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E-Pao! EI - Tragedy Hunter

Tragedy Hunter
By: N. Bobo Meitei *



Opened his eyes before the gurgling and rumbling sounds entered through his window, still haunted by the lingering life-consuming problems. The room was strewn with newspapers from previous days and his feet landed on the one business supplement.

Half stuck to his heel and almost limping he positioned himself in the bathroom after having picked up the stuck up newspaper. Pressed against it with his warm palms and slowly unfolded each page while blinking the sore eyes struggled to glimpse the flimsy business columns.

Half-finished and nearly awoke he tiptoed and got hold of his zig-zaggy-bristled toothbrush and spread out the herbal toothpaste on it. He read and brushed after repositioning himself while some bubbles splattered on the newspaper and some on his hands and feet.

This half-conscious effort was followed by hurried srub-and-soak bathing interrupted by glancing at the blurred mirrored image of his.

Tiptoeing he managed to his dresser and checked his balding head and face sinking in very advanced wrinkles and reluctantly he came to the term with reality agreeing that he was fading in his twenties. Again half-conscious he stood in front of his dresser swearing and contemplating over what he had been losing to life and how life had treated him.

The dust-covered cupboard protected by spider webs housed his books and damped clothes. He reached out for the gray-coloured T-shirt and his antiquated Levi's jeans which had always made him proud despite its fading colour and the visible torn parts.

Lugging his life-size backpack ,filled with virus-infected laptop computer and a copy of" The Loss of El Dorado", while his hobbit-like paranoid feet wrapped up by his smelly Nike sneakers he stepped out from his hovel.

Outside the sun was already casting its might over the bustling crowds. On his scurry walk to the bus stop he stopped by the newspaper stand to pick up a copy of local English daily, which was one of the sources for his unproductive job search.

While walking on the footbridge he ogled at some ladies and some acknowledged and appreciated his passionate ogling. Today the yellow bus almost abandoned him but the aged lady conductor recognized his upset face and hollered at the driver to halt.

After having paid 20 Baht he settled himself and pulled out his the just-bought local English daily and scanned each headline drawing the swarming attention among the Anglo-shy passengers.

The upset face released a disapproval smile of the ongoing politics which he considered a farce. Subsequently he pulled out the grim tale by V.S.Naipaul which encouraged him to hold agreeable contempt against the nefarious past conducts of western nations. What he had been reading also supported his grudge against the white-obsessed society.

Reading, nodding his head and agreeing with the tales of the writer he drowned himself and nearly slipped into slumber land. In his drowsy decision, combination of fantasy and dream, he promised himself to pen down his embittered feeling grown on contempt as a way to highlight the farce that had long exasperated his day-to-day life.

The lady conductor announced the name of the approaching bus stop and that awakened him from his inconclusive dream. He bullied his way to the door and put down his hobbit-like feet on the cemented footpath and shuffled for the wi-fi zone only to begin his unproductive job search.

Began with www.ajarn.com and all he saw was" NATIVE ENGLISH SPEAKERS ONLY Asians no need to apply". Frustrated with the requirements he moved to www.jobsdb.com ,www.jobtopgun.com and www.jobbkk.com only to infuriate himself more with " No foreigners" requirement. Being a relentless being he just didn't give up and he scrolled for friendlier job advertisements.

Those that offered him the much-needed offers could not retain his legal status and that again left him disappointed.

Time outpaced him and luck abandoned him all he could do to offset was to read the colonial and post-colonial literatures and scribble in his diary to dilute his disappointment and love the love which had remained the last thing to hold on.

At night he stayed awake watching films and staring at the rallying ants on his wall instigating his adrenaline. But the night was already late and he would have to keep the word he had given to his beauty; a convenient lift in the morning.

The light was put out in the hovel and he struggled to harmonize his instigated adrenaline and emotion to get some sleep. Prolonged exhaustion and weariness at heart shut his eyelids and pushed aside his gnawing problem and laid him to rest for a while only to be waylaid by nightmare.

Next morning he woke up gripping his pillows and repeated the usual ceremonial morning activities. Today he didn't have to stand under the smiling sun instead he had to plan something that could make him forgetful while waiting for the lift. He pondered over the repetitive schedule and that already delivered him the actual weariness on his way to the wi-fi zone.

In two weeks the permission to stay would be expired and then he would have to make a trip out this torturous country to confront Indian bureaucracy and to come back to keep the word he had given to her and to reassure that he would be around her.

He was not a beggar. If his ageing mother had been informed then he would have been summoned home. But he had vowed to trot the world and reside out of his disgruntled hometown to see and feel the overheard talk of expansionary horizon.

A resolute conclusion had to be drawn before he ran out of options; to pen down his memoirs.


* N. Bobo Meitei, a resident of Bangkok, contributes to e-pao.net regularly. The writer can be contacted at bobomeitei(at)hotmail(dot)com . This article was webcasted on April 13th 2007.


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