He lived in a beautiful stone house, very old but well kept. Its bare stone walls were roofed with red clay tiles and the mansion had large sweeping lawns with giant trees and shrubs cut with immaculate precision and skill by the many gardeners. Mayan was, after all, rich. He made violins and his craft was popular far and wide. The Kings and Nobles of the area often commissioned him to make the violins for the royal musicians of their courts. Blinded by his love for the beautiful instrument, Mayan would spend his days and often nights in a big airy hall at the top of his house, carving the curves and contours of his violins. After working on a single instrument for weeks, he would finally venture out, bearing his polished possession with swollen red eyes and a groggy face, to play it at the local inn. The villagers would leave their usual obligations to listen to the young genius; for he played his violins as beautifully as he made them. The ladies would swoon at the way he’d gently put the violin under his chin close his eyes and gently let the bow sweep the instrument weaving beautiful melodies. The evening sun would gradually melt into the impending darkness and yet the people, deeply drowned in his songs, would urge him to play on.
It was a dark new moon’s night, and Mayan, sitting upon a deserted wooden bench amidst a thicket of trees, was playing his latest violin. Suddenly his gaze shifted towards a speck of bright silver light, floating casually in the dark sky. The silvery light, which blinded him from a distance, settled gradually, drifting through the cold night breeze, onto the wooden bench Mayan was sitting upon. He looked bewitched, at the beautiful slender figure in flowing bright robes that had just emerged from heavens. Her long dark hair fell softly across her waist and gently caressed the grateful wooden bench, while her long fair hands were folded gracefully across her lap. Mayan gazed at the women, ecstatic that such divine beauty had revealed herself to him. And though Mayan was sure that she was the most beautiful women upon the blessed land, he hadn’t actually seen her face as yet. A translucent satin veil covered her face revealing only her dark eyes; the eyes Mayan felt drawn to. She urged him to play the violin in a sweet soothing voice and while Mayan, still under the trance of her beauty played, she sang. Melodies in an unknown tongue and yet heavenly and moving. Mayan played the violin deep into the night, tunes of love and of spring and the rains, while she sang in the unknown tongue Mayan could not understand and yet feel deeply in his heart.
The beautiful women faded amidst the first rays of dawn leaving Mayan with his tired violin. But such was the effect of her beauty that long after she’d left, Mayan remained upon the dewy wooden bench, weaving lovely music. In the inn, the following days, everybody was impressed with Mayan’s new romance laced songs.
“There’s a distinct sweetness and beauty in the words”, they said applauding and Mayan was much delighted.
Over the next few nights, Mayan sat at the same bench amidst the tall trees, playing endlessly his poor violin, in the watch of the speck of silver. But she didn’t emerge till the next new moon’s night, till which time Mayan had become rather hopeless and his songs had become dull and dark. The beautiful women from the heaven again spent the night singing to the tunes of his violin and without showing her face departed at the stroke of dawn. Mayan was much disappointed but the people at the inn who had begun to grumble abut the dullness of his songs were surprised as he played that evening, the most beautiful romantic song theyd’d ever heard
“I’ve been blessed by the Angel, the goddes of love” Mayan proclaimed amidst the applause. The people around him laughed not believing Mayan who stood with his violin in the middle of the gathered crowd.
“Perhaps you should call her here” the old inn keeper grinned “that way we’d all be able to sing as sweetly as you do”.
“No! She’s too beautiful to show herself to you mortals” Mayan quipped and began to sing songs of her unparalled beauty which made the women around very envious.
But as the two met more and more, over the following new moon nights, Mayan’s desires grew.
“But why wouldn’t you show me your face?” he asked one such night, putting down his violin and stretching his hands. She stopped singing and looked up at him with deep dark eyes that held Mayan in their sway.
“I cannot” she said simply and continued to sing.
But Mayan wasn’t impressed. Suddenly he began to feel drawn towards her hidden face; it became the only motive of his life, to glance once at the heavenly face. Condemned by his sudden wish, Mayan set out to make the most powerful violin ever crafted. One, whose voice could hold people in its sway and force them to do its bidding. He wandered for days in the wilderness searching for the right wood and spent nights awake in his workshop carving and chiseling to perfection his beloved instrument. Carefully he wound the strings at the ends and polished it till it shone like a mirror. Finally, just before the new moon’s night, Mayan was finished with his bewitched violin.
The Angel descended from the heavens without any hint of suspicion and began to sing to the tune of the magical violin. Mayan played the violin through the night, unaware if the Angel was indeed under his control. But the violin was magical, after all, and in the bliss of her song the Angel didn’t realize when the dark faded into morning. As the first rays of dawn struck her veiled face Mayan was suddenly aware of his desire. The violins throat fell silent as Mayan kept it onto the dewy grass and slowly moved his hands to draw her veil. He was sure her face was divine, much beyond any material beauty; she was the Angel after all. But the brightly clad women suddenly stopped her melodious song as Mayan’s hand tugged at the satin hanging across her face. She opened her eyes, aware of everything as she felt the warm sun across her face. Mayan fell back, scared.
“I’m sorry” he stumbled looking at her, expecting her to shout and curse him; perhaps burn him to ash. But she spoke only with an unbearable silence. Her anger was vent through her eyes, which suddenly turned ember. Unable to bear the fury in her eyes and the deafening silence, Mayan, like a frightened child, held his hands across his face. But she didn’t curse him; instead her slender bright figure took off from the wet grass towards the heavens. Mayan was in despair,
“Wait!” he pleaded trying in vain to reach up to her.
“Punish me…kill me; but don’t go away”. His voice though trailed off as the speck of silver glided away to oblivion.
Mayan lay there for long, face down upon the grass, crying fiercely and pleading like an infant. In the desire for her face, he’d forgotten what She meant to him; her dark eyes, her long rippling hair, her heavenly voice and the songs she sung in the unknown tongue. Realizing suddenly that he’d lost them all in his futile quest of the ultimate beauty shattered Mayan. He gave up everything he’d ever loved and though he’d slip noiselessly, with a violin in hand, at the wooden bench at night waiting in vain for the speck of silver, he could never play his beloved instrument again. In fact, over time as he stopped eating and talking and living altogether, he developed a great hatred towards Violins, and one day ended up setting fire to his workshop and burning himself in the process.
The villagers, who had been in great despair by Mayan’s grief and his unbearable state, cured him and put him to rest in one of the many airy rooms of his house. Lying there in solitude, aware and content of his impending end Mayan longed for the silver of the Angel, her beautiful songs and the softness of her breath. He wanted to cry but his tears had dried up into salt puddles at his cheeks and he could only plead gazing at the window.
She came finally as Mayan was moments away from his end and the villagers had left him alone in his room. He neither had the words to talk nor the energy and so she came and sat herself at the stool besides his bed. Mayan was relieved to see that her eyes were dark and not the ember of rage.
“I’m sorry” he mumbled finally, but she put her hands to his lips and began to sing. Mayan was lost in the vague undecipherable song. Slowly as the lights faded from the window his breath gradually became heavier and heavier till finally he could barely breathe. The Angel stopped her song and gently stroked his hair. Mayan looked up at her face, veiled by the same satin he’d tried to tug off once, and suddenly the old desire overcame him.
“Now that I’m about to die, will you not show me your face?” he asked in a voice which was barely audible. The angel was much distressed by his voice and was compelled to fulfill the final wish of the person she was so fond of. Slowly she untied the cord at the back of her ears and as the piece of satin fell to the floor, Mayan the violinist, closed his eyes to the dimly lit room.