"Ne'er a night startled me, for I witnessed a darkness far perilous, bone-biting cold quivering a girl underneath the ragged blanket amid a muddled street; whilst ne'er a great winter ached the girl, for she witnessed a farthest aching, appetite indoors."
YET ANOTHER MORNING arrived, penetrating the tiny particles from the timeless servant, into the holes of the poverty-stricken house adjacent to mine, which abode an old couple, a middle-aged couple, a young couple and two little children--a boy and a girl, in ragged clothes, half-appetite--half-asleep--half-everything. Did the timeless-servant laugh at them? No. No. It just peeped and peeped as everyday performing its timeless duty.
Bouncing on the hut, the sun to my right, far from the shabby cottage adjacent, the vigorous photons reached my balcony scattering a light, precisely with the unchanged intensity, unbiased loveliness, and unprejudiced harshness, as it bestowed adjacently domicile.
'Where's The Goodness, papa's grandma?' inquired the poor little girl to his great grandmother.
'In the corner over there,' mumbled the wrinkle-skinned old lady pointing at the little cubicle in the corner. The little girl ran into the cubicle hastily, glanced at the four corners inside, and then gazed across the ceiling, trying to discover the by and large called INVINCIBLE and INEVITABLE. None visible. All she could discover were those low-quality portraits nailed to the wall.
'Where's The Goodness, papa's grandpa?' said the poor little girl to his great grandfather.
The old man clutched the little bony fingers of the girl and strode outside the hut and said pointing at the sun, 'over there, beaming enormously, my girl!'
'Where's The Goodness, grandma?' the little girl inquired to her grandmother this time.
'Everywhere, dear!' said the middle-aged woman.
'Where's The Goodness, grandpa?' The question repeated to the middle-aged man in the cottage.
'Within you, my girl!' said the grandpa. All the same, the little girl didn't comprehend.
And she didn't want to waste her time repeating the question to her mom and dad, as never did they discuss about The Goodness. All she could see them talking about food, cloth and shelter. However with time, she forgot the question and the bunged questing for an answer.
"You are dumb-mute. A stone you are with a fool of emotion behind your chests. Heartless heart you have. Gravel, it was made up of."
I's silent as usual, as every day, for eleven months by now.
"Better a stone than you. It breaks, at least, when tossed up from a height."
A wind blew at once, through the stems of the trees behind which whispered the leaves.
"Don't you speak? Don't you speak a word? Ah! you won't, will you? You just cries inside like a tree which conceals the emotion even when the stems are broken with a sharp axe, or the leaves taken away by the wind."
The sun behind her was slowly sinking into the river. It's as dry and as dreary as me. It had lost its natural shining and energy, just like I had. The darkness had been falling upon it, as upon me.
When she walked, an exquisiteness radiated around. It's brighter than the brightest photon ever bounced on the blue planet. Or at least to my eyes. Despite the radiations of loveliness, a petrified expression she got behind the loveliness. She seemed alone forever. She gazed at me as if looking at a human for the first time. Over the terror inside, she smiled at me, formally. I sought to smile at her but she did first. But there was one big problem that I'm a teacher and she's a fourteen-year old student of mine. She said, "I love you." I said, "you are only fourteen and you know nothing about love and what you are in now is just an attraction." She cried, "I know about love more than anybody here known." I puzzled, "how?" She cried, "I'm a love child prodigy!"
It had already been one year since this little event happened to me. By this time I am busy writing a lot of short stories and one thick novel too. So while I was remembering some of my personal events last evening, I remembered this one and now, this morning, I sit in front of my personal computer and typing like a lost child and thinking as if I go to ages back.
It was a queer story, as many a man said when I narrated them. And almost all of them commented it must've been a created story. I tried to convince them to my best that it wasn't but none comprehended my feelings. All they were grown-ups, and I know grown-ups seldom think and comprehend. They just stick to accustomed business of the world. Indeed they forget some of the most important facts too, such as the Sun rises in the east, trees gives us oxygen (thus they hardly ever bother to kill them), late evening stars in the sky are beautiful, if they neglect their parents in their old age--their children may also neglect them when they become too old.
Since then I stopped narrating my story to any grown-up ever I met, rather I've been narrating them a crime story or a fantasy tale, saying to them priory--YES IT WAS A CREATED STORY. Then they would be happy and think I's get going good in my profession. And also they think I'm rather a sensible man.
But after all these days of vanity, again I remembered this little tale, and I don't want to narrate it to anyone in personal, but I want to write. So I begin.
Many days ago, there lived a young man with well-grown beard underneath his lips and stunning smile over his lips. He was twenty six years and one twenty one days old. He hadn't got a great color on his skin but his face always glows like the morning star. I hesitate to say I was that young man.
With the reference of my friend's wife, I had joined in a small school as an English teacher to primary students. The school management offered me only a ten thousand rupees per month. Though it was many times less than what I had earned earlier as a software employee, I's excited for I would teach to those little children, research on them, for I had been planning to write a novel relating children and teachers.
When I entered into the school on the first day, not as a student but as a teacher, a bunch of reminiscences started striking my mind, but as a student. It wasn't the same school where I'd been schooled, but now it appeared more like where I studied. The unparliamentarily language I used and for which I had been punished severely stroked my mind as a first memory. As a second memory, myself sitting in an exam hall, carrying lot of slips in secret pockets, to copy the answers in the exam. And then I saw myself in the school's playground, all the students gathered as a fencing at the boundary and shouting my name, while I was batting or bowling. The reminiscences didn't stop, they stroke one after another--some appeared ridiculous--some appeared bad--some appeared worst. I thought of not recapping further, but didn't they stop, as they grilling one after another out of the corners, from long term memory, until one last memory stroke--my school love story. Definitely it appears ridiculous for one who listens to me, as I said you all are grownups and you only bother counting.
It is in eighth grade, that is thirteen years old. I was big failure in academics. Indeed there started the actual problem, and I'd relate it in further lines, how it affected. One day a new girl joined in the tenth grade, and she must be fifteen or sixteen years old, that is two or three years elder to me. I liked her skin color, smile on her lips, and the big round eyes. I also liked her walking, and long swinging knotted hair. Beyond all I liked her voice very much. I just started relishing her beauties from a distance for few weeks. It was like a curiosity that we develop day for day, upon something our senses capture and send the signals to the master brain. So was I. As every male needs a female, I thought, why not this girl to me. As a point of truth, when our love's true automatically the environment starts turning in favor of you. There started a house system in the school, with four of the grade ten students as house leaders and the students from sixth grade to tenth grade will be chosen by one of those groups. As I said everything went in favor, Kavya, the girl whom I'd been talking about, was one of the house captains and I had been chosen into her house.
You trust or not, hardly it took a week for me to convey my genuine feelings on her. She started liking me for the way I was from inside. But she always argued for what her elder sister said that love at the school days isn't a love at all, only genital infatuation. She also said, indeed it isn't love at all.
Damn it! I said, if love on mother starts from his birth, by a baby, why can't a love starts at thirteen on a girl of sixteen.
We argued, but liked each other, but never I touched her for if I were just genitally attracted. Didn't I. And sometimes she was, especially when we were alone, or when she saw some romance in movies, the other day. My love slowly converted to an unconditional love. While Kavya's love was only an attraction, and she didn't have enough knowledge about love and all such stuff.
Our unbelievable love story spread around the school like a virus. All the students and teachers were discussing about our love and laughing at us--how did a sixteen years girl could fall in love with a thirteen years boy?
And in no time it reached to the principal's desk, later into the management's ears. Both my parents and Kavya's parents were asked to come for a meeting. They had attended on an evening. All started scolding Kavya, for they thought she was who started all this nuisance. Because they thought I was not older enough to have any knowledge of love and all the relating stuff. I tried to explain them that the things were different from what they had been thinking. But as I said, grownups would never listen, as they just need a count. But didn't I stop my argument.
"Just stop shouting on that poor girl," said I loudly. All those grownups just stared at me perplexedly.
"Shut up, you kid!" shouted my dad. "How dare you argue with us?"
"This isn't about argument, dad," said I slowly with a smile. "It's about whom you are arguing with."
"Yes?" said principal, puzzled.
"It was I who loved her first. It was me who brought her into this boundary of love. And you wouldn't believe the intensity of my love--it's pureness--it's truthfulness--it's helpfulness. Of course, that poor girl, yet didn't know anything about love and all its relating stuff, she was just good and innocent."
"What the hell are you talking?" suddenly shouted the middle-aged father of Kavya.
"Your love is genuine at an age of thirteen?" laughed the director of the school. "Ridiculous!"
"Yes sir! I know every rule of love. I know a lot about love than anyone here knows."
"How is it possible?"
"'Cause I'm a child prodigy."
"Child prodigy?" said principal, and laughed loudly as if a great joke had been cracked out. "You don't know how to multiply two numbers!"
"This isn't about Mathematics or Physics," said I like a most matured man. "I'm a child prodigy of love."
"Interesting kid!" muttered the director of the school. "But never I listened such a thing."
"Because it never existed," said Kavya's father. "And I'm taking my child to another school where there are no Love Child Prodigies."
That man didn't listen to anybody. Kavya didn't come to my school again. All teachers and principal scolded me. My dad punished me hardly for declining his name in the society. All the other students commented me for rest of my schooling.
Ridiculous! Damn it!
But true it was. And now I had stopped here. At this moment standing amid the staff room as a teacher. And only after some weeks, an amazing thing happened. For I had already written a book named "An Unemployed Autobiography" which released all over the world some months ago, the word spread around the school and my name got some intensity. And at that time, one girl came to me and requested for an autograph. I's excited--it was my first autograph. And I'm panic that I didn't feel enough winner in me to give an autograph. But I signed on a scrap book she brought. Then she smiled at me broadly. I smiled back casually. Since then every time when we confront each other, she used to smile at me broadly. At first I didn't worry for I was a teacher and she was a student, and it was a casual smile of respect. But she started smiling to one side of her lips and dropping her eyes shyly. And it wasn't a sort of smile a student gives to a teacher. Now I'd been worried. Later on I stopped ignoring even a glance at her, whereas she would give the same odd smile.
One day, she wished me, "good morning." Subconsciously I greeted back. Since then everyday she came to me, greeting, and trying to make a conversation. I was worried. She never did a wrong thing. Still I was worried. Because I was a teacher and she was a student. And only some days before I saw her for the first time, while I was giving a lecture to all the students in the school, what was the relationship between a teacher and a student--child and parent--how less the age difference might be.
There was an age difference of over a decade between that girl and me. I was twenty six and she was fourteen. But her indifferent smiles at me were far matured. I avoided glances at her.
But one day she came to me asking a doubt on 'gerunds.' It was a matter of subject, so couldn't reject it. In the intervals between the classes, she visited me frequently. She got a wonderful voice that I couldn't control myself talking with her. For some days, I'd been accustomed to the sweetness and smoothness in her tone, and slowly I forgot myself. After a month, I stated I'd be visiting her class to see and talk to her. Day for day, the unknown relationship had grown inevitably, and I didn't know what it would lead to.
For some more months I forgot what I was and what she was to me. We were always meeting and seeing each other and rubbing our shoulders here and there. It was something like that--we couldn't live even for an hour without talking to each other. After home, she used to call from her mother's phone and speak as if discussing with a friend on a topic, everyday.
After ten months of my unknown love, on the occasion of a Teacher's day, I had to give a speech. At the end of the speech, I said-
"You may win or not, your mother's love is with you. You may be good or not, your mother's hope is on you.
"Just that way, ours love on you. Because it's an unconditional love.
"We build the future of the world.
"We--the unconditional lovers.
"We--the teachers--are not less that your mother."
And when I ended with that word 'mother,' it resounded in my head's corners sundry times. And I knew why it did so. I remembered that young girl, and what I was to her, and what's my love to her. When I met her in the evening that day, I had a discussion, that almost appeared as a recap.
"You are dumb-mute. A stone you are with a fool of emotion behind your chests. Heartless heart you have. Gravel, it was made up of," she said.
I was silent as usual, as every day, for eleven months by now.
"Better a stone than you. It breaks, at least, when tossed up from a height."