Johnny Kay on his way…

Meet Johnny Kay, the eccentric! First in the series of Johnny Kay has been out. Checkout below link.

What does Johnny Kay say.

 

P.S. – The character of Johnny Kay is purely fictional. Please do provide your feedback/views in the comments section 🙂 .

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What does Johnny Kay say. (Part 1)

See the big picture, my friend. Everyday living is painful anyways.

Johnny Kay has always been the same. Johnny Kay. J-O-H-N-N-Y Kay. The grey shade in the life of his close ones. 70 year old soul trapped in a 20 year old body. That is Johnny Kay. Living for the love of music. And books. He could read Dante and Shakespeare at the same time and with same devoutness. 5 feet 5 inches tall Johnny Kay, falling 5 inches short of his parents expectations. Curly hairs. Always seen with those square-framed pitch black spectacles put on. The world would love him or hate him, but it could not deny his existence. Johnny Kay, or as his close ones called him, Yokay, a portmanteau of Yogi and Kay; Yogi because Johnny had started his walk on the path of enlightenment very early, though he could not go far since his parents wanted him to finish his graduation first.

‘Why are you always like this? Go out, meet people, make friends!’

‘How many friends did you make today, pal? Five? Ten? I tell you, books are the only friends that won’t betray. Be wary of people.’

‘Oh! I see. I see. Johnny Kay is afraid of betrayal. I thought, you weren’t afraid of anything in this goddamn world!’ , chuckles his friend.

‘Well, even robots are being trained nowadays to learn emotions, feel fear. I am definitely afraid of certain things. Like dog. Like darkness. But not betrayal; as Murphy’s Law says – If something can go wrong, it will, and it will in the worst possible way.’

‘Okay. And what does Murphy’s Law say about the distinctive eerie smell that has filled your room?’, said he while covering his noes with him palm.

Johnny Kay has lived the same way. His room smells as if he has housed a corpse in the net room for eagles to feast on. Except that it is not the corpse but a pile of unwashed clothes from the week before, and the week before, and the week before; like the clothes have been there since the universe came into existence.

‘I can see that you aren’t accustomed to the smell. Feel free to criticize. It’s a democracy anyways.’

‘Can’t you get this pile of shit cleaned?’

‘Just because you can do something does not mean you should. Like I can break your head with this tennis bat right now, but I won’t.’

‘And why would you not do that?’

‘Because your brain is like this pile of clothes. Full of shit. And I won’t want that my room starts smelling worse.’

‘You think that you have answer to everything, isn’t it?!’

‘Nope. You come up with so many questions. And none makes sense to me.’

‘Okay. So you discuss sensible stuff eh! So tell me. Why is there so much poverty in our country?’

‘Did you measure poverty?’

‘Nope. But people say so. And everybody is seeing it.’

‘And what are they doing about it?’

‘What can people do about it?’

‘Exactly my question to the people.’, smiles Johnny.

 

P.S. – The character of Johnny Kay is purely fictional. Please feel free to share your views in the comments section 🙂 . Nothing is of greater helpful for a writer than honest criticism 🙂 .

A Wish (short story)

‘Come here my child…come here!’, called the man to the 8 year old with open arms.

‘Oh! grandpa’, the kid rushed into his arms which remained even open to shower blessings and love.

‘Come come…sit by my side’, said the man while taking a deep breath. ‘I am so happy to see you son.’

‘You always are, grandpa!’, chuckled the kid.

‘Haha…indeed! But this is a special moment, you see. This is a crucial moment of my life, or rather your life; today, you will receive from me what I have until now kept safe in the coffers of my spirit.’ The man coughed aloud. He seemed fatigued.

‘Oh wow! You amaze me grandpa! Is it a treasure that you will be giving me, like the ones in those fairy tale books? You narrate so well grandpa’, the kid happily kissed him on his left cheek. Tears started brimming his eyes.

‘Oh boy! My boy…you enliven me’, said he while shedding off his tears. ‘Sit sit. I’ll tell you everything! Those fairy tales, you see, are just that…fairy tales. Nothing is more adventurous than the life itself, my boy!’

‘What do you mean grandpa! Fairy tales have all the magic, the fun. I haven’t seen that magic anywhere outside those books…’, frowned the kid and looked disgustingly away.

‘You see, that’s the beauty of life. Life reveals magic only when its possessor wants it to get revealed. Magic is within you, my child.’

‘Ohh…is it?’, gleamed the kid eyes and a little smile came on his face.

‘Haha…you see that! This smile of yours…this smile may become a hope for someone to live. Because it is more than a smile. And it always was. Your smile is the sum of all the goodness that you have.’

‘And you say that my smile is a treasure? But then how can you give it to me, because it has always been with me?’

‘Oh no no no…the treasure is still with me. You are so agile my boy, haha…but this old man no more is. Let him have his breath!’

The old man slid his one hand into the right pocket of his trousers. The kid was intently watching him. ‘Is the treasure there grandpa?’

‘Yes, sort of…’, the man said while pulling out his hand. It was curled into a fist. ‘Bring your both hands son.’

The man opened his fist into the kid’s hands to reveal what it held.

‘Grandpa! …Its empty!!’

‘No, my son. It is not. My wish is my treasure, and today I am giving you this seed of my wish.’

‘What is that wish, grandpa?’

‘My wish is to see you strongest in the winds of tide and bravest in the mire of fear. My wish is to support you in this vital phase of your life.’

‘You will always be there with grandpa, as my greatest support. Won’t you?’

‘My son. I cannot tell you how much I love you. And I would never want my support to become your weakness. The age has come when you’ll have to realize your inner strength and bring out the magic hidden deep in the chasms of your spirit. The time has come for you to fail in order to know the taste of success, to fall in order to know the joy of rising.’

The man started coughing rapidly. A man in white rushed towards him. ‘Call him immediately!’, he shouted.

‘Grandpa, be careful…I’m scared’, he started sobbing.

‘Hey hey…don’t cry my boy! Its the old age problems, you see. Oh of course you see. And you’ll understand it one day as well. I’ll be waiting for you, my son. Going for a minor treatment, you know.’, he kissed the kid lovingly on both cheeks and bid a goodbye.

The child came out of the ward, sobbing.

‘Poor child, you see. He has no one except his grandpa.’, told a nurse to another one while noticing the sobbing kid.

The child went outside and sat on a bench while the numerous patients of terminal diseases were entering.

Reader or a Rereader??

I was going through an article citing Vladimir Nabokov‘s arguments from a 1969 BBC interview of his. This, to a considerable extent, has cleared my understanding of the statement  that ‘one cannot read a book; one can only reread it.

vladimir nabokovIncidentally, I use the word reader very loosely. Curiously enough, one cannot read a book: one can only reread it. A good reader, a major reader, an active and creative reader is a rereader. And I shall tell you why. When we read a book for the first time the very process of laboriously moving our eyes from left to right, line after line, page after page, this complicated physical work upon the book, the very process of learning in terms of space and time what the book is about, this stands between us and artistic appreciation. When we look at a painting we do not have to move our eyes in a special way even if, as in a book, the picture contains elements of depth and development. The element of time does not really enter in a first contact with a painting. In reading a book, we must have time to acquaint ourselves with it. We have no physical organ (as we have the eye in regard to a painting) that takes in the whole picture and then can enjoy its details. But at a second, or third, or fourth reading we do, in a sense, behave towards a book as we do towards a painting. However, let us not confuse the physical eye, that monstrous masterpiece of evolution, with the mind, an even more monstrous achievement. A book, no matter what it is—a work of fiction or a work of science (the boundary line between the two is not as clear as is generally believed)—a book of fiction appeals first of all to the mind. The mind, the brain, the top of the tingling spine, is, or should be, the only instrument used upon a book.

There has occurred a number of times when I find it difficult to comprehend the lines at once. So I just skim over that portion rather than rereading it. Rereading is definitely what I need to do.

Be a rereader and become a better reader 😉

Cessation – The End

Her eyes were too small to gather the happiness she felt. He was right there.

‘Oh my…’, she ran to embrace him. But soon her senses came to life and she saw 5 strange creatures right behind him. They are not manly, she thought. Her body twitched. Fear started gripping her again. ‘Oh gosh…spirits!!’

‘Oh Zelda, my love! Don’t be afraid. Friends they are. I am alive…’, said he while embracing his beloved. Tears fell from her eyes onto his hands. The Bayon Beach was welcoming the embrace of love.

‘Behold! The dark horses’

The hollow reverberating voice startled all at once. Each one now eyed at the 5 unknowns. The 5 spirits.

‘We are the spirits of the past. The beacons of future we are. No less prime is our purpose of visiting our Mother.’

She felt consoled by his close presence, yet was unable to comprehend the voice.

‘Hearken to us. Rise from the dead. Else you will perish. The diggers of your own graves.’

‘Where are you from? Why did you choose my husband?’, asked she but felt it was better if she hadn’t.

‘The origin of us holds mere importance against our message. Our message to you. To the whole mankind!’

‘And what do you have to say?’, shouted Dave from behind, his temper loosening.

‘I say not what you’ll feel comforting, because times have gone. Time has changed. Man has changed.’

Cold winds started to blow. Everyone but the spirits started feeling a chill down his spine.

‘Through the ages have we traveled. From far back into the past, to the unknown voids of the future. None to the extent as us knows what man has done to his civilization. To his people. To the Mother Nature. And your husband, dear lady, is too one of them. You too are. You all are. And who are we but a speck on the canvas of nature. We hold no authority to punish anyone. Mother Nature has her ways for it.’

All were cautiously listening to the spirit, as if losing a single word of his might a have catastrophic effect.

‘We are no enemies. We are from amongst you. A part of the heritage of mankind. At times have we seen the zenith of civilizations bowing down to the greed of mankind. The selfishness. The greed of power. Of wealth. It consumes the very soul of man. And I can do no more than warn you. That the end is near. The man needs to wake now from the sleep of ill-will and rise above the chasm of downfall. Man needs to understand that its not me but we that matters. That there is a place for Love amidst the humdrum of life. That life is glorified by the accumulation of smiles and not wealth. Mother Nature has seen enough. She must suffer no more.’

Silence fell everywhere. It felt like man became conscious of the direction in which he is heading.

‘Give our message to all. And take this talisman to every place where you go’, said the spirit while handing over a pendant to Zelda. ‘The presence of talisman around people will connect their consciousness to ours.’ Zelda tightly held the pendant and moved back to her husband.

‘As of now, we shall leave. Our message to you must act as a beacon of change. Of positive change. I lay the rest in your hands. And I know that man has preserved hope for ages. That man will. Let that hope never die. Let it fruit into a prospering civilization.’

With this the whole of sky glimmered in the blinding white light. Everyone fell back thinking of a prospective explosion. But in a second it was all gone. The spirits had gone.

‘Are you fine dear?’, asked Zelda after regaining herself.

‘Yes I am. Because I must tell you it was the best day of my life. I have a lot to share. Let’s get home.’

‘And the pendant? The message?’, she asked curiously.

‘Ahh! The pendant too. Let’s go home first. I’m tired!’

They went along as she embraced him. His eyes had a twinkle of the stars as if holding a deeper secret. As if he held the key to forestall the cessation of human civilization.

Cessation – III

Everwhere befell dead silence. They walked inside.

‘I’m Dave from the INTELLIGENTSIA Corps, ma’am. There’s something mysterious going on at the Bayon Beach, and I’m afraid your husband might be in grave peril’, he told with stern look, while entering the corridor, to her.

Terror engulfed her. ‘How is he? Is he…is he…alive?’, she burst into tears.

‘I can see you’re very much consumed with worry, ma’am. Your husband seems alright. He called us half an hour ago to send a message to you. He wants you to meet her. He says its…its for the whole mankind.’

‘What do you mean?…the whole mankind?’, replies she with a relaxed yet perplexed look.

‘He hasn’t apprised us on the whole affair either. He says its someone from…from the sky. He stammered I mean…’

‘What do you mean from the sky!!’

‘I don’t know either ma’am. Its an enigma as of now. It sounded like he was gasping for breath. He sounded strange. No one ever sounded so strange.’

‘Just tell me what he told!’, she started losing her temper.

‘He told me its about…its about all the goodness in this world. I know it’ll sound weird to you. But these were his words. Please bear with me ma’am…’

‘I don’t know what you’re talking about. This can’t be my husband! Go on…’

‘He told me people are destroying it. Destroying something. Something which is priceless and can’t be regained. I don’t know. I got so confused that…’

‘Just keep saying…’

‘He told about a chance. A chance for something. A last chance. He said we’re being watched over. That they’re here!’, his pupils dilated.

‘Who are here?’

‘Who have the privilege of bestowing us with a chance, he said. I don’t know. It went over my head. He wants you. Its all I know. Its the need of the hour. You’ve to come with me to the Bayon Beach.’

The Bayon Beach was submerged in its own mystery.

If only one cared…If only one listened…

Cessation – II

She was perturbed to the core. Every inch of hers was trembling with fear.

‘He never behaved so strangely before, not even when his book was nearly lost few days back. Is he…with his friends! I should call them. Maybe I should wait. But for how long. What if he’s gone for eternity!! No, I should call someone.’

Hurriedly she picked up the receiver. ‘Hello! Police? Its an emergency. Please help!’, said she, gasping for an ounce of breath.

‘Arkhmen raark…shrov shrov’

She jumped back, the receiver falling off her hands. ‘Oh gosh! What’s that sound!!’, she thought, sweat dripping off her neck. The hollow sound brought a chill inside her. She had never listened to it before. Ever.

Gathering her courage, she started moving closer to the phone and picked the receiver off the floor. ‘Who’s…who’s this?’, said she in a timid voice. A silence fell on the other side. ‘Maybe it was…a misconception…just…a disturbance in signals. Ohh I’m too worried!!’. Just when she was about to put down the receiver, that hollow sound started coming again.

‘Arkhmen raark…shrov shrov. Arkhmen raark…shrov shrov’

It chilled her to the bones. The sound was agonizing. It felt like carrying the pain of thousand lives. She felt connected to it…to the pain it conveyed. She started feeling not terrified but sad, sad for someone distant. Someone from the past. Or the future maybe.

The sound continued for another 5 minutes. To her, it felt like a lifetime’s burden to bear. She put down the receiver, went to the couch and started crying. Crying for reasons she didn’t knew.

‘My husband is in danger’, said she while standing up, ‘He needs me. Something is not good.’

Just when she was about to leave in her jeep, a loud thud came on the door.

‘Who’s there??’, she asked in a loud voice.

‘We have a news for you, ma’am. And I’m afraid you’ll fall off your feet after hearing it. Please open the door.’