Are you mad? What the hell you are doing? You got any sense or not?” The Old Man of the Attic came down upon me.
“Relax Thomas, it’s a good opportunity. People crave for it. I don’t see why I must let it go.” I explained in continuation to the fact that I was getting a good offer from an automobile firm to be a part of their Finance team and I was leaving my job at The Publishing House.
“How can you let go writing Papermate? Isn’t that what you wanted to do throughout? And now when you are being acknowledged you want to be a business honcho selling cars and scooties. Rubbish. You are baffling me you rat. You are a stupid irony I have ever seen.” He was unstoppable.
“Yes it was my dream Thomas….to write…to be called a writer…a poet…but I feel I am missing out on so many things to fulfil this dream…..I …”
“All in vain! All in vain were our meetings. I thought I made some sense to you but I realise I was just a futile dog…barking over cups of coffee.
You got no idea Papermate what you are doing. I wish you realise it before or realise it never. For if you do realise that later, it will surmount you with horrendous guilt which my friend, I don’t want you to incur.”
“See I can write anytime. Isn’t it? If I have it in me.” I tried to defend.
“You know Papermate….our dreams are our soul’s babies. Ever saw a woman with a baby? She protects it…come what may. What is your soul? Bequeathing them when they are about to start walking? God dammit you will never be happy. Do you understand? Do you understand that if you give up on your dream you shall never be happy? You may have a bungalow, a limo and the prettiest of the mermaids around but you shall be a sad soul within. And no money can heal a sad soul Papermate. Your dream is your calling buddy. It’s your soul that always etched to be ever since you came into this world. And now when the times are testing your passion, you are deaf to your soul.”
He continued in so convincing baritone.
“Patience Papermate. Don’t give up. Don’t kill your child. I have seen your writings and you write terrible as it could be. But you know what? I see truth of your soul in them. The reflection of your thoughts. World might fail to see that in your eyes but one day when it reads you, it will know your worth. And how does it matter if it doesn’t? You got to do what you got to do anyway buddy. Remember Papermate, there is nothing tragic than a sad rich man. Don’t be a tragedy my friend. Don’t betray your soul.”
“Hmm…..I’ll think Thomas. I must go now.” And I left.
Coming back to my flat I sat on my writing desk and saw my pens and sheets. I recalled how jubilant I was when I read my first poem to my mother in class 7. She had hugged me and smiled. I recalled all my write ups that my friend read willingly or unwillingly and cheered me despite my imperfections. I recalled how I wrote poems to cheer my own soul in solitude when my world had toppled. I recalled the desperation in Thomas’ eyes while pursuing me to continue writing.
I knew I could survive with the money I got from The Publishing House. But it was one grueling night that broke me and made me at the same time. By dawn, I knew what had to be done. I went to my bed, hugged my pillow and said to it-
“I won’t kill my child. I won’t bequeath my dream.”
I slept. I had woken up.
Papermate is just another face from the maddening crowd.
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