Worthless words and unheard chirps

Say something chirpie, pleaseeee anything!” Anirudh said hopefully. He is a 6 year old little boy who is enthusiastic all the time for no reason. Once I was like that too but look what it has done to me. But that “something” hits me so hard. It’s been a while since someone asked me to say something I wish. I am silent as usual, after a while he is gone with a long face. I don’t know why he tries to make me talk this much. It’s so annoying. I drifted into sleep so I feel less horrible. 

*Six months ago* 

“Hey what are you doing red? I am waiting for you at home so we can go together to get some guavas, I can’t wait to taste the sweetness again,” said Pat drooling over his imagination. “I am bored of just eating. Why don’t we learn new words so we can express ourselves better?” I asked curiously.

‌”Why can’t you behave like a normal bird? I don’t know what you wanna express anything with new words. What we know is enough to express. Besides you have me. I will listen to whatever you say and I will understand and I know you will do the same for me. Isn’t it enough for you?” said Pat cheerfully.

“Ugh I know you would never understand. You say you understand me but all I see is you refusing to learn things. You are lazy and unenthusiastic. I wish I had friends who are like me and I will find them.” I flew away frustrated.

I could hear Pat trying to stop me. But I was too fast. I love my friend but he is just a normal bird who only talks about eating fruits and spending a jolly good time. I don’t like it. And I don’t agree with him about whatever words we know are enough. Words are very important to express and I will find someone like me. I got tired after reaching the city so I found a small empty spot for me to rest. After some time I felt a pat, I opened my eyes and saw a man. He offered me water and I said, “thank you.”

The man’s eyes became wide after I spoke. Guess it isn’t everyday they see a civilized and intelligent bird like me who knows a lot of words. “Wow you are talking, you will be very useful for me. As I gave you water, you owe me one lil birdy.” He then took me into his hands and put me in a cage. I was too shocked to fly away. It was too late but I thought that maybe it’s for my own good. I was tired of flying anyway. Humans know a lot of words they can teach me and I will find people who are intelligent and express things unlike my friend. 

It had been a week since the man sold me to what they call a zoo. There were so many wild animals around me. It felt somewhat like home. People came to see me while I talked. They all were loving me for my intelligence. I picked on so many words and was able to say them too. It was time to go back to my stupid best friend Pat and prove him why I was right. It had been 4 months. I missed that idiot and his senseless blabbering.

It was evening when the owner came to give me snacks. I asked him to let me go as I was done with the work I came for. He chuckled and said, “you are one funny bird. Eat your snack and be a good boy.” Then he was gone. I felt the panic and uneasiness. They are going to keep me here against my will. I thought when I expressed myself with better words they would let me go but this guy wasn’t taking me seriously at all. I didn’t want to be in this cage. It was not at all delightful. I stayed just to learn, now I am bored.

 I kept asking everyone to let me go in the hope that someone will understand me. But no one did. Some people got tired of me. And Some people got angry because I wasn’t saying what they wanted me to say. Some people got bored and even grew impatient. Even the people who said I am their favorite bird stopped coming because I only talked about what I want or how I felt and it was not entertaining. All I felt was regret. If no one cares or likes what I feel then there is no point in talking. So I stopped completely. 

Another month passed and a little boy with his dad came to buy me. The owner said that I was useless because I didn’t talk anymore. They can buy some other bird which says a few words. But the little boy insisted on buying me. So then I got caged in a new cage. Nothing different. The boy asked me to say something daily but I didn’t. It became a boring routine now.

*Present day*

words of white bird perched on cage
Photo by Oli Sumit on Pexels.com

I wake up from my nap. There is a guava placed in front of me. Damn I miss Pat. I don’t remember since when his blabbering started to make sense to me. He said, “whatever you say with your words I will understand.” If only I wasn’t too arrogant. If only I appreciated his friendship. If only I knew you don’t need better words to express to someone who cares enough to listen. And if only I can see him again…..

 “Did you eat your guava chirpie? I got for you specially from that scary uncle’s garden. I ran so fast he couldn’t catch me.” Anirudh laughs and says proudly. “How is it?” He asks me with his curious eyes. I replied, “sweet.” He grinned at me and said, “thought so! I will get you another one tomorrow,” and with that he leaves. For some reason, I feel like talking again. Maybe I will if he wants to listen to whatever I say.

Delusion of free life.

How free are you? Free enough to piss on any road we want. But free enough to get away to someplace and spend some time alone? If we are rich, we have to make sure we stay rich, and if we are not, then we should make sure to get rich. The delusion is to get rich so that one can achieve a stature where they can finally be free. But looking it from an outsiders perspective, it is a circle. We begin at some point, dreaming of an endpoint, but it never ends. The quest of life is to finally be free, but when?

If we look at this circle of the chase of life, we can call it a spiral. We begin at some point, and we realise we are not free, we understand that we have to run in the line to be free finally and reach our destination, but that point never comes. If the starting point is ‘existence’ and the endpoint is ‘death’, all that happens in between is a spiral. It is never a straight line; it is always a loop! We chase money instead of an object.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

No matter how evil that may sound, we all are material beings. It is material that we desire. We work, or we put some labour to gain some fruit. But the fruit of our labour is snatched away from us, and we get a paper called money. The concept is to exchange this paper to buy some material that brings us joy. But our desire to work has not become some object, but our passion is on the very paper, money!

We have begun to buy objects not to satisfy our needs and feel joyous but to live up to the standards of everyone around us. There is nothing wrong with buying what you love. If your target is to enjoy a holiday in GOA and you have worked six months to earn enough money to do that, do that! People make you guilty for buying something for yourself. But there is nothing wrong in purchasing a fleshlight for yourself if you want it.

But if you buy a car just because you have to buy it to create a social identity, you are lost in the spiral of forever chase and EMI! EMI is not dividing your money into specific months; it is dividing your labour too. In the delusion of buying anything you want, you choose EMI. And when you realise that you are drowned in debts, it is too late. It eats your entire salary and salary is not a gift, it is a fruit of your labour!

The only way to be a hacker in this spiral life is to use the money to do what you want. Buy whatever you want. Save just enough for you to live till you get the next job if you are fired, or you left. Utilise the gaps in jobs. Go freelancing if you want and enjoy your own life in the way you want. You have a choice right in front of you. You can either delude yourself in this meaningless existence that you are going to be free some day.
Or you can start living your life in the way you want and embracing the nothingness!


This tale and the tales to be followed are series of incidents which are taking place in the Land of Mendacius, a country in dystopia masked as utopia.



It’s 12 in the noon and the corridors were filled with kids running out of their classrooms holding lunch-boxes. Teachers were relieved of their duty, they seemed pleasant as they can now rest awhile. But Margaret, she doesn’t look relieved at all; she looked like she just saw a ghost. She was heading towards the dean’s office and was looking at little David who was walking along with her. David looks confused, as if he doesn’t know what’s happening. Soon the corridors and classes were empty as the students rushed to the lunch hall. David is looking at the students having their lunch while they were crossing the lunch hall. The empty corridors and stone walls echoed their footsteps as they approached set of stairs. All the way down, David started thinking what might have irked his Teacher. “What did I do, Miss?” he opened his mouth finally looking at Margaret. But she didn’t respond she kept on walking until they finally reached the Dean’s office. She opened her tight lips as she was about to say something, but closed them again, she just didn’t want to speak to David. So, she gestured David to wait outside. She wasn’t even looking at him when she signalled him to wait. She entered the Dean’s office and David started peeking in through the glass door. Margaret looked frightened and it looked like she was complaining, she pointed to David while speaking to the Dean. David hid as Margaret was pointing towards him. The school peon approached David, played wih his chubby cheeks. “What’s the matter little dove?” the Peon asked. David just shrugged and Margaret rushed out. The peon looked at Margaret “Good afternoon, Miss” he smiled. Margaret smiled back “How’s your day Ganesh?” she asked. “As busy as it could ever get” Ganesh sighed “Some kid has brought unapproved food in his box…. the quality tester was going all nuts on the kid. I had to call the kid’s parents to inform their kid would starve till they bring him approved food. I never understand why few parents don’t check the list before they prepare meals for their kids. I even memorized every item in that list by heart for my kids…” Ganesh kept on complaining. “Ganesh, Sorry but I have something to take care of. Can we talk about this later?” Margaret interrupted him and looked at David. “What’s wrong Miss? Did the little dove do something?” Ganesh asked curiously. Margaret looked around for a while and asked Ganesh to come a bit closer. Margaret was whispering something in Ganesh’s ears and all David could hear was air. As soon as she finished whispering, Ganesh turned towards David and he looked like someone used a stun gun on him. “This never happened before… not with people of his age!” Ganesh exclaimed. “Exactly, Ganesh! I happened to be his counsellor! Now it’s on me!” she sighed. Ganesh left but he was looking back at David in shock. Margaret called David’s father “Hello, Am I speaking to Mr. Albert Ross?”. “Yes, who’s this?” Albert responded. “I’m Margaret, your Son’s new counsellor. You need to come down here” Margaret was biting her nails and scratching her head while speaking. “Any trouble Ms. Margaret?” Albert sounded worried. “Yes, Mr. Albert and please understand what I’m trying to do here! It’s not something you convey in a call! It’s a regular interaction session” Margaret hinted him subtextually. “I get it! Thanks! I’ll be there in few minutes, my office is just 3KM from the school” Albert cut the call. Margaret was looking at David helplessly. Seven minutes passed and Albert was there all tensed and worried. “Can’t mention on a call, you said! Because you didn’t want them to know what happened. Is my son in a huge mess?” Albert asked interrogatively. “Yes he is, Mr.Albert!” Margaret looked very serious when she said that. “Look…Mr.Albert… I’m new here! Even the Dean wanted to help you, you are his close assosciate he said. I just want to keep this under the radar. I’ll forget this ever happened. But I’ve never seen someone of this age do the thing he did!” Margaret exclaimed. Albert remained speechless, opened his lips curiously and shook his head a bit. “I’ve seen people do this, people voluntarily choose to do this at certain age. But what is he? 7? 8? I’ve never seen people of this age do such a thing and again it was involuntary, he didn’t know what he was doing! He was doing it instinctively. How did he develop such an instinct? That’s what bothering me in the first place. What if he developed those instincts? He’d turn to be a threat to the Mendacius!” She was gasping and Albert was so confused “Cool down, Ms.Margaret! I always make sure we pack approved food for him, he even wears approved and tested clothes. I don’t seem to understand the problem over here!” he exclaimed. “Mr. Albert!” Margaret took a deep breath and came a bit closer “Your son, unlike all the other kids, spoke unapproved words. He was speaking..” She looked around to check if anyone is listening “Truth… He was speaking raw and brutal truth Mr.Albert! He was expressing what he felt in this piece of unapproved paper!” She gave a worn out journal to Albert. “I picked it from the woods on the way to home” David shouted to defend himself. “It isn’t marked! It’s unapproved!” Albert exclaimed and gulped while opening the journal.

My Feelings…..

Why am I not allowed to eat chicken while my cat eats them? Does it taste good?

Why am I forced to speak nicely when I want to yell my lungs out? Does it feel good to yell?

Why am I forced to wear Red, when I love to wear Blue? Will I look good in Blue?

Albert’s eyes were wide open and he shut the book close. “Where are these coming from?” Albert asked David. David just shrugged and looked down , his eyes were filled with tears, he was ready to burst out. “Thanks for letting it under the radar, Miss! I will take care of it! I never thought I’d have to teach him what’s approved and what’s not. Kids these days are just grasping it automatically. He’s either too dumb to catch up or too smart to follow them! Either way, I’ll make this right! Just grant him a leave for half-day” Albert assured Margaret and held little David’s hands “I’ve already done that” margaret passed a slip to Albert. Albert smiled and started walking out of the school holding David’s hands tight. Albert scanned the pass and his ID card at the gate and it was all glowing green, the gates are open now. Both of them got in to their car, they were going home. David was looking at Albert, his face was filled with guilt and fear. But Albert looked calm, he remained silent for the rest of the journey. They reached home and Albert picked up a ladder from the garage, looked at David and smiled. David felt relieved and followed Albert into the master bedroom. Albert climbed up to the attic and was searching for something. David was looking at the ladder and was scared to climb up, he sat on the bed instead. Albert came down with a big book in his hands. He brushed the book to clean the dust off it and sat beside David. “All devices off!” Albert yelled. *System shutting down* the home assistants were turned off. “Now, when we were young, our dad gave this book to us. There was a rule that we should rote learn all the phrases and rules in this book. It’s the foundation of Mendacius! As generations passed, it wasn’t necessary because kids learned approved behaviour from their parents. But you! You seem to be a rebel! A free thinker like your grandpa! Which is very dangerous in here! Now I want you to rote learn this book, report to me everyday about what you’ve been learning!” Albert gave the book to David. “I’ll let you write in your little journal here” Albert gives David the journal he was writing “But, you should never take it out in public, never read it out to people, it’s a secret you’ll protect with you! To the outside world, you are what the world says you are! Promise me!” Albert said while rubbing little David’s cheeks. David smiled and said, “Promise!” and snatched the journal out of his dad’s hands. On the bed lied the book which Albert gave to David. APPROVED WAY OF LIFE IN MENDACIUS was written on the cover page and it had a picture of a kid holding a board stating SAY NO TO FREE-SPEECH. David opened the book and the first chapter was EUPHEMISMS AND UNHARMFUL TERMS TO SPEAK.

*20 years had passed*

It was a customer service call centre, David was speaking to a client, his desk had a picture of him and his dad. There was a separate picture of his mom. “Yes, sir! You’re absolutely right! Yeah! You’ve an interesting point of view, sir!” he told his client. There was a chart posted on his desk, SUGARCOATED TERMS TO REMEMBER it read. There was a list on the chart.





There 745 more Euphemisms to help David speak to his clients. David was scribbling something under his desk and it looked like a worn out diary.