The blue nib, fountain pen and ink pot were real treasures of my father as he was a word player. I was an imitator, you know One day as my mother was rinsing the clothes in the blue water, my childish curiosity was unclogged. ‘Is there any relation between blue nib, blue water and blue indigo?’ Even a fragmented simulacrum digs a deep well. Many ghosts erupt in a bunch once they are irked. ‘That is indigo. White clothes look more fresh after dipping in liquid indigo. Indigo is a product of a shrub named indigofera. They are used as dye and nowadays they are also formed synthetically.” Father was an academic and always satiated my curiosity. My mother was a storehouse of baked stories of varied colors and they had a strange style of rejuvenation. One day I sliced her blue story, in the kernel I saw the stallions were stamping in the same soil though buildings were replaced by mud huts and clouds were black. India was enslaved in those days and my grandfather and grandmother were remnants of a colonial era. My father and my mother were children of the colonial days and conveyors of curious stories. Mother especially talked about the stallions that Lal sahab and his wife rode. “They were white like foam and blood would have oozed out on a mere simple prick. Such was their skin. They were our owner and Maalik.” mother thudded her memory. The withered days got alive one by one in new flesh. My maternal grandfather and other villagers used to hide in their houses, on the sound of thundering hooves of horses. British traders were rulers too. This cocktail of power and trade insinuated the most harrowing flame in the Indian soul. But even history makers become a puppet in the clutch of history once their time is over. I saw a dilapidated red house among the open fields surrounded by wheat fields. It could be easily seen through the main road. It used to be the administrative office for indigo plantation and taxation in British India. Crows were hoarding upon the red bricks and a few villagers were herding cows in the surrounding fields. Sun was overhead. In the scorching sun, I stepped down from my car to touch the red bricks. A villager stopped me and said, “Don't go there, ghosts gallop there and at night a cry of blue bones is heard. Sound of trotting horses at midnight is common.” The forbidding symbol of the British empire in which sunset was banished , was now a pissing broken red yard. But has it died completely? Among the cries of blue bones wrapped in brown skin when alive, may also have been a fragment of my grandfather. No one will ever know now.
DR. PRAGYA SUMAN is a doctor by profession and an award winning author from India. She is posted now as Senior Resident in Shri Krishna Medical College, Muzaffarpur, Bihar, India. Writing is her passion which she inherited from her father. She also writes short stories and reviews which have been published in many magazines and anthologies. Surrealism, prose poetry, and free verse , avant garde are her favourite genres. Recently she won the Gideon poetry award for her debut book Lost Mother. Her second poetry book was published recently by Ukiyoto Publishing, Canada. She is Editor in Chief, Arc Magazine, India.