There Will Be Words

A married man must come back. The little excursions of the day must end. The roving mood should be killed and buried. Friends, even the foe-ish ones, should be left in mourning. The feet  should be convinced that they can make the journey – the most tiring of them all. The soaking, juicy shreds of the paan should be carefully chewed. The shreds stuck hopelessly in that despairing cave of a mouth should be carefully removed – in moments of seeming annihilation it is better to keep oneself busy – there have been people who have stuck to their routines even in the worst of times – I’ve heard of Nazi soldiers never missing an early run or breakfast. When in doubt, start rolling the rock up the hill, and watch it falling down.

Cavities keep him busy.

Look at him dropping his shoulders like an old zoo bear. The shortening distance increases the heartbeat. The world looks very unworldlike. The houses grow. And in a while there will be words. She would speak. Oh yes, she would. He would have braved fiercest wars, cruelest heroes, cavities filled with bits of paan and what not. But words? They’ll be there staring him at his deathbed along with his children. And what if they are there after death, too? Would he not die again hearing them? What would that be like, dying twice in a row? If something worthwhile is to be made of this world, it should be made without words. Plato missed the point. He should have banished words. Killing the messenger was never a wise choice.

Look at him standing before the door pretending to knock. Isn’t he funny? Isn’t he sad? Isn’t he something? Like the water when the sewer is unclogged, like the child when the sun is set, like the moon that makes us mad, like the bowler having bowled his ball, like the trader who has lost it all, like the birds of winter, like the failed son gone away to make some good – a married man must come back.

This is a part of a series of marriage sketches that I’m planning to do, fairly regularly. Epitaph Of A Liar & The White Kettle are also part of the same series.


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