Pandafied- 1 of 2
The story was just not ready to happen, the mind ready to think that it was just not ready to play along. Time, that great benefactor, was all but ready to run past the present, strange but time was always running away from the present. Why does it do that? Why is this unfailingly punctual habit of time failing to stay but keep moving? Especially moving away from the present! Strange if time had a moment for itself what would IT think...
What would time say to itself.. Growing up, the only glimpse of TIME was limited to a faceless rishi sitting on a mat telling "I am TIME" on national television and narrating stories of mythological characters of true GODly characters and proportions.
Let's turn the clock back a bit, for the sake of relationship sharing, have time become one among us, bound by all that binds us, honour, humour, fear, respect, and most importantly time.
With all due respect to all the other genders let’s have our TIME as a boy, a not so young boy.
A modest house and modest surroundings lived a boy with loving family and friends, barely knowing of the switch between him and TIME for a play without TIME. TIME in all his infinite wisdom to come had played this out countless times. The boy meanwhile had been growing up, just like any of us... Morning ablutions done, combing of the hair was an important aspect for the boy, surprisingly for an almost bald pate, yet, it was an important exercise for it gave him the only chance to look at his eyes and peer into his soul.
Another painful day passed and the boy began with his morning tasks, the moment for the shaping of the hair mop came up, a mundane task begun as done every day. The eyes which had a sparkle of life were just dead tissues; the charm on the face had all but gone.
The lifeless eyes asked the same question that it had every time it saw itself in the mirror. "What are you up to?" And the answer as always had been the same... "Nothing"…
A journey of life begun in a state of total exhilarating energy was now down to a whimpering, breathing lifeless piece of flesh and meat stitched onto a piece of skeleton..
TIME took the place of the boy and went through the journey. Relativity was on a break!. The boy TIME stared at his usual blank look. It started as a walk and then a thought train began playing out its ruse. The mirror was in the front and the hair mop sequence began again. This time the boy began to comb his hair and the reflection asked the usual question. “What are you up to?” The answers were all but sequences….
Since TIME was quite abundant, the question triggered stories across TIME:
The eyes woke up to a comfortable seat in a plush air conditioned public transport bus. The usual fellows, who just roamed around as usual, pass holders and the other bunch of first timers fascinated by the space utilisation on the bus. The boy in one of his self-indulgence/ necessitated trip across the city was lost in translation. The bus stopped at a signal. A familiar sight, yet not too familiar. It just went about the regular business of having to draw a vivid picture across …
The sun had just risen; the signal had two distinct features on both ends. On the right was a shining glass façade housing one of those MNC’s which housed the many citizens across its multiple roofs that belonged to homes and cultures as varied as accommodated in the city. On the left, was an empty plot, left empty, or probably under litigation as it had that usual big bill board stating litigation numbers. More interesting was the side walk facing the glass façade across the road. A chai stall, another small shop required for having a meal any course of the day, doubling up as a chaat stall over the evening.
Besides, the most important aspect of the scene were two sets of characters:
1. The roadside, gentle, non-biting, tail wagging dog or dogs that ate and defecated at the stalls and slept in the shade of the glass face buildings.
2. The daily ritualistic sun bathers with a smell of fresh nicotine induce smoke drinkers, with a traditional chai/ coffee of course (Chai and coffee defining mostly of the region you grew up, or an intense acquired taste for the beverage).
The boy woke up, rubbed his eyes, and took in all of this in front of him. The regular chai walas busy at business with the dogs and an occasional cat and a rat dropping in to complete the scene. The sun shone bright on all of them, with no disdain, no prejudice and least of all no hatred. A dog, who had been sleeping took time to laze himself out in front of the shop and stretched itself out in front. Barely any food eaten, it took its time to lie down and sleep (besides, the only reason to sleep in the glass façade building was more air- good for keeping track of scents- and occasional bite thrown from the security guards).
In front of the dog were two employees of the glass faced building, chai and nicotine in hand in a very deep animated discussion (general theory points towards cricket matches or movies, and occasional work too). The conversation was quite animated, yet professional making the boy wonder if they were super humans (appearances can be deceptive). The dog lazing out looked tired and sleepy and most of all weak. The chai shop owner, a regular patron threw a bread crumb that was gladly accepted by the dog. Tail wagged, gratitude over flowing on the face, the bread crumb was eaten. Then it stretched itself in front of the stall. “The employees” looked at the dog, gave a wry smile and went back to their conversation. The sun was rising and traffic signal was long enough, so the boy had time to wait and watch in the luxury of his air conditioned bus. The rising sun left a distinct sun ray reflected off the glass façade directly on the face of the dog.
“The employees” saw that and continued the conversation. Meanwhile, the tired dog tried moving, but there was no space left to move, it was either the traffic or the space where the employees were standing. It writhed and moaned, and resigning to its fate and exhaustion lay there in the sun. One of “the employees” saw what happened, the chai was over, so another distraction was needed. It was always necessary to have a distraction to be able to concentrate for them, interesting sub species these MNC’s were. After gauging all the analysis that could be done in regard to their moving versus their standing the employee saw an alternative. “The employee” moved in between the sun light and the dog. The dog had it temporary relief. The boy just saw what he had to see, and on cue, the time to move on had come, the bus moved on ahead.
The eye of TIME mopping his hair winked once, he was still looking at the mirror, still combing the hair, winked again and another reverie started to play out...