LANTERN – 1

Tuesday, August 8, 2011 . 26 comments . Posted in General

“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…)


26 Comments

  1. Heena

    NJ its beautiful i was so into it that i couldn’t wait for what’s next i can actually see what Roger feels about the way his recent books are going through and how much capable he is in writing
    [just like how much capable you are 😉 🙂 ]
    and the way his small home is decorated with pictures of nature and history, oh! I just love the scene of it!!
    But when i was getting more and more involved in it, it said – to be continued… NJ i cant wait to read the next part of it, it seems to be very interesting, the place “Dharmapuri” and its beauty. Loved the last line “And the bells that hung so low beckoned the days of harmony… Dharmapuri… And her pretty eyes… It happens… Love happens…” *sigh* again have to be patient to read the next part. NJ please come back soon, waiting eagerly. Loads of wishes and love and smiles 🙂 <3

    Reply
    • N J

      Thanks a lot dear! 🙂 I hope you’ll like the last part. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Alpana Jaiswal

    The much awaited ‘LANTERN”…you have got me on tenterhooks,just waiting..I love the character of Roger,reminds me of someone I know,that is what appeals to your writings,one can totally relate to it…and there is something I would like to say about Roger’s character…”The ultimate measure of man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”..and that is what is making him so appealing…Great work NJ,superb I should say so..please post the second half soon…All the best..and Take care..

    Reply
    • N J

      I feel very pleased to read your comment. Especially your words on Roger’s character! Thanks a lot. 🙂

      Reply
  3. Heena

    @Alpana:- loved your words dear and specially what you added regarding Roger’s character gives just so perfect touch to it <3

    Reply
    • Alpana Jaiswal

      @Heena..thank you..its what I felt.

      Reply
  4. Sayanti

    A very good first part once again, to put us into the restlessness for the 2nd part…. u r an excellent narrator …even what seems to be simple and common dares to be unique and precious, just by the way it is expressed …. beautiful …keep going !

    Reply
    • N J

      Thanks dear! 🙂 Great to feel so.

      Reply
  5. Sindhu

    Engrossing……interesting…fascinating……love ur narration…..:) waiting eagerly for the next part……looks like i mite develop a crush on your character Roger 😉

    Reply
    • N J

      Roger is a great guy heh! Thanks dear. 🙂

      Reply
      • Sindhu

        yep….there is something alluring about him …;)

      • N J

        Haha 🙂 No comments. 😉

  6. sancheeta biswas

    ” the inspiration of enduring pure thoughts rises from the simplicity of qualities that we spot in human beings. “……best lines of this piece of writing. an ornate style of writing often originates from the trivialities of life. Rogers zeal to captivate life in a different mode so that he could pen down something different, is interesting. his character is strong and determined. composed in fulfilling his passion and ready to face hardship to any extent, even flowing down to Dharampuri which is not facilitated enough as compared to Roger’s everyday life. this has made LANTERN more interesting. i am very eager to see what follows down the story line. what is there waiting for him in Dharampuri? pretty eyes? love? will Roger be able to make his novel a success this time? or is it different from our expectations? LANTERN……..why is it so?

    Reply
    • N J

      I guess it’s more like a discovery! To discover the beauty of life, dreams and life. I hope all your queries will be answered in the next part. Thanks dear! 🙂

      Reply
  7. sancheeta biswas

    sorry NJ, i misspelled the place as Dharampuri, it will be Dharmapuri:((

    Reply
    • N J

      Heh 🙂 Sweet! That’s perfectly alright dear. 🙂

      Reply
  8. Jan

    I am very far behind on my reading. Haven’t given this proper attention. I will be back.<3<3<3

    Reply
  9. Ashish Chauhan Youngy

    Lantern, symbol of light, hope, teacher, When I first read for the first time N J is working on something entitled Lantern, will be a poetry in long form which may be will portrait encouraging thoughts, rays of hope and courage.
    One thing in particular I like reading, those classical European scenery. And when the it is Christmas, visualization plays in front of the eyes. Well, “Recluse”. Is this what every celebrity needs? Roger does not look like a misanthrope at all. Does it relates somehow with his next writing? What.. what.. what..
    Waiting for next update, N J.

    Reply
    • N J

      “Recluse”… Everyone likes to be one… Not always, but at times. Thanks bro! 🙂

      Reply
  10. Poet Love

    NJ my my oh my what should I say…this narrative which you came up with enfolds its own beauty and the beauty is the way you allude, your lines are so magnificent…and one more thing I felt in your writing is you always shape it up with and inscribe with true and factual lines just like …
    “One must travel through the rough land to learn more about life and people”.
    NJ I must tell you this that your story line, your creative writing is a body and you blow the soul into it through your creative mind to pen to ink to words and comes down to us..Now coming back to “Lantern” you bring a storm in us and we are keep thinking about Rogers that what’s next so bring him soon we are waiting for Rogers …take care and keep writing my best wishes and prayers are with you <3<3<3

    Reply
    • N J

      Thanks dear! 🙂 Will post it soon. 🙂

      Reply
  11. jerly

    …but to shed our pride and pray for all is what makes everyone special…….It is the sign of wisdom to realise I am nothing, and the only worthwhile thing to do in life is to pray for all that is

    Reply
    • N J

      True! Pride kills.

      Reply
    • Tatiana

      I think she’d be happier to see me go back to shcool to be honest. Ya see, I’ve never actually finished a degree and the partial degree I did do was in theatre tech something that she doesn’t think is real . I think ideally she’d rather I got a long term, full time job rather than multiple part time jobs. But I think it’s just a generation gap or something. No matter I shall persevere!

      Reply
  12. melissa

    I read this last night NJ and I entered the scene with Roger. I was trying to figure out a special meaning to his name. Is there any? I love the setting and the season you had your protagonist in. Your words molded the character in a beautiful way.

    I felt the restlessness Roger had and wanting to try something new for himself. I felt the character so close to me and wanted to hold him dearly.

    Rahul reminded me of a reply my missionary friend had when I asked the same question as Roger,”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,”- I truly love these lines.

    I purposefully commented on this first before reading the second part to keep the suspense… I’m ready for the next one 🙂

    E’ una bella introduzione…gia’ si vede la profondita’ di questa storia 🙂

    Reply
    • N J

      Thanks a lot dear! Very well said about it. 🙂

      Reply

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