It was thought that the gods blew on creative people, who would then inhale the god's breath and have an idea. This is the premise of "inspiration": inhaling divine breath and ideas.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Shakespeare Wallah

The past seemed to unwind in front of her eyes, she felt the ground beneath her feet shake for a while. The burden of the past seemed to flow from her body into the earth and hit her back with double the intensity. As Kamala stood firmly holding the letter in her hand, she felt a sudden urge to collapse into a chair. Time flies. But she realized that time 'tries' at first and then flies. How she longed to turn the hour glass back so that she could un-do everything she did! As she settled down in the arm chair, her daughter's voice lingered in the background 'Amma, I am waiting from such a long time.....'. She looked at the letter for one last time. The handwriting was strikingly familiar. She had no two minds about who wrote it. There was only one question that haunted her. 'Why so late?' The letter read:

Dearest Kamala,

Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,
So do our minutes hasten to their end;
Each changing place with that which goes before,
In sequent toil all forwards do contend.
Nativity, once in the main of light,
Crawls to maturity, wherewith being crown'd,
Crooked elipses 'gainst his glory fight,
And Time that gave doth now his gift confound.
Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth
And delves the parallels in beauty's brow,
Feeds on the rarities of nature's truth,
And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow:
And yet to times in hope my verse shall stand,
Praising thy worth, despite his cruel hand.


I wish to see you one last time before I die. Please grace me with the last desire and free me from all mortal bondage! Waiting for you at the railway station. 18/07/08

(Shakespeare Wallah)

She began to recite the sonnet again 'And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow:
And yet to times in hope my verse shall stand'
with a voice which was so muffled that her daughter thought she was talking to herself. Vandana cried to her 'Amma what's wrong?' Kamala was shaken she quickly folded the letter and hid it under the table cloth and turned to her twenty year old daughter. 'Nothing, I was just feeling a little tired. Come, I will serve you dinner' she said and led her daughter to the dining area. They had dinner silently. Her daughter was busy with the mobile phone. 'She is propbably sending text messages to Ashish her boy friend' thought Kamala to herself. And again her mind slipped into past.

She thought about him everyday of her life. About the poetry classes, the sonnets, the books, the library hours. How much she was in love with Shakespeare and the Shakespeare Wallah! They would spend hours together reading sonnets and acting them on stage and wonder how beautiful everything in the world was. But when the time came for her to choose between him and her family..... That was when she wanted to return the hourglass to. To set it at that particular moment in the railway station......

She sent him a sonnet which was a sign that she was ready to go with him anywhere in the world and leave behind her family. It was raining that night and the cycle shop fellow delivered the mysterious letter to him.

O Romeo, Romeo,
wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name,
Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.

That was all written in it. He packed his bags and turned towards the railway station. But Kamala, something held her back. She didn't feel she was doing the right thing. She packed her bag and un-packed them and decided to forget everything about Shakespeare and Shakespeare wallah. Later that year she got married to a Mathematics professor. Never did she hear about the Shakespeare wallah again. Her Mathematician husband did not understand Shakespeare and Kamala hated numbers but they made a happy couple.

Now her long last love is back. She did not wait for a good sign. In her heart, she recited repeatedly:

O Romeo, Romeo,
wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name,
Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.

And with tears pouring out of her eyes reached the railway station. She had to set right the clock!!!


  1. Very touching...
    I wish everyone in their lifetime gets a chance and the courage to reverse the clock and set things right.
    Well written!

  2. A good tale for sure. Enjoyed the read, immensely.

  3. Enjoyed reading to bits, sentimental and affectionate...

  4. Sincerely speaking - that was good, really really good.

  5. beautifully written. reminded of the conversations in Hazaron Khwahishein Aisi: "Once upon a time..."

  6. Quite beautiful tale, it's very interested and sentimental.