Ah!

It must have been dreamy when this was written a few years ago. I reread it and laughed. Ah! My mouth hurts. I discovered it while I was “clearing my mailbox”. Perhaps, I was searching for something to smile at. Here it is, without any corrections in grammar, language, or logic. What can you say to a little child with her nose covered in boogies?

————————————————————————————–

Her Adventures that took her Nowhere

Her major worries were the rising cost of smses that kept her at bay from discussing stories and experiences with her friend who looked very much like a toad. At present, though, her major worry was something else. Though she didn’t have anything in particular against Mathematics, it was a book of Calculus that she chose to sink her head into and go on yet another adventure in the realm of sleepdom, the land where dreams were shaped and brought to life. It was a habit she had developed over a period of months. She could sneak into her world of fantasies with glazed eyes and a blank face. The Professor who reminded her much of a Dragon who belched out formulae instead of fire, was carefully hidden behind other heads and tables.

The first thought she felt was that of floating in space filled with numbers, as she traveled in a fire balloon. There was a momentary feeling of a presence, a breath that animated her spine and before she knew, the numbers were flitting across the black number studded sky. Zero became the moon, One became a tree, the odd numbers became rabbits and even numbers became flowers. Some fractions became grass, some mushrooms, some weed, some linden, some a brown patch that looked curiously like a pie. Here she lay in the cool of the moonlight atop a bed of soft grassy bed when the multiples of nine condensed into teary dewdrops. She heard a faint music, a murmuring symphony of sorts. The sky whizzed past her head as she walked towards the sound of music.

Do you remember the eyes
Which complimented smile
The wind, it touched her hair
The hair, they flew in a file

The reed blew through her ears like a cleansing towel that cooled the bundle of hot confused nerves in her head. The rustling of the flute quenched her thirst. She saw the singer, the illusory image of One, the tree…
As she closed on, the tree stopped singing and said,
“Welcome Princess, is it the treasure hunt again that brings you here?”
Still shocked to see a tree speaking perfect English, she suddenly felta warmth of acknowledgement. She realized the necessity for a reason to be there in the first place. Sadly, as she could gather none, as her bewilderment was cracking open her shell of reasoning and escaping through her ears, she said,
“If you say so, it must be so.”
“Well, aint you moving in the wrong direction then? The rabbits and the flowers are just gonna multiply themselves, and division isn’t far. I suggest you better ask the Cauliflowers for your clues.”

She nodded the zilch that she understood and asked,
“Where exactly am I?”
“Almost near Nowhere. Not far from your destination.”
“Where’s Nowhere?”
“Right on the edge of Somewhere and Anywhere. The Cauliflowers will guide you to your road.”

The tree waved his branches in a goodbye fashion, and she could see the bark do a vanishing smile. She had begun to like the Tree and was ready to sacrifice the Treasure Hunt for a long conversation with the tree by the riverside. But, the tree was gone, like the vanishing smile and she had to move on. She looked for the cauliflower patch, and towards the end of the even flowers she suddenly noticed a thatched-roof hut. She could swear she had not seen it before. It came out of Nowhere. Besides the hut, she saw a jumping family of weird pot like vegetables. At first she was disgusted as they looked like Cabbages, and she didn’t really like cabbages. But as it revealed they turned out to be Cauliflowers. With a relief, she walked on.

“Good Afternoon, “ she said. In return, what she heard was lost amidst the fight that ensued between the cauliflowers. They started gnawing at each others, tearing at their roots in a barbaric fashion. The shrill pleasantries were lost in the sudden riot. She couldn’t understand what was happening. Her ears became numb, her mind tantalized at the bustle. She couldn’t hold back her tears, and as she cried, no eyes wept. Instead, she saw the clouds come over and rain on the patch. The bustle died, and once again there was peace. An elderly Cauliflower, with leaves which hadn’t whitened in the sunlight, said,
“Why have you come here to disturb out silent meditation? Division is about to occur. The road to Nowhere lies beyond the tree’s shadow. Now run along, and let us pray.”

She felt angry at such misdemeanour, and thinking of settling this dispute later, she turned with a humph, and walked back to the tree. She saw a road beginning to form from the shadowy darkness of the tree’s shade. That was most unusual, and she began to walk up to the path. She saw some rabbits playing along on the path, they looked as if they were formed of moonlight. As she passed the tree, she heard,
“Just follow the white rabbits, but not too much. They like young girls. And take care of your shadow. Good luck, Princess.”

She nodded in urgency, and moved along. As she cast another look at the rabbits, they looked momentarily like shrewd rodents with big teeth, and whiskers and the next moment they were cute little moonbeam bunnies again. As she followed them along the shadowy road, she saw some pebbles, here and there, coming to life, jumping, and dancing to the tune of the tree’s songs.

There’s a glint in your eyes
That makes them shine like moon
For even when the clouds come over
And rains rinse through the earth
The moon still shines high

There’s a life in your lips
That makes them smile like the sun
For even when the seasons come
And rainbows chase the earth
The sun still shines high

So fill me in your eyes
And kiss me with your lips
For even when there’s Nowhere to go
And we are dust in sands
Our love will shine high

Little pink and white moon bunnies, dressed in tattered green robes, and a beret nonetheless, pulled out their flutes and played a long forgotten melody.

The songs melted into one another, as she lost herself in the musical fugue with closed eyes, her feet moving with Zen like motion.

Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream…

She couldnt have felt the lull coming over herself, and the dazed sleepy feeling inside her ears, because when the chilly wind slapped her face wet, her eyes couldn’t comprehend the sight. The rabbits were no more cute little bunnies. They had large teeth, and fiery moustaches. They were floating along a boisterous stream. On both sides was thick sylvan wilderness and a gleam of sunlight showering through the cosmic network of branches lighted the scene. She gulped her surprise, and after a momentary rest of comprehension, she screamed.

“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa”

The freezing, shrilling, chilling sound that emanated from her vocal system was very similar to that of a Banshee wailing, and the fiery rodent bunnies melted like ice into the water of the stream. It was then, when she saw them liquidly uniting with the force of the stream, that she realized she was heading in a waterfall.

“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa”

Nothing happened this time. She felt her goosebumps pinch her skin. She realized the raft was gonna go down, not gently, not merrily, but nastily down the stream. In a submissive fashion, she closed her eyes, and resigned. Que sera sera. Some wind, or some instinct, made her spread her arms wide like wings, and she felt herself tugging along at the wind’s end. She felt herself soar above the mist, above the ground, above the clouds. She was flying. She had forgotten to fall down.

She opened her eyes feeling the air fill her lungs and spirit with energy and vigor. She was robed in white angel attire. She flapped her arms with passion, and saw the entire scene again. The garden, the tree, the rabbits, flowers, the cauliflowers are whizzed into tiny nothings as she flew amongst the clouds, encircling them and making shapes out of them. She made an ice cream, then a mountain, then an old man with a beard, and finally utterly exhausted, she settled on a peculiarly yellow cloud. There she rested her wings, which crawled back into her arms, her mind blanked out with tiredness. For some time she could feel her own breath, every heart beat, every nerve tingling in her body, every muscle dancing to the rhythm of an intangible pain. In a flash, the pain was gone, it went out in wave. The white angel robes were gone. Her tattered jeans and T Shirt were back. She was just beginning to understand what was going on when she heard,
“How dare you enter my cloud without my permission? You must pay the price or lose your head.”

Well she had already lost her head. And no more talking turnips or singing sparrows were gonna surprise her. But an ugly dragon, with fire flowing through his nostrils did frighten her. She turned to the Dragon, and her heart missed a beat. It was holding serpents in his hands, which curiously looked like elongated Intergral Signs, and its tail positively resembled a Delta. There was a cloudy mist surrounding everything in sight.

“I am sorry, I didn’t know I was trespassin.”
“That’s what they all say. You have done the mistake and now you must pay. You must bring me apples which taste like oranges, or else I will eat you alive.”
“Oh, but Mr Dragon, where will I find such apples.”
“you will know!”

Well, she knew it then, and she knew it again. Each and every clue pointed to it. As she walked away from the dragon, thinking about her next strategy, she heard a warning in the background,
“I am watching you!”

That scared her momentarily, but the sight of a path lit by moonlight, joining one cloud to another gave her hope. She started her walk to the only place where apples could taste like Oranges, Nowhere. She walked mirthfully from one cloud to another, occasionally stopping to witness a flower become a rabbit, a star becoming a pebble, pebbles becoming milestones, and her favorite, a rainbow across the numeric space, that shone once in a while like a neon light of the sky. She also saw a shooting star. She didn’t believe in the myth that goes, but she prayed, not risking a chance,
“Dear Shooting Star, please make me find the treasure and the aples that taste like oranges and when its all over, let me get back safely to my world.”

She would have loved to be in a fire balloon right now, watching the clouds go in circles. But the moonlight shadows grew larger instead. And then she heard a tiny voice,
“There you go again, turn the page.”
She, stunned by the shattering of silence by a human voice, glanced sideways to see a merry little milestone speaking to her through a pipe he was smoking. She shrieked momentarily.
“Smoking is not good for health, I know. But I have no health you see. But I might develop a bad health if people keep shrieking at me like that. “
“Excuse me, Sir, but I have never seen a milestone speak, and even though everything here seems to have a pulse, I was sort of lost in the long winding path amidst these clouds. I have been walking a long time now. I should be getting to Nowhere soon“
“Well, I have seen you go through this cloud umpteen times myself. You have been going round in circles. Wouldja please learn to walk the cloudy road to Nowhere correctly?”
“How do I do that?”
She realizing this was going to be a poetic moment, understood that she had infact been circling the periphery of her destination.
“You ARE at the Gates of Nowhere. Follow the misty Ghosts, if you are unlucky to find one. They will lead you to the garden gates. I presume its apples and oranges you are looking for. Or maybe the cabbages and kings. Or maybe the legendary treasure. Just be careful of your shadow. “

She jumped at the warning, and cast a look upon her shadow. She imagined it to be grinning at her sheepishly. Cautiously stepping over the misty cloudbed, she started looking around for any ghosts.

“Any Ghost guys around here? Damsel in distress looking for a guide…”
She yelled sarcastically, yet in hidden hope for help. She almost laughed inwardly. She remembered the cauliflowers, and the trees. She smiled at her pompous self joke, when she heard,
“And what will you pay me?”
She could feel the now-familiar biting of gooseflesh in her skin. She turned back to be face to face with a misty form, a figure of haunting visual blur. The features were conspicuous by their absence. The shape reminded her of flattened banana peels.

“umm.. err… I don’t know. You take checks?”

“I will take your shadow.”
And without an agreement, she felt being uprooted from the ground. She felt something being sucked out of her into the misty haze. She lost consciousness into mindless, weightless dissolving rare air. The last words she heard before passing out were,
“And now we go.”

She was brought back to senses by the fluttering of butterflies on her face. She rubbed her eyes and caught a hint of blue and green, and the sun smiled upon her. She had woken up I the land of rainbow colors. The mist was past, and the air smelled pink.

She saw a golden gate being guarded by a Big Red Tomato. She ventured towards the garden.

“What brings you here, Princess, the treasure or the hunger?”
“The tr.. hunger.”
“Well there are many things inside the garden, but no trungers. Sorry.”
“I meant, hunger.”
“Oh, well. I must have misheard then. Its normal, you see. Having no ears and all… you may pass. “
“Where can I find apples that taste like Oranges?”
“Rubbish. There isn’t any such things like apples which taste like oranges. There are tomatoes which taste like oranges though. Or was it apples. I am getting old. Did you meet a cowardly dragon anywhere. He seems to be pulling this joke on everybody.”
“Oh yes, he was the one who asked me to bring them.”
“Oh worry not, then, he’s just an old fool, like me. Keeps frightening people just for the heck of it. You just go in and find whatever you are looking for.”
“So can I go in and find whatever I want to find? Anything I am trying to find will be in there.”
“Yes, dear. For this is Nowhere…”

She saw at her feet, and felt for the first time, a feeling of someone lost. Her shadow. She hadn’t paid much attention to it anyways, but now that it was not there anymore, she terribly missed it. She entered the garden with a sense of melancholy and yet the serenity of the garden and the lush greenery and rich vegetation overcame her blue.

She turned back to say her thank-you to the tomato, but the gate was closed and the tomato had vanished. She moved on.

Smell of every kind gripped her senses. Every step was a new aromatic high. There were innumerable trees, with fruits of every color and shape. She moved towards the apple grove. It was not long before she saw a fiery orange colored tree that bore fiery orange colored apples. She knew it before she understood. The apples that taste like oranges. It had to be the one. As she was about to climb the tree, she heard an admonishing voice,
“Why don’t you pick up the ones on the ground instead? The ones on me aren’t ripe yet?”
The voice was familiar, but no the tone. The tree had spoken yet again. She apologetically excused herself, having forgotten about the personality of trees, enigmatic, silent and having pretty shadows. She pleaded,
“I want to go back home.”
“Eat an apple”
She was sure she hadn’t misconstrued anything. She picked an apple, rubbed it against her Tee, and bit into it with apprehension. Soon she realized she was hungry, and bit more greedily. The tangerine juice trickled down her parched throat, and she heard the wind murmur in her ears,
“Follow the leaf.”
She looked, and sure, she saw one ripened yellow-green leaf amongst others that seemed to be a chosen one amongst many. The wind lifted it as if anointing it with the breezy water. The leaf swirled and danced in midair, and the wind, the leaf and her eyes became one. The wind tugged the leaf, and her eyes followed, dancing the same dance as the leaf. Her mind sat lazing in the afternoon warmth of the rhythm, like after a cold morning.

The leaf landed over a wooden chest craved with golden finesse. The realization of the climax dawned upon her in one fleeting moment.

What now?

She felt her fingers cringe with nervous excitement as she threw the lid open. There, over a golden throne, she saw sitting an ugly toad, with a precious jewel in its head. As she expected him to jump and croak, in a frightful disappointment, she heard a melody ring in her ears.

The origin is lost
Links are still seen
A transition to the first person is urgent
See with your eyes keen
Don’t disillusion
Star studded nights seldom speak the truth
An era of meaningless masks has already been.

“Light has finally touched my eyes, and freedom has come with quivering delight. I sing aloft a song for you, who makes the day so beautiful and bright. I know what you’ve searching. So kiss me, and let it be found.”

She understood the task at hands, and summoned up every ounce of courage left in her. She perched her lips on the toad’s head, and closed her eyes to minimize the touch. As her lips touched the jewel on his head, everything around her began to dissolve in circles. She felt like falling through a vortex. She faintly saw the toad becoming her shadow, and the crown becoming her mobile phone, and the shrieking grew louder, and louder, and louder…

“How dare you sleep in my class! Get out this very moment.”

The Professor roared like a dragon. She almost giggled. She checked her shadow. It was there. Suddenly realizing that excusing herself out is the best possible solution right now, she picked up her mobile phone and left the classroom. As she sat in the school yard in the shade of the Old Banyan Tree, she thought about telling a toadlike friend of hers about the entire experience and started smsing. And she kept smsing on and on, and her mobile balance remained all the same.

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~ by Bombadil on July 17, 2009.

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