Thursday, October 2, 2008

FOR THE CHILD OF HAPPINESS!

It’s been years since I’d stopped looking at faces- stopped recognizing them. Faces- good, bad, not good, not bad; however they may be, they made me feel bewildered. I was always in a muzzy- nebulous wreck, once I started looking into the faces.

I had settled myself for the legs. I recognized each leg I’ve ever worked on. Day and night, I looked at those legs, those shoe clad feet. I worked on them.. I loved them.

But I worked not for the pleasure that I felt in touching the crisp wafers of currency. No. It doesn’t seem credible, but I work for the mere smile that I get when I see my hands work wonders on those dusty shoes that walk nowhere! I feel happy when my hands work swiftly- right to left to right; over those shoes- black or brown.

Those shoes were of all sorts. Big- fat ones, long- thin ones, flat ones, pointed ones, those that did not fit in those wrong legs, and those worn- only to make others jealous. But whatever type they might be- I worked on them- until I saw them give me a glowing smile.

All days of the week, I worked. The sweat which rest on the tip of my nose, as my eyes drilled on the movement of my hands- evaluating the perfection of my job, knew that they were born out of a man who was happy. They were our children- I, the father and my work- the mother.

A man is happy in his life, as long as his wife keeps him happy. I had two wives- my work and Shanti. And they both made me happy. I earned just enough to run our family and keep us smiling. Shanti too, never wanted for more- not ever. She had learned to read my thoughts and resonate with my smile. And I had learned to smile, when she wanted one from me!

For the past few days, I felt that she wanted less of my smiles. Something had changed. She had changed. She felt weak- and the more she tried to hide it from me, the more it was conspicuous. I decided to take her to the doctor.

Shanti had to be admitted in the hospital. I needed money. We had managed to save a little. But more was needed.

I now worked for the pleasure of feeling the crisp wafers of currency. My sweat was not my child of happiness- it was only the price for my labour. There was so much to do. And there was never enough time. I felt pressured and hassled all day, everyday, seven days a week. And each day, was a day long of drudgery- a struggle to succeed in a deadly game with fate. And in this wrestle, I must win- to save a soul who had only lived to see me smile. And my defeat would only mean that, my smile would be gone.

The pleasure that I got to see my hands move swiftly over the shoes, were no longer pleasure. I had learned to work without passion. I had learned to live like many others- an ordinary humdrum life- devoid of smile but a rage to win; devoid of passion but a compulsion to earn. I was a man- of the Earth!

She was going to be alright. She smiled at me after days of agony. A smile, which relieved her of all her agony. A smile- that left her eyes devoid of light, yet she kept smiling- as though she could never stop smiling- as though she could do nothing else anymore- not fight anymore- and not suffer anymore- but smile and only smile..

It’s been years since I’d stopped looking at faces- stopped recognizing them. I had settled myself for the legs. Day and night, I looked at those legs, those shoe clad feet. I worked for the smile that stayed with me, forever. A smile- and just a smile. But for the smile- Shanti was only a vegetable. And as my first child of happiness- left me- I worked to see my hands work forever- swift from left to right to left to right to left…

54 comments:

dreamer said...

excellent!! loved it!!

Matangi Mawley said...

@ dreamer..

thnk u!

deepsat said...

beautiful!! enjoyed reading it!

;-))

Kartz said...

Too good..! Just... too good!

Peace.

Matangi Mawley said...

@ deepsat..

thnk u!

Matangi Mawley said...

@ kartz..

thnk u! :)

Think Tank said...

omg!!!!! that was just too good ... v hardly ever luk at the shoemaker ..wonderful how u captured d feeling

Priya said...

What a recognition to those people who keep on polishing to make those shoes shiny and beautiful. Its hard but its the final paper which mkaes them happy to eat and live.

preeti said...

thought arousing read. penned down beautifully.

Ramanathan Palaniappan said...

very well written...highlights the plight of the protagonist without sensationlising the povery surrounding him...

Matangi Mawley said...

@think tank..

thnk u!

Matangi Mawley said...

@ priya..

tht s true :) thnks..

Matangi Mawley said...

@preeti..

thnk u!

Matangi Mawley said...

@ palaniappan..

thnk u! :)

Arjun said...

Nice... Well written..!!

Cheers..!!
Arjun

Richa said...

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Blog Editor – SiliconIndia
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ANWESA said...

poignant!!

RiverSoul said...

A beautiful post. Moving and painfull too, but strangely, a rewarding experience.
Bravo, Matangi
:)
Ps
Blog updated

Matangi Mawley said...

@arjun..

thnk u!

Matangi Mawley said...

@ richa..

ll chk tht out..!

Matangi Mawley said...

@anwesa..

thnk u!

Matangi Mawley said...

@river soul..

thnk u! :) ya.. ll chk it out..

Praveen said...

nice piece of writing!refreshing.
loved it
do u mind being blogrolled?

Matangi Mawley said...

@praveen..

thnk u! .. :) not at all! :)

Anahat said...

i like the poignancy... but may i say it sounds far more romantic than it is.. the ride and read is quite flawless though... nice...

humbl devil said...

hmmm...well witten...
but could have changed the part about the paralysis...death would have been more appropriate...

Matangi Mawley said...

@anahat..


thnk u!

Matangi Mawley said...

@ humble devil...

thnk u! i did think of death first.. bt it ll b too predictable- one. then, he must have a purpose to continue working..

this was a contest entry for a short story community in orkut.. theme was- hectic life. and so, this ending suited the most!

Mann said...

You have captured and described perfectly the realistic and subtle moments of life through cobbler as protagonist!! His profession appeared as important as it would have been had you picked-up an IT professional as protagonist!!!!
That I must say is like professional in writing!! Keep it up!!

I wonder if I can ever ask for a better presentation than this.

rampantheart said...

Very well written, Matangi. The images you use along with , speak out loud.

Tara said...

Beautiful. Truly :)

Matangi Mawley said...

@mann

thnk u!

Matangi Mawley said...

@rampant heart..

thnk u!

Matangi Mawley said...

@tara..

thnk u!

nikkita said...

hey...awesome..it was a splendid read...

"I had settled myself for the legs. I recognized each leg I’ve ever worked on. Day and night, I looked at those legs, those shoe clad feet. I worked on them.. I loved them."

wow wat a decription gurly...

\,,/ u rock..

blog updated hope to cya soon!!

lv:nickku

Amber Light said...

As ever beautifully written. Very very sad. You know the most beautiful thing about the way you write is that I never ever get the feeling that I am reading you. The character speaks directly to me.
Keep writing :)

Matangi Mawley said...

@nkkita..

thnk u! :) ya.. wd chk tht out soon!

Matangi Mawley said...

@ amber light..

thnk u! :) i m so flattered!

Emaan said...

AWESOME
and very very touching !
mom loved it too..
my first visit here, and i like it !

Matangi Mawley said...

@emaan..

:) thnk u so much! :)

Alok said...

I dunno how to react. The story makes me sad, yet the protagonist strength of will makes me feel inspired. Argh, Happiness...

Awesome flow and great theme. :)

Matangi Mawley said...

@alok..

thnk u! :)

I'll try 2 be truthful said...

hey matangi , i don't know if i can ever write as beautifully as u do , expressing every feeling your characters feel , but right now u do write things that touch one's heart

Matangi Mawley said...

@ i ll try to b truthful...

thnk u!

sourav said...

you write in a very passionate manner..i learn a lot from you when i read your blog..the description of character and his thoughts are wonderfully written

could you please give me the url of your blog?

sourav said...

you write in a very passionate manner..i learn a lot from you when i read your blog..the description of character and his thoughts are wonderfully written

could you please give me the url of your blog?

sourav said...

you write in a very passionate manner..i learn a lot from you when i read your blog..the description of character and his thoughts are wonderfully written

could you please give me the url of your blog?

Matangi Mawley said...

@sourav..

thnk u! sure... it is allsettodonothing.blogspot.com

Priyanka Agrawalla said...

Hi Mathangi...
am new to your blog.... its too too gud yaar... very lovable... am very much glad about how u take things, how u observe them and the way u portray them is fantastic, excellent....
superb yaar... u have got a very gud gift...n making us feel...am happy tht i got ur site..

keep up..

Matangi Mawley said...

@ priyanka..

thnk u! :) m so happy tht u like it!

Sandeep Balan said...

wow...amazing read...captured so beautifully...."I had learned to live like many others- an ordinary humdrum life- devoid of smile but a rage to win; devoid of passion but a compulsion to earn. I was a man- of the Earth!"....just a single incident can turn your life upside down...such is life...unpredictable...well written...cheers matangi!!

Matangi Mawley said...

@ sandeep..

thnk u so much !!! :)

shankey said...

dat was really well written...
very neat writing technique....
very interesting........

Matangi Mawley said...

@sankey..

thanks!

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