Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Entry #212

Shades of Black
by Yamini Murty

Confined in a room. Since ages.
He tries to make out what sunshine is.


“Dadda, I can see something behind you”

“What is it son?”

“Something dark, exactly your shape.”

“It’s called a shadow.”

“Can I sketch it the way I want it. I don’t like the eleventh finger on your right hand”

“You are an artist’s son, I am sure you can sketch anything the way you want it.”


“Let’s call it Dadda’s Silhouette. You cannot alter a shadow, son”


He said nothing. His play with coal stubs created a speech.

Free bird with concealed feelings - an outline of what he desired.

The Governor’s imperial building spread over 5 meters of the wall.

The traffic - chaotic, yet balanced.

A rush of black- deep and faded;

Movements, imposing a flurry of emotions.

A splash of red, in black, showing the blood oozing out a toddler’s head.

The next 2 meters of the wall depicted an idiosyncratic imbalance.

The participants in the balanced traffic seemed to cover their own shadows. The Governor’s building stood tall amongst the bodies lying on the ground.


He was indicted. Stranded on an island in Asia.
The 7 years made him explore the darkness.

It became difficult for him to sketch the human features.

The last patch on the wall consisted of a Silhouette- that of a young lad trying to sketch a shadow.


Laurel said...

This took a turn for the worse! The ending is so bleak. How dark did it get?

Disturbing, to think of the bright young boy becoming the man in the darkness for seven years.

Jean Ann Williams said...

Very bleak, and I take it this is the life of a criminal, like father like son?

Nicely done!

Jean Ann

yamini said...

@laurel: True, it was dark. But i am glad the interpretations are varied.
thanks for the comment!

yamini said...

@Jean Ann: Someone who is a criminal for the society, probably isn't for some!
thanks for the encouragement :)

Aniket Thakkar said...

I really like the start of the piece. His interaction with his grandpa was most interesting.

I kind of lost you after the first time shift and got it on the second read.

This will sure have very varied interpretations. I'm just left curious to know what made him follow such a path.

A very good read as always though. Keep inspiring. ;)

Deb Smythe said...

A dark turn, indeed.

laughingwolf said...

great progression...

Rohan said...

beautifully done Yamini!

Anonymous said...


Something I Would Keep

political and philosophical overtones - the questions that weren't asked, like what makes a criminal? (idiosyncratic imbalance)

Something I Might Tweak

more consistent time progression - since the rest of the piece is artful and not typical prose, keep the time progression typical

Preeti said...


Will the darkness ever end?

What i liked this for - is the disjointedness. YET you have woven the entire narrative with some fine invisible thread. There is shape but it evades.

Loved it. Very expertly done.

james r tomlinson said...

Anyone who knows me, knows who I prefer stories that turn from innocence to pure evil. You managed it here. I'm not clear about everything going on here, but I know it's dark.

JR said...

"who" sounds like an owl. i meant "how." time for a break.

JaneyV said...

Did he confuse violence with art? I am certainly sensing that he had a different perspective on life than the others around him. tragic.

Craig said...

Interesting. I like how you able to create a great deal of sypathy for the character even though he did something terrible.

Kurt Hendricks said...

Great ending...pulls it all together nicely.

Rachel Green said...

Oh! Nicely told.

PJD said...

I took the whole thing to be that he was raised to be a terrorist, and when it was his time he did what he'd been raised to do. The act, and the subsequent punishment, took away his art... until all he could do was try to sketch darkness itself.

catvibe said...

I like PJDs take. Loved the philosophy throughout, but particularly the line 'you can not alter a shadow son'. Stark and heady.

varu... said...

Beautiful done..Its deep and intense...the father son relationship..the father wanting to be free to see his child...its all so beautiful and deep...

great piece..keep up the good work!!!