Sunday, 25 May 2014

An Unending Story

“The story starts almost like another story: The Sleeping Beauty. However, it is about a seed. There was once a little black seed. It slept peacefully inside the earth for many months while the water kept caressing it. So one day it woke up. 

The seed opened its green eyes and looked at the world around it. It looked at the Ashoka tree that stood tall at some distance and was looking affectionately at the budding seed. The seed smiled and nodded to the tree. Little did it know that one day the tree would become its best friend.

As the sunlight gently touched the bud it started growing, and it grew fast. It was curious and wanted to explore the world, so it kept spreading in all directions. The water and the sunlight, seeing the seed’s thirst for knowledge, kept helping it travel far and wide.

It became a vine.

One day the vine looked at the starry skies, they seemed to beckon it. Now it wanted to travel upwards and meet the stars, so unquenchable was its curiosity.  As it pined for the stars and the moon, the tree who had witnessed the seed’s journey, thought of the ways to help it. One day it asked the sprawling vine to lean on it.

‘Entwine yourself around me and climb upwards. And you might touch the stars one day,’ It told the seed that was now a vibrant vine.

The vine was happy. The happiness wasn’t just about the thought of climbing upwards, it was also about having someone to lean on, having someone to share its dreams and happiness with. It was about having a friend. 

Together the two friends nodded to the wind, played with the sunlight, and conversed with the stars. They also endured harsh blizzards, but they had each other.

As the vine grew and grew, it bore gourds that people happily ate. But some of the gourds that grew on the top, remained hidden. There was a purpose behind it. They had to live on to tell the story.”

I tell this story to the Lilliputians. And show them the dried gourd that I found on the top of an Ashoka tree growing in a house in Garden Town. How I asked the security guard of the house that I badly needed a dried gourd, and how gracious was the guard to pick it for me, is another story.

 “I have brought one of the hidden gourds so you can also hear the story.  Now hear,” I shake the gourd and something jingles inside it.

They are curious. I peel off a little bit of the hard core, and we have a glimpse of a sponge like loofah. Their excitement mounts. Together we peel the entire dried gourd. A brand new loofah becomes visible.

“It is used as a bathing sponge. But it hasn’t yet stopped narrating its story,” I tell them, and shake the loofah. It still jingles and the seeds start falling down. 

Omar collects the seeds and washes the loofah.

Now the story has started all over again. Omar daily waters the seeds and they are growing fast. Travelling far and wide.

Omar has plans to sell loofahs…home grown organic loofahs.

Capitalism has seeped inside the story!

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Of Banana Twins and Twin souls

“Look!” Omar’s voice reverberates in the kitchen and, most probably, is heard within the radius of thirty miles. 

He has experienced a eureka moment:Two bananas that sleep cozily inside a single peel.

“They are twins. They are born together,” I tell Omar, and then decide to create a visual experience. 

And if you are standing in a kitchen, there is no dearth of possibilities to stoke your creativity. My sculpting skills need just two black peppers for those deep dark eyes, a clove for a roman nose, and a bit of tomato peel for those rosy lips.

I am happy with my artwork. I feel so creative; and Omar is impressed.

“Aren’t they cute” I ask Omar.

“Yes, let’s keep them for ever,” he enthuses. 

“We can’t, they will rot. Everything in this world is transitory, even banana twins.”

After all these years, Omar has learned to ignore my meaningless digressions. And he focuses on what matters: twins

“Do I have a twin too?” he asks.

“No, you don’t. But in all probability you have a twin soul, but twin souls are, generally speaking, elusive. And sometimes…” here I stop as Omar starts giving me here-she-goes-again look.

 “And if I had a twin, would he have been exactly like me?”

“There’s a possibility that he or she would have looked like you, but no one in the world, not even a twin, can be exactly like you. The way you think, the way you feel, the way you experience things is unique. There is just one you.”

I don’t know how much of my eloquent sermon on individual uniqueness makes sense to Omar but this seems to make him happy.

He again looks at the banana twins and marvels at my ‘sculpture’, “You are such a good artist,” he declares and runs to invite everyone to have a look at my ‘masterpiece.’

I am an artist. This is my eureka moment. So happy.