food for thought, Short Stories

The Study Table – III

I

II

III

Life moves on. So, I moved on too –

My new destination? A scrap yard. How did I come to be there? Didn’t I tell you that my ex-owner found me too old and too obese for his “renovated” home? He was so sure of my ugliness and my uselessness that he didn’t even put me up on sale – He threw me straight to the Scrap yard. Before I could even analyze my surroundings, I was taken by a roadside barber. So, now I had a new job role. I watched people come and go, some getting shaved, some getting massaged and some getting their hair cut. I remember how happy the mirror placed on me used to be. I despised her. Her happiness made me grow immensely jealous of her. With each passing day, I became more and more morose. Throwing me away like garbage after all those years of my diligent service wasn’t a fair treatment. Couldn’t he just chop me off and use me in a bonfire? I would have been happy with that. Sitting there, by the road, was humiliating! I am the one who needs to be kept sedated with smell of books. I am the one who survives in the presence of poetry or the equations of chemical reactions or trigonometry problems. The lumps of hair accumulating on me were infuriating. The barber scratching the razors on me didn’t make me feel better either. Initially, I had thought that the girl was worst. Then I thought that the scrap yard was the worst. But somehow, I kept descending to worse of worsts! I was tempted to call the barber worst too. But I couldn’t, fearing the ironic implication of that statement. Nevertheless, fate took the unintentional and the unsaid challenge anyway.

The barber abruptly left one day. Initially, it seemed like a dream come true. But in reality, it has been a nightmare. I spend my days and nights alone on the road side. So, I get roasted in the afternoons, wet in the rains and remain immensely dusty all the time. The horns of the cars haunt me, my loneliness haunts me, my uselessness haunts me, my existence haunts me and I stand waiting, waiting for my end to finally make an entrance. The way things are progressing or regressing, I am sure my end isn’t far. But if it is, if it is somehow still far, then the worst haunts me. And here you are – miraculously standing with that unwavering look of admiration in your eyes. I am not flattered. I am amazed. For a moment, I am tempted to forget what I have been through. For a moment, I am tempted to be hopeful. For the first time in a really long time, I am happy. It doesn’t have to last long. I know it won’t. But I am grateful to you for this. I am grateful to you indeed.

“It’s a pity how this table is thrown here. It should be used, it’s so pretty!” I hear the woman’s voice.

“Pretty old, you mean. Pretty broken, you mean. Pretty ugly, you mean.”  Her friend replies and I find myself agreeing with him.

“Pretty apt for our café, I meant.” The woman replies.

“This? For our café? No way!”

“What’s wrong! It matches with the theme. Plus, I will work on it. I will make it pretty presentable and pretty awesome, you will see!”

“I am not so sure…”

The woman comes near me. I shiver at her proximity. I shiver at her touch. It really had been a long time since any human had stood so close to me.

“The table is old, yes, I know. But the wood is still good, see? They don’t make such furniture anymore! Let’s take it to our garage. I will repair it.”

“You do that in a month’s time. Or else I will throw it.”

“You can count on me!” she replies excitedly.

I refuse to believe my ears. Does she really mean it? After this long series of abandonment, did this just happen for real?

Epilogue

I was sure I was going to return to the road again. I didn’t think I was repairable. I was sure that the woman would give up on me soon. Miraculously, she didn’t. I ended up being in her café instead. I couldn’t believe my own transformation. Though I am no longer a study table I admit, but I am always sedated with a stack of books at my corner. Quite often, I am also greeted by the heat of laptops and the mild heat of the hot coffee filtered through the coasters. Sometimes I am greeted by interesting conversations, interesting people scribbling interesting things in their notebooks and I love it.  I love it all. But then amidst all these beautiful chaos and entropy, I keep myself reminding that I am, at the end of the day, just a table.

***

30 Days writing challenge, Poetry

Day Twenty Seven – The Cork

The cork
Parts of which lay tragically sunk in my wine
So, I use a sieve while pouring us a glass,
But even then you may be required to ignore the grainy texture,
And the weird taste of the cork wood
Which again I hope you wouldn’t mind
And instead take this moment
To laugh at my little stupidity;
How a seemingly simple opening act
Can go so horribly wrong
Like most of the things in life,
But we can still choose to drink the wine anyway.
And maybe
Even savior it.

*

AUTHOR’S LITTLE NOTE:
This blog series is a part of a 30 Days writing challenge, which is as depicted by the picture below (Special thanks to Pinterest):
Writing challenge - May'17
30 Days writing challenge, Poetry

Day Twenty Two – Tin Can

Is where I keep oddest of things
To retain most mundane memories,
It’s amazing how these little things
Otherwise known as garbage
Can transform into a source
Of such unanticipated recollection
And a smile
And maybe a few tears
Blooming beautifully out of the blue.

*

AUTHOR’S LITTLE NOTE:
This blog series is a part of a 30 Days writing challenge, which is as depicted by the picture below (Special thanks to Pinterest):
Writing challenge - May'17
30 Days writing challenge, Inspiration

Day Fourteen – Downloading…

( A mother’s day special)

After another late night hearty dialogue with my mother, as I lay beside her wrapped in her arms, I ask god once again – What did I ever do to deserve her?
She implants another kiss on my forehead filled with pride. I am sinking beneath the wave of happiness and bewilderment – How could she believe in me more than I do? How is she capable of doing this? How does she have so much love to give away?
I wonder how does the nature manage to store so much love in its servers. God chuckles and replies back in my colloquial language, “This is not it, you know! When it comes to a mother’s love, our servers work in a magical way. Years might pass away and yet you would be far from completing the download! All that will blink on the screen of your life is a pop up menu that says; (Still) Downloading…
That’s how huge that file is. You ask me the exact size? You really think I would know?”

*

30 Days writing challenge, Poetry

Day Thirteen – Camp

 Away from the concrete jungle
I stay tugged in green,
Away from the honk and horns
I stay lulled by the sound of the silence
Away from the dust or drainage
I stay intoxicated by the smell of the forest
There are no trains to catch or any buses to miss
There aren’t any appointments to make
Or calls to take
Time is still
And I have nothing but a bucket full of moments
Hadn’t I put so many efforts to be here?
In this camp?
Away from the worries
Hadn’t I hoped to stay busy counting the stars,
And sharing strange stories with strangers?
But where has my excitement gone over the fact that the clock finally doesn’t tick!
Staring at the moon, I miss the night lamp refusing to admit that I might be… homesick.

*

AUTHOR’S LITTLE NOTE:
This blog series is a part of a 30 Days writing challenge, which is as depicted by the picture below (Special thanks to Pinterest):
Writing challenge - May'17
30 Days writing challenge, food for thought

Day Twelve – Orange Fizz

I stare, with repugnance at the little girl, uncannily resembling me from the past, and how she gulps down the Orange fizz, too sweet to even be tasted, with such obnoxious enthusiasm.

I stare in disgust – How the young woman, somewhat resembling me or rather how I think I might look in the future, gulps down the golden brown fizz, too bitter for even a sip, with such nauseating excitement.

How things change!

*

AUTHOR’S LITTLE NOTE:
This blog series is a part of a 30 Days writing challenge, which is as depicted by the picture below (Special thanks to Pinterest):
Writing challenge - May'17
30 Days writing challenge, Inspiration

Day Eleven – Catastrophic

Dear Brain,
You are a mess. You are utter chaos tied together with a band on the verge of breaking. Your excellent ability to act like pendulum is remarkable. Or rather remarkably reproachable. Can you stop oscillating for once? For once! I don’t intend to demean you. I am not saying you aren’t talented at all. You are perfectly capable of doing amazing things. And you have done it in the past and you are going to do it in the future. But as far as the present goes, may I just mention here, how utterly skilled you are at risk and opportunity analysis? It is commendable, truly, the way you always have a long list of things that could go wrong and a subsequent mitigation plan already ready with you which somehow, despite your excellent efforts, you are never really much confident about. And yet, on a calm silent night when we are drunk on dopamine, when we stand just a few inches away from our dreams, one can find you lying beside me – shedding tears together plotting an opportunity curve to infinity! Ah brain! You are such a mess! You are dismissive. You are submissive. You are dismissive. You are submissive. Can you grow up and get off the roller coaster ride for once? For once! Can we, ever, peacefully amble across the beach instead and just marvel at the beauty of the ocean? But no, even in this supposedly tranquil stroll, you will find a way to be an absolute retard anyway, won’t you? No, don’t drag me here! Why blame me? I am the heart and I want what I want. It’s you who doesn’t know what you want. Fine, I understand it’s not easy being you. You have inherent hardwire problems that can’t be rectified. I get it. But can we strike a small deal? I promise I am not going to ask too much from you. Brain, if you can’t help but be a mess, then fine! Be a mess. Be the calculative, commutative, contemplative and the overly caring prodigious mess that you are. But then there’s another side to you. The wilder side. The dangerous side. The careless side who isn’t concerned about the pollutants dispersed in the wind, pending projects threatening you with a possibility of an eternal life, pending mails that are yet to be addressed, the mild headache and the grotesque possibilities it might entail, the long queue of problems knocking at our door, the uncertain future or the regrettable past! There’s a part of you that doesn’t follow the plan; there’s a part of you who looks at the present and says, “Gosh! It is so beautiful!”

My dearest, dearest brain! Let that part surface a bit more often! Stop being guilty about it! You are eccentric. Learn to accept that. You are not perfect and why should you be? Who the hell knows here what perfection is!  Stop being concerned about how you may or may not be a savior. You don’t even know what and whom to save exactly anyway! And that’s okay. You shouldn’t be concerned about this. Screw protecting and being protected! We are catastrophic. You are catastrophic. And that’s the best part.

Yours affectionately,
Heart

*

30 Days writing challenge, Poetry

Day Ten – Unreliable witness

Brain is a funny little fella, I tell ya!
He proudly flaunts off all the things he can store
Claiming that they are as they were
Always advocating his trustworthiness
Quoting the things, he swears he heard
Showing the things, he swears he saw
But they may be nothing but pretentious projections
He might say he knows it all
But present him with a counter argument
And he would immediately panic and stutter
He would bend and he would mend
His own accounts of events
Probably according to what you want to feel
Probably according to whatever things that then appeal
Brain is a funny little fella, didn’t I tell ya!
His best joke?
How I am an unreliable witness to my own life.

*

AUTHOR’S LITTLE NOTE:
This blog series is a part of a 30 Days writing challenge, which is as depicted by the picture below (Special thanks to Pinterest):
Writing challenge - May'17
food for thought, philosophy

The Puppets

In this brief moment, when the puppeteer above has paused his show thinking about what his next move should be, the puppets below stand still and shocked at their absolute inability to move on their own. For the first time in their lives, they realize how badly they mistook their actions as their own voluntary movements. So, what has their life been? Nothing but a portrayal of some fictitious story weaved by the hands above? Their life has never been theirs. Their reality has been nothing but a performance. What is the relevance of this kind of life? Should it even be called a life? They examine the strings attached to several parts of their body. They want to look up, curse the man who had been leading their lives instead of them but they can’t, not without his permission. In their motionless state, they could feel their mind sinking deep into the ocean of restlessness. They suddenly become aware of the thrilled audience at the front who sat anticipating for yet another wasted show. What joy can one derive from this? From someone’s misery? Are their lives nothing but a medium of entertainment?

Why did the puppeteer pause? They had been living happily in their ignorance! Now, how would they continue breathing with this horrifying realization when every single hope of any possible meaning to their life has been completely annihilated? Meaning of life? Maybe, maybe to be “puppetted” had been their purpose all along. But what kind of purpose is this which is by default, already attained? But this was their reality. This is their reality. Maybe they should just go along with it. But should they not be angry at their pitiable state? At their irrelevant existence? But what kind of relevance would their “voluntary” actions would bring anyway? They would still be on stage. They would be still performing – maybe with a bit of spontaneity but that doesn’t really make a difference! Maybe, it’s good that now they don’t have to carry the burden of making their lives extraordinary. Maybe, it’s for the best that the responsibility of such magnitude has been taken off their shoulders. Maybe things would be simpler now. But the freedom! Aren’t they going to miss their freedom? How could they be so confused, hopeful, furious, curious, morose and even relieved at the same time?

It’s difficult to get out of the maze of their thoughts now. Too late, they went in too far. “Maybe we should simply accept who we are” one of them speaks quietly. Accept who we are? Accept who we are! But who are we? Plastic! Paint! Waste! That’s what our being has succumbed to! And we should just accept that? “Then maybe we should rebel against our own nature,” the crazy man speaks again. What is wrong with this guy? We can’t move a millimeter without this string telling us to and you suggest us to rebel? Are you out of your mind? “Then what should we do?” the man shouts. Who knows! We cannot do anything! Maybe, you are right. We should accept who we are. But it is difficult. It is unfair. It is heartbreaking. It is anything but acceptable. “Okay…Well let me tell you this in that case. Why should we go on about calling ourselves a waste! If we can’t do anything about our situation, then can’t we be happy about the fact that we are also a piece of art? Aren’t we also a creation?” the crazy man says again. What’s up with this guy being so hopeful! We are doomed, my friend. We are DOOMED! “But we had always been doomed. It’s just that we know that now.” Somebody must make this creature shut up.

And suddenly, the puppets find themselves moving again. The puppeteer has resumed his show. They can’t stop themselves from engaging in this dance. They can’t stop themselves from obeying. What pathetic state is this! Can they slip into the zone of ignorance again? Maybe they can. After all, isn’t imagination supposed to be the most powerful tool? And so it begins as the puppets start imagining every movement as the part of their own life – not their performance. Of course, it’s difficult at first. Good things aren’t supposed to come easy. Their minds both protest and comply. But they imagine again. Again. Again. And again until it transforms into an incessant dream of their ideal lives. The strings break away and they dance, walk, embrace with their own will. It’s beautiful! They have finally attained the freedom to pen down their own stories. Who cares about the delusion? Who cares about the ignorance? There’s too much beauty in their independence to think about those stupid stuff! So, they sing! They swoon! They rejoice! They celebrate until…Until the moment, the hands upstairs pause again.

***

Poetry

That Bastard hope!

Hope isn’t a friend, my friend;
Even the popular norms can be misleading.
Hope isn’t the guy you can trust;
Sometimes, even strangers are less deluding.
Sure hope can gift you blissful dreams;
Dreams which are capable of making your hearts flutter with joy,
Shooing away all the things that might have got you annoyed
He would take you to a faraway destination –
On which you would do all kinds of investigation
For, of course, you will make that journey one day,
That one day won’t be tomorrow,
That one day won’t even be the day after tomorrow,
That one day!
That one day will be someday,
An abstract thing,
A floating entity not willing to be quantified as a date
And to be brought down into the ugliness of calendars at any rate!
But we don’t have to know this, yes.
Though even with this ignorance, don’t you dare transform that day into today
Hope won’t take it.
This very act jeopardizes the purpose of his existence,
So, he will put up with all forms of resistance,
Gaining the shape of its alter ego
Suddenly, he will transform into his apprehensive self—
What if? What if? What if?

Hope will always project an ideal parallel future,
ready to be touched but never intending to intersect;
When the limit tends to zero there would always be something to interject,
So, let your dreams thrive in the islands far far away,
Either they be tomorrows of tomorrows,
Or simply yesterdays,
Hope is a kind bastard,
who doesn’t mean you any harm, of course.
A guy a bit too concerned
who wants to protect you from remorse.
But don’t let him take control
After all what matters the most is his greatest fear—
Today.
Oh hope! It will be okay!
Frankly, I am pretty scared of your hazardous affection
Hope, you can’t always keep looking for acceptance
When you know what necessary part of life are rejections,
So, don’t leave me here in the midway-
when you have got me half dreamy but dangerously short of motivation
Be the chain reaction to my actions;
I don’t want your presence through scattered fractions,
Be honest hope! Be persistent!
If I give up, be insistent!
If I try, be an assistant!
If I fuck up, be resistant!
If I am bogged down lift me up,
Hold my hand through each hiccup,
Be real,
Not surreal,
I don’t need you as evasion,
Or some repeated persuasion,
Don’t function as a pill meant to abate,
I just need you as a mate!
But these aren’t in his basic nature,
For hope is a funny creature!
Known for his abrupt endings,
‘Hopeless’ is his second nomenclature
And so, you can only hope that he stays till the end.
Because yes, hope isn’t a friend, my friend.

***