The clock strikes seven. It is a dull Sunday evening and hot humid air from the ceiling is spiralling through the room like a furious demon.
Parijat forgets to start the A.C. though it is just a matter of a click. But now at this moment, he is boiling … more accurately fuming in anger. He is angry but more than that he is confused about the cause of his anger. Vivek came an hour ago and shouted at him, throwing spite at him. “How dare he? Such a low-breed, insignificant creature! How dare he behave in such a way?”
The morning tide of congratulations has been flooding him…in social media as well as in his society. Over phones, people are expressing their welcome notes. Some neighbours have already visited him with sweets and flowers. And now at the last hour when the car is honking at the gate and the perfume is permeating the exit steps someone encroaches on his peaceful land to lift his accusing finger, to corrode his hard-earned fame and approval.
Again he stumbles at the word ‘hard-earned’. Days were tough and cruel when he had to walk on the sun-baked pavilion of probability and righteousness. But now everything is running smoothly – like a mobile flushed machine. And for that, he had to do nothing except write some high-flown paenean on their praise, the same boot-licking process. He started attending their ceremony, singing their songs in praise of the blind king long ago. But who knows it pricked hard to cover eyes that had once vision with black clothes. Who knows how pathetic it was to transform the voice of protest into the voice of sycophants?
How tremendously fatal it was to ignore feign blindness…act deaf and dumb when you are not? And all there are just for nothing? How absurd!
Did anyone know me?
Did anyone support me?
Did anyone acknowledge me?
Did anyone approbate my competency extraordinariness?
No, none, he was just left to whimper at the corner, relishing the sour jealousy at others’ success. Now if he wants to reach the last rung of the ladder just by supporting their colour and writing in their approval a few pamphlets…hot chilly bulshits what does it matter?
Yes, they did wrong … they are doing wrong. The country, the society are rotting under their power game. In this abysmal darkness of no rule, no job, and no education what can he do? …alone? He tried hard to change the scenario in his ink.
But nothing happened. On the contrary, he became the target of their threat. He gave nothing he gained nothing. So it is better to gain something when you cannot change anything.
They are happy with his work…at his hardcore dedication…earnest support…fanatic following. The result is to be published today on the stage in front of a huge crowd…his prize …long waited for respect…honour.
After that, the whole country will recognise him with that new glory…eyes of respect or hatred.
Is he a fighter? Or a beggar? Every time he wants to be happy something comes in his way of saturation…some opposite contemplations. ..pricking, mocking, taunting, rebels within him.
And that blockhead Vivek came to mess up everything…the speech the trained smile, the pruned attitude. That precarious little guy with no sense dishevelled his peace dune…his satisfaction.
No, it is too late…the impatient car is shouting it. The driver is in hurry. The stage is lighted, ready to welcome him…he is ready.
His wife rushed in. She is decked in gorgeous velvet and gold. Happiness as well as pride are oozing from her body.
” What are you doing here?”
She asked in a coaxing voice.
“We are late already…do hurry.”
“I never thought a man will take so much time to get ready than a woman.”
Her affectionate voice halts noticing the colourless face of Parijat.
“Who?”…His wife squeezed his forehead in confusion and flutters her false eyelashes in perplexed petulance.
” That lanky boy with a dark face.”
” But no one entered the gate. I have not noticed anyone pass through. I was there talking with Mrs Pattyanak. And our society-guarded Mr Rampal was alert. I order no one to disturb you.
She finishes her speech in desperation and impatient.
Parijat startles and stammers
“But he says his name is Vivek.”
“The boy mocked me and accused me of spineless…sycophancy …dishonesty. Once he was my ardent follower and could remember and recite every poem. He was a fan of my uprighteous voice, indomitable pen, and undaunted spirit. But now he hates me. That’s why he came in this 11th hour to warn him about his toxicity. Rubbish.”
Mrs Parijat holds his hand brushing away the confused darkness of his furrow. She will not allow him to spoil today’s glory, the limelight.
On the stage, in the flare of thousand sparkles, Parijat felt Vivek had come but Vivek had gone.
Hey, I am Munmun, the phoenix fabulist who wants to tell you stories. I love to read stories and I love to weave stories. I feel life is an amalgamation of multiple stories, colourful threads, and threads of pain, pleasure, hope, and hopelessness. We just need to pick those hues and arrange them, knitting them with our own emotions and perception. So let’s celebrate the stories of life.