Five thousand word essay – the last task in his list. As he wrote the last entry, he felt wrapped by a sudden sense of serenity. The swelling passion and energy of the first morning of his vacation had subtly settled into a pensive slow-paced afternoon owing to the sumptuous lunch. Although the holiday had been carved out painfully, with the intent of restoration of the sanity depleted in the annals of the consuming corporate world, fear of inactivity unsettled him into creating an extensive to-do list.
He had earnestly hoped to begin writing his first novel with this essay as its precursor. He would draw inspiration from the solitude of his surroundings, conjure a romantic saga from the dense greenery, vast river bed and the beautiful maize farms around him. He had carried an entire baggage filled with freshly purchased copies of Jhumpa Lahiris, Anita Desais, Rohinton Mistrys and Ruskin Bonds, hoping to devour them completely, learning from their tales, emulating their styles and creating vivid characters like Gogol Ganguly in the backwaters of Kerala.
He added a period at the end of the word ‘essay’. As his gaze remained fixated on his last entry, his mind wandered extensively.The thickened sunlight of the afternoon resembled the thick paste of glue wrapping the world in it, slowly, with life intact. The antique fan creaked through its long blades, delivering little respite, as he, long incumbent on the thick moist wooden chair, reminisced his colorful past. The confounding college days packed with beloved friends, the turmoil felt soon after, the unimaginative workplace, the perpetual indecisiveness, the resultant annoyance, the brief lovers, the lost friendships, the melancholy more than laughter, all together cooked a convoluted concoction which he acknowledged silently and quite unusually for him, with a sincere smile. These stories, he had lived in, were the ones he wanted to narrate, taunting and teasing his readers with humor and pathos. Plots began crowding inside,as a warm smile began glowing outside.
Only his grandmothers call for evening prayers could have halted the impending climax inside. The serenity had long been replaced with his inherent child-like excitement.
The pen, he noticed, was still placed at the period at the end of the list.
His mind, though, had raced ahead and completed its own five thousand word essay.