Are you upset?
Fed up of the rush?
Trying to escape?
Come and watch,
the evergreen show!!
I looked at that rundown poster again saw the crowd again. They didn’t care. Not at all. All they cared about was reaching somewhere… like me.
I reached home and realized another week has gone by. It was finally the weekend, the time when I can sleep peacefully without any disturb-
“Open up!!!” I woke up to a loud banging on my door. “Wake up, puta!” Puta, Spanish for son of a bitch, something we all picked from Narcos.
“What’s wrong?” I opened the door and she barged in.
“Who sleeps this late?”
“It’s SUNDAY! and it’s only 10am! Don’t be a Mom!”
“Shut up and get dressed.”
“Where are we going?”
“Somewhere fun.” I didn’t ask. I felt safe with her. Shreya was one of a kind. She was weird, beautiful, detached yet most caring person I knew.
“Seriously?” I was amazed at how dumb her idea was.
“You brought me all the way to look at the park?”
“You need some air” she said in a stern voice, “I know everything that’s going on with you, how you like sleeping not because it’s a necessity, but because it’s an escape. I know how you adore writing because it lets you stop time; makes you feel free, how you hate the daily monotone of life and how you hide behind humour. I’ve known you a long time, I guessed taking in the fresh air would be nice.” She just said it all.
I couldn’t say anything, I kept staring at the kids playing behind me.
What do you say? What are the words you seek? Do you say thank you? Or do you defy every truth? Do you laugh it off? Or do you just accept it?
I nodded and started walking..
The show awaits…
I stood on the street again, wondering whether to watch the show or not. It’s not like I had anything better to do.
“Where are you right now?” I called Shreya
“I’ll be there in 10 minutes, we have to catch a show.”
We drove to the venue
The entrance to the place was creepier than the venue itself. The poster left us with a lingering sense of curiosity. The rundown place looked as if it was manifested from a horror movie. It was late afternoon and it made Shreya feel nauseous.
A man at the entrance greeted us with a wide smile and asked us to get seated.
“No tickets?” I enquired.
“No sir. This is open for every commoner.” He smiled.
We entered the hall and Shreya clutched my arm as if I was a pivot.
We sat in the front row and waited for the show to begin.
“Welcome ladies and gentlemen.” An old man with a hoarse voice directed right at us took the centre stage. “Let us begin..”
A male protagonist entered the stage and the show began.
A huge door appeared and the music started on a slower pace and gradually increased with the play.
Male protagonist seemed very enthusiastic to open the door although he was a flop in every thing he did.
funniest scariest part was he tried a lot to gain access to the door, but the door didn’t budge. The door would open to other characters but just not him.
He tried, that was all he could do…
The other characters mocked him, made fun of him; he kept trying.
and apart from the fairy tale ending, the effort was in vain.
His enthusiasm was drained, he suddenly no longer wanted to get into the door. He wanted to get away but he was trapped in an endless cycle of trying.
I saw Shreya laughing through the comical moments; not understanding the irony.
And for me, I saw the reality engraved deeply. I saw myself in that character, endlessly banging on the door of success; to reach someplace higher.
I realized I was just a character in the play devised to mock such characters.
The show ended on a strange note.
“Hello?” I was curious to meet the protagonist.
“Ahh, welcome. Did you like the show?” He greeted me with a welcome gesture.
“Yes, I did.”
“Why did you name it, The puppeteer?”
“You see, this all? This play is just a performance and no matter how out of the box or how vivid your mind is, you are a part of a single plan.”
“The plan of the puppeteer.” He pointed above. “There’s a string to your head and you are just a part of vicious circle of mockery.
Also my nickname is The puppeteer.” he chuckled
“How do you plan to escape it?”
“Hahaha, I found love.” He smiled.
“Oh.. I tried but failed miserably.” I let out a mild chuckle.
“Then try again.” He smiled
“I have already. Numerous times.
I looked everywhere. Up and down, left and right, everywhere! I got nothing to show. I got nobody to look back. I tried.
And now, even if she’s in front of me..”
I sighed, looked at her,
“I won’t look.”
He didn’t speak. He looked at Shreya and said,
“People die and stories die with them, so make sure your story is alive..
Even if you don’t find love, cling to that story… It will be your anchor.”
“Ready to go?” I took her hand.
“Did you like the play?”
“Yeah. However I’m wondering what was behind the door.”
“Didn’t you get it?”
“No, stop laughing! What was it?”
“It was the ending.. Behind that door.. The character only wanted to reach the end.”