Tag Archives: Uninspired Dreams

The Trevelyan and his Tin Heart

Once upon a time, a good many years ago, a traveller set upon a journey and this magical journey was to seem very long when it began, and very short when he got half way through it.

He travelled along a rather dark path for some little time, without meaning anything, until at last he came to a beautiful child. SO, he said to the child, “What do you do here” And the child said, “I am always at play. Come Play with me!”……  #CreativePrompt

Tired from his lonely journey, the traveller decided to enjoy the little event of company which his dark path provided, perhaps to keep him motivated. But the attire of the child was rather peculiar. It was the first time in his days on the road that the traveller saw a garb made of sack and ropes. But it wasn’t just the clothes that made the little boy different.

“What do you think, mister? Would I eat and sleep tonight or would tonight be the day for playing ‘Pretend’?”, asked the soft voice in the sack. Awoken from the perturbed and judging thoughts the traveller sat down and replied, “I fail to see how the two are related. dear friend.”

“Oh! You are lost! That’s why you are here, aren’t you? said the boy with a contempt which was unexpected of his little self. He then started arranging his little “dimes” and “nickels” in rows, as if he was indifferent to the emotional turmoil he had prompted in the traveller’s mind.

In the farther corner of the road, he erected a little wooden box upon which he placed a tin can. After being satisfied with his arrangements he said, “Let’s compete. The one who knocks the tin can from this distance becomes the winner and the loser gets to say goodbye first.”

“I can never say goodbye” though the traveller and for a moment he recalled the night he left home to travel. For in that despicable night, he had let go of himself and all that life had given to him for the fear of being an invalid burden on the ones he loved. “So, I would win” decided the hassled traveller. And the two players started to aim at the tin can dime after nickel, but only to fail.

“Won’t your parents mind you talking to a stranger, dear friend?” asked the traveller as he tried a shot.

With a placid smile on his face the failing competitor replied, “I was born to the world not to my parents. And thus, with the world I live. Yet, I keep for myself a warm and cosy house”.

“I wish I had a house too. A place to call home. But I am nowhere – life has abandoned me” said the aching spirit of the traveller as he failed to deliver his next shot.

“Funny you should say that, because in front of your open eyes the picture stands so clear. Don’t you realise life isn’t an incident but an event that occurs for you? And the aim of that good life is that tin can, whose fall is the only indication of what was earlier possessed.”

Hearing this, the traveller dawned to the uselessness of his journey. In his final chance, with shaking hands, he shot the nickel to a victory which was proclaimed by the clatter of the tin can. “Oh! I won. I won, little friend” he said with a melting voice.

“Indeed, you won” replied the little audience with a smile that spoke more than words. “And yet, I wouldn’t have to say goodbye either. For you stay in my house…”

“I don’t understand!” said the puzzled traveller.

“For you share a memory with me, you now live with me in my house. So, no matter whether you are here with me or not, we shall always share the same roof – that of the house of my heart.”

And in that moment, the traveller only saw the light at the end of his dark path and wondered as to how his tiresome journey ended in a moment of reprise.

“I shall always play with you my dear friend. That I promise!”

Saying these words, the Trevelyan picked up his tin can and glanced at the little figure waving at him. What followed was a parting that was embellished with the feeling of pain and yet secured the warmth between the embracing hearts. With his head to the front and his heart trailing behind the traveller passed silently into a memory of the worldly child’s dream.


Thanks for reading! Do let me know how you like my reworked extension of the creative prompt. 🙂

A Flavour of Sweets

“Who are you?

Do you want to know?”

Abdul was making his way through the squeezed-in streets of Old Delhi when I had asked this question of him. The fat sweet shop owner passed a sharp glance at him as he entered his shop to begin the day’s labour. As always, I was most disinterested in the chores Abdul was running through the damp shop. His urge of cleaning all the tables and waiting on the customers was incomprehensible to me. He had been doing that every day with the same energy since the 5 years that I had known him. “Why do you have to keep doing this? Do you really believe THIS is all you can be?” I would inquire, but in vain.

At home, I have always enjoyed the freedom to pester him for his indifference towards me. Mother has been really ill lately. She’s coughing half the time of the day and sleeping in the other half. So, every time she gives instructions for the things to be brought from the market I speak in his head the loudest I can. It is delightful to see his face redden with anger as he feels embarrassed to make his mother repeat her words. Oh! How much I enjoy my glorious moments!

But there is something exceptionally wrong with him today. I have been hovering in his mind since the morning and yet he hasn’t silenced me even once. I troubled him during his afternoon sleep and especially during his precious sneak into the school for over hearing lessons. Yet, he did not respond. Perhaps he would think something after this plum of a person scolds him for coming late.

“Welcome Sahib! Have you arrived already? It’s just 3 pm. Why don’t you take some rest and return by the evening?”

“That is in fact a good idea, Abdul! He is letting you take a few hours off by himself. Just say YES and leave.”

“I am sorry, Murari ji. My mother was not feeling well today. So, I stayed back with her to take care of her for a while.” And like every day, Abdul has put his wrong foot out today as well. But why should I care. He’ll have to take its humiliation all by himself. It is not as if I am bound to this plum man.

“Everyday the same excuse! I curse the day I employed you in service…….” Here we go again. I don’t understand why he even goes into the effort of repeating the same banter. It would spare me so much pain if he just checked Abdul’s reason with his mother. “Of course, he isn’t lying! If only you could care to investigate, you selfish man”. I don’t understand any of……

“What have you done Abdul! Where do you think you are going?”

“What is happening to you? I can’t understand a word you are thinking in the midst of your anxiety. I need you to calm down.”

“Home? You’re running home? How do you think that can help? You have just shoved the plum man and run off with a box of his jalebis. How do you think he’ll bare that!?”  He isn’t listening to me again.

But why should I worry for mother’s scolding. He’ll be the one culprit of the theft of jalebis. He’s been the one who has betrayed his conscience – mislead ME – and served his interests. The Law would not spare him. The plum man might already be looking for a policeman!

But what would I do? I can’t even present my case.

Here’s mother! I’m sure she’ll teach a lesson to Abdul.

She looks frailer than she was when we left her for work. A drink of water might just rejuvenate her spirits and make her sturdy enough to beat this Abdul!

“Go ahead! Offer her a glass of water.”

Mother doesn’t look so well to me. Her hands are shaking and her voice is failing.

“She should better lie down, Abdul.” She’s pointing at the jalebi box. I think she’s asking where it came from.

“A Lie! What a liar you have become Abdul! I wish I could tell mother how you bought that box by exchanging a fist with the plum man”

She’s asking for a piece of the sweet. I don’t blame mother. She looks too tired to scold him right now. Maybe a bite of the jalebi might make her feel better. I think the only place where Abdul’s and my thoughts intersect is – in the smile of our mother. Perhaps, the Plum Man does have something to be proud of. His sugary sweet has indeed lit Abdul’s face. For the first time in today he is finally thinking about his reminisces – the good old days when father used to bring these jalebis on the first day of the month. I haven’t seen mother smile at us like this ever since father left us here.

That was then. And here we are now. With mother lying on the same old cot and smiling at us with the same touch of sorrowful warmth. She raises her hand to bless us. Only I can see that this blessing could never be more misleadingly disguised.

“What do you cry now Abdul? When you know it was you who chose to embitter her final breaths with the stolen bite?”

He isn’t thinking anything anymore. Where must he be going? The street outside is as alive as it can be during the twilight. He stood there in the middle of the bazaar and looked around him. Faces with innumerable masks leading to oblivion. And there! Mother shined down at us in all her glory. The stars were shining and brighter still, because mother could always illuminate her company. Yet, has anyone found her there?  Why would the world care of another passing in the realm of unattainable sweetness? Murariji’s shop is open and full of customers who cannot notice him passing by.

In the squalor of the Past, the glimmers of the Present are serving to set new touchstones for the Future. While here he stands.

Down here were the peccable tangs of sweet life and up there the impeccable scintillate of eternity!

“You stand in their midst – as their temporary custodian.”




Photo credits: http://www.anapnoes.gr/mia-mitera-den-chriazete-syntrofo-gia-na-megalosi-charoumena-pedia/

The Deserted Banquet Hall

You have been here a long time now, Gertrude. What do you recall looking at the patch of the dark sky which reaches your eyes through the concrete forest?

He sighed. It was indeed dark and the thought of the arrival of an evening mosquito swarm (for that is what the people graded it to be) broke his meditation. So he said to me, “I can’t believe I am talking to you again. But then who else do I have to fill my company, it’s not as if people have friends anymore. The last conversation I ever had was with a Chat Bot that talked like a woman. So to answer your question, yes I try to recall a moment, years from now when I did make memories.”

From days of your father to this moment, Connecticut has become alien to you and unrecognizable to me. In the farthest East upon the barren surface of the Great River the sun did shine yet it didn’t glow in your company but burned you with itself. And as I looked ahead, the far dimming lights of New York City which shimmered at a distance your spirit could never achieve instigated disgust for the odour of its coxcomb life. In this ever ambitious world here you sit everyday within your part of the sky looking on to the darkness as the constant reminder of the life today.

He motionlessly looked on the sky bereft of stars (as he would say) but which was hidden behind the dark clouds of dust as I could see.

It had become a matter of everyday now. Gertrude’s lonesome seating on the roof provoked my intrusion for in the silence around him I heard afflicting thoughts from the time past. In the month of October when leaves did rustle under his feet, I lingered today to hear the presence of nature’s daughter around him. It was between this chasm of then &now, where I got lost every time he looked at the far and familiar night sky. And to my agony, I could not reconcile him to find acceptance in a world he thoroughly unaccepted.

You should probably go to Martha. You are again sinking in yourself ————-Before I could say more, the above said Martha, the sole living companion of the only un-automated house in Connecticut, poked into view bearing her usual face with which she hinted that she didn’t quite understand his behaviour and got irritated with her ignorance.

“So you peeping into the sky again, lark?” she ejaculated.

“Not the sky, doll”.

I tried to evade her.

“Dad, you know you don’t have to lie to me”, was her protestation.

“But my dear, with your face covering my view, how do you expect I can be looking onto the sky now?”

I generously smiled at her stamping feet with which she often indicated her helplessness in rescuing his humour from her innocent anger. And as she would have it, soon I and Gertrude were back in the “petite” apartment he called his house. It had been carefully maintained to be as antique as possible. It was thus that it had the old ceramic paint coatings which now withered from time, were majorly covered with portraits of Connecticut that he drew from my memory. He enjoyed lying at the stitched bag of sponge he called a “couch” while Martha began her persiflage.

But today was different. For a reason I couldn’t identify, Gertrude lied down on his sponge to look over at his oldest painting which he saved as a bearing by his father. The painting never took my attention for it couldn’t instigate my love for art which was lost in my transaction with the Present; but with Gertrude it became somewhat like a gadget to which he drew back every hour of the 24. It was contained in a wooden frame which was cracked at corners and the picture presented the image of a young boy in mid twenties standing in the middle of an empty banquet hall. The glance of the boy seemed to interest Gertrude. Even with the tears that rolled down his eyes the young boy curved his lips to smile looking at the maple leaf crafted on the hall’s floor.  Within minutes of meditation, the painting of the mysterious boy flushed Gertrude’s face until a tear held with cold embrace his heated cheeks.

But it seemed I wasn’t the only one who noticed the deluded weight, for Martha exclaimed as haughtily as a child used to do in 21st Century pointing at the picture, “Is he experiencing another of those modes you call “emotion” papa? I wish Mr. Brudge taught us that in the class of Humanology.”

Gertrude just smiled.

“But is he sad or happy, papa?”

At this question of the little Martha I felt a deep hollow in my heart that numbed my thoughts. While I had no weight (for such is my constitution) I felt burdened with a load I seemed to be familiar with. To all I experienced Gertrude sat frozen at the face of her who didn’t notice his fixed gaze.

But Martha frivolously observed, “He looks happy to be sad, papa. I think he’s smart like Treck”.

He didn’t bother to hear the gross details that Martha went on to provide of Treck’s intelligence, and got up on his feet to face the painting he mused over. For in a moment of Martha’s persiflage, he stumbled over his only inheritance.

And he spoke in my ears –

I remember how my father sang to me, though the words I can’t recall

Yet its music reaches me now, of the song sewed with “pleasures in all”

It spoke of shallow reach of joy and the faithless showers

Afar did the freshness reach of the splendid flowers?

Ah! Its morning opens its gates and now its climes I do I see,

Affection drawn from sorrow is the truest there can be. *



*Gertrude is referring from Thomas Moore’s “In the Morning of Life”