Thursday, 24 May 2012


"I love these shoes", you take out a pair of them which are pink, the ones that could go well with your baby pink frock, with frills.
You won't stand a twitch of my nose and a no. You know you are special - at least when we shop on your birthday.
"Why don't you wear them and see whether they fit?"
"They will, I know!"
And you are right. How I wish I knew what I needed, and whether it did fit me!  My ankles strain a lot on these stylish, sharp shoes, but I can't get rid of them. That's part of what I should be. My comfort goes out of the door as I choose what I am expected to wear. Well, my shoes speak a lot about me, even though what I do is to pretend to be what I should be.
You run fast towards me, and the next moment you are standing on my shoes, and we are doing that silly dance together. It hurts, but I pretend to feel nothing. After all, I am doing what I feel like doing now. This hurt I hide is something that I want to hide.
We walk out of the shop, after all the purchases. I wish I could take a day off tomorrow as well, but I can't. Let's retain the celebratory mood, anyway.
"Would you like some ice cream?"
"Of course!" You screech.
I choose your favourite one for you. I wait for a moment, and then choose my favourite one, for myself. Your eyes widen, and you smile.
"You're giving a treat to yourself too?"
"Yes, but I hope you will soon give me a treat...once you grow up."
"Sure", you say.
I don't know whether you will remember this promise. You may even forget the whole day. Your shoes are not going to last more than six months. You will outgrow them before I know. You will outgrow these feelings someday as well. Perhaps, it's better that way. This empty shell will have to disintegrate as it should, on its own. The moment you know what I am, you may hate me. But let's celebrate today, and every day, till you know.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

A Perfect Script

     How vain you were, to try to impress your friends whenever you got a chance! Now that you are no more, there are a lot of images in my mind in which you do some ridiculous thing or the other. You were not inclined to be the wise guy in a crowd. You were always the prankster, and you loved it, along with your friends, when your pranks backfired on you.

     But you were special - I knew. The first time you walked into my cabin, you smelt of the  village. But there was a twinkle in your eyes that spoke of the cool mountain breeze that keeps you fresh all the same. You held a few exercise books in your hands, as if they were unnecessary appendages that you wanted to get rid of. You had that wicked smile, and the good-for-nothing shrug that many of my students in the school sported whenever they knew what to do next. I remember not trying to smile and watching your smile vanish slowly, giving place to more confusion in your body language. Then I smiled. And you smiled again.

     I saw you jumping walls and fences on your way back home. You had a bicycle which was usually used by your friends. You were the son of the soil, always happy to walk lazily around, trot, run, jump up and down. Your friends thought you were crazy, but you had so much of wild energy within you. Once you fell down on a field while trying to jump a fence, just for fun. Everyone laughed when you got up, with grass and mud all over you. You saw me drive past, and you gave me a salute, and that wicked smile. How I wish I stopped by to see whether you were alright. But I knew that you would be alright. You had the right spirits to overcome troubles.

     There were things that I didn't like about you. Well, that happens. No matter how hard one fights it, generation gap exists. I wanted you to have second thoughts on your wardrobe. But you would have been a different person, if you hadn't worn those funny clothes. That was part of you. Part of the brilliance you showed in your writing exercises. Your grammar was not perfect, and grasp of language just above average. But I loved your wild imagination. It was something that helped me understand you better, and appreciate your wild, seemingly meaningless acts.

     I knew you were honest in your writing, and the pain you had gone through your life was camouflaged in your fantasy world and its strange characters. I knew how much you missed your father who died when you were a toddler, and the elder brother who died before he was born. How extraordinary were your thoughts about your brother, who you thought was a part of you! You had your little anxieties and fears, which you tried to share with him, through your imaginary conversations. Perhaps you found him in all your friends, and were always trying to make him smile. How lonely a kid you were, despite all that tomfoolery!

     You never let others know of your fear of death as well. But I knew about it, from the dark passages you wrote. I thought it was normal, for a young kid like you, but you were seeing more than others about your destiny. You seemed to know that yours was going to be a small life, and perhaps you were trying to make the best of it. Your illness came visible only during the last couple of months before it took you away. But you seemed to know everything. Your script of your own life was perfect, I must say. You figured it out the best way possible. You played your part well... Now, it's time for me to wash away my little dislikes, and keep your memory fresh in my mind. Let it sparkle, like your thoughts about the world.

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Wednesday, 9 May 2012


It's good that you look at me, with those curious eyes. You don't ask me anything, and your expression would have remained deadpan but for those eyes. Are you asking me whether I can't sit on another seat? - the train is practically empty except for a few kids like you from the evening classes. I shouldn't be threat anyway, am I? Late sixties, same sex, weak, gasping for I a threat to you? But why do you look at me like that? Why don't you say something, or let me say something? Why do you avert your eyes to the scenes outside as I settle down opposite you?

You block all possibilities of a dialogue. You take out a book from your rucksack and pretend that you are reading. But those big eyes of yours betray you. I can see that they are stuck at some point, and they don't transfer any kind of information to your brain from that book. I know you are just thinking. Are you thinking about home? About your boyfriend? About yourself? About me?

Your fingers look as if they are meant to create art. Perhaps you are a painter. Or you like to play musical instruments. Your intimate friends are sure to love them. Those are neat hands worth holding. But why do you become so conscious and insecure in the presence of people? Are you stealing a glance on my hands, as if you have read my mind? They are wrinkled, but delicate. Slender fingers. Yes, I am an artist. I draw portraits. But you don't ask me anything, and how can I ever tell you what's in my mind?

I wish I had my digital camera with me. But even then you would have got offended if I clicked a picture that traps you cunningly in a frame that captures outside scenes from the train. You are perhaps the kind who would ask me to show those pictures and insist on deleting the one that contains you. Well, that is what I like about you. How old are you? Not more than eighteen, I guess. But you have strong resolve trapped in those sharp features. You look beautiful from every angle. Though you are the least bit made up, your sense of style is perfect. You are my girl.

You lift your eyes to confront me, as I fumble inside my bag and take out my sketchbook. Your eyes seem more relaxed now. You smile a bit to my query, "May I a draw a portrait of you? I can give the carbon copy free to you...", and say, "Of course...but you just scared me a bit." And you laugh, light-heartedly. 

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Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Power of Things

"It looks as if it was once a throne. Those who sat on it might have experienced the power that orders respect, love...gratitude..."

"Come on, it's junk. We need to clear these soon. I don't think we can save the place. The whole apartment is burnt. It's gone to the dogs."

"There were people here Henry. Real people. We need to respect their feelings."

"Tom, you're really crazy. No one survived the fire here. Everyone died. Turned to ashes. Men, women, children...there's no use taking out your sentiments now. This is our work. We need to clear this place fast."

"But wait a minute. I need to take a picture of this sofa. Look at its colours. Even the dark burns seem to work well with the colours. It's a work of art. It's something that explodes out of a tragedy. Oh, but what's tragedy? Henry, there were real people who sat on this throne. They must have turned to ashes, but we have to respect their feelings that surround this. Hey, don't put that curtain on it. Let me just see whether I can find some use for this throne in my studio. It breathes of life, and death..."

"Tom, stop this nonsense, and start working. There's a lot to clear off from this room."

"Okay, I am with you, but keep that sofa there till the end. I may need that."

"Why do you need that? Why does someone need damaged furniture from a burnt apartment? Can't you see that it is totally useless?"

"I love keeping remnants of lives not lived. They have a power. This one carries the unfinished breath of lovers, infants, old people..."

"What are you talking about?"

"You see, I just need to change the upholstery, and it will be a throne again. It's not damaged. It can have a life of its own once again. Why throw that away like the lives that were burnt off here for no reason?"

"There could be reasons. There could be reasons for every fire that consumes apartments."

"Well, I refuse to throw away this like that. The life of this throne... it has to experience the power once again. Of love, respect, gratitude..."

"There you go again! Okay, you keep that, but we need to finish the work before night."

"Okay, am coming!"

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