An Idiot's Tale

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An Idiot's Tale

Cacography of a madcap story teller, JAYEETA GHORAI

‘Studies’ get me high.

By study I do not mean an abstract attentive perusing of just about anything. I refer to serious academic pursuit; the choosing of a narrow field to examine, to dissect, to deep dive in and amass all the information that has been gathered from the beginning of civilization about it. To me all themes are interesting, yet some definitely more than others, but I find a study of occult and astrology as absorbing as social anthropology and English literature.

I just can’t seem to wait for September 2013, tingling with anticipation over what it will bring.

Winter was always my favourite season, fleeting out of grasp in Calcutta like a playful lover. Next ranks monsoon, inconveniences et al, nostalgic recollections of my first home, walked out of on school days under gloomy ashen skies, and approached through waist high swirling muddy waters, open manholes marked out with red rags tied to a bamboo pole.

I missed reaching the prize distribution ceremony on time in Class II, thwarted by an untimely squall of early December. As I apologized to the class teacher, she in turn announced that she had missed it too, arriving late. The disappointment was more than made up for by winning my favourite storybook.

Once a friend’s father had escorted me home through a kilometer long avenue turned to river, hugging the red building wall and steps of the neighbourhood hospital. Every time a slow bus chugged by, we stopped on our tracks, waiting for the giant wave to lash past, hit the wall and subside.

But autumn had enchanted me with unseen memories of fall leaves, golden husks of corn and bloated orange pumpkins when Keats convinced me of its charms. From the pages of the education board published poetry textbook, his ghost quill had grabbed me and has seduced me since. The pure lusty sensuousness of lying down on a bed of auburn leaves, rustling up a gentle coitus, afterwards snoozing in the arms of my love, butt naked as nature had birthed us, has been my recurring unfulfilled fiction for a while.

I look forward to autumn with unusual greed this time; and some apprehension. Life changes in a minute. One rarely knows how or why. One rarely can predict its attack. To be able to predetermine an order and time frame of getting out of one’s comfort zone is a rare privilege life affords us. To be able to orchestrate a change and program some of those fallouts has occurred seldom in my autobiography.

This time I am calling the shots.

Or some higher puppet player, in tandem with my wishes, is pulling strings for me.

I am raring to go; after ages I have risen, brushed off the mud marks from my bum, and am scrambling out of the vacant lily pool my chances were thrown to for twenty-two years. It was like the God of Time was waiting for the ‘right’ moment to salvage me.

I can feel the rise, surging. Leaping. Hitting the start block. Perhaps that is not the correct imagery for this is no short burst. This is no sprint, no hundred meters. Like the tortoise I am, my haul is a marathon. The distance runner in me can feel the pulse absolutely throbbing still. My face looks up and eyes focus on the far off deadline. I hold my hand and tell me, ‘We’re in it together, baby!’

There are other monstrous changes about to happen. I know I should be scared, but somehow can’t concentrate on that giant Pandora’s box, so completely am I swept into the lure of study books and undiscovered discourses.

My husband-to-be says knowledge is the one jewel untarnished by time, unmaligned by warring forces, it stays with you till the end of your stint. Maybe after? Come September, no not the movie, I will walk some university’s halls again, attend lectures, burn the midnight oil over notes, debate tutorials, write papers. Come September, I will give up pretending to exist and start living, yet again, pick up where my journey was left off.

I don’t know what money I’ll be making, I don’t care how I’ll survive the vigours of making ends meet. I will trade in self-sufficiency for my heart’s happiness, uncertainty for a different knowing.

For the moment my spirit pirouettes and sings!




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