Monday, February 28, 2011

My New Queen




He woke up long ago. The bright orange aura of light has already infiltrated into the closely guarded darkness of his room, but he just could not get up. He felt no need to get up. The curtains conveniently kept the glare of the sun hidden. Only streaks of sunlight escaped through the cigarette burns in the curtain and illuminated bright spots in on his naked body lying on the bed. One on his left thigh. One below his belly button. One on the right shoulder just below his neck.

He instinctively reached out for the curtain with his cigarette bud and as if in response another bunch of virgin sunrays hurried to make a new spot on the hollow of his chest. He felt like a cheetah preying silently in the folds of his bed, ambushed and strangely erotic by the whole idea.

He instinctively reached out to his growing morning erection and masturbated thinking of nothing in particular but everything. It was more of mornings exercise now, a mere attempt to look alive. The orgasm was nothing more than a chasm of relief.

He was a very ordinary man. He has a name but neither of us has bothered about finding it out, it was not important. But like most ordinary man, he did not know he was ordinary. Though he had no delusions about his insignificance, but he still did not know the definition of ordinary. Neither do I know the meaning of ordinary, but I guess if there is really any criterion, he would not be far off.

A small cubicle that he called his home was a partitioned corner of an abandoned English barrack in the outskirt of Kolkata. He laid back and tried to follow the broken conversations that floated through the thin walls of the neighbouring cubicles. All occupied by ordinary people, who refused to believe they were ordinary. But unlike him, they do so because they do not have the time to decide if they were ordinary. Still I am sure given aplenty of time, they would not. People are scared of being insignificant. Little they knew.

---------------

Calcutta has no bus stops. Or maybe they are there hidden somewhere, like a great treasure hunt that no one played cause no one knew the rules. No one has the treasure maps. Mostly no one cared. The buses were always lost in their way and it was a snake ladder game to find them. So when you did find them you could not let it go.

He saw her through the shutter windows of his D-47 bus. The rain was splattering on the tin roof of the bus, like the angry knock of the landlord, and through the dirty khirki of his shutter window, he saw her. But she was soon left behind before he could open the jammed shutter. But he knew she will wait for him the next time.

Next day he waited, patiently by the window, scanning every shop, every display. He knew she will be there and he will recognize her. She kept the promise. She stood by the window in the maroon sari with black border. Same as yesterday. Exactly same.

She was not like every other mannequin on every other shop window. She wasn’t just another plastic mould of cheap white plastic of the thrown away refuse. Maybe the mould of her face was broken.

She smiled, rather tried to smile to imitate her other neighbours those graciously flaunted the best of the displays of the shop. But she had a smirk on her face, more of a scorn. A broken smile, a smile that was once proud but now realised that she is just another hollow plastic mannequin.

And he kept staring. That marble sheen of her face, and those hollow eyes with white eyeballs. She refused anyone the permission to see inside her soul. She refused anyone to draw attention towards her face. Maybe she was revolting, angry at being normal.

A small part of her lip was chipped away. As if even the artist was scared to make her perfect. Maybe even he knew perfection is a myth of consumerism.

She stood straight, unashamed of the stark baldness of her head. Unashamed of the conventionalities of being a woman. And he knew how much he loved her for that. He needed her. He understood her and she said silently, even she did.

---------------

"Sir?" The broad fake smile disappeared from the face of the salesman as expected.

"I need that maroon sari mannequin, I want to buy it", he stressed unable to understand what was the fuss all about.

"Sir you mean you want that maroon sari. I shall get it for u"

"No No...Ok I want the sari and the mannequin, both."

"But sir we don’t sell mannequin, I can give you the number of the dealer from whom we buy our mannequins."

He laughed silently at the salesman. Another mannequin. Surely this person has never fallen in love. What will he do with another ordinary mannequin? It will not be her. He wanted her, he wanted to earn her.

"Arrey, get me your manager, just give me that mannequin with the sari, I will pay for it. You buy another one, I don’t want another one."

They finally gave off the mannequin for free. Maybe out of pity for his desperation, or maybe out of mockery. He could hear the hidden giggles when they put her and her brand new sari on the dusty floor the motor van.

They had tried hard to persuade him to pack the sari separately. But how could he let them strip her in broad daylight to stark nakedness. Animals, they all were animals.

---------------

People did stole glances at him as he dragged her through the narrow stairs of the barracks. But no one was bothered enough to ask, strange things happened and they have seen stranger things to be amused.

He marvelled at her lightness, as light as an angel that will shatter under the tight squeeze of his grip.

As he carefully laid her on his bed, he could have swore that broken smile had got a new shine in it. He knew she was happy, she was home. Away from the glare and afternoon sun of the display case, she was no more a whore to the eyes of the world, but in the soft darkness of the room, she was a woman who is proud to be a woman.

He sat on the chair scared to go near her, scared to get her scared. He did not want to impose, he never imposed.

The streams of sunlight through the burned curtains now formed the same patterns on the flimsy chiffon and filtered through it on the whiteness of the belly.

For hours he stared at her chest, for the slightest of movement. But her white eyes never blinked. It never betrayed the presence of life that she hid somewhere, not sure if it could disclose herself to him so soon.

Maybe it was late in night, almost midnight when he realised the street guard has started his hourly tapping of his stick to the steel lamppost, playing that lonely game he did every night.

He walked up to her and in a moment of acquired courage, planted a soft kiss on her cold lips. His eyes closed so that she cannot judge him.

Then with a sudden overflowing weariness slept beside her, with his shoulder touching her. Nothing less nothing more.

---------------

The first time he touched her, it was magical. The late afternoon sun was on the other side of the apartment, no part of the outside world infiltrated their life apart from the radiating warmth. It has been weeks and they have orchestrated and new rhythm of their own. The new curtains did not allow a bit of sunlight to touch her marble skin.

They did not talk much. He talked a little bit, but she never replied. I think it is but natural. But nevertheless she always has an expression on her face to let him know her point of view. A soft nudge maybe, which could almost go unnoticed.

First time he placed his hand on her chest, he could almost feel her pulse and she smiled, almost smiled as if adjusting her pulse with his so that they never go out of rhythm again.

Beyond the drapes of sari, was her perfectness, an expanse of whiteness that traced every curve of her body. Her breasts smooth but firm refused to budge under his fingers, defying him but still coy under his grip.

The seamless edges were crafted not with eloquence, but with love of creation. Maybe god sometimes should reconsider taking a lesson or two about creation.

The sari slipped off and the rest was just a formality. And there they lay stark naked beside each other, as if comparing themselves and their own master of creations.

The humid afternoon sweat came out of his pores and shined on her plastic skin. They slipped on each other, laughed on each other but held on to each other. She was stiff and he was clumsy, somehow in between they found a way to melt into each other. And then with a sudden burst of multitude of emotions, came heaven.

---------------

It was still dark outside, he knew with his eyes closed. The brightness of the rising sun has still not created an aura over his eyelids. But something was just out of place. It was like unknown warmth, which scares you of the impending chill to follow.

By the time he got his senses in place he could sense the burning smell, the distinct nausea of it has already hit him. But he was still not ready for reality. With closed eyes he could savour darkness for another minute or two.

She lay beside him with not a single complain or frown on her face, as if nothing have happened. She was brave and daring. Even the burning smell of plastic failed to nauseate her, she was plain indifferent, maybe blind in love.

The cigarette lay in the hollow of her stomach, the smouldering glow magnified in the darkness. The plastic slowly curling within itself, as if suddenly dancing with a life of its own. The white flesh of her, shrivelled under the heat of addiction. What was left behind was a gaping hole of imperfection. A mark that took away everything that was special about her.

He was neither sad nor angry, maybe just plain indifferent. They sat looking each other and they knew something has broken. It was not love but it was the comfort of love. Someone decided to pull the shades off, and the daylight of reality was no more stopped by the curtains that love has knit.

As the sun climbed through the windows and alleys of suburban Kolkata, and through that small hole in her stomach, her life seeped away. Today the sunrays felt no resistance by the curtain those were torn in the darkness of the night. And as they streamed through like a gush of water, with the darkness her life was dissolved in the soft morning sunshine.

What left behind was a plastic mannequin with its imperfection. Suddenly she was tainted and ugly. Did not someone say beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder? Maybe beauty also dies in the eyes of the beholder.

He got a small blunt knife and stabbed her in that hole of stomach and slashed her into half.
Then he slowly cut her into pieces, first her stiff fingers, then her hand, then the limbs and then her neck, in small and large irregular pieces of plastic. But she offered no resistance. She did not cry nor did she flinch. She did not even care. There was just a broken smile on her face, a hidden sarcasm maybe.

---------------

P.S: I felt weird and comfortable while writing this one. It was skewed for me and if u felt it was skewed and somewhat sick, i know exactly what are u feeling.

But again sickness is a very personal opinion. And personally let me tell u i am a very sick person. Not exactly proud of it but then again, there is no point of lying, is there.

I always had less people to talk with in my life, partly by choice partly because I am tab bit uncool and uncomfortable. Glare of existence irritates me. I like sunset more than sunrise. The diminishing lights are always a comfort.

The whole idea was to write something that conjoins two of my most treasured feelings, loneliness and love. If u could not relate to it, tell me where exactly u lost me, and if u could relate to it, tell me how exactly u found me....but talk to me...i am bored of talking to myself anyways!!

I wont say i will be more regular, coz i am a sucker at promises!! Ahh 2011...ur not dat great anyways, stop pretending!!

Sorry for the length btw...i hate long stories, too much extravagance...so if u have read through the whole of my story....i already like u! :)

25 comments:

Splatters Of Ink said...

I read the entire post.

I must say that it was very well written. It was interesting. You had my eyes glued to the screen, scrolling down as fast as possible, because I really wanted to read the end.

However, there are more than a few grammatical errors. Go through the post once and you'll notice. =)

Nevertheless, this is something different. And you have succeeded in creating the same images that you had imagined while writing this. Or so I'd like to believe.

I really want to know where you got the idea.

nil said...

I have to agree^.

The idea behind it was bautiful. To be honest, I crave for good work on Blogger, most of the blogs hardly intrigue or influence me. There was nothing sick about this, I beg to differ.
I think it was an extremely bold approach and that's something you should be proud of.

Yes, there are some errors.. Give it another read and I'm sure that'll be fixed :)

But this was perhaps one of the best stuff I've read on your blog. Actually, the best one :-)

Good job man, hell of a good job.

bliss said...

'beauty dies in eyes of beholder' - cudnt agree more.
you know, love and loneliness arent too different, if you look at it in a certain way. there is hardly any love without the sense of loneliness and there is hardly any loneliness that is not inspired by love. so perhaps when you say those are two of your fav emotions, you are referring to one alone perhaps.

writerzblock said...

At first I thought it was going to be a regular love story, and I'm actually glad it did not turn out that way. Very interesting. Dark sort of character, this guy seems to be. Weird, definitely. I would say, he needs help. Or love, perhaps.

Everybody lives a lonely life. He/she may be surrounded by people, and yet not be able to make that 'connection' with another person, but going to destructive extremes indicates some help is needed.

Liked your way of writing. I hope you find solace through your words.

writerzblock said...

Btw, was the title intentional? Mannequin to My New Queen?
:-)

eNiGmA said...

hey hey... did u say 2011 isn't that great??? dude u ve just reached some great heights there i can see (oops!-'read'). the description, the picture and obviously the title ( which takes away the crown)... everything was so well written and never lost its flow....though am not a fan of dark stories but surprisingly your dark stories , as i ve mentioned earlier, ve their own celebrations and i enjoy them thoroughly... gud
one once again!

ps.yes u shud definitely like me ;)

suruchi said...

Okay..i have come to a conclusion...i can never "not like" your posts...you can never "not touch a nerve" with what you write.

i loved this one too...
i first read the P.S....coz i wanted to know what you had to say about this...it's kinda your habit n also kinda mine now...expecting the P.S's and almost anticipating them with a thrill:-)

i loved some of the expressions so much that you Mr. Bf made me go through that long write up all over again to find them*does that sound as complaining...it isn't:-)*

"people are scared of being insignificant"
"he wanted her, he wanted to earn her"
"rain splattering like the angry knock of the landlord"
"his eyes closed in the kiss so that she cannot judge him"
sooooooooooo many more...

absolutely brilliant...makes me glare at you angrily again for not writing more...
and never mind if you are the sunset kinda person..as long as a sun is involved...there's a ray of light;-)

blunt edges said...

Throughout the narration, I was wondering how it's gonna end. And I was wondering if there would a happily ever after, but knowing BuckingF I knew that's never gonna happen, and sure as hell as I wasn't disappointed!

As laidback as the flow was, it still was gripping. Loved it :)

manisha said...

you never cease to amaze ur readers do you???loved the narration,the details,the little metaphors.

In short loved it totally :)
Ever thought of writing a book?If not i suggest now is the time.

Niti said...

Excellent! Not many people could describe a real woman like you described an un-real one. :)

bondgal_rulz said...

Hey,

This comes across as something a lot more deeper than meets the eye (I guess.)

It wasn't gross or sick, maybe in ideation, yeah, :P but the execution was nothing short of beautiful.

Actually, even the ideation is not gross per say, 'distorted' maybe, like your male protagonist.

Love and loneliness. Definitely the two most powerful emotions that can be experienced ever (anger ties with them too btw I think). And it is amazing how much these emotions can drive you.

Anyway, who are we to define love?

Oh did I say, this was exceptionally outstanding? :)

Sandip said...

bold and the beautiful never meant so much, I mean the mannequin and of course, your way of writing!

you surprised me ceaselessly with the way you didn't leave the reader hanging on and actually went on to divulge the culmination... that, my friend is true kindness :)

well, something that I can't help commenting on... each dotted line separates stories that are complete in themselves, like pearls on a necklace! will come back for more.

buckingfastard said...

@Splatters of Ink: Hey thank u loads for the kind words...abt the grammatical error, u shud see how many red underlines i get in MS-word where i write my post....

The errors in the conversation and soliloquy are intentional to match the thought process...coz personally i dont think or talk in proper grammar. But rest all are due to my shitty grammar skills and lack of editing...i will work on it...maybe get a Wren and Martin!!

The idea behind the whole thing was from a conversation i had with my frnd, that if a loner falls in love wont it be with someone who cant talk, or better who cant exist apart from wen the person wants to...hence mannequin a lifeless perfection.

buckingfastard said...

@nil: coming from a person who can string words beautifully and who aspire me...its lovely..

yea the errors are glaring and will work on them and edit them from next time...

again i myself dont find it sick...and nyone wid open mind wont...but open mind is a rare element nowadays...so i dint intended to touch a nerve...though hell i dont care...!!

thanks a lot for understanding the subtlety behind it

buckingfastard said...

@bliss: as i have discussed again and again, beauty is a very personal opinion...as personal as sexuality in some terms....and love and loneliness are certainly related...but the fun part it both cannot coexist happily...i wish it could...it wud be peaceful for a change

buckingfastard said...

@writerzblock: regular love stories are not my forte...its a common writer syndrome...the need to be cruel..and i have similar needs.

Actually darkness of self is a very hidden personality...if one cud see the inner feelings of the regular ppl around dem...he wud say..all needs help.. yes he does needs help..so do i maybe....

Yes the title was intentional...else "My New Queen" will be bit of a cheesy title...but strangely suits the occasion here...lovely observation..i almost thought it will go unnoticed...

yes i find solace in words...wat worries me is my frequent need to find solace :)

buckingfastard said...

@enigma: haha!! touchwood abt 2011...i cant bear 9 impending dull months nyways... and cummon my stories are more of gray than dark...there is celebration of love though not long lasting i suppose :)

and i adore u to go thru the end...especially wen ur not a fan of dark stories...see u around

buckingfastard said...

@suruchi: I hav also come to a conclusion...i can never feel my post is complete until i get a loooong comment from u that makes me feel sinfully good...ohh stop flattering...(dont) :)

The P.S are always meant to not make me a sound like story writing machine...little something abt myself is like the first comment to my story...by me...!

and for going thru my post not once but twice...u get 2 hugs...kindly collect before they expire...morever...its always fun touching nerves...i just love nerves :P :)

buckingfastard said...

@bluntu: ohh u kno me too well to hope for happy ending...i m too much of distorted for that!!

it was laidback and hence was my concern if it wud be interesting enuf...if it was..i m super happy :D

buckingfastard said...

@manisha: i never cease to amaze my handful readers coz good comments never cease to elate me...and so u did...so u did very well!!

no book is still far fetched thought for me...i think i m too lazy to even attempt that...short story is as long as it goes for me

buckingfastard said...

@niti: there is stability in an unreal woman that is not in the volatile real one...so description can be easy...non judgemental...non sexist...easier to attempt such stuff for a mannequin

buckingfastard said...

@bondgal:haha!! yes quite so...meant to be double meaning in sorts..but i think i kept the other meaning a bit too hidden for others to notice...so kudos to u...

i was on verge on self-doubting...

again grossness is a personal opinion...and hence the warning...i expect none of my blog readers to find it gross...but few may...few may end up suggesting psychiatrist to me :)

lastly, thanks a lot...and catch u sooner!!

buckingfastard said...

@sandip: welcome to the blog...yes...boldness is surely my forte...thats why i m anonymous :P

and i m kind at heart...cant just keep the food out of reach...so i prefer tying and opening my own knots

thanks a lot for the lovely words and surely will see u around!!

The Blue Periwinkle said...

Oh! Awesome description!!

TurbulentMind said...

I like how you think. And how you can always put into words the images in your head. Keep writing. Please.