A Pony in a Carousel

January 28, 2015

Such is Life, Uncorked Angst

Dreams

Dreams

Like a pony fettered to a carousel, I’ve been travelling miles after circular miles and yet not have moved a millimetre from the pole I am suspended. I am not in charge of this motion, nor do I control this stasis. I cannot even choose the music or the riders that cling to my back at intervals. Try as I might, I cannot relate to their fear or delight, for they are free of the shackles of the gravity while I am a slave to the carousel’s periphery.

I fret the elephant and the camel no longer, who will forever lead and trail me on this voyage with placid looks carved in their faces. I am unknown too, to the turmoil or torpor my fellow serfs might be undergoing, time after time, spin after spin.

My other life is an evanescent dream where I am a galloping steed in a grassland. The shrubs of this pasture are verdant and velvety, oozing with juice and scent. Before the day spills its brightness on the land of rabble I wake up to a dawn under dulcet skies, lyrical and winged like birds. And when the sun turns yellow in the firmament I trot to a stream, the wind rustling through my flaming mane.

I am saying this to you as if it all were a fragment of truth, but I am saying this for it’s not a figment of my fancy; that world is as real as this roundabout is cruel. But what has shrivelled over the countless gyrations is the silken wings of my sleep.

When I was a freshly hewn colt from the trunk of an oak the woodcutter had painted fat eyelids on my hopeful visage, a kind god that he was, so that I could dream even in my drudgery. Those eyes lasted rains and countless summers, surviving siroccos and mistrals of the planet, till the talons of time scraped away the brows and lashes. And I would sleep lesser and lesser, falling farther and farther from my somnolent treasures, eventually ending up having a pair of mouldy grey eyes that would just not close, just not swim.

Then a fool turned up one day with cans of paint and painted me a shade of mustard yellow as if I were a clueless carthorse, and he left me with huge white lidless vision so that I could focus ahead rather than glaze in my fantasies. Worse fates befell to the elephant and the camel too who were painted green and pink with same horrid eyes. Now whoever has seen a green elephant or a camel that is pink, except in his wildest trance? The bitter truth remains then, you have to trot to the tune of your masters if you don’t want to be a part of a landfill, like the black swan who broke free from the pole the other day thinking he could fly away like a real avian.

Such is the sad fate of my other life, friends, and that is why it has been increasingly hard to be swirling my pen. We all want to stay put and retain our utility lest we are discarded by the heartless crowds. So unless the clown of the park who came to me the other day and whispered in my ears that they are conspiring to install a roller-coaster in this cold, whirling ground, all fibre and steel, and that probably he will buy me in the ensuing auction to make me a part of the wooden canoe he is building for the lake across the palm trees, I will zoom ad nauseam about my life till the dead end. The small chance that I may get to become a part of the canoe will mean I’ll be able to sail along the bank of a lake with the breeze dancing on the grass.

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About umashankar

I am just a watcher then. Sometimes I watch life. Sometimes I watch death. Many times I watch in between...

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28 Comments on “A Pony in a Carousel”

  1. MarinaSofia Says:

    Ha, know that feeling…
    Welcome back – it’s been a while, I’ve missed you!

    Reply

  2. alkagurha Says:

    Poetic philosophical soothing prose. The note of optimism towards the end was the highlight for me. Life goes on with change being the only constant.

    Reply

    • umashankar Says:

      We are all looking towards the beam of light at the end of tunnel, Alka. Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply

      • Shubha Athavale Says:

        I loved your post, have never commented before….only just stumbled upon it….as for now, I have freed myself of one carousel, to be able to enjoy others’ rides….sorry to be cynical, hope the light at the end of the tunnel is not another train coming in our direction….I am going to become a fan of your writing….Shubha

        Reply

        • umashankar Says:

          If I am happy you decided to leave your footprints here, I am happier you freed yourself from a carousel. As for the trains in tunnel, they mow down both who are headed against it and running away from it; at least we are trying.

  3. floormodel Says:

    While a carousel horse does go round and round, never stopping, the one thing it will always have are the giggles of delight and the shrieks of joy from the children and young at heart who line up to pick a horse to ride. It is the one thing in the park that will draw visitor after visitor and bring memories to mind at the same time it forms new ones. A carousel will never be out dated and when it stops it’s spinning each horse goes on to become a part of someone’s home, loved in stillness as much as it was loved in action. Many humans should be so lucky.

    Reply

    • umashankar Says:

      Many thanks for those encouraging words, my friend —they are like so much sunshine in the icy greyness. How true it is that there will always be takeaways from the grimmest of situations!

      Reply

  4. nothingprofound Says:

    The dream of freedom is our universal dream. May that dream come true both for the wooden pony and its maker. Thank you, uma, for this sad and beautiful fable.

    Reply

  5. dnambiar11 Says:

    I hear the pony.
    I’m sure the pony will have its day. (Actually days by the lake).

    Another great piece of writing; one that evokes empathy.

    I’m sure the next time I’m at a carousal, I’m going to be thinking about ‘A pony in a carousal’ – the post. And about what would happen to it when the paint on it begins to chip away. I now hope the pony and the elephant and the camel, even the unicorn end up some place they would like to be.

    Reply

  6. iancochrane Says:

    all this talk of your `other life’ US? a little dark to be sure…but you can fly US…. sometimes in the shadow of a mountain, but often in the sun.
    your pony always has wings

    Reply

  7. Akshay Kumar G Says:

    A brilliant metaphorical analogy of your current state of mind. I am nowhere near as brilliant as you are, but being in ‘that’ frame of mind for almost two years now, I can certainly empathize with you. 🙂

    Reply

    • umashankar Says:

      Each of us is as original and true as a butterfly, Akshay —the possibilities are countless. Your time will surely come; there is enough sand in the top of the hourglass.

      Reply

  8. gc1963 Says:

    Your prose is so ornamental it always leaves me a little dazed and bottle green with envy.

    Coming to the content, aren’t we all free yet bonded trying to as you said “retain our utility”…dismal and so true as your span on Earth exceeds your ambitious dreams, you realize the futility of wide-eyed innocence and bloated conviction more than you care to.

    Reply

    • umashankar Says:

      I have an adaptive style that alters itself in tune with the mood and the theme. NormaIly, I believe in packing the punch in minimal expressions and that, rather than embellishments, is my effort when I begin tapping the keyboard. Many thanks for the compliment and understanding, not the least for your approval.

      Reply

  9. jerseylil Says:

    So wonderfully imaginative, Umashankar, becoming the pony in the carousel to tell your tale! Remarking on the daily grind and then running free and unfettered in your dreams. I like it and can relate. And I felt for the pony (the elephant and camel too), their beautiful colors repainted in wrong shades by a fool with no vision (sigh!). Especially love the line, “I wake up to a dawn under dulcet skies, lyrical and winged like birds.” Beautiful, I really love this one!

    Reply

  10. umashankar Says:

    Ah, kindred spirit! You have never failed to lend wind to my feeble wings, Madilyn.

    Reply

  11. ilakshee Says:

    This has been so beautifully penned that I have returned to it many times to savour the beauty of the imagery, the analogy, the settings, the subtlety… and mostly your wand. It is always a pleasure to read your craft, Uma.

    Reply

  12. themoonstone Says:

    Beautifully poetic and philosophical. Brilliant as usual Uma. Dreams are the one thing we can call our own, something that offers us escape in many a dreary situations. Lucky are those who don’t need to dream anymore.

    Reply

  13. The Fool Says:

    Very interesting allegory, Umashankar – I could really relate to that

    I was also somehow reminded of the story by Robin Hobb where dragon eggs are made into ships called live ships.

    Reply

  14. Otto von Münchow Says:

    Once again such beautiful writing. With a magic feeling to the words.

    Reply

  15. Marylin Warner Says:

    The imagery and extended metaphors are astounding, and your writing is beautiful. The dreams of restriction vs. freedom are universal, and this will touch everyone individually.
    Well done.

    Reply

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