A Tableau

July 9, 2012 § 3 Comments

The dreary hot days of  summer afternoons, with nothing much to remember by, except the tales of a great grandfather whose photo hung unnoticed on top of the kitchen door. The days where you drew cars racing through colourful hills and sunsets, coniferous trees  and exotic lakes, wishing for those vistas of freedom, blocked by grill doors of civilized fear.

The memory is a lamp made of frail glass, like that sold on a pushcart during the days of habitual powercuts. Games of hide and seek with people who no longer are around; charades which linger around in the recesses of your mind like the candle lit shadows which seemed ever present.

Of a swing, which has hung where it has for generations. The wild days of dauntless fury it has seen, holding your ambition, propelled by hands of love, and words of encouragement which turned you into what you are today. The simmering patterns of sunlight, dutifully falling everyday, till an apartment grew out of an old house.

A landscape festooned; A swing, which tends to the present, yearning for that story; Replaying all those tears, laughter and diffidence like the song your mother sang to put you to sleep.

A precious grasp of knowledge, half hidden in ignorance and half in childish hubris, now stares at you, frail and old, like those hands which carried you to look at the trains. As if the roads, lined with cars are a noir, for they remind you of some days which were better, some which were worse but all equally hazy, all mixed with elation and rebellion.

The duress of an archaic system pressed itself all around you, yet innocent you built ships and castles and planes, crossing seas and bombing nations with your imagination,  bridges arranged with marble lights, hoping to find the meaning of distance in a map.

Your dreams, let loose; You see a chance in everything, yet opportunities were as biased as the coin in your magic kit. Those glasses, which you wore as you raced to school on a fifty cc two-wheeler, are now nowhere to be seen; much like the suppressed dreams lost in reality; much like the paper boat sinking in the rain; much like the paper planes flying across the class room and landing on a despotic girl’s head; much like your favorite green and maroon pencil sharpener gifted by an aunt abroad being taken away by a heartless teacher, hoping to reprimand you for a mistake of another, whom you cannot remember.

Prayers told with half opened eyes, confused veneration- in fear, untamed by rote, by repetition into belief. The smell of coffee and the rain, folded together like the supplement into the newspaper. Chagrined balls of despair, turning to bowl you over and you remind yourself that you have a long way to turn fifteen.

Like a piece of paper with a word slipping out of a dictionary. The wonderful days, rush back to you, like your neighbour’s pet dog. And like the dog which was greeted with chains, you pick it up and shove it back into the page.

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§ 3 Responses to A Tableau

  • Jen says:

    Brilliant post. Loved the flow of words…

  • Srini says:

    Your prose has this amazing quality of flowing like a gossamer thread, a poem in spirit. This post took me to a hazy land where not everything is clear, but things were sweet and charming :) I have always wondered whether nostalgia makes even once bad times appear good – for we have, in part, been strengthened by them? I don’t know.

    There was a lot about this post that was beautiful; the attention to detail and images was, as always, something I marvelled at: but here is just a handful of expressions/lines/half-sentences that I found to be delicious.

    “The memory is a lamp made of frail glass[...]” – agreed!

    “A precious grasp of knowledge, half hidden in ignorance and half in childish hubris” – that sums up so beautifully the feeling of confused exultation most of us would have felt when possessing a piece of knowledge we know our peers didn’t. Hubris yes, but without malice – why do we grow up? ;)

    “You see a chance in everything, yet opportunities were as biased as the coin in your magic kit[...]” – There is something innocent in chance and focused in opportunities. Excellent line!

    “Prayers told with half opened eyes, confused veneration- in fear, untamed by rote, by repetition into belief.” – my favourite line: it was like seeing and feeling myself at what they used to call “assemblies” at school.

    “The wonderful days, rush back to you, like your neighbour’s pet dog. And like the dog which was greeted with chains, you pick it up and shove it back into the page.” – to that I shall respond with half a smile and an ouch.

    Enjoyed the read!

  • Reema says:

    great write up! how have you been? long time no see.

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