The weather is dry. An inconsiderate wind blows once in a while. The land lying below is stern and uninviting. It is also silent here. There isn’t a sound, except that of echoing silences punctured by thoughts that come from far away. These sounds are intermittent. Spread like a bed sheet all around is a plane that shows no signs of anything; nothing.
I’m 3 inches and I have a boat. I’ve lived here for long. It wasn’t as dry always. The element below used to be water. I’ve lived in a boat on water for most parts of my life. While on this boat, I floated in a gigantic bowl for I-don’t-know-how-many seasons. The water level used to be right up to the rim of the bowl. My boat used to take me all around the bowl’s circumference. I’ve rowed around this bowl and watched the world as it came up around me. While I’ve lived in my boat on this bowl of water, I’ve seen a whole city at work from the perspective of a spectator. I used to be a part of the city, but from afar. I’ve lived and laughed in this boat on a bowl of water and watched a life build up around me. Sometimes, the structures that came up awed me and sometimes, the ones that got pulled down saddened me. However, I was almost always fascinated by everything I could see by just floating around in that bowl. I used to feel safe in my boat.
Sometime ago, the scene I could see from my little boat began reducing in size and a brown wall began to rise. I wasn’t sure what was happening. I tried to row to the circumference of my bowl to see what the city was playing at. As it turned out, I got locked out of the city by that brown wall that grew and kept growing. I kept growing smaller, if that is possible, and the wall kept rising. The city around me gradually began disappearing into God-knows-where. It was only after a point that I realised that the water in my bowl was vanishing somewhere too. It could be that someone was emptying the bowl or the bowl was leaking. Either way, the life that was around me was being taken away from me as I descended to the depths of the hollow basin. I now live at the bottom of this bowl and it has been quiet ever since. And since then, it has also been dry. I remember, when this first happened, for many days, I sat in my boat and wondered what to do. I looked around and felt scared for being in a stranger in my own land. I didn’t know where to go and didn’t know what to do. All I could see was the vast, barren plane that rose high in the distance and leapt up to meet the sky. Now, there is brown all around and blue above me, and sometimes, it is white when clouds float by. Life has become soundless ever since. I have been mute too. I was 3 inches then, now I feel tinier than ever. I’ve been in this concave container for uncounted days and all I have is that boat which belongs to me. Unfortunately, there’s no water. I think a boat without water is an orphan.
I feel alone and helpless at times. I look up into the blue sky, at the rim of my bowl, and wish someone would send help. But then again, maybe I should find the hole that drained the water out and plug it before the rains come. And even if I can’t find the hole, the rains are going to come and it shan’t be as dry after that. Hopefully.
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