Of Cabbages and Kings

November 5, 2006

Empty houses

Filed under: Random musing — Chinmayi @ 4:48 pm

Are so sad.

A little house with a crooked roof scratched three feet above the ground, behind the table so his mother wouldn’t see it right away. Dark runny lines, digging into the wall- a little smudged. You can picure him frowning intently in concentration as he stood there in his yellow shirt, scratching in his masterpiece with a blunt stub of a red pencil that has tooth-marks on its end.

A broken tap by the sink. You can picture him wrenching at i in frustration, and her remonstrating that it’ll break. When the water spouts around like an out-of-control, rabid fountain, you can see her turn scarlet in fury and frustration and suddenly laugh when she registers the spectacle of his splattered blue shirt and her soaked brown kurta. And you can see him laugh too, partly in relief. They bind it with old orange polka dots and leave her to watch over it while he hunts around the building for the plumber that’s supposed to lurk there. The plumber is never found, the mains stay turned off and tap is now dormant at best.

You can see the edge of her desk where it leaned cosily into the wall. You can see her sitting at it, tapping away on her computer, in the golden light of the lamp above her face, taking tiny sips of coffee out of the green mug by her elbow. You can see the elbow swing back, knocking the green mug over and leaving that slightly discoloured patch on the white floor behind, in its memory.

You can see their footwear by the door – little rubbers between two large pairs during the day, and dainty brown sandals, large black leather and colourful little canvas at night. Their plates on the blue and yellow table cloth that once lay on the round sunny, light wood table that once stood near the window. His little roller skates that left those scratches from the doorstep to the kitchen, where they were caught in action, pulled off immediately and put away.

And when the house is wiped clean of them, with nothing but a few scratches, patches and stains to suggest that they were once there, it looks so desolate.


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