Monday, March 22, 2010

his story

Anando is a loner. Throughout his life he craved for a woman. Sometimes the human woman, sometimes the body woman.  All his life he wanted to be touched and touch a soft, soft body … he wanted to be touched by a soft, soft mind.
  
But he is weary of the efforts involved. He has a secret wish that he never shared with anyone. He wants to get raped! By a woman. 


He can never, even in his dreams, think of undressing in front of the fairer sex, or anyone for that matter.  He has problems going to the loo because the pigeons have built their nests on the ventilator above and they get disturbed when he enters the washroom. His ears become red-hot when the she-pigeon stares at him with those red, round, wide-opened eyes of her.
  
Let the rapist woman undress him forcefully, he will act … but won’t react. That’s his secret little fantasy. But he knows he will remain a loner all his life. He knows how his death will come. He will have a massive heart-attack. All loners die of a broken heart.

When he comes back from the office, half-dead after struggling to stand in the packed train compartment for over an hour, and stops near his door … he always half expects that somebody will open it for him. He fancies he would be served freshly-brewed tea and snacks and be scolded mildly for coming late and switching the television on without even washing the dirt, carried in from the outside world, first.


He wants his world to have two identities – ‘outside’ and ‘inside.’


But he always ends up opening the door himself except on some unfortunate Saturdays when his roommate is ‘sick’ enough to not go to office. The house, those Saturdays, reeks of filth. Sundays he is around to check his errant, messy and callous roommate.   


He has to switch on the lights himself.  Slowly he has to carry his tired body and sick mind to the bathroom and open the tap to fill up the buckets. Water is a scarce commodity in this part of the world and who knows; tomorrow there may not be any supply. It is not uncommon here to spend two straight days without any water flowing through the pipes.

Removing the mangled newspapers, those that are staying the same way his roommate left them before rushing for the office, he couldn’t help but curse his roomie. If the house is left to him, it will soon resemble a municipality vat. A bad, bad word comes on his tongue but is slowly retracted … afterall, he is a friend -- a shallow, ordinary human being alright, but somebody who has never left his side at times of crisis. Somebody who can sleep even near a blast furnace wearing a baby-like smile, who falls asleep while talking about the meanest office politics or while describing the roundness of one of his colleague’s breasts! He is everything that Anando is not. He feels he has a responsibility towards his immature friend.

He hesitates to lie down on the mattress to watch the business news channel repeat, for the umpteen times, the interview of a neo-rich industrialist who made it to the top by dubious means. He listens for the umpteen time the sermons of hard work and sincerity by the interviewee and slowly shakes his head in disbelief. When you have money, people listen to your lies with great interest and belief. Even people like Anando. He can’t believe his intellectual decadence. But he continues. At least the person talks intelligently, he likes to be charmed by smooth talkers. He doesn’t like smooth talkers.
  
Television is the greatest entertainer, he has realized of late. It is not an idiot box. Idiots are the people who call it idiot box. There are several means of entertainment if you switch on the television. You have peoples, animals, nations, science, technology, rape, self-immolation, fraud, war, terrorism, politicians, big-talkers, soothsayers, religion, blast site, oppression, cartoon, race cars, women, sports, business, world affairs, universe, Afganistan, Iraq  and weapons of mass destruction – pick your choice.

He has a knack for liars. He could never lie in his life. Never. He respects straight-faced liars. Business news channels celebrate liars. The journalists lie through their teeth in the name of exclusives, keeping a straight face. He likes business journalism and financial journalists and the people they interview and talk about.

He would have hated them if there was a woman in his life.


He hesitates to lie down on the mattress … hoping that his woman will come and take his tired head on her lap. He hopes she will run her cold, soft palm on his forehead, caress his greasy hair with her long, thin fingers. Every time, he settles for the hair-oil -soaked damp pillow.

He half expects now his woman will come rushing from the kitchen, panicking and shouting for settling on the washed mattress without getting rid of the germs contacted from other people in train. He has a ready reply for this for years now.


“The person I exchanged my sweat with also thinks he is clean and I have germs … Would you not shake hands with that person’s wife if you become friends at the mall? Would you not invite her in this house and make her sit on this mattress?”


Of course, he didn’t get a chance to see what happens after he says that.


He looks up at the ceiling of the room. When they were kids, he would put an electric torch inside a makeshift tent of the bed sheet and switch the torch on in the dark room. He doesn’t know now what made them say that that time, but they were always convinced that they were lost in the Amazon jungle. The adventure to find the Inca gold would start then. 
They didn’t know about Cortes that time but if they would have, that title would have gone to their father. His father would switch on the light and snatch the torch from them, complaining that now he knew why the batteries were down all the time. Everyday his father would repeat the same dialogue and switch on the radio. The two brothers would sleep huddling each other on those cold winter nights listening to the thin, faint, wavy songs of old Bollywood.
  
They had never heard of television and girls were irritating drag in their teams during recess. The only woman known to them closely was their mother.


He misses his mother the most in this world. 








(Watch out for 'her story' in the next installment)

7 comments:

sourav mishra said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vincent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vincent said...

As ever, your eagerly awaited stories do not disappoint, and are rich in depths belied by their simple surface.

But in this case, the story leaves me unsatisfied, wanting more, not sure how long I have to watch out for "her story", or if it will ever be published; and how many instalments are to be expected in total.

Another reason for this unsatisfied discomfort is the dissatisfaction and discomfort depicted within the story. It laments and cries out for resolution and the most poignant of all is the last sentence. For the reader knows that missing his mother is part of nostalgia for his lost childhood. What kind of conclusion to the story will match the adventure of that time? We think we know.

The author has given hints. But will he deliver? And when?

sourav mishra said...

wonderful piece...such vivid passive narration...it touches hearts...it's pulitzer material my dear..pen longer stuff think novels..

Shuv said...

lovely imagery..eagerly awaiting the next installment..

Nautilus said...

It's getting darker and darker...but somehow I like it :) Get it out of your system...

kaushik said...

I didnt read the story beyond this line "Sometimes the human woman, sometimes the body woman". It is a masterpiece of a quote. I will read this again. And its good to know that unlike many of us, you juices are still flowing as well.