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     *****SHAPING THE IDEAS–PART 3*****

                                                                                               *****SHAPING THE IDEAS–PART 3*****
Facebook is one of the lousy platform for posting articles. I wonder how it became so popular.
I was trying to include here the links to the previous parts but I am sorry to say that doing that just confuses their software which makes garbage of the whole article. So far I have not copied my posts on my own website, but I think from now on I will do that and I will like to invite you to visit there to see the difference between an article as it appears here and on another writing platform, which is purely for the pleasure of reading and writing.
The stage was set, the mind was fired up and the tools had been ordered. There was no dearth of raw material. In fact, as I said, it was slowly rotting- crying for help, if you may like me to put it figuratively or let me coin a word “phrasically” speaking, and you accept my dare to use a word that is not there to understand the strong desire that propelled me. You may even ignore the wrong words that I use to construct the sentences because when the thoughts flow like lava, there is no time for me to care about diction.
The place for work that I had chosen was a quiet corner, away from the prying eyes and nagging comments for my wife whom I call Smart Sulekhika in my narratives. For the lack of my ability to think of another moniker, I stick to one I gave to her some fifteen years ago when I started posting my stories at a website named Sulekha. It’s not that I don’t have words or ideas to describe her but well what is wrong with this? She is smart, smarter than me if you let me choose myself as some sort of a benchmark, and well Sulekhika once again is not exactly a correct word but it is a coined word that conveys the meaning that she may be a writer herself or wife of a writer and that everyone will readily understand. It’s like the word “Andolanjeevi” that Mr. Narendra Modi used recently in one of his speeches. It wasn’t a word until then, but everyone understood who he was referring to when he used it.
He may not have coined this word, but whosoever did that is a smart neologist. I see a red crinkled line under this word too, so I have to check if this is still included at least in the oxford dictionary or not, because I don’t think this will get included in the dictionary backing support that the old Word software that I am using on my old laptop searches to decide whether to put a crinkled red line under a word or not. Who cares! for Word when playing with the ‘words’ is something that one enjoys?
But then, the Engineer in me had taken control of my heart. It egged on me to put my skills to use before they could rust. Now, let me say without an iota of pride because this world is teeming with Chief Engineers like it is with ants. I was a Chief Engineer on the ship and not a Carpenter that such a desire should have taken hold over my aging body and slowing mind. But there’s some unsettled emotion at the bottom of the heart of every engineer, that he can.
It doesn’t let him rest. Like the dregs sitting at the bottom of a teacup, if reused can contribute what is left in them to another cup of tea, but only that Chaiwala on the street knows that, can do that. When an engineer has to get down to doing things, he will either do them properly or not do them at all. Every carpenter needs something which in local parlance is called “adda”. It means a workstation. Putting in simple words, he should have a sturdy table where he can fix his ‘job’ which in technical terms is the workpiece. See, I have to use some technical terms to give you a good feel of the depth of my Engineering knowledge so that you feel as comfortable as I was when toying with the idea of trying my hands on carpentry for keeping myself busy post my self chosen retirement, but Smart Sulekhika was not comfortable with it.
In fact, as a matter of policy, she is not comfortable with anything I decide to do and it means ‘anything.’ She doubts my ability. Actually, the time of using this adjective ‘doubt’ about the ability if the husband is appropriate only in the initial years of marriage. Now, after forty years of having lived together, using such a word for describing the turmoil in the mind of someone whose byname includes a forceful “adjective” smart, would be a kind of anomaly. So, there is no doubt in her mind about my ability. She is confident of my inability and that’s why she starts showing a degree of discomfort every time I decide to take up a new venture.
The first-floor terrace, therefore, was a place chosen by me after careful consideration because, she was very unlikely to come and threaten to stop me from investing my time and effort in my new found interest, but the regular arrival of tools through online delivery couldn’t escape her notice and with each arrival, her eyebrows were scaling new highs and here facial expression was getting a shade darker. Now, using this term for describing the complexion of a fair woman is unfair, but I have to say as it is said. It started from being unsettled to angry to livid and was nearing to being pissed off. Well, that’s somewhat unrefined, so let me use hopping mad to describe the state of her mind. But there was a remarkable calmness on her face or was it the lull before the storm, I had failed to notice because, I was and I still am poor at reading the barometer of her temper, till the howling storm is heard by the whole neighbourhood. It is not my fault really because besides being hard of hearing I am a dimwit too.
I decided to use our old dining table, but moving it to the first-floor terrace couldn’t have been a secret operation and besides, I would have needed the help of at least three other men to move it, so I rejected it outright. There was an old discarded stand of an air cooler lying unused. I put a section of a board in its frame to use is an improvised work table, but because it had wheels attached to it, it moved with every movement, when I worked with the tools. But carpentry requires a lot of precision work and the worst thing about it is that like in tailoring, a wrong cut would mean ending up with a lot more scrap. You can do nothing but repent.
There was another piece of discarded structure, which had surprisingly been spared by the termites but the carpenters that I had employed for renovation work, being true to their reputation had little to do with old discarded parts. They didn’t even look at those. That’s why in the first instance I was left with such a lot of material, my heart ached to call as scrap and my eyes welled up, every time I passed by. They were all lying stacked up and leaning against the wall. One day a sudden commotion at the dead of the night outside my bedroom brought to me the haunting memories of Chudails of Shimla, but dementia had put it off my mind quickly.
After some days when I was walking up and down the terrace planning about how best to use the wood, I saw some feathers of a pigeon scattered about. I asked the maid to move the boards and to my horror, I found the sad story of the murder of one poor bird which might have taken shelter in the recess formed between the boards and the wall. The poor creature couldn’t escape the reach of a cat the marauding predator that pounced upon it at night and made a meal of it. Does man have a role to play in the grander plans of God? I couldn’t say but I wasn’t able to absolve myself of the feeling of having committed a sin-a feeling that lingered for a long time in my thoughts.
A strong urge that had surged in me became an obsession, so severe that you could term it as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. In fact, it was a cry for the attention of the creative impulse that resides in my heart. Perhaps, if my writings had got me some appreciation, it might not have manifested itself in this newer avatar. As a friend acquainted me with the word Schadenfruede after having had a good taste of it, I thought that the people who rejoice over your failures are far more than those who take pleasure in your achievements.
But howsoever contrasting tastes Smart Sulekhika may have from mine, her nature to resist anything new that I try to indulge in is rooted in her fear over the pain that possible failure in my pursuit will cause me. Maybe it is her way of expressing her love. Perhaps I have a sadistic streak in me that doesn’t let me learn from my failures.

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Navneet Bakshi

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Ushasurya
1 month ago

after seeing all that stacked wooden sheets I am waiting to see the end product:: May be you could have “muskafied ” Sulekhika with some nice small kitchen cabinet first to win appreciation from the unexpected quarter !! And of course continued with your passion :)))
Looking forward to Part 4 :))

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