“Sir, what is your next novel about?” the reporter asked.
“Haven’t planned it yet. But it will be based upon a social awareness message,” Roger said and shuffled off.
The photographers kept capturing the infamous author’s photos throughout the session. The press conference took longer than it was supposed to. There was absolute silence when Roger answered each query. His last fictional tale, Dry Land, raised many eyebrows due to the political brunt he pointed out through the current social causes.
“Mr. Roger, I’ve heard about your passion towards antiques. Could you
please tell us about it?” the lady in scarlet asked while he walked away towards his luxury car.
“No more questions, please,” Roger said, walked to his car, and sped away.
Roger is a forty year old Indian English writer who migrated from a picturesque
village decades ago. His passion was to play football while destiny chose to have him portray characters on paper. It was, perhaps, one of the best things that ever happened to him. It changed his life. And his dreams were just a bridge away. And the broken walls were meant to mend through his words.
“Stop the car!” he said.
The driver managed to find a parking space near the Starbucks while the whole city were crowded with lovers and friends to meet and spend their time to discuss about
their holiday plans as it was Christmas. Roger stepped out from the black luxury car, shut its door, and walked towards the main gate of the coffee shop. He smiled at the guard who opened the door for him, walked towards the corner, and sat with his laptop. “Sir, what would you like to have today?” the server asked.
“Cappuccino”, Roger replied.
Roger never talked much. He always believed in keeping his words short and to the point. The gentle breeze outside the room swept the dust from all the boughs, striking the Christmas bells to spread the message that ‘Peace is all that we need’.
A few minutes later the server arrived with a cappuccino.
Roger smiled at him, took a sip, and said, “Perfect.”
He sat there for an hour thinking about what good he could do for society. A pen is mightier than a sword. But his words were all about pain and lost love. He tried to portray a diverse topic through Dry Land, which caused controversies about his thoughts and acts. It had been for a while since he had been lost in his thoughts.
And then a group of Manchester united fans walked into the coffee shop to share
their views about the last game in which their team played extremely well. Roger looked here and there to find a seed for his next novel. He didn’t find any. He almost felt that his stories never had any substance to pull readers towards him. He flipped open his Mac, typed in the short password to log onto it, opened Safari and typed, “Google”. And over Google, he typed ‘Recluse’.
Roger often thought that the inspiration of enduring pure thoughts rose from the simplicity of qualities that we spotted in human beings. He always found his muse in children as they were pure and intact. To live in unity is important. But to shed our pride and pray for all is what makes everyone special. The search results brought several
pages that did not help him. He shut his laptop, and kept a bunch of notes, stood up, smiled at the server, and walked towards his car.
The dusk was beautiful. It summoned for the night and the much awaited dawn of dreams.
“Sir?” the driver said.
“Oh, hey, thanks Man”. Roger replied waking up from his short nap.
He walked inside his wooden hut that was adorned with flowers and boughs
in deep green. He was, perhaps, the only author in London who owned the whole space designed with ancient items. Roger’s fascination for antiques was very well known. He had this small house that had just two rooms, bathroom, kitchen and a balcony. And the entire room was adorned beautifully with scenic paintings of nature and history. His bedroom was painted in diverse colors. The lantern-shaped lights spread their rays
while he wrote pages of unknown tales.
The night faded away, leaving the dawn to rise and shine. Roger woke up from his long sleep and walked outside his house to collect the newspaper. He then made a cup of coffee and read through the paper. The news on war and terrorist attacks disturbed him. He threw the paper on his bed and left for a shower. His cell phone kept ringing while he was taking the shower, and when he got back there were three missed calls from an unknown number and one from his secretary.
He called up his secretary and asked “Tim, what’s the matter?”
“Roger, I’ve found a place that suits your theme for the next novel,” Tim replied in a husky tone.
“Alright, I am on my way,” Roger said and hung the call. He took his car keys and drove towards his office to meet and discuss the new place with Tim.
Tim was a sixty year old man who was like a mentor to Roger. Roger had always looked up to him. As he walked towards his office the entire staff smiled and greeted him. He did the same and walked inside Tim’s room, pulled up a chair, and said “Tell me about it”.
Tim was on another call. “Rahul, I’ll call you in a bit,” he said then hung up the call.
Tim turned his laptop towards Roger and showed the pictures that he received
through his email. Roger went through each photo. The photos had children, bicycles, river and lanterns.
“I guess I am okay with this place,” Roger said.
Tim smiled and took out his cell phone, “Rahul, as per your need we are sending a guest lecturer to your school.”
Roger relaxed and then he asked, “What am I going to teach those kids?”
“Oh, don’t worry about it. You just have to look around the place, interact with people, and mould your story,” Tim said.
Roger wanted to write something different. He hadn’t written a different story in
ages. His last novel was a disaster according to the critic. And the one that he wrote about children never welcomed any smile. So he wanted to write something for the children and for all those who trusted him to be the kind of author he was a decade ago. “I think I got too comfortable with the luxury,” Roger quoted to a newspaper while he was asked the reason for being so restless. And then he added, “One must travel through the rough land to learn more about life and people.”
“That’s it. We are done. Your flight will be on December 23rd, and from there you will have to take a train to Dharmapuri. I’ve asked Mr. Rahul to handle the details. And I must warn you that the place is not developed to please your needs,” Tim said.
“I’m game,” Roger replied and shuffled off from Tim’s room.
The snow covered the streets of London… Every shop had Christmas stars… And the bells that hung so low beckoned the days of harmony… Dharmapuri… And her pretty eyes… It happens… Love happens…
(to be continued…)