Wednesday, October 3, 2012


He smelled dried leaves, like always. The old man could smell them from his room, from the terrace of the rehabilitation center, and also from the kitchen. His sense of smell had a strong affinity for them. Sometimes he wanted dogs to learn from him. He loved trees for dying and being born again. But he didn't want to be born again, after dying. He just waited, without knowing why.

The old man put on his favorite slippers, that were too huge for him. He looked at them, with utmost concentration, and thought nothing in the whole wide world could be as comfortable. They reminded him of planet Earth, the warmth of the sun, the moon, and stars. They also reminded him of rabbits, and hamsters. Giving them an appreciative nod, he set out for his evening walk. Cool breeze forced in through his thick hair. Again he smelled the leaves. He made his disturbed, lonely self, take shorter and faster steps. Something made him want to walk that way.

He saw the young man sitting on the same bench again. This time he was sure he would talk to him. When the young man stood up to leave, the old man shouted "Oi! You should sit!". The young man, sat down and stared at his hands. Scratched his curly, messy hair, and kept glancing at the old man, worriedly, with an enduring frown on his face. The old man squinted, and sat down next to him.

"So, you come here often eh, young man?" probed the old man.
"Yes, yes I do. Yes, y-y-yes I d-do. Yes." He kept nodding continuously.
"What do you do, young man?"
"Yes, I d-do special things."
"Ah! Just like me. We have too much in common eh? We should become buds eh?"
The young man stared at him unbelievably, and then let out a childish laugh. "Yes, yes, we can. We can, we can." This time the old man stared at him. "You laugh just like a bat eh? Where did you learn that?"
The young man scratched his head, and spat on the ground. Rubbed his nose, and blinked a few times. He slapped himself. "Can you do this? Yes, th-this. Can you?"

The old man was amused. He wanted to be able to slap just like the young man did. He lifted his left hand, and slapped himself on the right cheek. "There! I did it eh?"
"No, no, no, no, no. I c-can do it b-better."
The old man grunted.
"We should dance now" said the young man.
"But where's the music, young man? We cannot dance without music or at least the drums?"

"We can, we can. Yes. Play music under your hairs. Yeah, h-hairs. It will play loudly. Now d-dance like this." He said, standing up, and shaking his legs, and jumping. The old man was shocked. He could not believe his eyes. The young man,took the old man's hand and pulled him up. "C-come, d-dance like this. Just jump, jump, you will hear music, under your hairs!" The old man, jumped a little. And just as the young man had said, music started playing in his mind, under his hairs. He was fascinated. He jumped higher, moved his hands, wobbled his head, and moved around the place. And then, he laughed.

He had never enjoyed something so much. He laughed loudly. So loudly that everyone in the garden looked at him, surprised. He laughed again. The laughter filled his eyes with tears. The other people, who were also in their own world, started laughing, for no reason. The young man also giggled at first, and later laughed. Everyone roared with laughter. The old man, laughed so much, that he fell to the ground. He had never laughed. But just then, he did. He laughed like, he was going to die. Water kept flowing from his eyes, his ribs ached. Maybe this was how it had to end. But he didn't care. He kept laughing.


Trishnanta said...

The language is simple but its the reading between the lines that fascinates me in your writing style. I love the imagery. I love the theme. I love this post.

Pallavi said...

Its your best post. Period.

there will be blood said...

Wow. A gud short story..Thoroughly enjoyed reading it!!

Sumanth Suresh said...

wow.. very nice story.. keep it coming! :)

The Illuminator said...

Lucid...looked like the script of a refined Hollywood movie. Now that's something I will like to read more on your blog.

Labyrinthine said...

@Bhanu, Sumanth: Thanks! Glad you liked it.

@Illuminator: :D. I actually feel like writing more posts like this now!

@Trish and Pal: Thanks a lot. This might sound gay, but I was touched by your comments! :|