Untitled-II – Rithwik Bhattathiri, Bangalore


I wake up, as if into a dream. Limbs aching. Nails biting into the flesh underneath. Can’t see the abyss behind me. I know it’s there. And I’m still hanging onto this cliff. Feet must be on some root or an edge of a stone. I don’t know. Can see only my hands, holding onto a root. Face towards the rock. Never seen a rock so close. Dull yellow surface. Reminds me of trampled bed sheets. So close, I can feel my breath fall back on my face. Smell of rock. Aching back.

Look up for the first time. Can see the top of the edge. I must have fallen off. No going back. It’s beyond reach.
Yellow rock, again. Can see a line of ants marching over the back of my hand. Had I been at my desk, I would have thought of an allegory…do I remember my past? No. I was born here, hanging onto this cliff.

Look to the right. See a stub of wood. Not within easy reach. May be can reach it with a leap. No guarantee. But what’s the use of holding on like this? Might fall asleep, go hungry…even the ants can kill me. If I can reach and hold onto the stub, may be I can go back, climb up. Not sure.
I thrust force into my feet. A flame being held to the edge of an ice cube. Mid-air. Sailing towards the stub. Swing my arms. Feel the wood. Slipping away. Falling.

For the first time, I look at the abyss. See the lush green valley. Wind swiftly sailing over me. Look up. Blue skies. Soft sun. Never will I see them again. As I go down, I feel, life was beautiful.


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