If life is like blots of water-colours
on a paper-boat floating all alone
in a little puddle of rain-water
collected in a dent, in a narrow street
open to the sky above;
the colors getting pinched out of the boat
and dissolving in the water
with every slight jerk in the pool,
caused by droplets popping into it
from the drenched rooftops overhead…
then you’re like the minute creäture,
invisible to man’s naked eye,
sailing alone in that boat and
looking at the gathering clouds above,
afraid if it might rain again soon,
if a careless footstep might fall on the puddle,
if a wanton boy might crush the boat for fun,
most of all,
afraid if the boat might lose all its colors before anything…
The following is my entry into the ‘Seven Samurai’ contest conducted by the English Literary Society, IIT-K, in the summer vacation, year 2009. [‘Seven Samurai’ challenge: To write a 100 word story. 7 words are already given. The story should be written in 93, or less than 93 words of choice AND the 7 given words as they are, without changing form (eg. noun remains noun) and without removing context (eg. “Stegophilist is a word I do not like.” is not allowed). The 7 words and their meanings are: stegophilist = n. One who likes to climb buildings; cruciverbalist = n. One who loves crosswords; dactylion = n. The tip of the middle finger; alopecia = n. Hair loss; defenestration = n. An act of throwing someone or something out of a window; exophagy = n. The practice, amongst cannibals, of not eating one’s relatives or members of one’s tribe; gossypiboma = n. A surgical sponge accidently left inside a patient’s body]
I’m Jack, stegophilist by passion;
bound in marriage by parental exertion
to a cruciverbalist, Jill, without option.
We were fine, no doubt about it,
until each discovered the other’s deficit.
A missing dactylion wouldn’t have mattered a bit,
but what’s missing’s her right tit.
Likewise she intensely loathes my alopecia.
I tried everything- aloe to acacia;
travelled to the deserts of Central Asia…
…found no cure; couldn’t stop causing her constant nausea
Affection long discarded mutually by mental defenestration,
we’re like cannibals following exophagy by tradition.
Disgust’s perpetuating like cancerous cardiac gossypiboma…
Friends, marriage between strangers can be ultimate trauma!
This story is exactly 100 words long. The contest was open for about 45 days. I guess the entries never reached the judges, or received prizes or any form of acknowledgement. Nonetheless, it is the only thing I attempted to write that summer and managed to.
… flowers and clouds, and softer things
such tenderness wherewith life begins
in stately dorms or bourgeois homes,
or utterly destitute honeycombs,
and passes from versions of innocence
into states of constant sufferance,
painted with smiles and laughs at places
also with meaning but only in traces
-in manner of fame and ranks and degrees
or heartbreak, poverty, loss and disease..
With silent craving for deliverance
from here to blissful ignorance…
we drown, float and drift onwards,
packing memories into pictures, songs, written words
– like treasures, reminders and proofs of past
we make them live longer than we last,
so we may go through them in wrinkled skins
when the counting down of days begins
to end ‘up above the world so high
like a diamond in the sky…’