Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Butcher Shop

My mind is a playground of ideas,
My actions are butcher shops.
I hope, I think and I dream a lot,
And I litter on the roads all my thoughts.

The slaughter house is in my heart,
The butcher shop is just a showoff.
Dead cold hands I have,
And I kill with them a million lots.

You name a crime I haven't done,
I live in a palace of disappointments.
The butcher shop was not my dream,
I only have had ideas, but never a dream.


PS: Mind is in a free flow when you are sleepy and you really don't know what you're thinking. 


Friday, February 8, 2013

Lives in a Fishbowl


We were always good friends. On the playgrounds of Kindergarten school, he would push me forward to be the decision maker to choose which games to play, which teams to make. I was his favourite and the best buddy. In times to come we were to become the tales, the legends to be remembered and spoken of for years. But brutal as time could be, sowings of hope did not materialize the dreams. We were to get separated and remain so for the better part of our young lives. Choices were not ours, only destinies were.

 So what if we did not talk in the past 20 years? So what if we do not know anymore about each other? So what if we did not even care whether the other was alive or not? We were good friends and when we would meet, so much will be there to talk about. Stories to share. Narration of the most distinctive experiences and lives of others to be told. How rare is that! Friendships survive the worst. I was excited, happy and pictured myself how to make my talk palatable, my instinctive reactions presentable and hopefully pleasant. It’s not easy to do when you are meeting an old friend after a long time. You don't know whether to be yourself or to be your kid self, which of course you don't remember anymore. It took me some time to imagine in my imaginations how I would have talked if we were regular friends, before I decide that it would be better to be the little polite version of my true-self. But I was still not sure.

It was 20 minutes past the time we had agreed to meet at the location. It was a nicely built cafe with bright colourful lighting and graffiti’s all over the walls. The blend of ethnic feel and the modern touch simultaneously perplexed and delighted my thoughts. He should love this place. He must be a person of classy choices, I deduced from the tiffin boxes he brought as a kid. While I thought of all the nice things that were going to happen, I could not control the urgency of my bladder anymore. I called upon the waiter and instructed him to direct anyone asking for me to the table and I ran to the far side of the cafe for a 180 second loo break. As the tension released, my eyes were dreamy again with a glint and fearful expectation.

When I came out of the washroom, a one-legged man was sitting at the table. Still standing at the far end of the cafe, I avoided his sight. When he turned a little towards me, I immediately feared the worst. He looked poor, terribly poor. His face was scarred and possibly the whole body was scratched like a bed of injuries. But still I could resemble the face of my childhood Vinay with the person sitting there. The man seemed to have suffered many life times in years I had prospered thinking I did not ever had enough. My ideas of friendship shattered. The colourful dreams of an eventful reunion with my childhood friend were not meant to be. This was not what I had imagined it to be like. A surge of strange emotional force ate me up inside rendering me restless and indecisive. It was not empathy or pity. It was a split-second of time when I had to choose between my ideas of how reality should be what really it was. The man needed me perhaps but I needed myself at the moment. I got myself together, slowly I put my head down and walked and walked and walked past the man and left the cafe. The waiter later informed him that I never came to the cafe.

I cried and cried in the comfort of darkness while the friend I hoped to rejuvenate with was probably robbed of the last hope he would have kept safe for more than 20 years. I tried to console myself of what I did. I reasoned in every which way possible to convince myself that I had to make that decision and it was the right one. But only years to come did make me realize the pettiness of my notions and the baggage of guilt I would carry in my many suffered lifetimes to come.

Short Story : Lives in a Fishbowl
(I realize this illustration is useless. Who cares!)


Friday, November 16, 2012

Rough Work : Story of a Child's Mind

When I was a kid, I kept two kinds of notebooks per subject. One for fair work and the other for rough work. Slowly as I grew up, I was not allowed to do mistakes anymore and rough work was gradually to be reduced. The rough books disappeared soon. Looking back I feel strange because most of the things that I have learned were from the mistakes I committed doing rough work. Probably those were the ones I should have kept? I don't know.

But as I grew up a little more, as I said, I wasn't allowed to do mistakes. I was required to respond quickly and and (i was not allowed to put two and's together by mistake) in rightful manner to situations that arise, so I had to do rough work in my mind. Now when mind gets full, how do I make the rough work disappear? Its stuffed in my head, isn't it? And this is exactly what happened to the little boy in our story. He is called by the name Bent. No one knows whatever his real name is. Even Bent doesn't know anymore whatever his name was. 

Bent was a brilliant kid in school. He could do the math like a 8 year old genius. He could explain the planets and the solar system. He knew the importance of brushing everyday and he also knew the stories of The Giant Bull Man (whatever that is) who was his hero. When he was brought to school by his parents, he suffered from some mysterious disease and the bones in his fingers won't let them straighten up. His parents had yet not thought of a name, 4 years old though he was, so when the Head Master saw the kid, he immediately named him Bent. Head Master, it is said, wanted to name his children with English names. Unfortunately he never had any. And some would say that he named him Bent out of his disappointment in life of not having kids and when he saw the kid in diseased condition it quite suited too. But anyways I want you to believe that he was named with good intention as I believe it too. And now you know why nobody knew his real name, well for one reason that there wasn't any.

So one day when Madam Merry asked the bright, brilliant, witty Bent, with fingers beginning to straighten up after his age of 6, that tell me the answer to how many candles you would buy if..., Bent suddenly interrupted and said. Madam Merry, as much merry as you are but I cannot answer your question. Madam Merry was shocked by this rudeness. One would call her Madam Marry and then whatever they wanted to and she wouldn't mind, but she couldn't understand despite her being tireless teacher, why would his favourite pupil refuse to answer a question. 

Bent didn't like keeping secrets much, particularly when keeping them might get him more trouble and no fun, he immediately stooped and said. "Madam, as much merry as you make me by teaching but my rough copy is full. I cannot write there anything anymore."

Listening to Bent, unsure and afraid, Madam Merry, how could she not believe him? She asked, "What rough copy?" 

And then Bent told her his painful story that would bring any child to tears, if at all any child is still left in you. He started to tell her how his fingers were bent when he was little, particularly no reason to tell it but he told her anyway. And then he told he had been doing all the rough work in his head ever since he was a kid as his poor parents, as hardworking as they were, could provide not much to write upon. He told that his mind book is full now. And because as he could not pay attention in doing the rough work efficiently organized, his mind book is full before his prediction of 18 years(whatever way he might have predicted). 

"But all that you have ever taught", he said to Madam Merry, "is still up there my dear Madam. But there is no more space to learn more!" Poor kid, innocent as he was, began to sob and Madam Merry, as much merry as she was, could not hold her tears. She wiped her tears soon, the class was watching, and said to Bent.

"I know my child you remember everything I have ever told you", whatever that might be, "but because I love you my pupil, and the others in your class too," for others were now frowning upon the two, "I want to teach you more my lovely child and the rest of you." 
"And fortunate as you are,", she told the poor child Bent who was now blowing his nose off, "I know what to do."

Madam Merry bought Bent a rough book everyday in the morning and Bent, brilliant as he was, wrote upon it day and night, for evening is reserved for playing on the fields. Books and books, shelves he stacked with cover pages signed Bent. A month later he came knocking on Madam Merry's door. 
"Scribbling as much as I did, 
Days and nights, 
For evenings are for play,
I have my mind unlid, 
And wrote everything bit by bit.
My head's a hollow drum, 
Strange as it thrums.
Though my fingers are sore,
Will you teach me more?"

Madam Merry, merry as she was,  told him to come to class.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Little Laughter I Would Have Missed


When it was night, full of stars, washed clear by the rain, it was then I realized that night sky was not dark. It is never dark. It is in fact lighted by billions of stars, planets and galaxies shining far off somewhere in the universe. And this night, this beautiful blanket above me was the testimony to those million burning souls.

I often question why we are born? What is the purpose of life? But in that very moment when I was lying on my back facing the stars from the roof of 20 storey tall building, it was then it occurred to me that the whole purpose of life is to shine, to twinkle till the time life has.

But my time to twinkle was over. I was at the very last stage of twinkling and I was about to burst apart and break into pieces. I stood up, moved to the edge of the balcony and held the railing. 20 storeys! You could faint looking down from that height and fall on your own. There is no need to take a conscious decision. I laughed.

I looked up at the stars and then down again. On the top of me was freedom. Freedom with twinkling beautiful lights. And below me was a concrete jungle of the ugly world full of judgments, delusions and betrayals. I wondered about dreams. Dreams come from above me from those starry lights and they fall below me to get broken in the 'realistic' world. I laughed. Anything would break if it fell from that height. Will I break too? That i wanted to know.

I held the railing tightly and stretched one leg on top of it as if getting my stance ready. 1,2 and 3...wait! What if mid-way in the air, my mind changes and I realize I am wrong doing this? What is I get the realization of the kind E equals c squared times m and I couldn't share it with the world? What a great loss would it be! Worse, what if I get a loo? Damn! I wanted to go to loo. I climbed downstairs to find the nearest loo. I thought about the sudden '...wait!' that saved my life and gave me the opportunity to pee. I laughed.

While I was peeing, I thought about stars, peeing, concrete jungle, peeing, physics, maths, even more peeing. When i was done I stretched my arms and felt relieved. When I came out of the loo, I didn't want to die anymore. I don't know what suddenly happened to me but I wanted to think more about the things that I could laugh on. For a moment I thought the feeling is short lived and went to climb the stairs back to the top but the steps got heavier and heavier. I started feeling stuffed and choked with the thought of dying. Why should I...commit suicide? As the countdown of stairs was about to end, I began to sweat. It was a forced decision I realized. No one wants to die. No one wants to end his life and miss all the little sarcastic laughter. As i moved further and closed in near the edge, my anger grew. This world has made me think of myself as a waste. This is the very world, the concrete jungle full of judgmental eyes that has made me feel so low of myself. This very effing world. I looked down and looked up again. I didn't know what to do. I closed my eyes for moments and I heard a faint sound in the silence of the night. I humbly accepted it as a good omen, took many deep breaths and went back to my room. I slept and forgot about the night.

Next morning when I was going out of the building, the watchman said, "Last night I came to the roof to lock the door. I saw you there and thought may be you are enjoying the wind and I returned." 

The whole night flashed in my mind in a split second. I walked towards the watchman and hugged him tightly. "You saved my life." I didn't want myself to let go off his hug. I had never felt so emotional with a stranger. 

The watchman patted on my back and said, "Don't worry sir. I have locked the roof now."
I laughed a little, looked away and left. 


PS: Originally I posted this story on writerbabu.com. Awesome platform if you want to share stories anonymously.