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Mithka August 26, 2007

Posted by K in Abstract Ramblings, Fiction, Life.


Everywhere she went, the sound of her slippers followed her.

Flap, flap, flap. Where are you going, Mithka, they would ask her. She was stop, suck in her cheeks and declare solemnly, “To the doctor; baby needs medicine.” Or, “To the zoo, baby wants to see Tiger.”

One day they asked her who Baby was, and discovered that it was baby, and not Baby. “Baby is my friend,” is all the child would say.

As she grew up, she spoke less and less of baby, but they all knew that it still existed in her mind.

“What are you thinking of, Mithka?”

“Baby…I mean,nothing.”

 It worried her family, sometimes. Did the child need a shrink? Should they pretend that they didn’t notice? What was the right thing to do?

“Take her to a Guruji,” said Mrs. So and So.

“Give her sleeping pills at night…”

“Help her make friends…”

But she had friends. Every year at her birthday party, her parents went mad organizing food for thirty or so hungry contemporaries.

Who was this baby? What it a person? A girl or a boy? Was it a spirit? Who was baby??

If Mithka noticed the mental turmoil she had given rise to, she didn’t give any sign of it. She went on living her life, growing yearly, aging intermittently.

One day baby disappeared. Mithka couldn’t find her (or was it him? It?) anymore. She didn’t let on her distress, but she was torn. She felt like her being had been ripped to shreds and scattered for the fleas to feed on.

They all enquired ofcourse. What happened, Mithka? But as she herself didn’t know what had happened, it was useless trying to answer.

She went up to the old room where her baby clothes had been preserved, and dug out her slippers. They flapped before her eyes, but baby was still missing.

Mithka turned eighteen, and by then, she had stopped talking about baby. Possibly baby had even faded from her conscious mind. But one day, she came upon her old diary, and read the tear smudged pages, and decided to say goodbye to whatever remained of her(and by now, even she had forgotten whether it was she, he or it).

The irony is that very night, she dreamt of baby. And now she realized, baby was actually Baby.


















1. Paul Sunstone - August 27, 2007

Have I mentioned that I adore your writing style? It’s a wonderful pleasure to read you! I hope you have plans to further develop your skill in this area and perhaps even become a professional author. It’s a tough road, but someone with your talent should give that thought serious consideration.

2. Paul Sunstone - August 27, 2007

Oh, I forgot to mention — Thank you for the link! I’m honored, and I have happily linked back to you on my blog.

3. jnarin - August 28, 2007

I’m thoroughly confused. 😦

4. KnotKeats - August 28, 2007

I’m going to sleep on this one and read it again tomorrow.

When I was a little boy, my gramma made me a monkey doll out of a man’s sock. It was brown and had buttons for eyes, and a big red mouth surrounded by white (that was the heel of the sock).

My big brother used to torment me by abusing monkey. He would punch monkey, and pull on his tail, and twist his head. He would torment monkey until I went into a fury and attacked him. Then he would beat me up.

I remember that monkey had his arms and legs and tail pulled off so many times that he was stretchy at the seams. I remember that the last time my brother pulled monkey’s tail off, the fabric was so distressed that my mom couldn’t fix it. She sewed it on, but it never looked right again.

40 years later, my dad was going through his garage and he found a bunch of my old stuff. He put it in a box and mailed it to me.

When I got the box, monkey was in it. His seams are perfect. You would never know that any of his limbs or his tail had ever been ripped off. He’s unbelievably dirty, but that’s what happens when you take a sock doll everywhere with you for years, and sleep with it every night.

All those years I thought monkey was so badly destroyed that he had been thrown away. I used to hate my brother for destroying monkey.

But monkey is in great shape. He just needs a bath, which he won’t get.

I’ll never know how monkey got resurrected. He was destroyed, and now he is whole. Maybe I just imagined the destruction. Maybe some friend of my dad’s, or some relative of mine found monkey in my dad’s garage or basement sometime during those 40 years and fixed him.

All I know is that I thought I had lost monkey forever, but he’s been patiently waiting all of these years.

5. Sreejith - August 28, 2007

Mithka! I am in love with the name.. its so.. enigmatic and subdued. The post is quite delicious i must add! Am i right in sensing a deep-seated reference to infanticide in here?

6. sporadicblogger - August 31, 2007

I shall get back to this…

7. KnotKeats - September 2, 2007

I promised I’d read it again but I didn’t get around to it until today. I can see several possible interpretations. It’s thought-provoking. In a way, it feels like a zen koan. It’s not something you can understand through normal analytical thought.

So I’ll give a pseudo-zen answer by unclenching my closed hand until it is flat, stretching it out towards you, and showing you Baby.

And I’ll give you my analytical response by saying that our childhood is not a nameless part of our past, and it is not something that we carry forward with us into adulthood.

Our personality is not a single, integrated entity. We are literally multitudes, all trying to be Me, with various parts or committees running things at different times.

We outgrow some of those selves, or they become obsolete or unnecessary or absorbed into another part of ourself, and they disappear. What was perceived as not us as a child is clearly the child we were, when viewed from the adult perspective.

Confused? I’m thinking of consciousness as discussed by Minsky in “Society of Mind.” I think it fits your story well, and I happened to run across an oblique reference to it in a novel I was reading today.

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