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October 25, 2020 | Shoeb Hamid

The lost art of surreal writing

The grey mountain had swallowed the sun beyond the small village when a dirty old sage had his sort of reverie. Death he said, to all that is painted green from this end of the mountain to the middle of the river. That bidding wasn’t well received by the weed on this side. The weed had produced three fine gentlemen, but for several weeks there was quite a fuss in the house over property settlement. They had approached first the clown in the bazaar who was a prominent social figure and then the court jester. Somehow the old weed with olive face and loose patches of epithelial tissue sensed political overtures in the way matter was being settled. In this state of chaos he couldn’t take diktats from the sage who for him didn’t serve any purpose in life other than occupying two cubic metres of space. So he summoned the angel.

The angel had given up ramblings and since last season of the fallen had taken refuge in an old historic building called the building of the civil serpents. When he reached the place of the weed he looked tired and uninterested in the affair. The weed aroused by the look of the angel berated him for being humane. The angel quietly listened, and eventually broke out in tears the size of bears. He said he was in love with human pain and suffering that he could only aspire but never have. It was very bad for him since he could neither die in misery nor live in it. The night passed in two strokes of the clock hanging on the oak tree.

At the first stroke of daylight that pierced and almost vaporized the star-studded sky, a lark descended playing morning news along its path of travel.  The rustic steam engine in which were locked the damned criminals was preparing to leave the station manned by police. It was raining heavily, fluorescent red drops like miniature torches falling from above. The lark said there was going to be an inspection by the ministry of corruption after the third lunch break. The weed was upset for no family matter was going to be resolved that day and the sage’s threat persisted like a needle in the tongue of the shoe.    

 Morning dragged, the sun and rain flip-flopped, and by the time it was midday the weed had been exhausted by his own ruminations. A very sinister idea from a speck to full grain was growing in his mind. He asked his sons to load three sacks of coffee beans and two of tobacco in his three-pedal car.  He started for the murder mansion, seemingly with a resolute mind. It was a long journey, four minutes and 372 seconds of their time. He thought he would be back before the day end. But he never came back.

Reaching the gates of the mansion his carriage or car was stopped. Two men in military uniform got him out and checked his palms with a large magnifying glass. They left him there and murmured something near one of the gate posts. Seeing this weed asked if there was anything wrong. After a while they took him to side room for interrogation. One of them said that his passport had expired 32 years ago and that he was an illegally living in that part of the country side. They looked again for the lines on the palm after accepting one sack of the jackfruit. Now the second one clarified that there was an error in their earlier reading and that he can pass the gate but cannot proceed any further on the path as they only were gate keepers and supposed to pass the passer-bys.       

The weed waited for some time and his tooth started to ache badly. Once again he approached the gatekeepers and implored them that he needed to pass as he had to see the dentist. To which one of the gate keepers replied that he was also a dentist and very popular in that profession. “If you need a tooth or teeth to be pulled out, I can do that. But I need to change my uniform.”

The weed asked what he is going to charge for the teeth. The dentist said two wheels of the carriage and a golden horn. The weed said he didn’t have any golden horn with him at that time and promised he would hand it over later. Hearing this, the two stood in attention, saluted the weed and said you may pass now with a sahib at the end of the sentence as mark of courtesy.   

He left his carriage there and went inside with two sacks of golden horns and a large bucket of pure honey. At the end of the path was a kiosk where a small bearded man with rimmed glasses was standing with a log book. Welcoming him, he said he had been expecting weed since three Thursdays and one Wednesday.

“My tooth is aching badly, where can I find a dentist or doctor?” Like I said, I have been expecting you, I am the doctor the bearded-man said. “No wait, I am here not for the teeth but the sage, I want him dead, killed, poisoned or bombed, I don’t care. He has spoiled everything. He is a nuisance and bad influence on everyone,” weed said. The angel, who still bore a sad look on his face replied, you are weed, get his legs and drown him next time he takes a bath in the river.

It was late evening and the weed was staring at the last bag of oats and the evacuated kiosk. And he was repeatedly asking himself one question, “What is the meaning of the meaning?” He wasn’t sure about the answer, and his sense oscillated somewhat between reason and experience.

shoib@risingkashmir.com

 

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October 25, 2020 | Shoeb Hamid

The lost art of surreal writing

              

The grey mountain had swallowed the sun beyond the small village when a dirty old sage had his sort of reverie. Death he said, to all that is painted green from this end of the mountain to the middle of the river. That bidding wasn’t well received by the weed on this side. The weed had produced three fine gentlemen, but for several weeks there was quite a fuss in the house over property settlement. They had approached first the clown in the bazaar who was a prominent social figure and then the court jester. Somehow the old weed with olive face and loose patches of epithelial tissue sensed political overtures in the way matter was being settled. In this state of chaos he couldn’t take diktats from the sage who for him didn’t serve any purpose in life other than occupying two cubic metres of space. So he summoned the angel.

The angel had given up ramblings and since last season of the fallen had taken refuge in an old historic building called the building of the civil serpents. When he reached the place of the weed he looked tired and uninterested in the affair. The weed aroused by the look of the angel berated him for being humane. The angel quietly listened, and eventually broke out in tears the size of bears. He said he was in love with human pain and suffering that he could only aspire but never have. It was very bad for him since he could neither die in misery nor live in it. The night passed in two strokes of the clock hanging on the oak tree.

At the first stroke of daylight that pierced and almost vaporized the star-studded sky, a lark descended playing morning news along its path of travel.  The rustic steam engine in which were locked the damned criminals was preparing to leave the station manned by police. It was raining heavily, fluorescent red drops like miniature torches falling from above. The lark said there was going to be an inspection by the ministry of corruption after the third lunch break. The weed was upset for no family matter was going to be resolved that day and the sage’s threat persisted like a needle in the tongue of the shoe.    

 Morning dragged, the sun and rain flip-flopped, and by the time it was midday the weed had been exhausted by his own ruminations. A very sinister idea from a speck to full grain was growing in his mind. He asked his sons to load three sacks of coffee beans and two of tobacco in his three-pedal car.  He started for the murder mansion, seemingly with a resolute mind. It was a long journey, four minutes and 372 seconds of their time. He thought he would be back before the day end. But he never came back.

Reaching the gates of the mansion his carriage or car was stopped. Two men in military uniform got him out and checked his palms with a large magnifying glass. They left him there and murmured something near one of the gate posts. Seeing this weed asked if there was anything wrong. After a while they took him to side room for interrogation. One of them said that his passport had expired 32 years ago and that he was an illegally living in that part of the country side. They looked again for the lines on the palm after accepting one sack of the jackfruit. Now the second one clarified that there was an error in their earlier reading and that he can pass the gate but cannot proceed any further on the path as they only were gate keepers and supposed to pass the passer-bys.       

The weed waited for some time and his tooth started to ache badly. Once again he approached the gatekeepers and implored them that he needed to pass as he had to see the dentist. To which one of the gate keepers replied that he was also a dentist and very popular in that profession. “If you need a tooth or teeth to be pulled out, I can do that. But I need to change my uniform.”

The weed asked what he is going to charge for the teeth. The dentist said two wheels of the carriage and a golden horn. The weed said he didn’t have any golden horn with him at that time and promised he would hand it over later. Hearing this, the two stood in attention, saluted the weed and said you may pass now with a sahib at the end of the sentence as mark of courtesy.   

He left his carriage there and went inside with two sacks of golden horns and a large bucket of pure honey. At the end of the path was a kiosk where a small bearded man with rimmed glasses was standing with a log book. Welcoming him, he said he had been expecting weed since three Thursdays and one Wednesday.

“My tooth is aching badly, where can I find a dentist or doctor?” Like I said, I have been expecting you, I am the doctor the bearded-man said. “No wait, I am here not for the teeth but the sage, I want him dead, killed, poisoned or bombed, I don’t care. He has spoiled everything. He is a nuisance and bad influence on everyone,” weed said. The angel, who still bore a sad look on his face replied, you are weed, get his legs and drown him next time he takes a bath in the river.

It was late evening and the weed was staring at the last bag of oats and the evacuated kiosk. And he was repeatedly asking himself one question, “What is the meaning of the meaning?” He wasn’t sure about the answer, and his sense oscillated somewhat between reason and experience.

shoib@risingkashmir.com

 

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