Saturday, April 09, 2005

How Chandrahasan Nair stopped writing...

It is not clear when Chandrahasan Nair accquired the talent, so it is widely believed that he was born with it.
Critics have speculated about the source of the magical-genius of the writer, but the amazing fact of the case was simple: Anything Chandrahasan Nair wrote came true. In some corner of this wide world, the characters of his story played out their roles, in just the manner he fancied for them.
Chandrahasan had known this even before the world caught on. And he was clever enough to capitalise on it early. Small nasty things would happen to classmates who bullied him, disabling them temporarily. Encouraged by the astounding success over writing up an impossible punishment for Balan teacher who had failed him in mathematics, (the teacher woke up one morning to find his lips sewn together inexplicably), Chandrahasan dared to influence
matters- small and large- in his little village in Palakkad. He even willed publishers to find him. They did. And came in droves.
The world, slowly, caught on. He became an enigma, a riddle, a godman, a seer, a charlatan, a king-maker, why even, God! Devout Hindu readers even dared to equal him with the Creator, calling him "Brahmahasan." Politicians and businessmen from all parts of the country flocked to him, urging him to write their futures into power, glory and prosperity.
But the man who had made the universe's tongue wag both ways, was now pacing restlessly among the banana stems growing in the backyard of his home. With one end of his white dhoti clutched nervously between his lips, he was absent mindely shredding the green leaves of the banana shoots, as he walked.
"Eda, Monne!" The shrill cry tore into Chandrahasan muddled mind and stopped him in his tracks. As it usually did. "Have you gone mad? Why are you ruining those leaves. I was going to use them for the feast to night. Tch! Now, you just have to write up some leaves for us..."
Chandrahasan sighed! This was precisely what frustrated him. The world did not know, but he knew that he wrote only what his mother wanted him to write; that his power was inextricably linked to his mother's whims and fancies. For fifty years, he found himself being suffocated by the mind of his mother, even as he remained wound around her stub little finger.
For her, he had written wealth, banana groves, palatial bungalows, cardamom plantations, why, even the death of a few men and women who had become incovenient to the businessmen and politicians who flocked to seek his favour. As they plied him with money and urged him to write a particular tale, his mother would wait surreptitously in the shadows of the room, listening, calculating. After they left, he wrote the stories she bade him to. Making lives, giving some, and yes, taking many.
He was tired of it. Of his mother, the control she had over his life, the crimes she made him commit, the splendid isolation of both their lives. It had to end, he told himself, chewing the tip of his greying moustache.

* * *

That night at the feast, thrown in honour of a few Communist politicians, Amme sat at the tail of the table, silently listening, calculating, eating her favourite fish curry heartily. Suddenly, without warning, she clutched at her throat, choking and gagging. As she spluttered, she looked wildly for her son, for rescue. Chandrahasan Nair was sitting at the head of the table, a small smile curving up his lips, making him seem almost evil.

* * *

After the 13th day ceremony was over, Chandrahasan Nair sat down to write, again. He found he could not even will the lizard to fall off its perch on the wall. He realised that nothing he wrote would come true again.
Not that he minded, though.

My attempt at story-writing after AGES. Thanks to errors with Blogger, I had to write this nearly five times. :)



Blogger Mahadevan said...

A great attempt. For a second, I wondered whether I was reading Kafka.

1:22 pm


Post a Comment

<< Home