Friday, April 21, 2006

Old Thing

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be an archaeologist, digging away for hidden treasure. It wasn’t really the treasure, which interested me. It could have been a dusty bowl, a limb intact, a head undone, a string of beads, that dancing girl, anything. So long as it was old. So old that the mud and clay would have leeched out all the colour from it. It would be the colour of nothing, and yet it would be beautiful and I would love it for its subtle beauty. It would be hidden deep down, somewhere under the earth, in a corner that all hands and minds had forgotten. In a dry field lying fallow. Or under a snow covered mountain which didn’t exist before. (Ice ages creep up suddenly, you see). Or it would be sleeping below a rhododendron covered avenue, waking quietly to the dull plodding of a million feet every morning. Living out its boring life, listening to the voices of the million people walking by, their exciting lives bared in the highs and lows of loud conversation. Yes, it would be sitting there quietly, waiting for me to come by one day. Then I would find it. And it would be mine.

7 comments:

TLW said...

Color of nothing - or the color of earth smudged making it all the more authentic, rusty and desirable.

Srihari said...

I wonder if there is a hint, a delicate implication that one will find "it" eventually only when one becomes an "old thing" himself/herself. Or is it me reading too much into your writing, as is my wont ?

apu said...

TLW, the color of earth is desirable, but the color of nothing is anything you want it to be!

Sri - Much as one likes to think that one will find 'it' in old age, thus keeping alive the hope, I doubt finding it has anything to do with age...

Dreamvendor said...

Cool! Even I wanted to be an archaeologist when I was a kid. Then I wanted to be a detective. Also took up an elective on Forensic science at college. Was total fun! Maybe it is all about discovery and curiosity?

Amrita said...

this is really beautiful..i really admire the way u have worded ur fascination for the 'the old thing.'

apu said...

DV, yes, when we are kids, I think all f us have these splendid fantasies, but along the way, we get the impression that these are not "believable" ones and we drop them...

Amrita, Thanks!

Madhu said...

Hi, Beautifully expressed.

I used to dream of being archeologist and still hope I can do something related to that. But, shamefully, I havent done anything to make it work.

:)