Happy Diwali 2019!
You must have been blessed with Diwali and New Year’s wishes today and will be receiving the same in coming days from your friends, loved ones and many others who care for you :).
We, Team ThinkerViews want to make your Diwali really special, this time…
We are glad to present you a sneak peek into a fantastic short story collection The Third Eye And Other Tales by Sumana Dutta Chowdhury.
Sumana Dutta Roy Bandyopadhyay is an avid reader and movie buff since her childhood. Her parents raised her in the best way they can. They were living in a humble background those days, but, they instilled one of the best habits one can have – reading. The list of her favorite authors include of Satyajit Ray among others.
Sumana is a biochemical engineer by profession (she has done her B. Tech. from Jadavpur University in Food Technology and Biochemical Engineering) and she is a Hindustani classical music vocalist too! Telling stories was her passion and might be the birth of her daughter helped her rediscover this talent and inspired to explore even more horizons of the same. So, she started a blog in around 2016.
Encouraged by the response to the stories, pushed and supported by family members and inspired by her daughter’s innocent and genuine smile, she has decided to pen down short stories. The things move ahead as per the plan and eventually, she came up with a collection of 10 short stories. These short stories are available in the form of a book now which was released just last month.
|Book Title||:||The Third Eye And Other Tales|
|Author||:||Sumana Dutta Chowdhury|
|Publisher||:||Lockley Hall Publishing LLP; Published: (2019)|
|# of Pages||:||149 (Paperback)|
|# of Chapters||:||10|
During our conversation we found her a humble and genuine human being and she agreed to share a story from her book with our readers. And, we are thankful to her for the same :).
And, here is the story “Reverse Wax Museum” from “The Third Eye And Other Tales” for you to Enjoy!
Reverse Wax Museum
“Pablo, have u finished your food?” – yelled Mary Pearl Kongsain, the name itself is enough. Mary, the daunting principle of a posh High School in central Kolkata is often taken for a ride by this amazingly sharp and supremely agile fair, well built and handsome five year old Pablo, her apple of eye, her son.
“Look if you don’t finish we are not going to the Wax Museum – I am telling you” yet another time Mary yelled.
On the other side, Pablo is mesmerized by the cobweb across the ceiling of his room and is deeply engrossed in witnessing the spider weaving the cobweb. So very symmetrical distribution of the strings, equidistant from the central axis and the path traversed by the spider to weave the web is same on both sides.
All on a sudden only to dismantle his respite and awe, Pablo’s mother shakes him finally and said “Get ready quickly – we need to leave now – After seeing the wax museum we need to go to Smitha aunty’s place and then to market and then back home. So stop thinking now and get ready – Fast Pablo – I am counting”.
Mr. Kongsein is an easy guy, seeing Mary to be highly hyper and annoyed by the sloth exhibited by Pablo, he readily got up and made Pablo wear the new shirt and blue jeans, combed his hair quickly and presented this deeply engrossed guy in front of Mary.
“Mom, I am ready , lets go”- smiled Pablo.
Peter Kongsain, Pablo’s Father is an investment banker and is matured enough to handle the ifs and buts, the do & don’ts of life. He effortlessly manages the overall well being of the family which revolves around Pablo and his aggressive counterpart Mary. He is the fulcrum of their family and balances both sides quite at ease. While Mary is jittery and worried about the delay to reach the wax museum, Peter in his very own relaxing style took his new car out of the garage, took Mary on his side and Pablo at the back, checked drinking water in the car, tyre condition, pushed the clutch, maneuvered the gear, slowly released the clutch, pressed the accelerator and HUSHHHH……….. . Barring few instances of the inevitable traffic signals Peter’s car reached the destination of WaxMuseum 10 mins before the estimated time of arrival.
So this is the short description of Peter and his poise – always in full command of any situation and events.
Pablo has heard a lot about the Wax Museum from his friends. He is quite excited about coming here in one of the lazy holiday afternoon. He has heard that this place beholds the wax statues of all the glittering and distinguished celebrities people crave to meet. This concept taken from Madame Tussouds. Fine arts and craftmenship were exhibited by the painters and artists who make the wax statues. More than the statues artistic detailing is interesting to watch and more interesting is the moods of the personas these craftmen capture- Explicit work of art.
Pablo was awestruck to begin with the “Mother Terasa’s” wax statue. Pablo had read in newspaper, saw in documentary films that this great soul has devoted her entire life to humanity without asking anything in return. Pablo wonders that he has been quite familiar with the stooping down posture of the distinguished lady with hands folded and greeting “Namaste” to the mass. Pablo touched mother’s attire to sense something but the status didn’t move. It just casted the static smile and greeted Pablo as it greeted the other people.
In the museum, Pablo felt there are two aspects to be looked at, the displayed and not displayed. The people visiting the museum also somehow joins to be a part of the antique and rich experience. The mount of hype and enthusiasm displayed for taking selfies with each statue is quite interesting. Almost everyone wants to be framed in common canvas with all wax statues. The merriment portrayed while posing seems like the wax statue is real. With statues if this is the situation Pablo wondered what they will do with the originals.
While Pablo was engrossed in these deep thoughts of humanbehavior, Peter and Mary were busy taking photos of each other. Mary was delighted to encounter wax statue of her heartthrob Tom Cruise posing “Top Gun” pose and took various clicks at various angles with the sensational guy (don’t think she remembered that it is was statue and not the true Tom).
A question was bothering Pablo and he leaned at Mary and asked “Mom, can u hear me I want to ask a question”.
“Yes, Pablo just tell me r u enjoying? See there is Batman & Super man also for you to pose – come I will click ur snaps” quickly completed Mary.
“Mom can you see what I am seeing, I am seeing all the statues are quite sad”. “It seems they are very tired and wants to go to sleep” – Pablo iterated.
“Pablo just enjoy, don’t think” – ushered Peter who was so far busy taking selfie and feeling good about himself.
All on a sudden to Pablo’s surprise, Pablo faced some resistance moving his hands and legs, he wanted to run to Mary but he sawMary also was standstill. Pablo tried his best to move his hand but it was getting solidified and within a few minutes Pablo was standstill all his body parts were fixed and converted to wax.
Pablo couldn’t understand what was happening, to shout he vigorously tried to open his mouth but nothing was moving. He found himself, Mary, Peter and all other visitors converted to wax statues and was standstill. The spotlights fired on them and there seemed to be no way to come out. Pablo was chocked. While Pablo cud see all of the moving bodies converted to wax, he discovered a change in the surrounding.
What is this? what is happening? Pablo said to himself.
He saw the wax statues were getting melted and the real heroes were alive. They were moving their arms & body and roaming around Pablo and other visitors who have become wax statues. Pablo was totally jinxed. He was not able to understand the strange exchange of concepts. He saw Tom Cruise, Britney Spears, Sachin Tendulkar, Rabindranath Tagore loitering around aimlessly within the wax statues of them and others. Their individual styles, gestures have taken a back seat. They seem to be mesmerized with the wax statues including that of Pablo, Peter and Mary and seem to enjoy their break free time.
Pablo was hearing few intellectual exchanging notes among themselves and taking selfies with the statues and is being equally thrilled and excited to be a part of the reverse Wax Museum.
The saga was not destined to be continued for long though.
With a sudden thud and push, Pablo suddenly found himself leaning on the table of the cafeteria beside the museum and heard the yelling of Mary.
“Pablo. get up, we need to go home now, our visit is over”
Pablo went home, followed the due course of activity and finally went to bed. But the instance of reverse wax museum kept him thinking on and on. The hypothesis was coming and going in his mind just like the swirls created when a water particle drops in the water filled tub. It creates wave and then settles, again another synchronic wave and settles.
Days passed, months passed and years passed by. The final school ANNUAL DAY has arrived and Pablo already was at the 10th standard and was the brightest kid in his school. He by that time mastered in oration, writing, swimming and was a confident & hardworking son of Mary and Peter. In the formal closing of the school Annual Day function, father Alter declared that Pablo will narrate a speech on one of his favourite topic and that could be anything Pablo wishes.
Pablo, the smart guy went up the stage, looked at the huge at the audience of aspiring parents and started. “My Favourite topic is Wax Museum” -then went on effortlessly describing the strange experience of a little boy in wax museum, he paused and started again “I wonder how I was dreaming the reverse concept, I wonder what triggered such a bizzare dream. But when I thought about it at length the analogy struck in my mind. Every one of us deserves a fair chance of being themselves, not to be taught, not to be directed, not to be ordered and not to be moulded. When we do something extraordinary due to our relentless perseverance we also somehow start feeling that we are superior , we have some power that the guy next door does not have, hence we start publicizing ourselves, start putting banners, hoarding and allure big business tycoons to sponsor us, our deeds, our creations in films, novels, studies etc etc. In all these hustle and bustle one basic thing we often forget rather overlook and undertreat and that is “who made us famous?” We forget that it is the common people, the guy next door who made us famous. They are purchasing the creations we are proud of and hence our number game increases. They are the ones who go to theatres to see our films, they are ones who take immense toil travelling in local train to reach the spot where our performance is staged, they are the ones who go fanatic taking a single click with us by our side, they are the ones who we cast a plastic smile and wear the power turban when we meet them in street. So shouldn’t they be given a chance to pose as a statue and we look on them, live their pains for a moment, think a little more on their daily grind and say hey look I want to pose with the gut who took my
autograph couple of days back?
With that note followed by pin drop silence, the auditorium of the Annual Day function filled with the sounds of the clapping hands, tears, and emotions…
So, as you can see, it is the story of “being human”, understanding others and respect the humble ones. We’ve enjoyed reading it, and I am sure you also had a fantastic time reading it, right?
Feel free to share your views about it by all means.
We’ve received our paperback copy of the book, and we are eager to share with you all, our unbiased book review for the same, so stay tuned.
And yes, a “big thank you” to Sumana, for sharing this wonderful story with us.