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The Diary And The Book
|by Ananya S Guha|
He was looking out for The Diary. It was The Diary in which he had continuously written for months. He had forgotten what he had written, but he remembered clearly that he had written at the behest of a Guiding Figure. So his hands and fingers moved on. Always the Guiding Figure was there, he could not see it, but felt its presence. Yes the presence . . . the Guiding Figure touched his face, hands and feet.
When he was born he had an ugly face. He was thin, gawkish and miserable in the play fields. He could not even kick a football. They laughed at him: sissy, girl. His ugly face became uglier. He loved to play with the children in slums. He helped to fly kites for them and played cricket with them. If he had a chocolate he shared with them. They loved him . . .
He grew up in the midst of hills, pine trees, forests and those rains. (They called it monsoons). But he would walk between them and splash, splash; he loved them as he loved his rain coat and gum boots. Oh, how he loved those rains, the puddles that it creates. He was only sad to see those green fields drenched. And when the hail storm pelted he would rush to the window to view it, the torrents seem to tear the town apart. But he always thought of The Diary and the Guiding Figure.
He had a very close friend Zobiak and another friend he liked very much. They played “Teacher Teacher”. That friend’s name was Aiban. Both Zobiak and Aiban were his friends in school. But he always thought of The Diary, and the Guiding Figure which prompted him to write on it.
At night he had strange dreams. Someone seemed to throttle him. He shouted out. Why was he shouting? His parents muttered. They took him to a doctor who gave him medicines. He told the doctor he had visions. The doctor diagnosed it as schizophrenia. What was that he thought?
He failed in school four times. Then he decided to read the Book. Every night he would read the Book. It calmed him, gave him peace. But he could not forget the Guiding Figure. He had visitations from it. You will become a great writer, the Guiding Figure told him, so write . . . he trembled. He fell violently sick for some time.
One day when there were riots in the town the Guiding Figure asked him to pray. He went to the forest. Violence. The hills were besmirched with a reddish colour. Was it blood he thought? The Guiding Figure told him. He went for a walk up the hills with Aiban. They prayed. The violence in the town led to another spate of trouble. He did not understand who was killing whom.
He read the Book. He devoured it, like eating something. His face became uglier, and now there were scars on it. His school friends made more fun of him. He had big eyes, like that of a toad and a skinny body, so thin that it could blow over. His parents did not know what to do (with him). He only read the Book. He wept. Then he discovered, yes he discovered that in the Book, there was a Guiding Figure.
He knelt down and wept. A hand touched his head. Wept, wept, wept . . . there was a bludgeoning of skies. A voice spoke. The doctor was summoned again. He pronounced him dead. Meanwhile, Aiban and Zobiak were searching feverishly for the Book (and The Diary).
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