Window

Vermeer’s Room

Short Commentary
The Geographer by Vermeer.
[Source – Wikipedia]

The Geographer and the Astronomer were in the same room as Vermeer for it is in the front room, on the second floor of a spacious house, Vermeer’s mother-in-law’s house, that he produced most of his work.

One good room and in this one good room, a window (usually on the left), a table, chair, cupboard, stool, curtains, draperies, tapestries and a picture-within-a-picture maintained a position, steady, jolly, known, homely, oozing warmth that allowed the artist to mix the pigments well.

And in these two paintings, the two silent globes – a celestial globe with its terrestrial pair for in the 17th century globes were sold in pairs as a direct, neat, calculable link between astronomy and geography was thoroughly entertained – appear in full support of the two sharp owners, a trust built on daily encounters in the same room.

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The Astronomer by Vermeer.
[Source – Wikipedia]

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The Japonsche rocken/ Japanese kimono worn by the two scholars here add to the room’s mood and colour; more like precious gifts for a selected few – back then these were not for sale, but presented in batches only to the merchants who were allowed to visit the Imperial Court in Edo (Tokyo) – the robes then feature seriousness, persistence and also recognition.

Many feel that the Geographer and the Astronomer are the same person with some guessing him to be modelled after the Dutch scientist, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, who probably knew Vermeer.

The ultramarine, cyan shade that colours the two robes, derived from natural lapis lazuli, very expensive, deep, quietly presents the two scientists caught wondering, imagining, getting inspired by a source.

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The only supposed portrait of Jan Vermeer van Delft.
[Source – Wikipedia]

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And the artist painstakingly fine-tunes the details, adds layers, swirls and golden dots, folds, peaks and dips, floral touches, tiny tiles and shadowy walls, and signs the painting, sometimes signs it twice.

And the room, sitting patiently absorbing in light and darkness, also signs.

*


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Incomplete

Flash Fiction
Open the window and smile.
[Source – Pixabay]

Chantal didn’t finish the story. After gazing through the few lines that she had written, her search for a known voice abandoned her.

She sat near the window, still holding her pen, playing with it in a steady rhythm, Chantal thought of something and rushed back to her seat. She wrote in her notebook–

It appears as if the joy within

Knows nothing about the war within

And vice-e-versa

Pausing for a moment, she then closed her notebook with a rough jerk. Chantal got up and walked back towards the window, this time leaving the pen behind, letting it rest on the table.

Her gait reflected her confused, unsure, restless state of mind. Chantal took a deep sigh and then without giving it a thought, wrote the word ‘Incomplete’ on the windowpane; a hazy layer of fog on it allowed her to.

Chantal’s eyes fell on something interesting, something which was moving towards her house, she smiled. Her hand poked her cheek as she pondered over the matter.

Suddenly, she opened the window and shouted, ‘Hi, how are you? It has been so long…’

A muffled voice replied, it made Chantal laugh heartily.

A smiling Chantal then closed the window and ran towards the door, opened it and left. Her footsteps on the wooden floor made a fine music.


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Two Blind Crows

Ra-ra’s famous window story.
[Image from Pixabay]

Ra-ra: Why did the window go SHUT… who closed it SHUT… my question is just HOW?

Ra-ra’s friend Coo stays quiet, looking absolutely nowhere.

*

  Ra-ra: S-H-U-T shut, right when I was about to pick my share and leave…  

Coo: I believe you, it has been so many years since you first told me this story.

Ra-ra: (astonished) Many years you say, gone nuts…? It happened an hour ago.

Ra-ra: Coo, this ain’t the time to argue.

Coo: A while? He died ages ago.

Coo: You’re standing fine, 900 years have passed.

Ra-ra: 900? I have come flying from the west port of Oraffa city just now.

Coo: Oraffa city? Hah! Blind dreams!

Ra-ra: How dare you? I can see very well… you can’t, you blind ugly funny-sounding bad crow!

Coo: I said blind dreams… didn’t call you blind.

Ra-ra: Oh, oh-my, then let me apologise.

Coo: For what? We are blind, the world knows it. Yet…

Ra-ra: Blind we are, yes, yes… very much… (mumbles).

Coo: I’ll complete my sentence… yet we are still alive.

Ra-ra: (flaps wings) Death sentence, I have been given a death sentence and yet I am alive.

Coo: Cool-cool yourself Ra-ra. We are together in this.  

*

Ra-ra starts sobbing, mumbles again.

  Coo: I am turning left.

Ra-ra: (softly) Left?

Coo: Turned.

Ra-ra: Wait for me!

Coo: Can’t.

Ra-ra: I think I also turned left unless it is the right, or it is somewhere in the middle, who knows.

Coo: Not me.

Ra-ra: (laughs) You’re funny!  

*

Both Ra-ra and Coo stand quietly. Coo speaks after some time.

  Coo: Hey Ra-ra, you never told me your famous window story.

Ra-ra: I didn’t? How come?

Coo: That’s the truth.

Ra-ra: Well, then listen… the window was SHUT before I could pick my share… someone just closed it SHUT…

*

The two blind crows talked facing what they thought was the left.

*

Two Blind Crows
[Image by Santa3 from Pixabay]

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The Moon Talks

The moon’s blushing.
[Image from Pixabay]

In its stillness the moon shines poetically and travels through the same old route and reaches the very many hearts of its listeners.  

I believe in your dreams, your smiles and tears.  

The wavy mountains make a marvellous backdrop for the moon to become brighter, where it meets the eyes of a lone survivor.

I walk along; I follow wherever you go.  

Amongst the twinkling stars, the moon beams broadly and warmly at the free souls, the little ones.

Yes, you can do magic and hide me in your lotus fists.  

Deep, true brush strokes attempts to take the moon’s magic and pour it in a canvas.

I blush, yes, all the while.  

The night sky and the blue ocean together carry the moon’s palanquin, rhythmically and lovingly they move.

I take their colours and they take mine.    

A curtain draws, a window opens up and someone, in the serene peaceful moonlight, says a prayer.

And I say amen.

– Moon

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Papa and the Crimson Clouds

The huge tree under a crimson sky.
Image – Pixabay.

Papa said, ‘I am not a negative thinker’. I almost clapped in approval, but then I saw him drinking at 9:45 in the morning. I dared to speak and I did, reminding him of the 80% blockage in one of his arteries. Gulp! ‘No negative thinking’, he advised me.  

His red eyes and newly ignited soul went into the garden to work. After a few hours, I checked the fresh hairstyle of the garden, it was almost bald. Papa said, ‘Plants should grow this way’.

Which way you must be thinking? Whichever way Papa wants to grow it, you fool. He replied so, I am just quoting it.  

My sense of understanding is weak; I am the wrong person to walk left when the right is right.

I am also stupid if I don’t remind Papa, thrice, that he wanted to drink tea, which invariably loses all its piping hotness and turns dead cold by the time he returns from the garden.  

Kindly ask everyone in the street not to stare at me. So what if I look like an outgrown, zigzag tree, my Papa will prune me.

I have the whole life’s agenda, second wise, installed in my brain. I am to wake up early every day and run to the office, work and be good in it and come back home to get recharged for the next day.  

Every hour I am to be alert; I am allowed even to worry about security. I again dared and asked Papa, ‘Security from what?’ ‘That thing… that… something…’ he said.

I understood zilch about it. Patience please, I am a slow learner.  

Every minute of the hour, I am to relish the complexities of the present. It is to be like the dogs, they are so cute and hold only one feeling at a moment – hunger, aggression, love or anxiety.

I reluctantly told Papa about my opinion. He laughed and then shooed me away like a dog is shooed away.  

For your benefit, I am sharing that it is not a wise thing to do. Homo sapiens sapiens can do better. I have read so in a book. Of course, I didn’t say a word about it to Papa. Do you think I am stupid? Ha!  

Every second of every minute, I am to remain lost in whatever shit crazy thing I am doing. This will result in an unhealthy body, but a good position and a reasonable flat after a few years travail.

I am a middle-class being, this means to me what nirvana means to that mad ascetic I once met.  

Do you know what the ascetic told me? He asked me to sit under a huge tree, pointing in the jungle’s (point decimal of what is left) direction. That’s it!

What am I supposed to do there alone, I shouted behind him and he shouted back, ‘Think’.  

Confused, I asked Papa about it one day – a day that showcased crimson clouds from the window. He didn’t say a word.

Crimson clouds. Image Pixabay.

I looked at the crimson clouds once again. Then I stared at Papa. I didn’t know there were four clocks in his room, one on each wall, until that day. I was sweating when Papa suddenly opened his eyes and asked me to get some water for him. He coughed badly.  

He is coughing badly right now. From that day the crimson clouds haven’t left the window. I mostly stay near Papa and only occasionally go to sit under that huge tree.


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Failed Successfully

View from the window…
[Source – Pixabay]

Sitting by the window and watching the wind do its customary dance, Kent wrote a line in his diary and stopped. The line said, ‘I failed again.’ Dry leaves and twigs joined the wind hesitatingly…a bit shy but tending. Kent took a sip of his hot coffee. He flailed the pen in his hand and then began to write-

Again. I try and then I fail. I wonder how I have reached so far when all I can do is to fail. I sink low every time and it becomes difficult to make a comeback. The sympathy, the taking my side, the hiding my faults…I hate when people do this to me. It hurts me more. But I am the reason of the burden I am carrying.

After another sip, Kent again checked the rendition. He couldn’t hear it clearly but was sure about the charming song that the wind played. Huge trees rhymed along, they were so great yet so modest; nature knows some marvellous secrets that make it awe-inspiring.

I have nothing to say anymore. I wish I could visit Mrs Graceland’s house, the backyard and the trail that led to the jungle and the brook with leaves and twigs wafting in it.

If only I could sit there for some time alone. My heart would pour itself in the brook and I am positive that I could then breathe without feeling the knots. The jungle, the brook they don’t know that I have failed. They will not demand any answers nor will they console me. I will be with them and they’ll welcome me.

But with time things start eluding and you feel silent, empty and helpless; a mere bystander.

Kent’s sigh sounded heavy and blue. He searched for something in his room and finding it his eyes rested upon it; a wall clock that made him conscious and humble. He lost himself for some time. Coming back he looked at his diary and wrote-

I think I have failed in putting my thoughts in words. I am sorry dear diary. I think I should just stop writing and….

A green leaf in autumn.
[Image by Jagriti Rumi]

At this moment he found a leaf knocking on his window. He stared for few minutes waiting for it to fly away but it didn’t. He stretched his hand reluctantly and opened the window.

Taking the leaf in his hand Kent watched the scene and without waiting for his permission the wind touched his face and made his hair dance. A smile came on his face naturally.

The power of the wind amazed him, the music enthralled him; he could feel the spirit, the liveliness that was abundant in nature. Peeking through his window Kent stood for long in that position unaware of the clock, the pen, the diary, the leaf and himself.

It was getting dark. He forced himself to shut the window. With nature you don’t know when the time passes and if you happen to know you wish it to go slow.

Sitting back on his chair and before he could finish his diary entry, he examined the leaf in his hand. It was green. It was autumn. It was a message. Life loves to live. Who loves life lives…happily.

Kent finished his diary entry.

I can’t believe myself but I am going to try again, maybe I’ll fail again. It doesn’t matter. I’ll never stop walking because I never know what is there for me on the next turn. I am going to die one day, I don’t want to die before that.

Cheers to the green leaf!

Kent  


And now, listen to Vashti Bunyan’s album Just Another Diamond Day, this is one of Kent’s favourite tracks, one that he listened to after finishing his diary entry –


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