Saturday, March 08, 2008

A Slow Death

I surged ahead with ecstasy! The laughter of the child ringing in my ears, her hands having a free rein on the smooth polished surface of the wall. Oh! I reveled in the freedom and danced among the riotous colors. My bliss at the unending array of possibilities was overwhelming. Where would I go next? What would happen next? These questions hovered tantalizingly in the air… the possibilities were endless.
“Oh my God, the walls!” a harsh shriek cut me short, the crayon fell off the child hands, as she stared fearfully at its mother….
I awoke again, tempted by the churning ideas, million thoughts in the girls’ head. What can I write, the girl thought. My spirit was rejuvenated by her lively ideas….a half formed story, a poem….the possibilities were amazing!! The girl put her pen to paper and started giving me shape. I heaved a long contented sigh…. ah, release at last.
“Today’s essay will be on Raja Ram Mohan Roy. Please look at page 93 of your textbook and read the chapter, and write a detailed essay about his services to our country.”
I am in the humming of her wordless music…an off key beat….a suddenly inspired pirouette, a graceful unconventional twirl. And yet, “all these modern steps don’t impress me. You are here to learn so that you can have your arangetram soon. So start practicing hard.”
“What happened to new ideas?? Why are you so blank…come up with a creative solution- a beaten to death theme won’t help us make this deadline,” the boss walked away. The girl looked blankly at his retreating figure.
At the mention of me, I stirred and laughed hollowly. I am an empty shell, long deprived of the nourishment that I needed to survive. I am buried deep beneath the layers of regimentation, conventionality and inflexibility. No matter how hard I am searched, I remain elusive. My loss is reflected in the drabness of daily life, in the vacant stares of youth, in the dull existence of elderly.
The death of creativity is complete.