Thursday, March 27, 2008


Illegible text, random ink spots, oil marks, dirty doodles, hurriedly scribbled measurements define my existence. I now lie at a door corner of Symbiosis Institute of Design and watch the world pass by. A world where ‘usage’ significantly defines importance and time shrinks within a blink of an eye. I am ‘Crumbles’, a crushed piece of the front page of a news paper.
Success, fame, attention and all other material pleasures are frivolous to me. I had them all a few months back, a time when I was the epitome of everyone’s attention. The aroma of freshly printed inks oozed from my body as I gleamed with sheen unparalleled in my friend circles. Breaking news and headlines that shook the world formed my content as well as my character. I covered the tragedy of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, a lady who defined democracy and lost her life for it. I remember the scurry of students in the college library waiting to see me. Shocking glances filled the atmosphere as I was repeatedly distributed among faculty, students and anybody who loved to read the news. My other friends seemed non-existent among all the glory and fame.
Though I had the apparent physical similarities of publication that made me an identity of the Times group, I remained special because of my ability to decipher emotions and understand the thoughts of people. I had the novelty of reading people’s mind.
Reality enlightened me as I realised the credence of my importance. My ‘usage’ was dwindling. Soon I found myself among a group of my friends, scathed by the blow of the rough jute wires. In a dark room I laid alone and desolate, scared about my future, terrified about death. Times changed and my belief to live life remained resilient as I observed the mild sun rays entering the darkness from a door creak every single day without fail, unmoved by the numerous conflicts omnipresent.
‘And then there was light’; gleaming, warm, yellow shining rays that blinded me instantly. A soft touch caressed my heart and embraced me. I was soon separated from the rest of my clan to facilitate the making of an envelope to accommodate a meticulously done piece of artwork. I now belonged to Pam, the most conscientious student of the class. My transient success returned when a numerical scribbled on my body revealed the toothy smile of a diligent designer. She surreptitiously admired me and proudly portrayed her finest design to others. After all I protected and veiled her mysterious and most cherished concept of creativity in me.
But fame fleeted when jealous intentions arose. I wept copiously as the ruthless Rajiv drenched me with water. Unscrupulously my body was severed and slashed with barbaric intentions. I failed to shield the most important belonging of Pam. My body ached with pain but I only hoped for another chance to be loved. When Pam discovered the cruelty, she was shaken. My wet tattered body was separated from the precious painting and I realised the hypocrisy that lied within the labyrinths of human mind. It was the painting that was admired throughout and not me. Over the years I was ‘used’ for testing the right shade of colour or was the recipient of confusing measurements and dirty dust. But the stark realization of being utilized repeatedly and not loved shattered me as my robust body was crumbled into a miniscule ball, making me indiscernible to the world around.
Nobody notices me now except for the red plastic dustbin of the animation lab. I lovingly call her ‘Dusty’ and she calls me ‘Crumbles’. My hideous appearance does not bother her as she accepts me for my uniqueness. Laying a few metres away from me ‘Dusty’ sits calm and composed waiting to clean the world from obnoxious elements. I understand in true love, distance is irrelevant but I urge you readers to let this love bloom. The irony remains that the day of my meet will be the day of my destruction but the thought of recycling and sharing the same vision of ‘Dusty’ excites me.
So next time anybody passes the animation lab, do spare a thought of uniting us and giving us a chance to make this world a cleaner and better place to live in, a world where love leads to ‘usage’ which is valued.


Dusty pebbles and textured pavement surrounds ‘ Morpheus’, an individual who strives to give shape to a form. Air enters vacuum and through twist, turns and squeaks morphs a formless elastic piece of coloured rubber. Gazing with intrigue are the eyes of a two year old shabbily dressed kid whose attention gets divided in trying to draw in the green sticky blob that wants to escape its origin. He blows and puffs to create myriad attractive forms but survival seems to scurry away. Minutes pass as days in counting repeatedly the meagre quantity of the shining metal pieces. Rounded pieces whose numbers agglomerate to quote the value of existence in this microcosm.
As I-pod plugged yuppies, insulated in expensive gym wear, jog on the grooved gripped pathways of the majestic Victoria Memorial during the misty November mornings, Bimal kaka admiringly called Morpheus, tries to beat habit by originality. Animals, objects, folk characters find expression through his creation. The trivial yet expectant glances from passersby no longer excite him. His sole aim is to survive and hold ground in this ever changing vastness. Morpheus is the balloon man who I pass everyday while going back home from school.
Due to his unique personality and approach towards life I decided to spend time with Morpheus. Every day for half an hour I sat and listened to his stories. His descriptions and thoughts opened new avenues to my visualization. Being a fifteen year old inquisitive kid, I questioned him infinitely to gauge his intelligence. But his answers always had a certain winning edge to it. Slowly I joined the fan club of Morpheus with the two year old kid being the other exclusive member.
Morpheus loved to dream. In his mind, he travelled to unknown places where there were clear skies; his thoughts went astray visualizing his success. He dreamt of balloon shows where pieces of his creations would fly far away with people clapping and rejoicing. He dreamt of taking pictures with celebrities and eating a sumptuous meal with his family. He talked about colours and their personalities. He wanted to feel yellow and kiss red. He talked about nature and frivolous people surrounding him, about malls and vegetable vendors. He talked of importance and its context to changing times. I listened to his exciting views with utmost zeal. Hours passed in such engaging talk. As the sunset cast a sepia glow to the whiteness of Victoria, the twisted balloons added interest to the morbidity of the atmosphere.
I developed an indiscernible bond with Morpheus. I decided to introduce this power house of alternative knowledge to my friends, knowledge which has to be perceived and imbibed, not mugged without understanding. So after talking to my Principal, I fixed up a workshop where for the first time he would earn valuable paper notes instead of those limited shining metal pieces.
As I rushed to deliver the good news to him, I viewed oddity in the atmosphere. For the first time in 9 months, Morpheus was absent. He continued to be so for the next one week. A stifling discomfort filled me when I thought reason. Slowly I built up the courage to ask the pan shop vendor about ‘kaka’. It is more fitting to let this answer remain unsaid.
Though ‘Morpheus’ is missing in reality, he is immortalised in my dreams. There is no reason for change. But life survives on the powerful base of transformation. Sometimes the most enlightening thoughts come from the most unknown and surreptitious places and can morph our lives forever.