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 🙂 .

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The Magic Within

leaf
‘Life is like a withered leaf, that decays and reunites with the nature with renewed energy.

Life is big. Or rather, it should be. You know, it saddens me. The people. Now don’t you think I am averse to the mankind. I am a faction of it. And this fact saddens me more,’ said the old chap with gloom on his face.

It became his home. Or rather his second home. Everyday, he came here and spent hours doing nothing except staring in the dark. But it didn’t seem pointless. The big playground was offering him something. Or maybe it was the sole place offering him nothing, and he was happy for it. Only the twitching of his forehead might know the truth.

‘You know Peggy, the flowers you see there have a magic in them. They can make themselves disappear. But I wonder why they never reappear. Maybe they know only half the trick…haha! And they do it extremely well you see.’

The season of rainfall had started embracing the city. It began pouring all day. Like the raindrops were narrating a never-ending ballad.

‘Listen to the sound, Peggy. Just listen. The peace it carries. Do you find the voice of any human-like creature this melodious?? Well…I don’t. I didn’t find it yesterday. I didn’t find it today. I won’t find it tomorrow. People have lost that voice, or rather that tongue altogether! Or maybe the nature is speaking with that tongue through the mouth of these raindrops. Ohh nature is marvelous I told you..haha,’ happiness came on his face for a jiffy, and then returned to the cave of unknown.

‘People think I am mad, Peggy. That I blabber all the time. I have heard these. These talks. Life is beautiful only as long as the mankind knows its limits and doesn’t cross it. Mankind is plummeting from the lofty mountain of strayed advancement. I can very clearly see that. These people cannot. And they call me mad because I tell them reality, and I am not mad,’ he said raising his voice almost to the level of shout, his eyes wetting.

‘But no. I have learnt to be at peace. The playground has taught me the power of silence. Saying without speaking. Offering without expecting.’

The cold winds rushed through his cheeks.

p.s. – The simplest of things tend to baffle the human minds.

The Story Thing

When life gives you lemons, better squeeze it and savor the lemonade.

But squeezing those lemons is not everyone’s cup of tea. When people have the choice of facing the adverse, they give in to the pressure. But why exactly do they lose rays of hope!!

From my perspective, broadening the horizon of one wisdom and one’s realization of the worldly consciousness are weapons of great might. The more one is aware, the lesser he is scared of the unknown and impending danger. Only those who ride on the horses of wisdom possess the calmness of the seas and dare to tread miles in moments of adversity.

Reading, especially reading good has always helped me. Books have the power to change you. A good book can string that cord inside you which you are unaware of, and mold you into a new person altogether. The most productive thing as a result of reading is your ability to write good as well. It is like

‘You write what you are, and you are what you read.’

I have gained much because of my reading habit. The best thing is that I’ve started writing as well. This is the biggest change that has come in me. I’ve till now written some short stories like Through the growing Years, a mini-series of short story Cessation, and several poems like Down A Dreamer’s Lane and The Lone Companion.

And the proud part is that I continue to write till today.

Have a good day! 🙂

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.

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 – I

Night it was…pitch black everywhere.

He was into it for the last 10 hours. Something was wrong. Something was strange, he thought. The sky was never so green before.

Its had been his most dearly pass time activity, to sit by the seaside, holding a book in hand and admiring the richness of nature. He came routinely to the Bayon Beach to escape from the pedestrian life. Books were his best friends. Through them, he would enter the skin of another person and live a life different from his; a life that doesn’t exist.

But he was perturbed that day, particularly that night. Something was stopping him from returning to home at dusk. The weather was never so unpredictable before. The winds felt like carrying omens. He was not scared but worried. His books had made him stronger. He felt something important would take place; his life would change.

‘Yes honey, I’m fine…it’s just this…..something unusual….yes yes, keep my food. You don’t worry dear. I’ll be back. Love you!’

He hung up the phone. Looking at the sky became his priority that day. It felt like a giant portal was there above, not visible but there, waiting to be opened. This reminded him of one stance from the book he read last week, a sci-fi thriller. He could feel the pages of that book are before him, on the canvas of nature and enacted by the almighty. That night he kept his book aside. The turn of events before his eyes were sufficient to keep him preoccupied.

Then suddenly, it happened. In a flash of seconds, all unraveled. The curtains of mystery fell from the sky, bringing forth the naked truth of this universe.

‘Oh gosshhh! …oh my…..how could it…’

The green of the sky was burnished with bright white, blinding white. He submerged into dizziness. The ambiance was too much for him to cope with. He knew of his closeness to a grim reality standing by his foot. The sands of beach embraced him as he fell. He looked above. Familiarity was gone. The white light started receding. He was just gathering his conscience when in a jiffy his heart broke with terror and he made a harsh cry.

There they were…

 

…to be continued…

Through the Growing Years…

‘Who is she?’

He sees left and right, to that distance his eyes permit. He is searching for something…for someone maybe. I ain’t sure. The distant horizon is hinting at his lofty dreams, or perhaps undermining his caliber to achieve it. I ain’t sure, neither is he. He is yet to know, to discover. His gaze returns at her.

The little girl leans and kisses his mother on the cheek.

‘Thank you mama, its such a lovely doll…’, says the girl. ‘Aye, no way…not as lovely as my dear daughter.’, replies the mother lifting her daughter in  her arms. ‘You cannot imagine, my dear, how special you are to me, and equally special is this day when you came in my life and brought with you a reason for me to live’, the mother starts sobbing and walks away.

He has started to learn. In fact, its only 5 years and 1 minute since he has started his journey of life. He is unable to understand what just happened before him. ‘Who was that lady? Who is this girl? Why they did what they did? Why no one comes to me and does this?’, he might be thinking all this amidst the din of the city sitting near the huge iron gates left open.

‘Usha taai, just see there…that kid’, shouts the incharge pointing at the kid, ‘its so irresponsible on your part to leave a small kid by the roadside. You know the traffic and yet you repeat such silly mistakes. You never know when a mishap can occur.’

Usha taai replies in a timid tone, ‘Pardon, sir. I will see to it that this doesn’t repeat…’ ‘It better not…and see the gates. Left open again. Bring the kid back and shut the gates at once.’, replies the in-charge in stern voice.

Usha taai walks duty-bound, lifts the kid off the ground in her arms and locks down the gates of the orphanage.