Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Doll

It was as if the house was drenched in fumes. Fumes surely don’t drench, but this one had a fluid quality to it. The fumes arose from the love and the music that shrouded it from the entire world. There was so much out there, hatred, jealousy, rivalry. But none of it would enter the home, for the perfumes that pervaded it would purge it of anything that did not have a splash of love and music in it. And so they lived, the father, the mother and the daughter, safely tucked in, in the flower carpet they had weaved over themselves, through the translucence of which they saw the sky and the earth. Whatever glimpses of the sky and the earth they had were beautiful. They loved the colours, they savoured the smells, and they often smiled at each other. The father was happy, and secretly proud of this tiny handful of heaven that he had picked from the vast shores of life, braving the darkness that threatened and frightened him.

Among the little pearly treasures that flowed in one after the other, there were also little dolls, for it added to the daughter’s happiness. She loved them for they were to her the door of childhood that was eternally open. She only had to drift through its threshold to be whatever she wanted; the princess, the mother, the singer, the savior. The ecstasy of these transfigurations so enchanted her that she simply could not contain the waves of it within her self any more. She wanted to turn them all into glittering stars she could sprinkle over the entire universe. She wrote poems. With every word that bloomed from the unfamiliar chambers of her self she saw herself owning a little more of the universe. With every vision she created she could shower fragments of her self over a little more of bonhomie space and time. Thus she went, taking one tiny step after another, further and further into the world, and further and further away from her home that was drenched in love and music. Life now lay transparently before her. She reveled in the rain that washed her through and through, the sunshine that poured over her. She reveled in the red drops that dripped on from her nakedness into the wet black earth. She laughed, she cried, the precious handful of moments she had never permitted her to linger over a reason. She fell in love with silence. She was encompassed in the conch of childhood, and the inside of it was to her the essence of relentless freedom.

But eternities never last for more than a flutter of the eye. Even as she floated through the labyrinth of moonbeams that embraced her, she could not for ever thrust the memory of her father and mother into compartments of forgetfulness. They waited there, at the beginning of it all, with no place to go, now that the daughter’s estrangement had permanently shoveled them away from their home that was filled with love and music. They waited and waited, and when she could not pretend incomprehension anymore, she spent the night sleepless. She had walked in without a moment of hesitation, and now she could not discern the way out of the entanglement that was life, or was it poetry? She could not be sure. And then suddenly a very late revelation, a zephyr of calm, caressed her as she blinked at the light that she finally succeeded in discovering at the other distant end.

She sat there on the huge bed, unmoving, unthinking, for some time. Then slowly, carefully, she plucked out her heart, numb to the pain. She held it close to herself as if it were a baby. When centuries had whirled through her and she was ultimately convinced that she had existed in them all, she realized that it was almost dawn and gently set to work. She carved the heart that she held in her shivering arms into a doll, and she was smiling. The smile grew more and more iridescent with every chink that was sliced out from the throbbing red. She had carved out a beautiful doll! She got out of the bed, unlocked the door to her room, and went into the visitor’s hall. She opened the shelf, shifted the violet furred teddy bear to another corner of it, and placed her heart there instead. She lay awake for the rest of the night, and not long after the sun had risen she heard her mother call out to her father, “Look at this new doll in the shelf. Isn’t it beautiful? Wonder where she got it from though.” And they lived happily ever after.