Telling a tale
Pushing through the crowd
Walking the aisle
Sometimes all together
At times one after one
Isn’t there so much to hear
Isn’t there a little to know
In the night they sleep
And the dogs bark
Isn’t there so much to hear
They complain there’s nothing to do
What more they want to
When the skies have shades to show
Flowers have colors to fan
There’s a dim voice around
They listen only when the wind roars
When the skies fall
Don’t hear sitting next to you
Don’t see sitting next to you
Feel? Oh, only when you prick
In the gloomy afternoon, when most of us have had our lunch and are usually hanging our heads in distress and lethargy while fighting with sleep and there are noises called burps and snores, I saw an email popping up in my phone. It was on a personal email address that I keep for important communications. In case you wonder what rises up to the category, I use it for crappy contests I never win. Also, for making baseless notes.
All emails, yes all of them, are labeled important. My eyes dilated in hope when I unlocked the phone. The email shouted this: We are sorry to inform you that you haven’t won the so and so contest the winner of which will be awarded $100. The winner will be announced at 3pm, so stay tuned.
I did, despite my slo-mo, wrathful fortune. Half an hour later I had another inbox crying this out: Apologies for wrong information distributed in the previous email. The prize money is $150. Stay tuned…
This time the email wished me Happy participating!
Was there a slow applause in the background? No, I think it was an uproarious laughter. A dirty snicker, actually. Damn.
Everybody talks to self and some of us even take it seriously. One night, I had trouble convincing my other self that it must stop it’s talk. It’s talk— frivolous, pretentious of being grave and like most of the times, a threat to my peace. Problems in the world are many, and they are all dung and dust unless they concern human development, freedom, justice and peace. Although there are certain other family issues that should bother me, like forgetting the lunch bag at home and getting to be hauled at by mother, or my sister stunning father by putting cool Whatsapp statuses, or when father manages to inspect my display pictures, which he usually thinks are not suitable — every time for a new reason. He’s so much like an unhappy manager at times.
My other self argued that the issue was of equal significance. It was this: I believed that I had hurt a colleague and my other self was pressing me to apologise. All I wanted was to escape. I then asked my other self to better be quiet and it snapped back. It said, ‘I was minding my own business till you started digging your nose.’
I really do not dig my nose but my other self ensures that it says all the nasty things it can make up against me. It was not sane enough to abuse my other self, which is after all ‘self’, however sheepish and peevish. So I tried to shut the voice. I began singing, to which my other annoying self replied, ‘You sing well, but have
you heard someone fart?’
Then I imagined my other self raising its monstrous chin and nodding. ‘It’s just slightly better.’
What a great simile!
‘You bloody monster! It’s slightly better than the sound of a fart?’
‘No! Haha. I mean the fart sounds just better.’
I imagined the monstrous self banging a table.
There’s a popular term in Hindi for fools. It translates into English as lid. And my other self is the lid of the box that was never made.
It said so softly, ‘Yeah, I know you don’t like me, but isn’t that just your personal choice?’
The people, people with whom we live think you’re a wannabe. And I find it amusing and soothing because there are layers and layers of innocence in a wannabe like you. You want to learn. You want to see how it works and then work it yourself. You talk to them with faith and enthusiasm, as if you know every spoken word, every gesture, every glimpse will let you in in the place you want to be. You’re a wannabe, the best one can be to ‘be’. Once you become, you’ll need to unbecome several persons you became and you’re not afraid of the mountain-clearing you’ll need to do. But that is after you become. Now you want to. You wish to, yearn to, are all wide-eyed and chin up, shoulders alert. Where beauty is beauty and unpleasant becomes a personal choice for others, you’re trying like you know you’ll have it and become what you want to by the sheer determination and madness you, the wannabe, carry.
I’ve seen many walk out the theatre laughing and talking about the clothes, the bling, the cheer, the finesse, the talent, the greatness and the failure of the story. And I’ve seen you taking it all along with you as you walk out and think what might have gone on to make it look the way it does now. What makes such a talent, what creates such a cheer and what takes it to bring your work to such a finesse. You do the same as you watch people around you. You wannabe the good in them and while you’re at it, you don’t see the bad. You accrue no significance to it.
You are not even ashamed of what you lack. You care enough to fill the gaps and that’s the best thing in a wannabe. You’re scared, nervous. You take baby steps. You never want to lose it and almost never forget making sure you don’t. You’ll soon become. And you’ll soon cease to be a wannabe. Ensure that you remain a wannabe by wanting to be someone better, someone greater. Wannabe, you must remain. There lies your sweetness, your greatness.
Sometimes I wake up to see you clicked about ten pictures of your happy face. We’ve laughed at you. How obsessed you are with your happiness. You also constantly want us to know how happy you’ve been. That reminds us how gloomy you’ve been in the past and never telling us. You wannabe happy. Sometimes I go see your happy faces. It makes me smile to see how innocent are those who want to be. For sheer nonchalance I want to see the good and only the good in you, wannabe. Don’t be daunted by the term.
Typical of maple leaves
They float in the air
Gruesome on the mind
Still so bland on skin
It’s color is saffron or probably orange
It could be coral or maybe yellow
It’s none of the ones I mentioned
It not transparent I can tell
It is so untrue to me and to itself it is ambiguous
The maples sway
But they do not identify
They know not what it means to be driven
Yet they are driven
Yet they don’t know where
They are foolish
Only that is what they know
A tap on their chins
To show them what they must
And oh so sturdy
That one cannot prevent them from the fall