Saturday, March 04, 2006

THE AGEING WARRIOR 2

He was born a long time ago; he doesn’t belong in today’s world of cellular phones, Internet technology, I-pods and satellite TV. Sure, he uses all of these provisions, but only so far as they serve his purpose. Their utility for him is bare minimum. The phone was never meant for anything else but to talk to people, what is this thing called text-ing? Anyway he was a Warrior, he had no extended use for these pansy instruments…give his a Walther and it did feel like he was holding something.

“Devi, I’m not looking for a sleeker model of a mobile-phone”, he told the Little Girl.
“But, the new Samsung is only 33 grams, wouldn’t you be more comfortable with that?”
“When I was in the liquor business, I always carried two guns on me. On a good day, there’d even be the need of carrying a sharp long blade knife. You still think a cell-phone that weighs more than 33 grams would bother me.”
“Hmm… if you put it that way, it does sound naïve.”
“It’s just a phone…new technology means nothing. Even if everything goddamn facility is combined, say an instrument to make calls, write emails, cook, vacuum, wash…heck even flush the toilet people would still gather more things with newer technology, the so called cool stuff. In the end there’s always clutter.”
“Ok, so you don’t want another phone. I get it.”

He smiled indulgently at the Little Girl. She was so young, so fresh, so imaginative, still so optimistic. Her wry sense of humor helped too. When he played Solitaire on the laptop, the only thing he knew how to on a computer, she’d sit by him, the warmth of her thigh against his bony leg and come up with something like, “Nail biting finish…” and chew her nails with a mock look of tense culmination in her eyes as if Senna (god bless his soul) was about to win the Italian Grand Prix. Hilarious stuff…and boy did she tickle…she did. You could even tickle her palm. Often he would hold her in a pincer grip, he learnt it the hard way. If he didn’t hold her tight enough she’d slip to the floor, laughing and shrieking. So he’d pin her down and tickle her ever so affectionately just to hear her laughing while attempting to dislodge herself from his arms. Her face would flush red and she’d be panting. After a while in a voice desperately seeking some relief she’d say, “My heart just sank.” She’d really mean it, he could never understand, could a heart really sink?
“Where is your heart now?”
“It has reached my spine.”

Amazing, he thought as he looked at her. She was all that he wasn’t. She breathed a fresh surge of life into him. He was an ageing Warrior. Not that there were many battles to fight anymore than there were adversaries. He remembered his first, when he was perhaps six years old. He was sent to a boarding school. All around him were older boys… boys with nefarious designs. He was puny, even today he isn’t a big, broad, tall, burly man. Size was never how he won his battles. His strengths lie elsewhere; they have been honed in the war that he waged for thirty odd years. The first skirmish, ah…there he was, a puny boy finding his way through in the big bad world without the caring shadow of his mother’s watchful eyes. He was bullied, bullied brutally, a brutality that only young children reserve for younger children. He found that he had neither courage nor the strength to reverse the injustice. He suffered. He suffered for two long months. Then one day, as fate would have it, the Bully and the victim were both summoned to the Head Master’s office for unruly conduct. The Bully was punching him about some candy that was sent by his mother. As punishment they were to stand in the sun for the rest of the day. In the oppressive midday heat of an Indian summer, he saw the Bully, the cause of his nightmares faint. It was then when he realized that in spite of the size, the Bully was made of the same stuff he was made of. A germ of an idea began forming in his mind. It would crystallize the next day, but he had no idea. That night he didn’t wake up in a sweat. It was the most restful sleep he had had since he came to this school. Next morning it was back to the same routine, the Bully cut him in the line, took his lunch, tripped him and even landed an unfair punch during games. When it was time for bed, after the study hour that followed dinner, the Bully leered at his small frame and made a joke about how great a bitch he would make within a year.

The idea crystallized.

“You will have to sleep sometime. Your eyes will close. Then I’ll break your skull open with this.” He didn’t sleep a wink for the next week. Every night he stood by the Bully’s bed with a hockey stick and repeating the same words. This was his first battle!

5 comments:

xanjukta said...

Satya this is for you... tell me what you think...

satya said...

very cool. is this a book idea?

xanjukta said...

I don't know... let me just write bit by bit and see where it goes...

Carina said...

I woke up remembering another story: the one you told me last night/morning.Thank you so much!You can't imagine how confortable it was, you can't imagine the effect it had on me at this moment!:)
Lots of love,
Carina

xanjukta said...

Dear Carina,
Just happy to help out any which way...i'll think of more stories to tell you. :-)
love as always,
sanjukta