Thursday, May 24, 2007

CHAPTER 5 - The First Three

[If you've just landed yourself on this novel you might consider starting from here]


It all began with a yawn. A yawn which has always been like a smile. The perfect non-being that spreads across your face. And for a moment you forget yourself. As if you had no past. Or memories. Now, before you start thinking too deep on the association, let me just set them apart. For the truth is that no one had ever smiled within a yawn or yawned within a smile. They could never go together like laughter and tears can. A smile and a yawn, therefore, are always isolated from each other. The way I never want it to be. And ways (I wish there were any!) in which I could change it. But the order of this world is too rigid and….. Wait a second! He realized, right at that instance, that the order of the world could be changed just as easily as his father’s lessons to him – All one had to do was shake his head in a desperately cruel sort of way. Yes, yes, I’m quoting a line from the 2nd chapter, but don’t you see that’s all I need. So, I’ll just shake my head “in a desperately cruel sort of way” and let the tale begin, once again.

It all began with a yawn and a smile. Together.

Before he was to be born, the doctors had promised Dubleu’s mother that she would have a pre-mature baby. She had anticipated this and the doctor’s words assured her of the same. But then, she kept on anticipating with Dubleu showing very little intent on springing out of her belly. Almost too comfortable in there. As for his mother, she, like all would-be moms, wished to take him in her arms. Tending him.

For about a month she sat beside the window waiting for Dubleu to move. To show her the intent of breathing the free air. And he showed none. And she waited – staring outside the window. It was almost as if Dubleu would come tracing the long, straight road that led to their home. She waited.

After about a month there were the first signs…. No, not of Dubleu’s homecoming…. The first signs of her exhaustion. The intermingling of tiredness and boredom. It suddenly occurred to her that she hadn’t slept all this while. And therefore, she decided to yawn.

And Dubleu decided, too.

That morning when Dubleu woke up inside her belly, for the first time he didn’t like it in there. It was dark and claustrophobic. Well, it had always been dark in there - In this world where he lived. But he remembered that there used to be lots of empty spaces. Lately, this world had shrunk. Its darkness had become darker. And as he thought further he imagined there might be more empty spaces outside this world and who knows, maybe even a lesser form of darkness? And being just the over-optimist he was about to become, he decided to knock on the walls of this world, hoping that someone out there would listen to him.

All this while, Dubleu had thought of himself to be an atheist. He believed there were no super-natural forces guiding his life. And of course, there was no species that one might call – ‘un dieu’ – A God. The reason of his life was simple. He had an existence because he existed. No more, no less. That was before today. Today he felt a strong urge to believe that there were forces outside…. Maybe, even a god.

And so he knocked. Hard.

His mother had just began to yawn, when she heard the first knocks. Yes, it was certain there was movement. Not having enough time to complete her yawn, she started to smile inside it.

When Dubleu was born the first thing he noticed was ‘the lesser form of darkness’. And not only was the darkness so less that it hurt his eyes but had an even stranger property – ‘Variation’. You could differentiate one part of the darkness from another. Slowly, he kept learning that these variations had many names – ‘color’, ‘shape’, ‘size’ etc…. and not all of those meant the same. As Dubleu grew up his dissatisfaction with words only kept growing. I could discuss some of these with you at this point, but Dubleu asked me not to (let the poor fool have it his way this time). As for Dubleu’s word dilemma, remind me when I reach the correct section and I’ll tell you.

The second thing that Dubleu noticed after his birth was God. He had brought his thumb out of his mouth as it (or rather, she – as he’d later learn it’s been said) took him in her arms and looked at him in wonderment. At this moment Dubleu realized that he must have had a ‘variation’ too and for a while he started believing that his ‘variation’ must have been an even frightening one, until she said –

“My God, you’re Chooo oodly-woodly”

Dubleu’s dilemma with words could have started right here, but at that instant he concerned himself with something else. “My God”- did she say? So, do gods worship other gods? The ones they had never seen? And what if there are some gods who are atheist themselves? How do they themselves exist? And so, Dubleu decided that he’d once again keep believing what he had been believing all these days – He had an existence because he existed.

The third thing that Dubleu noticed after his birth was a creature on the wall with a strange variation. They called it a lizard.


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