Sunday, early morning at 7; Dev heard a disturbing whisper coming from the store room in his courtyard at the back of his house. It sounded, as if few kids were murmuring something hideously. Dev had just returned to his natives after 6 long years of working in Oslo, Norway. He was born and brought up in Guwahati and was staying with his grandfather in the same house, where he was raised up. As per his grandfather, Dev’s great grandfather built the house in 1930’s and since then, the prestigious Chouhan’s, once a family with utmost teaching background, have been staying in the same house.
Dev Chouhan was the only son of Dr. Himanshu Shekhar Chouhan and Dr. Tanuja Chouhan, he was a 28 year old engineer with average looks and a man with good physique. Unfortunately 9 years ago, Dev lost his parents in a tragic train accident and got devoid of parental bliss; back then he was quiet an immature young teen lad of 19 years.
Few years ago, when all the mishaps in the Chouhan’s old bungalow were gradually settling down, he applied for an onsite job opening, as a system analyst in a private IT firm in Norway and got through. Further, Dev flew to Norway in order to serve and earn, whereas his grandfather had to stay alone with a full time employed maid taking care of him.
It was almost 4 am on a moonless Sunday midnight. Dev was on a long leave and has been replying to his official mails from his laptop.He started scribbling few sonnets and songs of his own after watching the documentary ‘Wall, by – Pink Floyd’. Dev had a hobby of playing the Guitars and composing songs, he has been doing that since his college days.Dev has been doing wonderful in everything he did. In school days, he was the School Cricket captain as well as the football team captain. In his per-University days, he was dating the best looking girl of the college. During his university days, he and his band won the inter-university rock competition ‘Inter-tech Rockfest’. But now he wanted to be a responsible and a respected man.
Dev wanted to use the washroom, so he unlatched the door to his courtyard. He was amazed , he heard whispering kid’s voices. He was curious and started to follow the voices, it was coming from his very old school bag hung on the wall . He actually startled to realize that he was following voices coming from a dead old school bag. He became a bit cautious and strangely careful and just took his ears near to the bag and started listening to the juvenile conversation.
‘It has been more than 15 years, he has not even even touched me. I still remember those days, when he in his half pants would call me “Hey, my Shotgun” and will use me to win friendly battles, games and cycle races. How can he be so much selfish and forgetful…?’ ‘What say…?? Don’t you miss those days “Hot Wheels” and “Video Games”?’
‘We do miss them “Shotgun”, but you know change is inevitable. As time advances and humanity evolves in itself to grow, we are tend to be forgotten and thrown’, says the “Ferrari from Hot Wheels”.
“Video Games by Media” added to it, ‘Shotgun bro, don’t you remember the last words; during end days of our Mother, “Kettle” from kitchen set how she was crying because daughter Anuja Chouhan threw her away in anger. Moreover, Father ‘LUDO’ and Uncle ‘SCRABBLE’ met with an accident and the entire basket was burnt, along with the garbage’.
Further, “Shotgun” exclaimed, ‘I know that all my brothers, but am worried because I am unable to hold back my tears and apparently would get rusted soon to die and decay’.
“Hot Wheels” consolingly replied, ‘don’t worry Shotgun; tomorrow somehow, we will make old grandpa’ “Milton” water bottle cry and leak and we would ensure that Dev opens the bag to have a last glimpse of you’.
“Media Video Games” concluded the conversation by saying, ‘Come brothers, let’s go to sleep or else Almighty Sun will rise and will make us blind forever for conspiring against our Masters’.
There was a silence for few minutes, then all 3 of them said goodnight to each other and bid farewell to their respective bed. Probably, they were dead scared after the incident of ‘Marble Scandal’ and ‘Spinning Top Tragedy’; which were publicly banned in good families by almighty Sun, because kids started to gamble and fight devilishly on those games.
Spellbound and stunned Dev stood by the hung old school bag, silently listening to the entire conversation. He was thoughtless and confused about what to do next. With shivering hands and sweaty palms, he unzipped the bag to open it. Inside the bag to his surprise, he found an old vintage shotgun of his, with which he used to play when he was a kid. Then he found his video games by Media, for which he was punished and by Mom so many times. He also found the third speaker of the conversation between his old toys, the “Ferrari” by “Hot Wheels”, which he got from Aunty Anuja on his 10th birthday. All 3 of them were dormant and secretively lying inside the school bag. Seeing this sight, Dev helplessly took a quick recap down the memory lane of good old school days. He was unable to stop his emotions and had no ways to speak, he shed a drop of tear , which landed on the old vintage Shotgun.
“An Old Vintage Shotgun of Mine”.
A loaded pistol,
With youthful courage till yesteryear;
Now lies naked and dormant,
And Is found to be lifeless and dead.
Somewhere, buried in my Junkyard,
Playfully tested till now in all arms to shame;
As it shyly, blushes and whispers to admit,
Murmuring its helplessness into my ears.
Ooh! My Childhood friend,
It feels like an impotent;
To be so bullet-less today.
My Golden days have all ended,
Life has become so ignorant now;
As I’ve become so bullet-less today.
As the pendulum constantly oscillates,
Time has traded fast on twenty wheels;
Looking for some good fortune in distant lands.
And a store-room in my backyard,
Has always remained the same;
And is still kept unchanged.
But never was any eye caught,
Not even mine;
To drool upon the nozzle of that Gun;
Like the way I used to do,
Used to lovingly do before.
Strolling down my kindergarten alley,
When a Gun was gifted on a bright Christmas morning;
It used to amaze me in my childhood days,
As I so excitedly unwrapped and got it out;
From the mysterious and magical White socks,
Which was hung on my bed; Hung all night,
Waiting for a snowy white beard old man;
A laughing sage in an exception;
Who lived on the mystical hill-side view,
Of my Steel city.
Today, after so many years,
A long craved sight fell upon it;
And it instantly drove me back,
To flash my childhood nostalgic days.
When infant Army camps used to settle,
To battle in the air for all day long;
Under the densely old,
Never claimed tree by anybody – ‘Our Mango Tree’.
Ooh! How then this pistol fakingly killed,
So many nappie buddies of mine.
Who played and just acted,
To be dead as my enemies.
Ooh..! How strangely it feels like,
A game of now.
When today the lil’ me gazing at any topic,
Sitting in my backyard;
Stumbled and pondered to find,
An old vintage Shot-gun of mine.
So curiously digging the wearily torn school bag,
Hanging since ages on the dampened wall.
Ooh..! So clueless, I fumbled upon,
An old vintage Shotgun of mine.
Dumped and buried under thousand other,
Essential antique toys of mine;
Which notoriously has got rotten in rust.
In closed walls of adolescence,
Where white parchments seeps overall;
From moist doors of yesterday,
Ooh..! How strangely it still feels like today.