Chapter 2 – The Dream


He woke up in his own bed, drenched in cold sweat. He felt that he was burning up. The window was a bit open like every other night. He never felt at ease without fresh air. The images from the dream was still lingering in his mind. He, himself, was not fully awake but was drifting somewhere between reality and the dream.

“What’s bothering you?” – asked the big old Oak. It had only a few leaves left. He could barely make out the tree in the dark, but he could feel that the Oak was there. It was as real as any other tree that he had ever seen. Stars were shining above his head but he could not even make out the land on which he was standing. He could only see the stars and the silhouette of the old tree. The moon was no where to be seen.

How can the moon exist in a world where the Sun has abandoned you?

“The wall.” – he replied cautiously, as if too scared to hear his own voice in the dark.

“Do you see it?” – he asked interrupting the silence that existed for a brief moment between the tree and himself.

“No I don’t see it.” – the Oak replied. Its voice calm and deep.

“But I can feel it. Just like I can’t see you but I can feel your existence, I can feel the opaque wall. It’s real. It’s the reason I’m dying, don’t you see that? I’m a tree, I need the Sun more than you do.”

“Its real then. But why is it happening to only us?” – he asked. His voice strained with  doubts and anxiety.

“I don’t know that yet. But I can tell you something that I know. You and I are not that different Kafka.” – the Oak took a long pause.

“What do you mean by that?” – he asked more confused now than before. How could the tree, possibly know his name?

“I’m merely your reflection and you are mine. Do you think, we, all living being, have our own individual existence? We all are connected to each other in someway. But it can happen that the connection between two living being is much stronger than any other connections that they have and when it happens they begin to share similar fate or destiny. ”

A brief paused followed. Kafka felt that he was burning up from inside.

“Every little choice that you make in your life – is it really that you’re making the choices or do the choices make you? Have you ever thought that why do you like certain characters from movies, books or even in real life more than the other characters? Is it because you find similarities between your life and their lives or your life begins to resemble theirs beginning from the moment when you decide to like these characters?”

A longer pause followed along with a cool summer breeze. Kafka stood there in silence. He had more questions than ever before but he did not ask a single one.

“I’m your favorite tree. Or at least I used to be your favorite tree. You spent your childhood days playing around me.”

Kafka remembered. This was the same old oak that was there behind the summer house that Kafka’s father had to sell to pay a bad loan when Kafka was only 12. He spent his first twelve summers in that house.

It was now dying. Because it could not get the Sun.

Kafka felt a lump in his throat and a sharp pain in his chest. He felt that his eyes were tearing up and he felt that he could break down in tears at any moment.

But he could not cry.

Probably it would be easier if he could cry his hearts out but he just could not. He was nauseating and his heart started to beat irregularly.

“I wish I could cry. I would feel much better If I could cry.” – whispered Kafka.

“You can’t. You’re my reflection and I’m yours. Trees don’t cry Kafka.” – the Oak replied, its voice calmer than ever.

“Don’t look for the Sun Kafka. I will not survive without it but you will. Look for warmth, look inside.”

A cool breeze blew through the branches of the dying tree, making it sound like the old Oak sighed.Kafka felt like he was sinking, he was slipping into the darkness from which he rose.

Kafka woke up in his bed, drenched in cold sweat.

***

(…..to be continued)

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A Kafkaesque Morning


It was another dull morning. There was nothing new about this day. Kafka woke up hearing his mom and dad shouting at each other. That was not a nice way to wake up.By now he should have been used to all this. But he was not. Kafka washed his face. He had his breakfast shouting at his parents asking if they could shut it up at least until he was gone. Kafka felt tired of all this. He was thinking about the two hour long journey to the college. The final examinations for this semester was nearing. All of it seemed very “staged” or “phoney” to him. Every year there were two semesters – students did not care. At least most of them did not. They still passed the exams in the most unimaginable ways. College education could have been about knowledge but it was not. It was about getting a job. Everyone knew it and Kafka did not have a problem with that but he did have a problem with the whole system pretending like it really was about knowledge. For all of this he needed to travel to the college to the other end of the city, bearing the scorching heat, dust, noise and people.

Kafka was standing in front of a occupied seat. The day sure started bad. Kafka was the only one standing in the bus, rest of the people were sitting. Kafka felt unwanted. He chose to stand in front of one sit. It could very well be that the two people who were sitting in that seat are the only ones except Kafka who would travel to the last bus stop and the guy with glasses, who just boarded the bus and was standing beside Kafka in front of another seat, would get to sit before the bus reached the next bus stop. Irony was that this guy could get off the bus way before the bus made even half of its journey. The system is unfair. Just like life. Those who actually need, often don’t get enough. Those who already have – get plenty more.

Kafka reflected , he never did hurt anyone in his life. If there would be a God , why could not he get a better life? He could not remember when he saw his parents smile for the last time. Kafka did not have things his friends had. He knew that what his friends had already earned by being born, he had to earn working. The guy occupying the seat in front of which the guy with glasses was standing, stood up and went to the doors to get off the bus. The guy with the glasses was looking at something through the window. Kafka turned and took the seat.

“What just happened?” – asked the guy.

“I took the seat.” – answered Kafka.

“I need to travel two hours and am not feeling very good today” – said Kafka’s eyes.

“Who is supposed to take the seat? one who is standing in front of it or one who is standing on the far right?” – asked the guy.

Kafka did not make any eye contact. He was pulling the phone out of his bag so he could put the ear plugs in his ears and pretend to listen to the FM.

Kafka looked up in his eyes plugging the headphone in his ears –

“The one standing far right” – answered Kafka and looked away calmly.

Kafka was feeling depressed. The guy with glasses got a sit in next five minutes and got off the bus after ten more minutes. Kafka was not feeling depressed about that. He was feeling depressed about his life, his existence. As the bus was making slow progress through the unbearable traffic and noise, Kafka sat still on the hard seat. He felt like he did not have any energy left in him already. He had a day to survive yet. Kafka looked left as he felt something was wrong inside the bus. A dwarfish man had just boarded the bus. He was less then 4 feet in height, had a thick mustache and had short hands and short bent legs. Kafka felt sick looking at him. The man walked to the end of the bus to take a sit. He had to climb up to the seat using his hands. Kafka felt sorry for the man. It was not his fault that he was born like that. Kafka felt sorry thinking how much harder life could be for this man.

The bus was passing by Kafka’s school. Kafka looked at the temple beside the school. He used to touch his forehead and chest with his hands to show respect to the God before entering the school hoping he would not get beaten by the teachers or bullied by his classmates. It was a Hindu custom. Kafka did not choose to be a Hindu but the habit stayed with him as he grew up and the classmates became friends. The teachers remained the same but Kafka stopped caring about them. Today he did not feel like continuing this habit anymore. “If God existed things would have been better. ” – thought Kafka, feeling defiant- “I would have a happy life and there would be no dwarfs”.

Kafka noticed some movement behind him. He turned around and saw the dwarf touching his forehead and his chest devotedly. Kafka felt a pain inside him. Strangely this pain was pulling him out of his depression.

Because I am less Sober Tonight!


A Cage went in search of a bird

Somewhere around a Oasis a desert appeared.

Darkness shrunk itself to enlighten us.

The earth cooled itself ’cause of its crust.

*******

Captain was drunk so he opened a bottle

We found treasure island be fore we set sail

Everyone was happy because rebels were caught

except for the king,who was one of them,who would have thought!

********

Somewhere in a world where light was not fast

Questions were answered before those were asked!

Somewhere in that world you closed your eyes to see

You read this poem ’cause somehow it found me!