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The Birds: A short story

  • Published at 01:00 pm January 11th, 2020
Hironmoy Golder



He suddenly wakes up in the middle of the night, seeing some black and long feathered birds in his dream. He doesn’t understand why he is petrified by seeing birds, the beautiful creatures of nature. He now tries to find his glasses which he has left on a small brown table, beside the bed. He uses this table for multiple tasks. He eats, writes and sometimes reads on it. A fourteen-inch monitor, a webcam, two little sound boxes, a mouse, one keyboard, a pair of headphones, an old android mobile phone, a wrist watch, a moneybag filled with unnecessary cards and an insignificant amount of money, some medicines, one pencil, a few pens, one diary, two or three books and one small bottle of perfume are scattered on the table. But there he does not find his pair of spectacles! This is very unlikely. It should be exactly on this table amid his electronic devices. 



I don’t know whether I should be worried or not. I have been trying to write since the last couple of weeks, and I haven’t managed to write more than two fragmented lines. All I do these days is: thinking, imagining, dreaming, ripping papers and eventually, breaking the pen or pencil out of anger. Sometimes, I quite enjoy imagining and going back to my past days filled with lots of recurrent memories. If people ask me whether I have regrets, I would boldly confess that yes, I do. But I don’t give people enough chances to ask me anything, and I prefer to remain at home, mostly in my room. What fascinates me is that I don’t feel bored and lonely which I used to feel before. Perhaps, it’s a symbol of maturity. Yes, I have been accused of being immature so many times by so many close ones. Sadly, they are not  in touch with me at present, mostly because of my own apathy. What I see around me is that people are obsessed with blaming others, even when the fault is theirs. I used to do the same thing when I was younger.

My first poem has been published in a magazine. It has given me enormous pleasure, if not fame. Actually, people don’t like reading poetry nowadays. They prefer watching, listening, performing and reading fiction. Since the day I started to read and write poetry, I have secretly vowed to die as a poet. I have a feeling that people will again enjoy reading poems like in the times of Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Byron or Shelley. I think poets are fully grown men. 

What I saw in the mirror
was a soulless, blind and enormous
that bumped into a beggar
yet moved on.
He never looked back to hell
 and never tried to save someone ...

When I write something, I feel like I have made a great accomplishment. I feel like a magician who can take his audience to great heights of ecstasy or a fantasy world filled with nice and beautiful things. But I don’t want to be a magician whose effect remains only for a short period of time; rather I want to show people what’s real and what’s hidden beneath the layers of the conventional and contemporary world. 



Chinmoy has been looking into a half empty glass for at least twenty two minutes. He is thirsty. After pouring some water into a glass, he sees that there’s a black spot at the bottom of the glass, which looks exactly like a lizard’s eye. Now, each time he tries to drink a sip from that glass, he can see a greenish lizard swimming. He knows that this is merely his imagination. He is tired. For the last couple of days, he has had no sleep. His exhausted brain is giving him wrong signals. He is trying to convince his brain that he is fine and there’s no lizard in the water. For some unknown reasons, his brain is not receiving his command and it is working in its own way. As he thinks that he should throw the water and refill the glass, he feels that it will be a great waste. Nowadays, he thinks that he should not use any of the earth’s resources because he feels he doesn’t deserve anything. Like many others, he has been unable to produce anything that will help the earth and its inhabitants. He is suffering from a guilty conscience triggered by a stranger saying, “You are a no man’s poet. You write for your own self. Your writing stinks like a drunkard’s trousers.” He met this stranger on a train.



People always make wrong guesses about my life. They think the opposite of how I really am. It makes me laugh sometimes, but mostly it makes me angry. This is why talking to people annoys me. Most people have a tendency to assume something about others in a condescending manner, as if they were some superior beings! Morons! I think one’s intellectual faculty is aroused momentarily by the touch of nature, at the right moment. There is no point in bragging about one’s intelligence because everything fades away at a certain point. End is near! 

In my childhood, I dreamed of becoming a bird that flies from place to place and lives in the trees. I love trees. I think trees are more intellectual than human beings. They observe everything and remain silent.   



Chinmoy is trying to write a letter to his long-lost wife who, seven months into their marriage, ran away with another guy. He still misses his wife. He writes letters and keeps them inside a box with a hope that one day Charu will come and read and cry out of joy. Charu is not her original name. Chinmoy gave her the name.

Today, Chinmoy seems very distracted. He cannot finish writing the letter. Every time he finishes the first page, he starts drawing weird images as he turns the page over. He forgets the fact that he is writing a letter to his Charu! 

Chinmoy has finished his letter on his fifty-third attempt. What a mess! He has failed fifty-two times to write a single letter; each time he has ended up drawing some images of black little things on the second page of the paper. He has kept the final one in the box and has torn up the rest. His entire room has become a mess of papers. However, he has ended his letter thus:

I am a happy flying creature like dove.

Come, join me in the rain…



Chinmoy wakes up before dawn. Wind is swirling in the room. He hears the sounds of a few unearthly creatures that are uttering his name in a low voice. These look like the same birds that he once saw in his dream. How ferocious they look! He is supposed to be scared but he isn’t. He is staring at them as if he knows their language. He knows every word they utter. How beautifully they sing the same lines he once wrote…

What I saw in the mirror
was a soulless, blind and enormous

Towhid Islam Khan is a MA student of English Literature at East West University. 

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