shifts focus
Leaving the gathering in darkness
And he bows to acknowledge their cheer
A few clap on, a few join him in song
Some stumbling upon notes that he never knew,
These mistakes were tolerated – in fact they were quite comical
A young woman seemed to take charge of the crowd,
A beauty, she cast sly smiles his way,
And he smiled in return,
Almost skipping a beat,
He smiles to self and plays,

As they find themselves drawn to interesting conversations,
One by one they move away,
And the spotlight is dimmed yet again,
But the pianist sings on,
And he is endowed with requests,
He smiles at the visiting kid,
And plays on,
Lamenting the fate of the cheated woman,
Waving his head to the joyous groove,

As the night draws to a close,
One by one, the gathering bid adieu,
Some glance his way, as if in ‘thank you’,
He plays on,

Later, when it seemed as if all had left,
Walking towards him is a dark figure – that of a pretty woman,
She seemed to carry a rose,
His hearts pounds,
What’s in it for him?
With a smile, she leaves an envelope on his stand and walks away
And she smiles again, this time at the man standing at the doorway,
He opens the letter to find his cheque,
Expressionless – unlike the songs he sang,
He walks away into the spotlight

 

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