Sunday, September 20, 2015

Meditations


What is maturity?

This realisation that you were born innocent, like a flower, presented by gods to your human parents. And the realisation that you have, by your own actions, or through the machinations of the society, sullied the flower all these years. Maturity is removing the dirt from the flower so that when you return to your source, your God, you be clean again, or at least try to return to the original clean state as much as possible. 

That point of understanding is maturity. Life after attaining maturity is meaningful living. 
And that understanding revealed itself to me only now, after becoming a father, after seeing my daughter. She is my spiritual guru i was in search for so long. 

The rest of my life will be a long struggle to return to my original clean state before i return to my God, my source.

I now have a fair idea how God’s flower looks like. 

My flower is trying to snatch this pen so that I may focus fully on her. 

must obey my Guru’s command. 

12.45 am, 20 September 2015. 

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Happy Birthday!


Why God make people get into a relationship?

To learn something

Learn what?

Hurt

Why hurt?

Just so that you remember Him

But why do we need to remember him?

Because he created you

Ah! You seller of holy piss … my parents created me. But relationships mean forgetting your past, your parents, your old family, your brother, your sister, the friends you loved more than your life, your old memories and anybody associated with it … If I have to forget all those, why the fuck should I remember god?

(silence)

Ummm …

Ummm  … you are immature

May be. Show me the light then.

May be, may be you needed a new pair of glass to see the world differently. I am not saying what you witnessed so far was wrong, just that it adds more perspective …

But why? Why? Why? Why do I need more perspective? I was happy as I was. I am not happy with my new perspective. I am dying, I am choking, take it back. My eyes are burning. I don’t want to see, I don’t want to change anything. Bring back my old self, bring back my loved ones, bring back my life, bring back my freedom, my self-respect, my confidence, my carefree days, my politically incorrect days, my joy … oh my joy …

Joy of ignorance?

Yes, joy of ignorance if you so fancy.

Let me wash you clean ... so much of grime and blood on you ... breathe breathe breathe ... cry cry cry ... you won't? let me smack your tiny arse .... Here! Now Now! You have arrived!! Welcome, welcome!!! Happy Birthday!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

On Mithi

I became a father on 18 November, 2014. At that moment when fatherhood embraced me, perhaps I should have been elated, jumping up and down and doing all sort of activities that new fathers do, at least, that's what most sane people do. But nothing of that sort happened to me. When I heard my baby's voice, first like an angry cat and then a mild wail wafting across the operation theatre to the waiting area where we all were pacing up and down, the first thought that hit me was how was my wife? It was a C-section and she was partially unconscious. I should not have read Internet too much, for I was reading all sorts of horror stories, of mothers not waking up or recovering etc. I was petrified as I was not hearing my wife's voice. The doctors and sisters inside the operation theater must have been very busy with their other procedures. In fact, after bringing out the baby from the womb, they were busy closing the cut, I later got to know.

The realisation of becoming a father hit me when the doctor came out and said it's a girl and that both mother and daughter are doing fine. I was relieved. And soon a strange emotion descended upon me, something that I never felt. Overwhelmed perhaps, I went blank ... emotionally. Everything was happening around me, my mom and my in-laws were celebrating and congratulating each other, my sister and her husband were excited, but I was kind of vacant from inside.

After a few moments when I came back to my senses, all sorts of thoughts got hold of me. I started thinking about my job security, got worried about my almost non-existent bank balance, I got worried about the rising room rents and the zero possibility of me ever owning a house here in this city. How will I make my kid grow up and have a decent life? How will I be a responsible father? How will I fulfill my duties to my baby and my family? All sorts of thoughts, which should have come to me much earlier, in fact, before I even got married, started coming to me like a flood.

So much so that I got tired and stopped getting worried. After sometime a nurse brought my baby and kept her on a small bed adjacent to the OT for us to see.

I saw her, bubbles in the mouth and trying to open one eye, and suddenly all my thoughts vanished. I don't know why, but the thoughts really did vanish and so far they have not come back in a worrying fashion. The thoughts are always there at the back of my mind but I am not perturbed much.

It was not joy, it was not punching in the air, it was not a great achievement. It was a serene calmness inside me. It was like a deep blue ocean in an afternoon sun. Calm and composed. That's exactly the feeling my baby brought me as a gift with her. I fell in love with my princess, and I knew, this love is here to stay for as long as we both are alive. It was a pact.  

Watching my newborn for the last few days has made me a firm believer in destiny.

To start with, it is a miracle that I am alive. My baby had two chords attached to her neck, and in my case, my mother told me, I was not willing to come out in this world and there was a real threat that I would have died in her womb, perhaps taking my mother with me. Medical facilities were not that advanced at small towns and we both survived because we had to.

Every moment I am seeing my delicate baby, I am filled with awe that how much trusting humans are when they are tiny, entrusting no less than their entire life in our hands every time we take them. Babies have super delicate necks, like if we don't hold them properly, a baby's neck may simply snap. A newborn baby's head is a soft marsh-melon, worse, you can feel the back of the head pulsating like you have touched a heart in the open. It is a super scary thing to touch. There is zero scope of carelessness. There's small cough and cold, which can turn deadly if one is not careful. There's switching off the fan>undress the baby>remove the wet towels>wrap fresh towels>put some rudimentary dresses just to protect her from the elements> switch on the fan and take her on your lap delicately and try to put her to sleep.

She will sleep the whole day and will wake up exactly when you hope for a sleep. And then you try and do whatever she wants you to do. Luckily or perhaps unluckily I have not been subjected to that night duty yet as her two grandmas are present at home right now.

And there are infinite number of dangers and pitfalls that attract a baby. I am sure, I was not an exception and neither you, my dear reader.

Even after all these, I survived. I am writing this post and you are reading. This is miracle, and a deep bow to people I know and I don't know but who took me on his/her lap and made sure that there's support below my head and that my neck didn't snap. Oh! How can I thank you my unknown Gods and Goddesses who ensured that I am what I am today!


Or perhaps, it was simply my destiny. And my daughter has one too. Every person comes to this world with something pre-arranged, I have started to believe. While I will continue with my fatherly duties and try to make sure that whatever role has been assigned to me by my destiny, I be fair to it, I am also hoping that my daughter's destiny will take her far and wide, and make her immensely content with life. May God guide you always, Mithi, my daughter, my first born! Thank you for choosing me as your father. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Sculptor's Tale



(Note to readers ... mainly Ian, who is the only one who reads this blog >> i just finished writing this in office. didn't even re-read it after writing, forget editing. Expect a leaner/fatter and better written version, if my mood permits.)

Keep your hands busy, said my father every time I used to lean against the tree to catch my breath. Keep your hands busy you idiot, keep your hands busy, don’t let your head decide for you. Keep your hands busy, he would coax me to get working.
And so I would again start chiselling the chunk of rock, along the lines my father, a master sculptor, had already outlined. But I would still dream with eyes wide open. When the hammer used to fall so gently yet firm on the chisel, I used to dream of the cities and the grand mansions.
I was not good in sculpting, yet I wanted to be the greatest sculptor in this world. I wanted to be honoured by my king. I wanted to be the subject for which kings wage wars against each other. I was a dreamer, I had ambitions. But I didn’t want to waste my life working so hard like my father.
My father was strange. He never used to argue with his customers, mostly petty officials of the king commissioning works for the next temple. He was the master sculptor, honoured by high ranking officials of the kingdom. He smiled when someone praised him, he kept his head low when someone rebuked. Yet, I have a suspicion he was acting, for he again used to be absorbed in his work, outlining the rock by which we should chisel. I was his son, but one of his worst workers. He loved me and perhaps that’s why he hated me the most in this world.
I had dreams and he perhaps thought dreams are the working of a lazy mind. Although, he never told me so.
He kept his hands busy and always wanted to see ours hands busy too. Conversations were allowed, even laughter was not a crime as long as our hands were moving things around.
I never could understand why this strange insistence.
As time passed, I picked up some tricks of the trade from my father. He was an old man now, he was not able to train his hammer and chisel in a way that resembled a raga. His hands used to move like an elaborate ritual, the cling clang had a rhythm. If you have lived long enough with him, you would have known what kind of shape would come out of the rock in his hand. With his hammer and chisel, he used to breathe life in those black stones.
I was nowhere close to him. And I knew his skill will die with him. Like all sons, I used to maintain a respectable distance with my father. The distance grew when the King himself called him to his capital and pronounced him the greatest sculptor of our country and beyond. Accolades and rewards started showering on my father, but it did not increase his wealth. Our house became a refuge for all the hungry people in the world. The kitchen fire never got extinguished. His rewards were enough to buy seven villages and become the head of all that we saw, but we remained a poor sculptor family. My father kept nagging us with ‘keep your hands busy’ stupidity.
He never explained why. But as he started aging, he slowed down and started relegating works on us. He was there at the workshop, yet he was very distant. My distance with my father grew even further. He would now do nothing. Just kept quiet like Lord Buddha and smiled at anything and nothing. He smiled if a leaf fell, he smiled if a flower bloomed. He smiled when a child fell on the ground, he smiled when the toddler dusted off and toddled off.
The responsibility of my parents and sisters fell on me. My father won’t work anymore. I had no other way but to keep my hands busy.
But when the moon rose above the thick banyan tree and the sky shone in divine light of Indra, my dreams kept haunting me. I was a young man, brimming with ambitions, yet I was chained to this dreary life. My father didn’t save anything for future. As he smiled looking at the full moon like a lunatic does, my heart was filled with contempt for this cruel man.  He was nothing but an idiot to me. An idiot who was blessed by accidental talent.
Now I was the head of the family. I had nothing but contempt for my father and he was nothing but a liability for me. I had no respect left and hence, I did not waste any opportunity to rebuke him.
I rebuked him for not saving anything, I rebuked him for telling us repeatedly, like a stupid, to keep the hands busy, without telling us what to do with the outcome. I rebuked him for not knowing the ways of the world. And I made sure I conveyed to him how I hated him for wasting my youth. He just smiled. I didn’t know what to do with him when he used to smile like an innocent baby.
But I couldn’t take the death of my youth anymore. Dark clouds gathered in my heart on days. I wanted to go to the city and become a big man. I wanted to be rich, I wanted to be an achiever. I started weeping in private.
One day when the full moon mirrored on the great village pond, I couldn’t hold my tears. As I was weeping, I felt a warm hand on my shoulder. My father was looking at me with all the calmness in the world in his face. Before I could say something he told me to go and live my life, fulfil my dream. I was free of my responsibilities. He would take care of the family, he said.
As I was leaving my house, all alone, for the first time in my life and my face was all flushed up with excitement, my father repeated what he used to tell us when he was in charge of his world.
“Keep your hands busy … whenever you have nothing to do, make your hands busy immediately.”
He need not have said that. For I knew this was what he would have told me. He was a predictable man.
I went to the city of my dreams. It was filled with mansions. Horses carried noble men on paved roadways. The lanes were busy with people from all countries carrying on their myriad businesses. The city had a peculiar smell, which felt like heavenly to me. The cacophony sounded like raga meghamallar. I was excited to be here. I was to build my future here, I was to be someone here. I was to be famous.
To my surprise, I was easily the best sculptor out there. My work soon found wealthy patrons. I soon became famous for making busts of beautiful women. As days progressed, I became bolder and started making the busts topless. Soon I was making sculpture of copulating couple. My work was on great demand among filthy rich people who commissioned me to make their sculptures love-locked with the famous city courtesans. Soon I myself became a night creature, hungry to satiate my desires of flesh. I did not have to care about my wealthy patrons. I was rich enough not to work for months. I was in such heavy demand for my busts that I had to be rude with all. Rudeness soon became my second nature as arrogance enveloped me. I was finally, famous and successful!
However, I could sense my art doesn’t have something that should have been there. I couldn’t look at what I created. They seemed so ugly, particularly when people gloated about that. Their words sounded vulgar to me. But the money was plenty and I had nothing to protest.
All this while my hatred for my father grew. If he wanted he could have been much more than I was. Yet, I wondered why he stayed away. I was convinced my father was an idiot.
One day I saw a goddess walking down to my workshop. She was the most beautiful woman the world has ever seen. She came straight for me and asked me to make a bust of hers. She was the courtesan Bhanumati. Nobody else, other than the King himself could claim her as his own.
I was in love.
And I soon realised she was in love with me too. In one of our meetings, she let her saree slip from her bosom. I never could imagine God was so creative.
Bhanumati and I met every day and we slept side by side. As I put my lips on those luscious figs of her lips, a shiver ran through my body. I was under the spell of goddess Bhanumati and I didn’t want the spell to break.
But she was the property of the king. That despicable creature, who despite being old and all wrinkled, had several hundreds of women like Bhanumati kept as objects. I wanted to kill him. I wanted to give him a dog’s death.
My whole being became violent. Luckily, I became part of a court intrigue and had the chance to kill the king. I couldn’t see Bhanumati’s sad face. She loved me and I loved her and there’s nothing in the world I could be stopped from doing to free her from her fate.
I couldn’t sculpt anymore. The art had left me. Not that it bothered me. I had enough money by now. I had no business with such menial jobs anymore.
But Bhanumati praised about me to the king. The king wanted his portrait done and be made immortal. Bhanumati told him, only I could make him immortal.
My real mandate was to do the exact opposite.
I was to drive my chisel deep into the king’s old heart. I was to smash his head with my hammer. I was to make a paste of him with the rock kept for carving him out.
I couldn’t. He was the same King who proclaimed my father the greatest sculptor in the world. The King was old and frail, but he was the same king who blessed me for being the son of the great man, my father.
As I stood cold in fear and disgust, I fell to the ground and apologised to the king. At first the king didn’t understand, but when he did, he shook his head slowly and walked away heavily.
Bhanumati promptly jumped between us and stabbed me … like a loyal servant to the king.
I couldn’t protest. I was still in love with her.
I survived. Bhanumati and her clan didn’t, they were exposed all by themselves.
I was pardoned. Disgraced, and discarded, I was a pauper.
I wanted to kill myself, but before that, I wanted to see my parents, my sisters, my friends. I wanted to go back to my home. I wanted to see the moon shine above the forest, to see it reflect on our pond. That was my deathwish.
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
I reached home a broken man.
And from a distance I heard the familiar music that I used to enjoy so much as a young. I could tell from the rhythm that my old man was carving something. My old man, my father, my guru was calling me.
I ran as fast as I could. Panting I reached near my village and saw the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life.
My father was sculpting out a temple from a small hill in our village. The same king who I planned to kill had ordered this work soon after I left for the city. Many years now, I was not aware of this. My father, and his team of hundreds of sculptors were carving out a Shiva temple out chunks of rock. The deities, outside decorations of Gods and Goddesses and mythical animals are all hidden in this hill, waiting to be carved out.

In the early morning light, my smiling father was shining like Lord Buddha. I fell flat on his feet and begged his forgiveness. He smiled again. I wept and pleaded him to tell me what went wrong.
“You didn’t keep your hands busy enough ….”
I finally understood.
 I am sixty years old now, same as when my father had left me for a monk’s life in the jungles, giving me responsibility to progress the carving of this temple. I have so far completed as much as he had done.
And I am pleased with my work. And I know I am now as accomplished a sculptor as my father ever was. It just came one day on its own. I woke up and started carving. As I carved, I tuned in to the music of this existence.
My music soothed me. Pleased with my music, Gods and Goddesses started appearing from the rock on their own. I kept my hands busy. I kept on striking and playing the music my father always tried to teach me when I was younger and vain.
The whole world praises me now. It doesn’t matter anymore. I can’t take money more than what is needed to just keep me alive. Rest I give it away to people who need it. The flames on my kitchen never extinguish. Everyday hundreds of poor and my disciples helping me in this temple work eat at my home.
The temple cannot be completed in my lifetime, but me, and my future generations in charge of carving out this temple must keep their hands busy. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Off I Fly


A few months from now, three months actually, I will be a married man. I don’t know if marriage changes a life, or a person, but I am open to the idea. I am open to all ideas that challenge my lazy existence. However I try, this massive lethargy set upon me refuses to go. In fact, somehow I romanticise in the notion that I am one of those kinds who become active at a time of chaos. Peace, serenity kills me of boredom. May be I am an intelligent person – this too, is in my latest list of romaticism.
And so, like all intelligent people, I love to think, or think how not to think and idle my time away. I have a vague feeling this luxury will not remain there when I get married. I am told it is a bitter pill to swallow, but you must have the pill someday. Afterall, the joke goes, happiness is not everything in life.
However, it is also kind of liberating. As far as I remember, my youth was spent looking for that special someone, measuring everyone I met on my way to gauge if I can spend my life with her. With a stable partner, a major headache is over. Maybe other headaches will be there but they will most likely be almost physical in nature. All the problems must have a shape, even abstract will do. Thinking about a future life partner is the closest shapeless thing in the garb of a shape. It is an illusion and the most frustrating part of being young.
If I were a litterateur, I would have loved to describe my present state as a ship readying to be anchored. But I have no such fascination or literary inclination of turning aspects of my life into poetry. I am getting married and that's it. I am ready for whatever  responsibilities, highs and lows, come with the package. Coming to think of it, marriage is also nothing but having a glorified roommate, maybe that’s why they call the other person a ‘partner’. I am aware that my partner is also sacrificing a lot to adjust with, may be tolerate, me. I respect that and I see it as my duty to be as nice to the person coming to me as it is humanly possible. Surely, I have some assurances from my would be partner that she, just like me, doesn't take life more seriously than it is. But come on, marriage is just another aspect of life isn’t it? Just as I didn’t chose my parents, siblings and friends who are so much to me now, life has brought me a wife. However much human beings may like to think it was his or her idea of a partner, that's never the case. What would have happened if one of us was born in another country or in any other state or even the same state and we never met? Forget it, what would have happened if were born in about twenty years interval -- we would have unlikely considered each other as partners for sure. This idea that we select our partner is absolutely ridiculous. Marriages are made in heaven, or may be in hell. Anywhere but in human heads. 
Of course, we can plan how to take the union forward. Much depends upon our action, or may be nothing depends on us and we act as we were originally supposed to be. If a future set of event has a backlink of me acting like a complete asshole, I will act as a complete asshole. If the entire future chain of event commands me to act as the nicest husband and a wonderful father, I will have to do that. Only thing is, we don’t know how we are supposed to act. So the default mode is be nice and wonderful. Custom modifications will come on way and change the default as and when they are due. In this entire unknown the only knowable is the default mode when nobody has any inkling of the future. Some though, know and remember the past.
And so I took permission from all I owed in the past. One after another I approached and offered my service. I wanted to fulfill my promises. It’s a long time enough that they have forgotten what I owed to them. And so they let me be free. I wanted to remind them of my dues, but then I thought they have forgotten it for a reason. There's no point. Instead, I must celebrate my freedom.
Free as a bird, I am now flying off to a new sky, to a new destination that I know not where. The only hope is that that’s where I will gather material to truly call this life as my very own and may be build the foundation for the future. Past connections wiped off clean from the slate, I look at those colourful chalks with wondrous eyes. For now will be drawn my present life and the unfinished sketches have to be completed in my next. I am excited, it’s a great adventure!

Monday, June 03, 2013

Revelation!



I hardly know English, and I have lost my flair for my mother tongue Bengali as well. May be my quest for being a writer ends here. May be, this is the end of the road.
Or maybe, just maybe, I should not care about language and just write stories, like the first storyteller who didn’t know any language well enough to communicate to his fellow listeners. But he had a bagful (made of skin of the antelope he had slaughtered once?) of stories.
Maybe, just maybe, I should focus on storytelling rather than expressing what’s inside me. Most of the time what happens is that for want of the right word, I am left leaving out most of what I want to describe.
I am thinking, maybe, just maybe, that’s the plan of my muse. She doesn’t want me to write stories that involve lot of inner thoughts. “Just tell a story ghetufool,” is that what she is telling me?
Now that I don’t care getting published, now that what my readers think about my writing style (the lack of it actually) doesn’t matter to me anyway, let’s just entertain myself.
Let me try this. Become a storyteller.  That should be fun! 
Oh! and by the way. There's no Aha! moments. That was my imagination. I am useless, realised for good.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Piklu and the Old Man


The old man’s long vacant gaze outside his window was sucked in to his immediate surroundings by two faint knocks on his door.
It took time for him to regain his composure.
It’s as if he was there at a milky-white temple on a green, cloud-capped hill and the bell started chiming melodiously, increasing in pitch with every new ring. Soon the sound vortexes in into a table clock honestly doing its duty of croaking harshly.
Riding on the sound, the knocks that has increased in frequency and into loud thuds, the old man's soul entered his body from the desolate and peaceful land to this environment of smell, and depth. 

“Who’s that,” the old man said feebly, he felt tired talking.
“Can I come in?” a thin voice, probably that of a small child, rang outside the door.
No.
Why not?
The old man remained silent. Thinking what to respond.
“I want to come in,” the thin voice proclaimed the finality of its decision
No.
Why can’t I come in?
Because you are not invited.
You meet people only when they are invited?
Yes.
Why?

The old man puckered his brows. He doesn’t know why he doesn’t want to meet anybody. People have been nice to him in his life. He really doesn’t have any complaint against anyone. Perhaps, that’s his complaint. He never thought about this important question. That’s a miracle!

He expected more questions across the door but nothing came. The old man’s broken heart hurt a little. He wanted the kid to come in. But he is not among them who cares much about their hearts. Like an indifferent husband, he turned his mind from his heart. The pain subsided and vanished.

He was now looking through his window again in the vast green expanse. His eyes are getting weaker, evening comes earlier to him than others, nights linger on longer than when he was young. The world around him is changing at a much faster pace these days. The body is slowing down, his trusted organs are bidding farewell and asking his permission to let them go. He should get a new body soon.
His room is dark, rather damp. The discoloured walls sport greenish spots with mosses growing in places wherever they found a hint of water. The air inside is heavy, with just enough oxygen to sustain the old lungs. There’s one damp bed, the bed-sheet once was yellow but fungi  have given it a blackish ochre hue. The dirty thin pillow is shedding black lumpy cottons from the side.

Not that it matters. He anyway spends most of his time on this chair, resting his hands on the mahogany table pushed to the wall making the window an extension. The rusted window bars, table, the chair and the old man on it makes a unit – the only inhabitant of the room.

There’s no fan, he doesn’t need it. The tap in the bathroom has rusted too and needs a plumber’s attention. Water drips continuously in an aluminium bucket. The old man never needs to turn on the tap. The bucket fills up in overnight. Enough for him.  

The old man again fixed his glance at the distant mango tree. With foliage covered in dark long leaves, the tree resembles a green umbrella. It is surrounded by a few coconut and jamun trees along with a few trees that never bore any fruit.  

The mango tree is special among them. When it is heavy with fruits, it sways lesser in wind than her neighbours do. All over her, she is carrying green, round mangoes that should start ripening within a fortnight. She should not be frivolous and dance at any hint of music like other lasses around. Every year this time the tree smiles in utter satisfaction and calmness like an expecting young mother. The old man watches her all day long and utter prayers for her health. 

This village is known for its mangos. Everyone has mango trees in their backyards. Satiated children don’t raid any tree to get their rightful share. They don’t come to play here too. The field is covered with large lush green grasses, green bushes and yellow creepers and hosts a colony of snakes of all sizes and venom. Only a few kids dare to come to in this part of the village.

The old man largely remains undisturbed, hoping someone will disturb him someday.

He spotted a tiny hand grasping one of the bars in the window. Quickly another bar was secured and a small young face raised his head looking straight at the old man’s eyes.

The old man furrowed his brows to express his displeasure. But his heart thanked the small angelic face for coming.

“So, why won’t you let me in?” demanded the boy, aged about seven-eight.

The old man pouted his mouth, ran his hand through his white beard …. “hmmm … why are you here? I told you not to.”

“Why should I listen to you? You are an old man and can’t run like me.”
“That’s true.”
Do you play?
No.
Why not?
I can’t run like you.
So what do you?
I watch you playing.
And?
And … I watch you resting your chin on your knees as you stare at those heavy clouds, I watch you slashing your stick through the grasses.
Why?
I don’t know.
Why don’t you know?
I am not that clever. Can you tell me why I don't know? You are an intelligent kid.
No, but my baba can, he is clever.
And your sister?
Didi? Nah! She doesn’t know a thing
“And your mother?”
The little boy slit his eyes in deep thought  … he was not sure.
“Maa is nice.”
“I am sure she is,” the old man nodded in approval.

The kid now directed his attention inside the room.

“Is there a ghost inside?”
“Yes.”
“Oh!” the kid loosened his grip and sank a little.
“Where is he?”
Here.  
Where?
“You are talking to one.”

The kid jumped down from the window and shot off around the corner. The old man tilted his head a little to follow him but the kid was fast. Now the old man again fixed his stare at the mango tree. He was pleased with himself.

“If you are a ghost why don’t you have red eyes and big teeth and claws?” the kid’s voice came from the corner of the house. The old man couldn't locate him.  
“Oh! I wear them at night,” the old man raised his voice.
“And in the morning?” the kid shouted from the corner.
“Oh! As the sun rises, I lose my power and get nailed to my chair. I can’t move.”
“Does it hurt?”
“Yes. Very much.”
“Will you eat me if I come near you?”
“At night, I might. In the morning, I can’t. Come and see, I don’t even have teeth to eat rice.”  

The kid now showed up, trying to stand on his toe and peak through the corner of the window. The old man leaned forward and opened his mouth to reassure him. The kid now stood in front of the window at a distance
.
“What’s your name?” the small boy demanded standing in attention.
“Old man.”
“Guess what’s my name is?”
“Piklu”
“Hey, that’s right. How did you know?”

The old man smiled.

“So now tell me what’s your name?”
“Old man, I said.”
“Old man cannot be a name. What’s your real name? Tell me or else I am leaving.”
“Okay, okay, don’t leave. My name is … ghetufool.”
“What kind of name is that?”
“I know!”
“My name is Piklu,” Piklu said as he tried to catch hold of the window bars and lifted his head to talk with ghetufool.
"Nice to see you Piklu."

Piklu looked at him without saying anything.

“So, why won’t you let me in?”
“I want you to be free. Go run Piklu, it’s such a lovely world out there. Make this world yours.”
“Why should I run?”
“I can’t run anymore. You must.”
“Just run like that?”
“Yes, just like that.”
“That’s so stupid.”
“Foolish is funnish!”
“Watch me,” Piklu jumped off the window and sprang like a deer calf. ghetufool watched with a glint in his old eyes as Piklu darted like an arrow towards the mango tree.

He was now rapidly climbing up the tree.

He was now swinging from the branches like a monkey.

ghetufool wiped his eyes as they keenly followed every act of Piklu. He watched Piklu chasing butterflies in the grass. He watched Piklu making small paper boats and launching them in the small pond nearby. Piklu clapped as the wind blew, creating patterns on the water and carried the boat to the middle of the pond.
Piklu was now knee-deep in the water, cupping his hands to catch colourful guppy fry. His half-pants wet, Piklu wiped his dirty hands on his white shirt.

ghetufool watched Piklu dancing in the rain and singing rain-songs the whole evening till the sun started setting in.

Piklu came huffing and puffing.

“Open the door before you become a ghost.”
"Stay out. This is not where you should stay. 
"Will you open or I will break this house?" Piklu started kicking the rickety house, shaking the very foundation of it. "Open the door. NOW!"
"Piklu, the world is much larger out there, you must leave your house."
"I love this place. I don't want to leave," Piklu said and suddenly he pressed his face hard against the window bars, popped his eyes and said in a harsh adult voice. "Besides, will you be happy if I leave you?"

"No! ..." ghetufool almost threw his hand in despair.
  
"Will you be happy if I am as old as you are?" Piklu's voice now resembled that of his. Feeble, weak.    

"Oh no! NO!" ghetufool was aghast, he was gripped with fear.

"Open the door," Piklu's voice sounded that of Piklu.

“Oh yes,” ghetufool opened his red notebook. Piklu entered through the window and vanished in those black characters, without even saying so much as a bye.

ghetufool closed the copy and sighed. Yet again, he failed to push Piklu away from him.

He shall try again tomorrow.