Killing a small sparrow.
Love is like a small sparrow that refuses to die. You can’t starve her. You cannot catch her; you cannot allure her; you cannot mislead her - she’s too smart for your clever tricks. She’s stupid enough at times, yes. And she is ever ready to give up her life (I will get to this later). But if she is hellbent on not-dying, you cannot kill her.
Or so said the conventional wisdom. At this juncture in my life, the sparrow ought to be killed. Not just killed, but exterminated with no trace left. Someone’s telling me that the sparrow could be a phoenix is disguise. A feather left here or there, one tiny claw missed in disposal and she’ll spring back to life. I must kill this small sparrow for once and for all. And killed it must be, in the most brutal manner possible.
I am thinking about shooting her. I am also thinking about strangling her. I am also thinking about sending for help from the butcher’s. Poison her milk may be? Feed her grains that will take twenty-nine fortnights to digest? So that even when they pull out her dead body from the bushes, some of these grains will be still stuck to her backbone.
This sparrow should die and killed it must be. Not just killed, but in the most brutal manner possible.
If you look at it, you’ll see that this sparrow is a bridge. A bridge to another world where lies the greatest treasure of my life. But the writ from that side is well and clear. The sparrow must die. And killed it must be in the most brutal manner possible.
I mean, it is easy to kill a small sparrow. I need no assurance. You need no assurance. It is easy to kill this small sparrow that is love. One ingenious idea is to cut off the contact between us. By us, I mean, the two disparate worlds connected by this sparrow of course. The writ from other world did mention this, I must admit. But if killing this sparrow was that easy, why would that world ask me to do it?
Aren’t you, my dear reader, smart enough to pick up this pattern? If the sparrow is a bridge, a bridge that needs to be demolished, why am I the one who should do the dirty business? I am not that keen on giving up the greatest treasure of my life. These different worlds distrust each other, for the sudden shift in this universe that brought them closer. There has been a lot of suspicion and misunderstanding. Last ten eventful days was, to say the least, was unbelievable. Can the word “phantasmagoria” do justice to the commotion that marked them? I am not sure. What transpired was beyond even my wildest imagination - I should confess.
What is life, but an endless well from which the pitcher of fiction tries to draw from? The pitcher could be leaky or poorly designed. This leads to stories that fail to capture the vividness of life. A lot of information is lost in translation, they say. While my mind was occupied with the singular mission of eliminating this sparrow, it did occasionally wander. What kept me busy was the thought about the shape of this pitcher that was fiction. It shouldn’t break when it touch life - for life is known to be corrosive and has broken many tough men and women. Life is impregnable, but incredibly soft around its most vulnerable edges. It stinks, but is odorless or even fragrant - depending upon which stretch you are looking at. Life is like a waterfall that flows upwards, an aircraft painted with sandpaper blues. A rocket in a pond, an eel in a frying pan - a wild quail trying to find its place in a kindergarten wall. This life of unkempt oddities that warp into serene plateaus of middle age. Of rivers of frustration that empties into seas of tranquilities - even if it entails a trip to moon and back. This is a life of lovers that don’t hesitate to love to the moon and back, soon it would be Mars that stand testimony to the delusions of enchanted lovers. But this life is strewn with broken hearts and promises. Such a terrible disgrace, this life is.
So how should this pitcher of fiction draw from the well that is life?
The smartest amongst you should know. The pitcher should readily dissolve in life. This corrosive life should assimilate the pitcher, save for its handle. So you should dip this lavender pitcher of fiction into this dark well of life. Life has small ripples constantly circulating over its surface. Our pitcher will slowly cut these waves, and as it sinks into life, it shall dissolve. Only the handle that you hold is spared. You let it rest for a while before you starting pulling it back. On the way back, the pitcher slowly reassembles itself. Atom by atom, molecule by molecule, the pitcher will reclaim itself from life. These tiny tidbits will swim back to recreate the body of our pitcher. As you pull it out of life, you have a different pitcher in your hand. This is how fiction tries to portray life, but fails miserably.
I wish she understood this. I am speaking to her. I understand, the sparrow should be killed. Lady love, will you listen to me! This is totally up to you. If I had my way, I will try to persuade you not to kill it. To my simple mind, this sparrow should live. You have put up all of your mind’s defences in place to eliminate this sweet creature. What for, I pray! I sincerely hope that you don’t end up hurting yourself. I know that your mind is agitated, so is mine. But don’t you see that this whole world is eternally in search of solace? If there is some truth in whatever small magic that we share, why don’t we let this sweet creature live? Why should we kill this small sparrow, when it could live long and we could take it to our own very graves?
But the other world is telling my aching ears that this sparrow must be killed. And killed it must be in the most brutal manner possible.
I am not killing it anyway. I hope it survives. For the magic should exist in this world. I cannot think otherwise, even when I think rationality is the best bet for (wo)mankind. I cannot kill magic. This sparrow should not die. Please rethink this, my dearest otherworld. Can’t you see that global warming is ruining this planet already? Why kill our little love that is left here? This island of warmth that could help us live? Why don’t we let this sparrow grow old with us so that we could take it to our own very graves? Why can’t we try fixing these broken people that are us? Why should life be miserable when we still have magic by our side?
I can’t beg for the life of this sparrow, for it will die anyway if you want it killed. But I pray that you think again. For we are too weak to bring back dead things to life. And once we have crossed this valley, there’s no coming back. Behind us, we’ll leave a dead sparrow, a pile of sorrows and the skeleton of an old owl that was magic. Whatever it is, I will accept it. I want you to think about your life, the people in it, me and this tiny sparrow. And see if all the pieces fall in place. I shall be there around the corner, just send for me.
You’ll think about this, won’t you? I love you.
__An excerpt from a book that I am writing. It is unnamed, unedited and may never see the daylight.