Friday, April 15, 2011

The Insect

The morning light streams in
I wake up.
The soft breeze caresses my face
Its time to get up.

I try to move the covers
But cannot.
My hands too small
My body, that of an insect.

I try to move to the side
Can't. My numerous tiny limbs fail
Ah well, got to run to office
No matter how much I ail

It's late, I better get up but
I fall to the floor
And Baam! I hurt my head
I don't find support.

I cry for help
But my voice is gone
A little squeak escapes my throat.

Pushing hard, I open the door
I see my diseased father, my worried mother
And then there is my boss, "Oh hello Sir!"
They get appalled at my sight.

My mother lets out a horrified shriek
My boss flees, repulsed.
My father chases me round the room with a stick.

Bam! The stick hurts my hind leg
A transparent liquid oozes out
I squeak in pain
And hurriedly retreat to my room!

Did I do something wrong?
Did I say something?
I just told them I have a life
I can't, I won't do everything they desire
Follow their orders blindly
I have a life of my own.
I am not perfect. I am human.

Why then does my mother stare at me shockingly?
Why then is my boss repulsed?
Why then did my father beat me?
Is it because of the insect body?

I lie on the floor, looking at the ceiling
The milk they left me is no good.
My antenna diverts my mood
To some insects by the wall.

Suddenly they seem attractive
Suddenly they seem delicious
Stealthily approaching, I snatch one up.
And quietly gobble it down.
There I lie on the floor staring at the ceiling
Wondering of the past.

My five year plan,
My career, my love
Go past me in a flash.

And as the daylights dim
I fall asleep
And go into a distant dream...

P.S: Inspiration and Concept from Franz Kafka's novella Metamorphosis published in 1915. The famous first lines of the book which have become imbibed in history are as follows, 

"As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. He was lying on his hard, as it were, armor-plated back and when he lifted his head a little he could see his domelike brown belly divided into stiff arched segments on top of which the bed quilt could hardly keep in position and was about to slide off completely. His numerous legs, which were pitifully thin compared to the rest of his bulk, waved helplessly before his eyes."

Franz Kafka(1883-1924) dealt with the extreme fragmentation and dehumanization that occurred in the modern man's life due to the autocratic pressures of power. He was a Czech Jew who wrote in German roughly before the rise of Nazism. However, till date,  his novels are considered to be powerful testimonies against the functional machinery of power, whether hegemonic or autocratic.


The Xeno said...

I loved it. Good work.
Did you know there is a word called "Kafkaesque" meaning the type of writing done by Franz Kafka.

aakash said...

I have read metamorphosis long back,.. lovely story..
I wish you had emphasized the part where the behavior of the family changes over time, from concern to burden... and finally a misery giving way to new start.
Anyways, good try :)

P.S: There are lot of black text on black background. You might want to look into tht for better readability


the silent observer said...

@ The Xeno: yup..but the term was coined quite sometime later after the man was happily buried in his grave... hardly anybody cared about him when he was alive!

Plus the problem with the use of such a term is, almost anything and everything which might or might not be remotely related to Kafka and his worldview is termed "Kafkaesque" just so it would attract the attention of the public. That is indeed a tragedy.

@aakash: I understand what you mean. However I have yet to finish the story. I am an ardent admirer of Kafka, finished off his three novels at a go long time back. But Metamorphosis has not yet been finished. I found it too intense and had to write something just on the part I had completed. May be I will write something after I finish reading the story...