Thursday, February 9, 2023

Words from a Protagonist – Sayantan Datta, Kolkatta


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Yeah, I’m really sorry for being so terribly late in engaging in this conversation with you. No, don’t look at me like that; I’ve had enough of those glares and stares. You are the one who chose to speak with me, not I, though it’s a relief for someone as dreary and lonely as me. I’ve had such temporary reliefs before, but then I’m the heart of fiction, boasting of ideas bursting within the intricate network of arteries and veins that sustain my life. No, not only my life, yours too! Aah, see how the demon of error lives within me. What puzzles me more is that the demon is an integral part of me, like blood, oxygen, and all those things my body constantly acquires.

Don’t be puzzled at the string-less string of thoughts I’m presenting. I’ve been mocked enough for that. But then, I’m an expressionist too, and language forms the medium of my expression.

Sit down on that couch, lay back! I’ll be a boring date, I warn you.  I like coffee, black, as black as me. Ugh, look at how that line intrigued you. I’ll be worse, I warn you again.

What? Did I hear it right? You are curious about me? I’ve repeated myself over and over, and have been rebuked, molested, sometimes given an ear to, and sometimes, simply ignored. Who art thou?  To which category do you belong? Anyway, I’ll abide by your request.

I’m a very common name. A very boring name too, maybe. Joseph. An overtly popular, too common name, whose worth I find difficult to carry. Born on the 6th day of December, 1986, I am presently leading a kind of pseudo-blissful corporate life. I have a mind that keeps wandering into those philosophical realms hitherto undiscovered.  In this routine life wrapped in the societal values of boredom and discipline, I try to make the reflections more interesting.  Come on; don’t be rude with that cuppa you ordered ten minutes back. I’ve already finished my extra-dark coffee! Wait, if you wish to, while I catch another cup.

No, I’m not revealing my address to you this soon. You are but a stranger to me, an outsider to my personal realm. You can ping me on one of those social networking sites though.

Oh, sorry for keeping you this long! If fate demands, we’ll have a talk again, no worries! See, you’ve managed to get out a lot of my details, while I know very little about you. I love your ears though, they’ve been really really patient.

Yeah sure, I never reject friend requests! I’ll add you up. We can talk there. Bye!


“Hello! Never thought you’ll actually be kind enough to ping me.”

“Yeah sure, let’s meet this evening in the harbour. I’m anyway adept at wasting time, so it’s great that I’ll be wasting it with someone.”


See those lashing waves, they’re so cruel, yet you have those boats, meeting the raging waters, sometimes becoming one with them in one weird conjugation, taking away lives, sometimes escaping the jaws. Sometimes the waves are calm, in their own melancholy, and then fury rips apart everything.  The waters wild sometimes represent life, only that life can be crueler, and more blissful. It’s like everything comes down to that one word, that one territory, that one ‘existence’ which defines the fragmental universe we’re living in.

Well, how was your day?
Good. My day was fine as well, I and my books; we’re the best of friends. And what’s better than spending time with your best friend? Well, one day I would take you around the biggest bookstore in the city. You’ll be amazed at those elves that sit on the shelf as some know-all. But then, as far as they give me company, I’m fine with their shouting silence that penetrates my ears, my mind, my heart, and flows through my veins, sometimes overspilling in the incorrect or correct company.

This harbour is one of my favorite places! I really like you. May be we can meet at my place.

That smile of yours, it’s actually very troubling to me. I’ve seen many people smiling on me, but then, like their feelings, those smiles have been fading away. Don’t smile at me like that, it leaves such an impression on my mind that I’ll take eternity to get over it. Will you be like the others, exploring me, finding my dark sides, and leaving me in disgust? Affection isn’t something to be fiddled with.

Oh, I forgot that we haven’t progressed much. See, how complicated matters of the heart are. We’ll meet soon again.

Remember, I love you.

Ah, I hope you’re not faking when you’re uttering those three words for me. There’s something in them that’s making me want to leave. No, I don’t need a lift, I’ll catch up a cab.

Editorial Team of Indian Ruminations.


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