BECOMING DICKENS – Sahil Acharya April 19, 2012Posted by arnabbanerjee87 in After Dickens, Dickens 2012.
Tags: After Dickens, Creative writing competition, Dickens 2012
Saahil, though a native ofCalcutta, lives inBangalore, and spends most of his time struggling with the subjects of science. His spare time he devotes to thinking about the complexities of human existence and Nature, and trivial writing. On the 24th of December, 2011, he tuned into an adult, much against his wishes.
She was pretty. And the thing that struck me most was the proud nose she had. It was defiant, almost challenging, and when she looked at me, it hit me almost as a physical blow. The nose seemed to be angry at everything she looked at, but I could imagine her smile would turn the face around altogether. I was, therefore, hesitant to approach. None of the brilliant single-sentence greetings those chaps on television keep saying seemed viable. So I kept quiet, and watched. She had the air of one who knows herself to be superior in every respect to the ordinary populace. She stared into space with resoluteness, as if she were looking for any particle brave enough to come close. I wondered how often she had intimidated males just like myself. Perhaps, I found myself thinking, she had had a tragic childhood. Perhaps she had been brought up to hate all mankind. She maintained a stony silence throughout, though the sound of the bus and the traffic outside more than made up for it. Twice I caught myself clearing my throat, and both times the noise seemed too feeble to deserve the attention of such a perfect lady. The bus ground to a halt, she threw her hair back, got up, and walked away and out. I was left alone. I could only stare at the faint depressions she had made on the seat, and yearn. Such beings are evil, I remember thinking, to make ordinary folk as us think of ourselves as unworthy. None deserve to live with such as her, I almost said aloud, but for days afterward I could not stop dreaming of just that.
That night, I wrote about her. In the world of my words, she became a glorious queen- powerful, spiteful and cruel. She ruled over the hearts of many men, and let none touch her heart. Her kingdom was rich and powerful, and one day, she married. Her husband was an unfortunate young man, so enchanted by her beauty, so enamoured by her loveliness, that he forgot all, and gave her his kingdom. The beautiful queen laughed at the poor prince afterward, as she told him of her real intentions one day as they walked in the garden. The prince was a sensitive man, and he was so “humiliated, hurt, spurned, offended, angry, sorry”, that tears started to his eyes. He held them back, but the queen looked at him with delight for being the cause of them.
It was then, as I wrote, that I realized that in the pretty girl in the bus, I had found my Estella. And accompanying this realization was the second, more obvious one- I was Pip. In the mysterious mind, myriad tales are spun everyday, and ordinary people acquire personalities and facets more varied and exaggerated than any in real life. As I sat writing about my Estella, I understood the process by which I was, temporarily, becoming Dickens.