Thursday, 18 September 2014

Babel Fish - Episode 1

Hi, there! – A rather cheerful voice quirps.

I look around. I have hardly opened my eyes now, and the voice is both unfamiliar and impractical.

As I am sleeping all by myself. So it’s just a flickering semi-dream, the sound. I tell myself and turn and try to go to sleep again.

Hey, it’s morning! – This time, it startles me.

I remove the blanket and half-raise my upper body and look around. I still cannot figure out from where it  came. Or, if it at all did, really.

I look hard, everywhere.

Here, here! Look to your right.

I look to my right. I look at everything over there, the whole right half of my room. The curtains, the window, the bed switch. The cabinet, the fish aquarium atop it. The flower vase beside it. The fine layer of dust below it. All!

No, I can’t find it still. Worse, I cannot even make out the voice, or remember if I ever heard anything like that before.

Is it a man? A woman? No, neither. It’s a childish voice, but then, a little too metallic. And - how do I say it – well, watery! As if someone’s talking to you with a mouthful of water. A gurgling voice, if there is anything like that at all.

Hey, I am right here. Look again. Right. Yes, erm, no. A little more on the right. Turn, turn. Another 15 degrees, and you’ll see me.

What the fish!

This, for sure isn’t a dream, I deduce.

I look at the right - hard, harder, and then finally leave my bed. I take a step closer to the rightmost corner of my twelve by twelve palatial studio apartment.

No, not so right. Step back, step back. Now move left. Uh no, not so much. Here, here! Look. Look up.

It keeps on guiding me to itself, in the same strange gulping gurgling chiding finding voice.

And then, I spot it. Finally!

There, my two by four by one piece of glass box, with a toy-frog breathing away bubbles to glory on it’s pebbled bed, and a fisherman on a orange two-inches long boat swaying and floating and fishing no fish at the water surface. And my darling gold-fishes, three of them orange and three more in white, playfully entering and exiting the stone houses placed randomly on the aquarium floor.

But, wait! What’s that? Where did that come from!

It’s a new fish!! 

It’s yellow in colour; yellow as of a ripe banana that could turn brown and black any moment if you didn’t peel and eat it up right then. Its eyes, green. Much like a frog’s. And somehow, it’s so green that the green travels from the sockets of the eyes to even the bottom of its belly. Its lips are elaborate, as if they have a lot to say and are waiting impatiently, granting me a few final moments to finish measuring it up. The faint orange of the lips also percolates to its ears, which somehow suggests that it’s waiting to hear what I have to say to it, too. If I can gather myself up to say anything, that is
I am startled. Surprised. Shocked in disbelief. And if you’d trust me, even that is a gross understatement.

I wonder for a while if it’d be appropriate if I faint right there. It very well would make sense, won’t it? But then after a second and then a third thought, I decide against it. It’s hardly morning yet, and the maid would not come in another two hours. Not just that, the main-door is locked from inside too! So, what that means is, if I faint now I’d perhaps have to fetch water and sprinkle it on me all by myself to bring me back from it. Sigh!

I can’t even faint. Cruel, cruel world. That suppresses your instincts and kills your expressions, in every way and even this!

So, I firm up my mind and decide, dare, to take a second look at IT.

Oh! What the fish!

If I am not grossly hallucinating, it did what I saw it did right now. It winked at me!