Home > Uncategorized > That Little Blue Peacock

That Little Blue Peacock

This blog is dying. I got a big zero on my ‘views’ stats today.

So, today, am going to tell you something very personal. Maybe more personal than the stuff people actually call personal. I’ll tell you about a strange trait of mine. I can’t dare call it ‘trait’ for the simple reason that these are things which I don’t do, but things that compulsively happen to me. Over time, I feel these are things I was born with. They are simple and fleeting. Unsayable and Insignificant. But that’s how the most important things in life are – unsayable and insignificant.

What are these? There are a lot of these ‘things’, but today, I’ll restrict myself to certain images, memories rather that have stuck to me like a happy butterfly on your sweat shirt. (Our folklore says it means you’ll get married soon!)

I was a wee little child then. I went to this school that was called Lycee (strange, I think, for school name, especially when you run a high risk of calling it ‘lice’). The feriwallahs or the hawkers made quite a colourful, noisy jungle outside our school. They these colour wheels, little happy wind mill like structures, that spun around in the wind, and children, fools that we are, squealed with delight, and imposed their pester power on mothers, whose adulthood couldn’t make any sense whatsoever as to spend something so valuable and hard-earned as ‘money’ for something as frivolous as a paper-crafted plaything.

I was a frightened quiet child, who didn’t dare go outside to play, lest the others played better than her. Didn’t dare raising her hand in class, lest her answer was wrong and she was mocked at with a painful roar of giggle from the rest of the class, most of whom, she was sure, did not know the answer as well. Funnily, she was scared of this boy, and squealed in fright as he approached her, because his pink gums covered more area than his row of mice like teeth.

This girl (me, in case you’ve lost the narrative voice), took a fascination to a toy bird. Interestingly, this wasn’t a bird she had seen in her friend’s hand, and grown jealous. This was a bird she’d seen in her dreams sometime. A beautiful peacock it was. She had even commanded her dream to last awhile so that she could see it in detail. It was blue, the colour of Lord Krishna’s body, it’s crest was embedded with shiny glass that reflected bits of the world onto her chubby fair face. And the plume. O! it was the most beautiful thing she’d ever come across. It was made of feathers and had the quaint festive ellipses in a riot of colours. It dazzled her.

Soon, she was after her mother’s life. She made her leave the burning oven and described the toy bird to the T. Her mother, of course, tried to make her understand that playthings are a waste of money. They don’t last and wither away too soon. But economics hadn’t entered her foolish curly head just then. So she pestered and pestered, until, one day, she came out of school and her mother surprised her with her dream bird.

Only, it wasn’t what she wanted. Wasn’t the grand plumed peacock that haunted her dreams. It was a parrot. A parrot in lewd green with a ruddy red beak and a silly squeak when you pressed her belly.

“I didn’t get a peacock anywhere dear. So I bought this. Isn’t it cute?”

The little girl was heart-broken. It was her first heart-break. Her first attempt to put up the brave mask, which she hasn’t been able to put down ever since.

“Yes, it’s nice!”

She smiled. Then they started for home. Where books and studies awaited her. A bit of the sky in her hands. Clutching a compromised dream. They were walking merrily when a rowdy fair in the yonder disturbed them. The girl’s heart skipped a beat.

Thud Thud (Skip) Thud

A fair!  Playthings!  A chance to find the dream peacock!

 She pulled her mother mercilessly, with all her child-brute strength. Her mother cursed and shoved forward into the spendthrift fair, unwilling and impractical.

She stopped at each stall and saw rows and rows of playthings. Cars, birds, cutlery, dolls. The Peacock? It wasn’t there. Nowhere. The mother sensed her disappointment. She thought she might as well spend some money for Happiness’ sake. She stopped at a soft-toy shop. Before them lay a wild row of  tiny black rabbits, their cute stomachs and nimble ears pruned up in felt. She picked one up.

skip thud skip thud skip skip

How much?

The passively impressive shop lady rose up and said in two clearly spaced, neatly pronounced words.

Ten Rupees.

That’s way too much!

The passive impressive shop lady gradually sat down again. She had done her job. Bargaining did not exist in her world.

There, the story ended. The Peacock was lost forever. The Little Black Rabbit blinked on with a sad dent in the puffed ears. I clutched the compromised dream and got back home. Heartbroken and puzzled about the unfairness of it all.

If any mothers are reading this. I have just one thing to say.

There are somethings on which you can’t put a price tag.

Some Peacocks deserve to fly.

Yours Joblessly,   The Jobless Ideator

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. January 11, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    “A bit of the sky in her hands. Clutching a compromised dream.” — beautifully put. Where are you from, or where did you grow up?

    As an elementary schooler, I asked my mother for a pony for Christmas (typical, I know), and on Christmas day, with a big grin, she told me my present was under the tree. “How could a pony fit under the tree?” I thought. She handed me a 4×10 box. I tore through the wrapping. Maybe it was some accessory for my new horse? We came from a family of jockeys and horse trainers, so my mother, of all people, would know just what I’d need. When I got to the end of the wrapping, I saw my actual present: it was, indeed, a pony. A brown and beautiful and PLASTIC pony. Devastated, I threw the toy at her face, and ran to hide in my room.

    Turns out, though, some things are better off not had. I would’ve got bored with that pony the way I got bored with future gifts I just “couldn’t live without.”

    Maybe your peacock will (re)appear in a different way. Maybe you’ll see those same colors, and see a new significance in relation to your life now. Maybe that peacock has always been with you. And maybe we shouldn’t ask so much of our mothers…. Lol.


    • January 12, 2012 at 9:04 am

      Hola Amanda!
      It’s so nice to see you in here!
      Your pony story is heartbreaking. I can only imagine the intensity or let’s say, Expanse of your crestfallen-ness. You’re right about the gifts. And I also think the ‘journey’ is more important than the ‘destination’. I am from Kolkata, India. Here, the biggest and the most fanatic festival is the Durga Puja. It usually comes around in October and goes on for 4-5 days (according to the calender). The whole of Kolkata, wait, hoard clothes, make-up and money for these 4 days. And when it comes, I’ve heard the voice of disappointment more than once, “Now, it’s going to go away!” It’s better to wait for your pony, Amanda. And my Peacock!
      Keep coming back. And keep writing great stuff. You’re fantastic!

      Yours Joblessly,
      The Jobless Ideator

  2. January 11, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    p.s. nice post. I like the “personal” element. Stories from childhood are always fascinating 🙂

  3. Uma S
    February 4, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    In a way, I think it’s good that our mothers’ never gave us the birds of our dreams. The dream would have ended then and so would have Life for us. Do we not carry on with our lives, just because we love to keep alive our dreams ?

    Happy dreaming. Happy Living.

    • February 4, 2012 at 2:55 pm

      You are right. I expressed the same thing to Amanda, in one of the comments. However, that moment of ‘wanting’ is as virgin as this moment of ‘realization’. Both will live in their absolute rights. Delighted to have you here 🙂

      Yours Joblessly,
      The Jobless Ideator

      • Uma S
        February 4, 2012 at 3:03 pm

        Yes, i agree that the journey is always important than the destination, but then again, the journey is enjoyable and important enough, only we have a destination in our mind.

        I wish, we get to know our destinations soon. Wishing you a very happy journey. Hope you wish me the same too. 🙂

      • February 5, 2012 at 6:25 pm

        Of course I wish the same for you Uma!

        Yours Joblessly,
        The Jobless Ideator

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