Monday, June 27, 2011

Muck And Sharvari

A story I wrote some years back, which I am posting thanks to Mehr's urges.

Sharvari was a beautiful child. At the age of eight she had everything going for her. Loving parents, adoring teachers, seven best friends, dozens of toys, a yellow bicycle (yellow was her favourite colour), cute dresses, posters of power-puff girls and Muck, who was the world’s best puppy. There you go; we have all the ingredients to make a happy eight-year-old. Sugar and spice, and everything nice (without the chemical X).

Sharvari was five when Muck had been given to her. Oh, that moment when she saw him for the very first time, she can never ever forget it. A golden carpet of fur, eyes the colour of chocolate milk. He had a wet nose that was very soft. When she had touched his nose she had squealed, “Eewh! Poor baby, you’ve got cold”, and when she had measured him with her six-inch ruler, she had exclaimed, “Mom, look, he is as tall as my roo-laar!”

Five minutes later, she was a wiser child. Mum had explained it all to her. “No child, Muck does not have cold at all. All dogs have wet noses.”

“Why” she asked.

“Um, that’s because, well, dogs just love their noses. And so they keep ’em wet so that it shines and is clean all the time.”

“Ohhh! But why is he so small? He isn’t even bigger than my roo-laar.”

“Oh child. Muck is a puppy, a baby. He’ll grow tall as he grows older.”

So no longer worried, Sharvari set about being friends with him. And so strong was their bond that they ended up being the best of friends. Inseparable, they were like peas in a pod. On the door of Sharvari’s room, “Sharvari” was inscribed in big, elegant handwriting. And beneath it you could spot in innocent childish letters the words “and Muck”. That’s not all, Sharvari had also drawn a trophy with her crayons next to Muck’s name. And the trophy proudly proclaimed “World’s best puppy”. Sharvari’s parents were really cool too. They did not raise a hell when they saw the beautiful teak door stained with crayons and markers. They had rather smiled with joy. “Look, how beautifully she writes!” they had gushed.

Both started growing, together beautifully and beautifully together.

Then one day Sharvari died. In a bomb blast.

She had gone to the main market with a friend to get candies. Mum and dad were home. And Muck was busy digging in the backyard. Sharvari had gone never to return again. The only consolation that Sharvari’s parents had was that their dear, dear child had died with sweets in her mouth.

As soon as they had seen the news on TV, Sharvari’s parents had rushed like a storm to the deceased place. Frantically searching, tears blinding their eyes, throats going sour from shouting. An hour passed, no sign of their daughter. After another two hours, outside the burnt toy shop, Sharvari’s father caught a glance of a red shoe. Yes, it did belong to Sharvari. A great wave of sorrow passed over the father. The unspeakable had come true. The shoe was filled by a tiny plump leg, there was but no accompanying body. A shriek escaped him, and the mother was alarmed. She followed his gaze and she saw what she was praying so hard not to see. Her child in front of her, lying there all alone in pieces on the dirty ground, while she was still there, alive and complete, breathing shamelessly and showing all signs of life.

She broke down. Tears of such intensity that you would have never seen before. Both husband and wife, clinging on to each other, letting the sorrow of their heart wash over them.

After a while that seemed like an eternity, they held themselves together and went over to where their daughter lay. They found the rest of the body some thirty feet from the shoe.

The face all covered with precious blood. And she was wearing the t-shirt that featured Buttercup on it, her favourite of all three power-puff girls. One small hand was holding the lollipop that was still in her mouth. In the other hand, the parents found clutched, a packet of colourful candies and an anniversary card. It was their anniversary tomorrow, which they would now on have to celebrate without their daughter.

For the parents, the world had fallen apart. As far as Muck, he just didn’t know what was going on. On the first day that the terrible news had come, Muck saw the parent’s crying inconsolably all day long. Unlike other deaths, there were no visitors offering sympathy for this insignificant death, because they themselves had suffered great irreparable losses.

Muck could sense a very sad wave throughout the house. So strong, he could almost touch it. And Muck was very worried. He was longing to play with Sharvari. It had been so long and she was not back yet. Maybe she’d been sleeping over at some friend’s. Thinking so, he consoled himself and waited.

On the second day, he was almost running out of patience. It was like he would just burst with anxiety. Usually Sharvari would come running early morning whenever she would sleep over. But today was different. No running Sharvari, and now no newspaper boy to chase after. His wet soft nose could sniff that something was wrong.

By afternoon, he had no more strength to wait any longer. He did not even eat his food. He promised himself, he would throw Sharvari a lot of attitude when she would come back.

In the evening he went over to the main gate and sat there. Waiting for Sharvari so that they could go to the park to play, just like every day. But today was different.

When it was half past seven, he went inside “their” room and brought Sharvari’s school bag in his mouth to the dining table, so that “they” could do homework together, just like everyday. But today was different.

On the third day, he realized that Sharvari had gone, gone forever. To an eternal pajama party that would never end. And finally he realized that the great wave of sorrow that was flowing throughout the house, seeping into the chairs and the chocolate milk, and the tables and the cycles, and the things that breathed and the things that did not, that great wave that was seeping into everything, it was actually the wave of death. He could finally see it; it was of the colour red.

On the seventh day, Muck too died. Out of starvation. I did not tell you before, but he was in the habit of eating only when Sharvari would give him food. No matter how hard the parents would try, they could not get him to eat. And the days that had remained to him, he had spent sitting besides Sharvari’s bed because it had still held her smell.

He was buried next to a pieced-out Sharvari.

The word Sharvari means night. Sharvari, true to her name, had been lost in the darkness of the pitch black night. Muck means dirt. Muck too had been reduced to a pile of dirt. Like mud, after being swept away by a cruel broom, seeming like it had never been there at all.

( It’s a tribute to all those who lost their loved ones and themselves too in sudden explosions of inhumanity, thanks to those who do not realize that God isn’t pleased.)

Untill later, Cuidate!

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Getting Better With Time

The Summer of 2003...




And then, the summer of 2011...



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Untill later, Cuidate!


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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Daffodils

For you, who admires it :)

I wandered lonely as a Cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and Hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden Daffodils;
Beside the Lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:-
A Poet could not but be gay
In such a jocund company:
I gazed---and gazed---but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude,
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the Daffodils.

- William Wordsworth
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