>> Friday, July 13, 2007

Dad takes out some colours. I begin to paint the newspaper.
Why do newspapers seem so Gothic? The phone rings. The colours simply emerge out of your pencil. They stream forth and make patterns so alive and wild they seem to have a life of their own, going straight, meandering, laughing, stumbling, thinking, resting. Flawless as they skim above the surface and life blooms at the contact point. Indecisive, impulsive; the crayon manipulates the fingers, the hand, the Body to movement and acts as Controller. The throbbing veins and webs of nerves tangle but seem sick and lifeless as you view them from afar- nothing but a doodle on dead wood.
Mom stares at me. I notice the spider web on the clock. Spinning the web of time. It's 5:30. I wear my shoes and walk out of the door. Dad follows me and we go for the Long Drive. The wind escapes my fingers. They always do that so I taught my mind to do the same, but we do it together at night in the comfort of my bedroom. We're at the park.
Seasoned sun setting on the tired grass. Meghna looks at me. Her eyebrows jump, her eyes go wide and her lips turn upwards.
Lips upward="Smile".
So I should do the same. I manage to "smile" back. Dad moves away while she takes my arm and we stroll around the park.
She speaks. Collage of words. Govind, work, plane, tired, Sakshi, paper, blue, dress... paper? Paper! I tell her all about my colouring spree at dawn, about life in crayons, their incessant laughter, their thoughts...Enough. She's looking at me. There's a tiny pimple on her left cheek. A dry leaf falls on my shoulder. She asks me to say more. But the chunk of slowly rotting wood on the tree is too alluring. The wood has ridges and signs; wrinkles of ages seen but unspoken. History in gnarls and knots. Unshared wisdom.
I can see her lips moving, and then it begins to loop downwards. Her eyes glisten and her mouth continues to move. She gesticulates with her hands and rubs her eyes blotching the black eyelids.
Ok... um...
upside down smile="Unhappy".
So she must be unhappy or sad. That means I must try to pay attention to what she's saying. Say something nice. Umm...she looks at me. I say, “You’ve made my life miserable Adi!" She stares and her eyes open wide as her mouth forms an "O". She blinks, kisses me on the cheek and leads me back to Dad.
Mouth open wide as an "O"+eyes wide open=?
We get into the car. The question remains, I raise my eyebrows and shape my mouth into an "O" then call Dad. He looks at me, then at the road. He does it quite a few times. Then he says, “Surprise. That means the person found something suddenly or unexpectedly." I hope she understood what I said.
We're back at the house. I get my medication and listen to the walkman.
Its 9.30. Bed-time.
I hop on one leg and tell Mom, “I think its time for you to go to bed."
I crawl into the covers and the warm ocean engulfs my thoughts and muffles my movements from the dark hours of the night.
Dad comes, kisses me, says he has some emergency work and leaves in a hurry. No. He has to read 'Lord of the Flies' for me. No.
I get up and yell. My throat resonates the house. I can hear the door slam. Mom comes and looks at me. She holds my hands in an excruciating grip. I start my trance movement.
My head bobs- front, behind, front, behind, front, behind. My brain seems motionless like it has managed to vaporize and escape from its cranial tormentor. She lets go my hand and holds my head. I start flapping my hands like a wild bird. I hit the bed hoping it would hurt and bleed.
No. Dad must be here. He must read. This must happen. I don't go to sleep without him reading. It must be him and no one else. He must sit on a chair, wear his spectacles and read from the book.
No. This wont do. I stand up and go to the living room. I run around in little circle. The circle moves faster and so do I. I yell again. Yell, run. Run, yell. It's the same. Dad must read. Chair, book, spectacles.
No. My foot stumbles and the floor becomes more vivid. My chin oozes blood. So what. But I'm feeling tired now.
Mom takes me back to my bed. She neatly tucks the covers. I look at her face. Eyes glistening, smile upside down. I've done this. Before I can calculate, Mom cries, “You’ve made my life miserable Adi!"


ROGUE VINDICATED July 13, 2007 at 12:33 PM  

In case its too awkward, this is the account of an autistic child..autistic people cannot 'develop' abilities to understand emotions, languages etc. but are considered to hav high intelligence levels i.e. high IQ and low EQ.
Happy Reading!

Apoorva July 20, 2007 at 9:05 AM  

i hv no words to express how amazed i am.
this ireally hv no words....
juz too awesome.......

Angel spit August 3, 2007 at 10:51 PM  

Nice... well written.

Riya October 5, 2007 at 10:19 AM  

This is absolutely brilliant. The disconnected quality of the narration adds such genuine emotion to the whole piece! I dont think Ive been this moved by anything in a very long time.....

koni November 11, 2007 at 11:15 AM  

great piece. there's just one line i cant digest - "my throat resonates the house " , i mean given d autism of the narrator it may be okay but well from the viewpoint of a reader i think it should be corrected.
keep up the good work.( ps -sorry for pointing it out but well... thats a major weakness - hope u understand)

Raoul March 13, 2008 at 12:11 AM  

i really liked it