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Double take on a quick tale - 6

Apu's story

The short life of a fish

Last night I dreamt that I had morphed into a fish. I swam around a rectangular tank, my sleek propeller body cutting through the water. Point A to B and Point C to D and Point A to B. What is life, if not this endless repetition of hours, days and years? I asked myself rhetorical questions to which there was no answer, and spent my time pondering over the nature of God and the wisdom of his or her existence. I deigned to accept my fate, I rebelled against the laws of nature, I tossed about frantically between these two extremes. I worshipped Darwin, I claimed the Hand of God. And while I was doing all of this, a big hand entered the water and pulled me up, gasping, rasping. I woke up on the kitchen tale, just before the knife sliced me in two.

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The short life of fish (my version)

Last night I dreamt that I'd morphed into a fish. My piscine alter ego was prone to a lot of idle pondering. Like wondering about the point of life. Musing about the origin of species. And ruminating over rise of real estate prices. Pointless contemplation, as I pointed out earlier. But then, what was a fish to do all day? I tried to rebel for a while. But it's not as if a fish can dye her gills pink or pierce her tail. Plus where would I find a tattooist in my 2x2 fish tank? So I simply thrashed about trying to look cool.

Which was when a hand came in and grabbed me by the tail. It scooped me out and laid my writhing body on the kitchen counter. Wait, I screamed. This is a dream! I resisted but the hands that held me down were strong. I saw a knife being sharpened. Don't chop me up, please! It was futile. I was growing weak. And my pleas were getting feeble. I don't want to become sushi! My system was shutting down. For heaven's sake, don't feed me to the dogs! No chance. I watched in horror as the shining metal came slamming down on me.

I hope you like your curry today

Comments

MSK said…
This one is good. Apu's version of the story is crisper. The ending is also short and sweet unlike the original. Btw. is it “kitchen tale” are “kitchen table” if it is second then it is thoughtful.
Mahadevan said…
Apu has certainly put in efforts to improve upon the original with a fair amount of success.

I wish the last line " I hope you like your curry today" had not been there. Ammani would not have written such a line.

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Bio-data

Married for 31 years, 2 months and 17 days
Six cups coffee a day, brewed everyday of marriage
Three meals a day,
At least two dishes cooked, each meal-time
One snack for every Sunday
Big basket of clothes ironed every Tuesday
Average 18 items of clothing washed per day
Three children
1 miscarriage
One mother-in-law suffered
900 sq metre of floor space mopped, once a day
One caesarean endured
3 chicken poxes, 2 measles, 2 fractures, 8 diarrhoeas, depression, conjunctivitis every summer, 1 tonsilitis and countless common colds and flues
1 job held for 29 years
6 hours slept every night
Sex tolerated every 2nd week
Religious rituals everyone of them, carried out
Not one of them, believed in
Lived 52 years and some
Died exhausted

Overheard, “At least she had the satisfaction of having lived for her family”


http://jikku.blogspot.com/2005/02/quick-tale-3.html#c111042815438237631

The Saturday Poem

Found this in yesterday's paper. Again, I wish I'd written it.

-a

Now and Then

"Now that I'm fifty-seven",
My mother used to say,
"Why should I waste a minute?
Why should I waste a day

Doing the things I ought to
Simply because I should?
Now that I'm fifty-seven
I'm done with that for good."

But now and then I'd catch her
Trapped in some thankless chore
Just as she might have been at
Fifty-three or fifty-four

And I would say to her
(And I have to bite my tongue)
That if you mean to learn a skill
It's well worth starting young

And so, to make sure I'm in time
For fifty, I've begun
To do exactly as I please
Now that I'm thirty-one.

-Sophie Hannah

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