Sunday, October 21, 2012

My Escape

My mornings are always greeted with an unpleasant alarm, which sounds more like a malfunctioning sewing machine. I was still rubbing my eyes, preparing to take my first yawn of the morning, when I heard someone shouting at top of his voice "Hurry Up. It's getting late for the school". As I got up from my bed, I started feeling jealous of my neighbour-next-lane taking gentle bath. I don't even remember the last time, I had a bath. Looking at my neighbours having fun with soap and water, I wish, I could be like one of them.

I halfheartedly pack my bags and get ready to be dropped to school. As I see my fellow classmates, zooming past me at lightening speed, I wish, I could be like one of them.

Time for some breakfast.

As I wait for my food to be served, the same mundane grass, I get to eat every single day, I look at the sumptuous food, being served to other classmates right in front of my eyes. As I see my classmates feasting on them, I could taste those delicious dishes one day.

As I land in my school, no body looks at me. As my classmates rush to take front seat, I feel isolated. I find a corner in a big class room to make peace with. Teachers keep coming and going throughout the day, but no body seems to be bothered about my presence. I waited for my turn, which never arrives.

As sun was preparing to wave good-bye, I suddenly heard a kiss of death. I watched myself helplessly being thrashed from all different corners by none other than my fellow classmates. I cried for help, but to no avail. I tried running away, but there was no escaping their clutches.

Time to pack your bags, folks.

As I waited for my turn to be picked up, I wondered why I am always the last one to be picked. As I see my classmates making their way in front of me, I wish I could be like one of them.

When I reached home, somebody seem to be angry with me. I was still searching for a reason, when I received a tight slap on my face. Your Punishment for the day; "Go to bed on empty stomach". While my neighbours have the luxury of sleeping under a shade, some fortunate ones even have a spacious bedroom, I have to fend for myself under an open sky. As I see my fellow neighbours being caressed to sleep with warm cotton mattress draped around their body, I wish, I could be one of them.

Battered and bruised, I lay down on my bed, nothing but bare floor. With my eyes closed, I start dreaming about the day of my escape. A dream, I know, will never materialize. But the proverbial perennial hope lingers on.

PS: This was an exercise on personalization and my pick was a discarded vehicle at a driving school.

Monday, October 15, 2012

An Inconvenient Truth Continued ...

Can you see something in the sky ?? Raj pointed his forefinger towards a non-existent aeroplane in the sky.
Gopi : No Raj, I can't see anything
Suhash : I can see some birds and blue sky underneath.
Raj (with a touch of arrogance) : It is like Arjun. Only I can see, what other can't see. Someday, I have to ride that aircraft (fingers pointing towards vacuum) and be airborne over this village.

What would you want, Sir. Tea or Coffee ?? The air-hostess's sweet voice kissed Raj's eardrums and woke him up. Black coffee without sugar, ma'm, Raj promptly replied.

Raj : Can your father give me a drop to station tomorrow night ??
Gopi: Sure, he can.
Raj: Promise
Gopi: Promise.

As the cows started coming home, Raj was busy packing his bags. It was the shriek of an owl on a mango-tree, that started worrying Raj. It was nearly 7 and Gopi's father was no where to be seen. Suddenly, he heard someone knocking on his door frantically and shouting Raj Raj, Where are you ?? Raj rushed outside only to see Gopi with his father's hand-pulled rickshaw. Are you ready ?? Yes, I am. But where is your father ?? He is lying on a deathbed running high temperature. But don't worry, I am here. Raj didn't waste anytime and boarded the rickshaw. Along the way, Gopi picked his father and had him sit next to Raj. He was barely recognizable with this face turned pitch dark, even though it was a full moon, his face was hardly visible to Raj. This is no ordinary fever, Gopi, Raj exclaimed with a concerning tone. Yes, this is no ordinary fever. This is dengue, that's why I am taking him to a doctor's place. Raj had read about dengue only in his school-text books, so he remained oblivious to the real pain, Gopi's father was going through. After plenty of anxious moments, finally they reached the station, minutes before the train left. As Gopi waved goodbye to Raj, last words came from his father : A promise is a promise. I kept mine, I hope you will keep yours.

Veg or Non-Veg, the chef's voice broke the silence inside the waiting room and woke Raj from his slumbers.

PS: These two pieces on "An Inconvenient Truth" were written as part of a writing workshop, hope to complete it soon.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

An Inconvenient Truth

As Raj got down from the general compartment of the local train, he hardly noticed any changes to the railway-station, he had last seen nearly 25 years ago. As he prepared himself to incline his trolley so that it could stroll along, suddenly a 10-12 years old child came and with a pleading tone said "Aap kasht kyon karte hain Malik , Hum hain naa". This was Mohan, son of Gopi, with whom Raj had spent his entire childhood with. Gopi's father used to ferry Raj's parents and grandparents, now it was Gopi's son's turn to ferry Raj's children, even though Mohan himself was not much older than Raj's kids. As Raj looked around, he noticed the same set of sweet shops, with the number of flies comfortably outnumbering the number of sweets, same set of tea-stalls, except for a new whitewash and some new brands of packages water and namkins. Some children in their early teens were still roaming naked, playing around the discarded station-building and rail tracks.

As Raj made his way through the station on a hand-pulled rickshaw pulled by a minor, he wondered : Though the world continues progressing, the law of natural progression seems to have deserted this village. The village almost defies the law of nature. Who is responsible ?? He murmured. Deep down, he knew the answer, but he was too ashamed and frightened to admit it.