Saturday, January 30, 2010

Half baked chapatti

It was dark and quiet. A lonely street in the nearby vicinity was deserted only to be acquired by the dogs which often barked to amplify the silence of that lonely dark street. Leaves on the trees were still, and the stars hid themselves behind the clouds. People have long back retired in their homes. It was as if all were waiting; waiting for the sun to interfere.

In that lonely, dark street there lay a man with his fist clenched. He was either sleeping or waiting but one was not sure. Perhaps, he had died in that street but, apparently, nobody had noticed. There was hardly any ways that he looked alive.May be, he died sometime in the past.

Unexpectedly, the fingers moved, and slowly the immobile figure that lay crouched, started to take its form just as the little child inside an embryo. He stood up slowly, and the figure that looked frozen embryo a while ago suddenly became a full grown man that skipped the childhood, and the adolescence. As he stood straight a dim light from a far street lamp stuck on his face. Even in the faintest of light, one could read the rotten years of his life just by looking into the lines that were criss-crossing his forehead. He was weak and fragile, and looked handsomely hungry.
He looked around puzzled, slowly opened his fist, and things became obvious. It was still lying there in his fist, his prized-possession—the half baked chapatti.
A beautiful mansion proudly stood in the middle of that street. There lived a small family in it—a mother, a father, and their beautiful young daughter. Besides them there were servants, and cars that lived in servant quarters and garage respectively. Beauty of their mansion brought jealousy while the beauty of their daughter brought Romeos in the town.

“Why big houses have small families living in it”?

This house is big enough for twenty or may be even more, he thought.

“Why rich men have beautiful daughters?he asked to himself.

He did have the answer for this one.Moreover, he did have time to think. Every minute lost in these futile philosophies meant even lesser food for the night. Food in the day, of course, was a luxury.

He hurriedly walked past the house. Suddenly, he stopped. He saw a beautiful girl in blue tank top on the terrace of the mansion. Her beauty complimented the glow of the sun shine.
"She must be the daughter", he contemplated.

Even his wretched state could not persuade him not to follow the path of appreciation—the appreciation of beauty, that is. After all he was young, young enough for the worldly pleasures. So, he jumped the forbidden walls of the mansion. He descended to other side of the wall that lead to the garden area. In this euphoria, he lost all his fears. He quickly ran from the garden area hiding him to the back side of the mansion. And, there it was, the staircase that would lead him to heavens.

He ascended and reached the terrace within seconds. He quickly hid himself behind the trash box that was lying in the corner of the terrace. He sat there holding his breath for a minute. After a while when he could count his breaths, he looked at the girl from the corner of the trash-box. She was there—the girl in a blue tank top. However, he couldn’t see her face because her back faced his side. Her curly red hair was dangling on side of her attractive shoulder.

"Why rich girls have red hair while poor have black? he questioned himself.
But he did not have time for such stupid notions to develop. He was simply proud of his heroic escapade. He wanted to live this moment to its fullest.

Suddenly, the trash-box opened from the top. Someone poured garbage of the house, and then it stopped. He froze in silence and soon he realized his err. All his fears were now back in full swing. As quickly as possible he wanted to get out of it. As soon as the sound of garbage-filling subsided he started to crawl back to his safety. While returning to stairs he saw a stale half baked chapatti that somehow rolled from the trash-box to the floor of the terrace. Hunger overpowered his fear at that moment. He quickly moved forward and grabbed the half baked chapatti. It was now firm in his fist, and so he was walking back to his safety.The girl in the blue tank top saw this from her corner of her eyes. And,when he saw her seeing him, he knew that his next step could be fatal. So, he stopped. Still. Not moving an inch further.

She screamed.
It was easy, an absolute no brainer. After which, everything fell in place, every puzzle solved.

“Time to go”, he thought while his legs wandered aimlessly.

His body was already filled with wounds so he wasn’t feeling hungry. He looked again at the half baked chapatti. Suddenly, a dog came from the streets with its tail wagging and tongue hanging out, and looked at the chapatti, and then to him. The imbecile look of the dog was innocent as it reminded him of himself. At that very moment, dog became a man and the half baked chapatti became the girl in the blue top. Now, it seemed they were two men in love with the same woman. He threw the half baked chapatti at it. Dog picked it, grabbed it in its mouth, and started running. Suddenly it stopped and turned back, dropped the chapatti, and looked into his eyes. Picked the chapatti again, and ran away in the darkness of the street. He knew that the dog had thanked him. He could understand the dog’s language; he could listen to his voice.
"Only a man who is hungry and disgraced understands the language of animals, he thought.

He turned back, limped, and lost in the darkness of the other side of the street.


Madman’s note:

At some level, half baked chapatti is a depiction of failure of human dignity, failure of wandering soul, and above all, failure of human life. This is a story about a journey i.e. life where journey doesn’t end but is lost somewhere in the infinity.


William Manson © 2010 said...

very nice story, good imagination, u seem to know what you are doing, very enjoyable, please pop over and read my poems, I also write short stories..

Neeraj said...

William, thanks for stopping by my blog. will love to read your stories as well.


Andy said...

jhakaas...dark shit man......

Neeraj said...

Yo man, thanks a ton..:-)

prashant singh said...

hi neeraj, i tired to comment on this post earlier, but it somehow didnt accept. i feel there is some filter u have put in place for minimum skill of writing even to post a comment.
so i m trying again to say that i just loved the story. though the storyline was not any surprise, i enjoyed the details that u have put in. your picture painting has certainly improved. one can imagine what u are talking about.
great ...... keep it up :)

Neeraj said...

Thanks Prashant for coming back to my blog, and LOL...No filter have I put in..anybody and everybody can post comment...cheers mate