As the night vibrated with lost dreams and hidden desires, I saw something reddish drifting up in the sky.
It looked like a lonely lantern searching for someone in need of some light and solace.
The orange super moon was the only onlooker as the thing glided towards an unknown destination.
I closed the door as the cool night winds whispered that I may be intruding the private journey.
The house was empty. but there was someone inside.
Our entry into that house was interesting. I could not remember through which door I went inside. It was the living room.
The room was well-lit and the angle presented was like a tilted camera. The room was empty.
We moved into the next room from a door at the center. Someone was standing frightened in the room’s corner. My grandmother said something and the shabby figure did not answer back.
The dream ended. I was left wondering what that figure was doing in that house. The house that I grew up.
A long, winding highway. White line on the black road. Brown hues all around, undulating earth and evening Sun.
A car darts into the scene from the left. Something does not look right.
The scene shifts to the right, as if someone is looking to the right from the back seat of the car.
A man in black coat is running parallel to the car.
The car driver looks back, the man in coat reach the edge of the road, towards the car.
The man holds a long rod.
In the next 20 seconds, the driver screams as the man hits the windscreen with the rod.
Everything goes slow.
We enjoy the unequal mitosis of the glass. The driver loses control. The car skids to the left of the road.
In the next 20 seconds, we see a pool of red as the man kneels down, hit with a bullet on the stomach. Red splash on a white shirt.
The man does not want to live; the close-up of his face says. I don’t want to live.
New Year is just a construct. Today is the same as ever and there is no difference in me either.
I don’t know why I want to visit a European country like Italy, or sit facing a blueish lake reading the classics written so far.
The Sun is not out today, the chill in the air starts to crawl up the legs. A squirrel darts across a terrace and then stops to gaze at a swaying green branch.
Where is this year’s greatest living author?
A narrow road. To the left is either a pole or a stick standing a bit awkward to the left. Behind leaves on tendrils.
There is something on that pole or stick. A sign board, may be. On it, a half-drawn circle and a cross.
Just before I woke up, I remembered my home where I grew up. I, the poor boy!
The music that we liked the most was the one that drifted in from somewhere. We could never predict from where it would come or when it would travel to our little ears. The thing is we were there to listen to that music and the world stood still to let us hear the music. At times, we could recognize the song. At another time, it could be the tune following the first stanza, or it could be a duet.
Among the three of us, someone would hear it first, alerted the other two, and then we shut ourselves from the rest of the noise. We always tried to decipher the song. If we knew the song, we were happy. If we did not know the song, we were also happy. We laughed silently, because any little noise could muffle the thin music that came along. The music drifted in low amplitude first, then increased to a high volume, and then retreated in the same pattern as it had landed on our ears. I knew that it was the wind that spread the music among the high coconut trees, mango trees, and tall jackfruit trees. There could have been Neem trees in between. It was just green of different shapes.
The textbooks on our hands or laps paled into insignificance when such music came to us. We had no idea of the human playing the music. We had no idea how the invisible human was playing the music. We never knew the model or make of the tape recorder or the stereo player that human was using. But the memory says we had always enjoyed that music.
And the same memory says there was also music during the dawn at the corner beyond the big trees. It came from a temple about 20 minutes away from our house. As I stood alone at the door and when everything was silent inside the house, the music surprisingly drifted in by the evening cool wind. I stood there listening and then went back to the noise of everyday life. And I remember when I opened that same door one night and what I heard was something like the music of the sea or waves. I could not believe it first. To the right I saw the trees swaying in the pale white night sky. It occurred to me that I was on the beach, alone, and looking at the foam for some strange reason. Someone said there was danger and I closed the door. ©
A bright Sunday after a morning of clouds and chill. Big crowd at a car showroom. Lots of nasty potholes like punctured hearts near traffic signals. Bulging circular tummy on rear view mirror. The structure of internal illness crying for attention or indicating death.
Disliked the story published for a contest. Realized that it was a very bad story after publishing it. Did not like it.
They moved the new books shelf to somewhere else. Went back home with mostly non-fiction books, except a John Updike review collection. Forgot to make a call to a library that imposed service charge on reading. It was the ultimate insult: monetary punishment for reading. The insult was pasted on a dirty wall: a printout from an unkempt desktop.
Nobody can stop me from reading, or slow me by charging me for reading (Milan Kundera did focus on Slowness). Sunday newspapers never attract me now. They are just wasted newsprint. Cockroaches lay eggs and shit on their yellowed corners.
It is work that is the biggest impediment to free reading. Work.