Sunday, June 19

The Wooden Heart - III

Click here to read this story from beginning. 


He picked a sharp knife and made a deep cut on wooden heart. “This is the first cut that she made with her eyes the day I saw her” He made another, less deep mark with knife. “This is the cut of dreams in which we walked together” He felt corners of his eyes getting wet, barriers hindering his tears were moving away, making way for the flood of grief shouting out aloud inside the boy. “This is cut of her contempt with which she raised her hand to show me the diamond ring” He muttered, carving another scar on the smooth surface. First tear snuck out of his eyes, so quietly that even boy couldn’t know of its existence until it touched a corner of his lip and slid down into his mouth, leaving a salty taste on his tongue.

He went on his work. His heart began to speak; each and every scar began to tell its place of existence and boy kept carving all of them on wooden heart. There were scars given by harsh attitude of carpenter and many more by loneliness of life he lived and many more of memories of past those he never knew had left a scar on his heart. By the time boy drew last, deepest line on no more smooth surface of wood, his face was wholly drenched in his own tears and the wooden heart was looking like a clumsily drawn map. “This is the cut made by her words that I shall think about my own status one hundred times before thinking about her” Boy said, and, with all the power that his hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder could afford to spend jointly, he made a very deep cut on the surface of heart. Technically, this was not craftsmanship, heart was already weakened by scars covering it and this cut weakened it to the extent that a little use of force was enough to break it in two parts. However, we certainly know that boy was not in situation where he could pay attention to such technical details.

“Ah, this looks like my heart know.” Boy said, wiping his face with both hands.
But this wasn’t still boy’s heart. There was something missing, something that made boy’s heart looking beautiful even in the mild light of stars. Wooden heart contained all of bruises from boy’s heart but it was not looking beautiful, it was looking dreadfully ugly in mild light of stars.

What is missing? Boy asked himself, raising again the heart before his eyes.

Answer came like a flash of lightening. Heart is not all about bruises, it has its own innate design that made it look peculiarly like someone’s own heart and not like anyone else’s. Each heart in this world has its own innate design and its own scars. The beauty of heart didn’t lie in scars or in the innate design solely, the beauty of any heart is a unique combination of its innate design and its scars.

“I can’t inscribe innate design of my heart on this wooden heart.” Boy said. He knew that, The Hand which carves out design of hearts is so Great and Skillful that human hands can’t do anything except getting together to pray or praise Him when it comes to contemplate on His designs. “But I can inscribe some other kind of design that could suit a wooden heart and make it looking complete.”

But he couldn’t decide how to begin his design, he tried to remember how carpenter etched furniture with beautiful design but designing the furniture and designing a heart are different things. Wiping off his tears again, boy tried to remember if he has ever seen someone else making some kind of design. He thought and thought and though, recalled the past and recalled it, until he went very far back into past. He saw two hands knitting something and two little hands playing with red, green, blue, white and yellow balls of wool. Boy knew both hands well, knitting hands were of her mother and little hands were boy’s own hands. 

“What are you knitting Mama?” His own voice echoed in his head.
“I’m knitting your scarf and sweater little dear” Mother’s soft, loving voice replied.
“Mama, why do we wear scarf and sweater?” Curious little child asked.
“We need sweater and scarves to stay safe from cold. Cold makes us feel bad.” Mama replied.
“Why these balls of wool have many colors, Mama?”
“Because I’m going to make with them a beautiful design for my cute son”
“What is this design Mama?”
“On your sweater, this is a garden with red flowers and a bright sun shining on it. Warmth of sun will protect my son’s beautiful and delicate heart from cold and garden will make him happy. On your scarf, this is a scene of night with big moon and a lot of stars, they ………”


Boy couldn’t recall more than that. The lump shackled in his throat was moving swiftly and was about to blow up any time. “Where are you Mama?” He cried “Your son is feeling so much bad, his heart is being attacked by cold on all sides. He needs warmth of the bright sun you knitted for him. Your son badly and desperately needs your garden of red flowers.” The lump blew up. All the grief locked up in heart ran upward towards his eyes and tongue. “Where are you Mama?” The boys was sobbing and calling like a lost child calling his mother. “Tell me for what purpose that moon and stars were on my scarf, tell me … Look at your cute and dear son Mama, what world has made of him.”

Boy himself couldn’t realize when he picked a carving knife and among sobs and began to carve a design on the heart. Blurriness of his tearful eyes and trembling of his hand, commonly obstacle in the way of craftsmanship, seemed to have control of this design about which boy himself had no idea what it’s going to be. At fine curves of top, it was like the moon he saw from the bridge and the silver column on water’s surface, at the tip below it consisted of fine oriental pattern carved at buggy of lady that day when he saw her first, at the space between both, it was a miniature of embroidery of her dress. The dress she wore when boy saw her first time and the same dress that she wore today. When he etched last line of design and wiped last tear from his cheek, this heart was tuned into a beautiful piece of art, scars of boy’s heart merged into design so naturally that it was almost impossible to discern one from another.

He sat at a log with the wooden heart in hand and gazed at the heart. It was no more a dead piece of wood, it was very much like an alive heart, had it not the color and pattern of wood, anyone could wonder if it’ll start beating any time. It seemed to say something to boy, boy tried to listen to him. But listening to a heart, especially to a wooden heart is very difficult job when your heart and eyes have spilt out all the poison of grief and lightness of relief is turning into burden of sleepiness. Gazing at heart and trying to listen to him, wondering if really this heart is saying anything at all, boy feel asleep. By then, there were not many ticks of clock left before sunrise.  


When carpenter arrived at workshop, boy was in deep sleep. Marks of tears were dried on his face and pieces of queer shaped wood scattered all over the workshop and wooden heart lay right on the chest of boy where his real, bruised heart was beating. This sight made carpenter angry. “What a curse I have casted upon myself by hiring you.” He shouted out, loud enough to wake up boy.

 Boy spent next 2 hours cleaning up the workshop and listening to grumble of carpenter. “I’m going to deduct the cost of all the wood you spoiled from your pay. What a mess you have made all around. What the hell you have been doing all night in my shop. Boy had no answer and even if he had, he’d have preferred to not to answer a person who couldn’t see the mark of dried tears on his face. He just listened to grumble of carpenter and kept working.

 “What is this?” Carpenter shouted. Boy turned his head to see what new trouble is descended from heavens. This was the wooden heart, looking even more beautiful now, fineness of its exquisite artwork looking more clearly in the brightness of day light.

 “This is my heart” Boy replied.
 “What a nonsense, no human ever had a wooden heart” Carpenter said.
 “Only if you happened to have a heart” Boy wanted to say loudly but he preferred to remain quiet.
 “This is a just a big wooden piece …” Carpenter said, and then hesitated for a moment; beauty of the wooden heart was not something easy to deny. It was beautiful, obviously and clearly. “This is beautiful, though you have roughened my carving knives but at least they have given beauty to this piece of wood, yet it’s useless, of no use at all.”

 Boy remained silent; clearly there was no use of arguing.

 “This looks like a locket but it’s much bigger than a locket, size of a hand, it can’t be used as a locket and it’s as good as all other pieces you have spoiled.” Carpenter said “However, I’ll see if I can make any use of it.” He picked a hook and hammered it between arcs of heart’s top. “Now, this can be used as an ornament. One can hang it on a wall or with a ceiling for beauty. I’ll try selling it on the carnival next Sunday; maybe it could earn us a bronze coin and help lessening the burden of deduction on your shoulders.”

 Boy wished he could afford to spend a bronze coin when a good portion of his pay was already threatened. His heart protested intensely, wooden heart belonged to boy and carpenter had no right on it but he preferred to remain silent.



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