For Brooklyn

​Among the subtleties of human predicaments, I often like to imagine, is a lie that they had us believe. A lie- or a truth gone rogue- that was fed to us to keep the darkness away, which now ironically forms the very basis of it. 

The fundamental error of our lives has been to let that lie settle into our souls, to place our bets on the belief that- purposeful things cannot end into nothingness. 

NaPoWriMo Day 3: The Oak Tree

“Tie a yellow ribbon around the old oak tree,
And write your dreams there, Jim
Work a little hard and thou shall have it”

Remembering his fathers’ words,
He rushed out to his backyard,
In the garden of eternal blooms,
Carrying a ribbon in his hand

He rushed across the lush grass
Passing by the grape vines
Ignoring the white daffodils
And refusing the faith of science

He taped an end of the yellow ribbon
On the old tree to begin the task
Then went around it numerous times
For each wish of his past.

“Become an architect”, he wrote
Or maybe eat a thousand pies
In fact on second thought, he wrote
A poet would too suffice.

Word by word and wish by wish,
He filled the yellow, with wishes
Like a bucket list made of hope
The beauty of universe’s dishes.

” I will fulfill all of them”
“Yes, dream by dream”
His innocent eyes shined silver
And, began his mediocre realm.

———-

The daffodils have withered now
And, the vine cries for water
The grass has grown yellow
And the dreams have come to shatter

The yellow ribbon is now torn
Torn with the ruins of time
No one there to look at it now
For Jim is not alive.

It’s been more than 60 years
And nothing survived the rut
60 years gone by super fast
Like a door that was shut.

Nothing was left except the tree
Withstanding the ruins of time
Narrating the story of a boy called Jim
And of his wishes a rhyme.

And it continues to wait now
In irritable tranquility for him
For another yellow ribbon and
For another little Jim.

Going Home

First, it was the escalator.
I thought it to be a dream, but it was not.
First, it was the escalator. Then, everything else. The automatic doors to the platform, the elevator, the train doors. Everything was slower today, more effortless, more tranquil, than usual.
More slow.

Everything. Not everyone.
The people weren’t slow. They were sitting there. But, they were not immobile, not slow.
They were running, fast, faster than everything around. All of them. The ones on the platform and the ones inside the train with me. Running, yet not going anywhere.
No one was going anywhere. No.

No one, not nothing.
The train. The train was. Slowly, sluggishly.
From the inside, it almost seemed fixed, immobile, as if it was not. But, it was.
It was taking me home.
Slowly, gently, gliding through the tunnel, it was taking me home.

Rains

When he was 8, he would want to get wet in the rains, to feel tiny rain drops hitting his face, sliding down his smile onto his shoulders, and falling on the ground, to jump in puddles, to embrace the magical phenomenon that he hadn’t come to know about as yet.
But
The rains. The rains would come in Septembers. September was the time when his school exams were scheduled. So, whenever, it was raining, he would be spending his time studying in his room, diligently obeying his mothers orders.
Every year
Starting from just the next day after the exams were over, he would wake up early and rush downstairs to fetch the morning newspaper. He would bring it into his room and of all the pages, open the weather one. He would scrutinize the whole page looking for any sign of upcoming rains. There would be, at times, little chances, hopes which would never materialise.
Habit
This whole exercise soon became a habit, that he continued for long, till finally he grew tired of it. It was when he was 13 that logic struck him, that he realised that the world functions on pattern and monotony, and that the rains wouldn’t come after September if they never did before. The only thing he could do, was to hope.
I once read
Hope is but a casual lie said to keep innocent eyes from tearing up, and maybe it is true. His innocent eyes grew tired of waiting and with time, so did his fascination with rains. He started growing up.
Today
He is 24. He doesn’t have any exams to give, and he is free to follow his wishes.
When the rain would come, he would take out his umbrella, open it over his head and then, instinctively, look down, at the ground, at the scene of rain drops hitting the floor, listening to the tip tap, hoping perhaps for fascination to come back.
Hope.

Episode III: Radio

“The next song” he would say “The next song that the radio plays would describe my future life.”

A declaration based on the notion that everything, as insignificant as the next song on the radio and as little as his declaration of these words, happens for a reason. Everything is connected and interrelated. Our souls aren’t floating in a space of boundless infinite serenity of chance, but are closely tied together by reason and fate.

“The next song would describe my future life” He would say.

————-

He spent his entire life, or what was left of it, tagging an immensely sullen song as a happy, cheerful one.

Was his life sullen? Or happy?
Depends on what we mean by happiness.

Episode II: Day

“What happened to him?”
“Well, he took a bold step.
He woke up. He destroyed the dreamy world he was living in to wake up to reality, hoping that perhaps the regret would pass. And, then, reality struck him. He confirmed what he already knew. He confirmed that reality wasn’t good. It was cruel. Brutal. Callous.
That’s is his story. The reality struck him.”

Episode I: Night

One day he will wake up just to discover that everything around him, everything that he had ever seen, the way people behaved, the way everything was, all the love that he had received, was all a dream, fantastic world that he had woven around himself because the reality was too much for him. And the brutal irony is, that he already knows about it. He already knows that everything around him, all the positive things, all the optimism, is dream. He knows that one day, he will have to wake up. But, he doesn’t want to wake up, he doesn’t want to accept the reality. He just wants to sleep just watch it rain all day long, all night long. He wants to live in that fog. He just doesn’t want to know.

Viva La Vida: DP Challenge

For his whole life , Mr.  Gorakh Lal Mehta never believed in one very particular thing – life.  His unacceptability to the concept of life could be traced back to his childhood .
When he was just 11 years old, his parents were brutally murdered at the hands of a millionaire industrialist. With no one to care,  he, along with all his 7 siblings, was abandoned on a footpath.  Although all the seven siblings were admitted in an orphanage, he was lost In the streets on Mumbai.
He, soon realised, at this very young age, how callous and unsympathetic people were. It appeared as if life ceased to exist on Earth . People were but lifeless – with no emotions, and certainly no love.
Finally, after years of sauntering, plodding, mind-numbing toil, beggary, and brutal exploitation at the hands of  factory worker, he concluded that the life did not exist at all . People were just non living things and had to be dealt the same way .
All that existed and was of value was money, a lot of money –  his passion, his love and his only dream .
Making a lot of  money legally was too difficult. Making the same amount illegally too risky. Somehow , Gorakh Lal managed to fulfill both the tasks, though for him the latter was former.
Now After 60 years and a lifelong history of cheats , frauds and swindles , today, Gorakh Lal’s net worth was
$ 990,000 . His only dream was to reach $1,000,000 .
That day , he received a phone call .
“Hello ? ”
” Good morning , Mr. Gorakh Lal . This is your assistant Dev here . ”
” What is it ? ”
” Sir , I would like to inform you that our deal with M/S Arun and Sons has been finalised . I have fixed a meeting with them for you to once review  the deal . . ”
” Ok , I’ll be there ” Mr. Gorakh Lal never spoke more than necessary . He had never been able to understand the need for polite demeanor, or strait-laced propriety and now, it was too late to learn .
So, he hung up the phone and grabbed his computer. He smiled. After this last swindle, his net worth would be One Million . His dream was about to come true.
Next day,  he got himself ready for his deal with M/S Arun and Sons. He wore his best clothes, and of course, his lucky tie.
” Driver, get the car”
” The Jaguar, sir”
” Yes”
As he set out to begin his day, a long, lanky boy came up to stand in front of him. He grunted.
“Good Morning , Mr. Mehta ” the boy said smiling, in the hope that this time perhaps Mr. Mehta will wish him this time, but he didn’t .
” How many times have I told you not to show me your face  in the morning .”
He always treated him like this. It wasn’t that he,Wasim, had done something: no, only he was too ‘kind’ . Mr. Mehta believed that since, there was no life, no kindness on Earth, Wasim was most hypocritical and diplomatic. In fact, according to him, he was most callous and unsympathetic inside. In most senses, Gorakh Lal thought of Wasim as the millionaire industrialist who killed his parents, for the industrialist, too, in the beginning, acted humble and confabulate with ‘sugar coated words’. Over the years, Wasim had grown kinder and Mr. Mehta angrier. His loathefulness for Wasim was now beyond all bounds .
“Mr. Mehta? your car is ready”
“Finally” He said as he passed Wasim.He reached the office at 10:54 and found his assistant waiting for him with the Arjun & Co. papers ready. He signed on them without looking and went on to his office.

After an 8 hour day, he went home to celebrate $1,000,000.
“Just one more day and I’ll be a millionaire” he muttered as he walked down the stairs.
*Creek* *Crack*
He fell all the way down the stairs.
“Aaah” He cried but no one heard. Of course, there was no one in the room, or the house, in fact. Mr. Mehta had hit his head. It was bleeding heavily.
“Mr. Mehta?” said a familiar voice.
” Wasim? ”
” Sir , you are bleeding! ”
Wasim ran down to him and tried to cover his injury, only to fail.
Mr. Mehta tried to say something but balanced against it.
Wasim carried his body, outside in his own car.

“No..no..” Mr. Mehta said panting heavily.

“Go” Wasim shouted to the driver.
Mr. Mehta was not afraid to die, no. According to his concept there was no life in him, or anyone. He was only thinking about two things – one, how to escape from the person he had loathed all his life and two, how to live long enough to make his dream come true .
He glanced at Wasim, who was sitting there anxiously, gently holding his head in his arms. Wasim looked at Mr. Mehta, staring at him .
“Don’t worry Mr. Mehta , you’ll be fine . I will not let anything happen to you”
“I will not let anything happen to you” The words echoed in Mr. Mehta’s mind several times. It is said one’s whole life flashes in front of them at the time of their death and such was the case with Mr. Mehta. He saw his childhood, his mother, his parents, his siblings, the cruel industrialist, all the callous people of the Mumbai streets and in the end, Wasim. Despite all the times he scorned him, and all the times he loathed him, despite all the abuses, the poised words and despite the moments of altercation, there he was, struggling to save him.
He glanced at him, held his hand, and subtly smiled at him hoping to wish him thank you for reviving his faith in life and love. He opened his mouth in gratitude but, was too weak to speak. All he said: Viva La Vida.
And, with this, ended the life of great Mr.Gorakh Lal Mehta,  in the arms of one person he had hated all his life, and with the words that no one had ever expected to hear from him: Viva La Vida, or Long Live Life .

This is my first short story, that I wrote for WordPress Weekly Challenge. Hope you liked it. Leave feedback:)