The lizard on the wall climbed a little higher. And then, turned around by a hundred and sixty seven degrees to face Dubleu, inviting him. For the first time Dubleu was to be subjected to the order of this world; to a primordial feeling infancy originated from, always – The captivity of the cradle. And Dubleu like all would-be infants shall throw his arms and feet in the frozen air above, in revolt. But before Dubleu falls into this abyss that shall cost him a lifetime, let us quickly slip into a recently bygone moment, for later, we shall too jump into the abyss with Dubleu and would be left with no options to return to.... you’d know where.
The first signs of Dubleu’s life were proclaimed to his mother by movement. Before that, she had the medical reports and a bellyful of anticipation, but not a life inside her. But what if Dubleu decided not to move? To spend his life in stasis?
The doctors would check what’s been happening inside Dubleu, inside his mother’s belly. Search for metabolisms. Process. Movement. And what if Dubleu’s body too decided not to show movements? To let Dubleu spend his life in stasis? Aiding him in his resolution?
Nothing to worry.
The doctors would check what’s been happening inside the metabolisms, inside Dubleu, inside his mother’s belly.....
The real battle would have been between the doctor’s medical apparatus and Dubleu’s own resolution. If the doctors were to win this battle, Dubleu’s mother would learn that she has reasons to anticipate. If Dubleu were to win this battle, he would learn that he is dead.
But for the battle, it’s too late now. Dubleu’s already there, lying in the cradle. And we, already there watching him throw his arms and feet in the frozen air above, in revolt.
And how wonderful is this gesture of a child to an onlooker. It holds us in a spell. Therefore, it would naturally be quite disconcerting if someone else pushes the hospital ward door open at that instance to break the spell. And as if that wasn’t enough, pushes himself in as well through that door.
Yes, I’ve used ‘himself’ and so you know it’s a man. But don’t expect me to describe him. For two simple reasons. Firstly, because this novel is never going to be adapted into a movie. Secondly (and more importantly), because he was a man who liked to say, “I don’t matter to others and myself”. Gosh! See I’ve already described him. Anyway, let’s move on with the tale.
Dubleu’s father wasn’t father enough when he met Dubleu for the first time. He stood a few feet away from the cradle and got up on his toes as if trying to get a better view of Dubleu. And standing right up on his toes in the same position, he tried to lean left and right to watch Dubleu from all the different angles. Once, trying to do this he started to fall.
When Dubleu started to see him in the act of falling, he knew not what accidents were. Nor how the order was supposed to be. But there was something about the expression and the stern muscles that seemed very unusual to Dubleu. So, when Dubleu was fuming that he couldn’t move up like the lizard on the wall, he saw in his father’s eyes, fear of a form of movement itself. Confused, Dubleu decided to stop throwing his arms and feet in the frozen air above, in revolt.
But Dubleu’s father saved himself from falling by holding onto the edge of the bed on which Dubleu’s mother had been lying. And after he had restored his body to balance, he looked at her, rubbing some invisible strains off his shirt and smiled, awkwardly. It was the smile of “I don’t matter to myself and others.”
Much like us, all this while Dubleu hadn’t looked at his mother. Now, watching his father smile he turned towards her. And he noticed in her face the same sternness as he had noticed clouding over his father’s entire body as he had been falling. She was looking straight into Dubleu’s father’s eyes like a blind woman. As if his eyes or even the man was never seen to exist in the room. Unperturbed. Unmoved.
“I’m sorry” Dubleu heard his father say, “I was too excited to see him. Can I.... you know.... just once...” he said spreading both his arms towards Dubleu’s cradle looking at his mother all the while. But she still kept looking past him as if he had never existed in the room. Unperturbed. Unmoved.
Dubleu’s father pulled his hands back, pushed them in his pocket and then trying to stand a bit more straight, asked – “But don’t you think I’ve smarted myself enough to become a father? You know, I’ve been trying to work very hard on this.” He brought a few pieces of folded paper out of his pocket and held it above his head.
Dubleu was trying too hard to study each of these movements very carefully. Already it seemed to Dubleu that both movement and the absence of it were too complex. And he had been trying too hard to think if there might be a third option which might be a little more simpler to comprehend. And so drenched was he in this thought that he didn’t even notice his father slip out of the room quietly.
Dubleu wondered if that could be the third option his father always chose.