Glaring Shadow - A stream of consciousness novel (Part 3, page 1 of 4)


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Part 3

Pains of Regret

“Not to speak ill of the dead,” he began as I readied myself to take notes, and continued after a pause, “what to make out of this social nicety when man is so much prone to speak nothing but ill of his fellow-men. Does it imply that since one should not speak ill of the dead, he should go the whole hog about it when the other is still alive and kicking! Maybe, that’s what man thinks; why he wouldn’t let go an opportunity, so to say creates one, to pour out his venom on his fellow beings. If I were to subscribe to the perverse proposition, you would never come to write my memoir for I should keep mum as most of those who came into my life are dead and gone. Whatever, didn’t Shakespeare put the final word in Antony’s mouth – ‘The evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones’. Well, gloating about her ‘woman behind the successful man image’, it was Ruma, who goaded me all the way to my doom. Now that I’m failing our common cause, won’t her soul feel let down over there? What of my mother who kept herself away from my running shadow all along? Won’t she welcome the return of her prodigal son to her pragmatic bosom? But even if she does, how am I to bear her kindness having got used to her indifference for so long. Oh, if only my father were alive! What a character he was really; when did I last think of him anyway? Wonder how, shorn of a few bucks, I’m inclined to think about them! When I’m finished with the lot, what if it’s a deluge of human compassion? How nice the prospect of its happening feels!”

“I can feel your pain in the pangs of regret.”

“I’m glad that your feel of my remorse might help you to capture the pathos of my life,” he said stoically. “How my life mirrors the stupidity of man in spite of a wise upbringing. What idiocy it was that I toiled to destroy the toil of my parents in tending my life in a meaningful way. Why not make it easy for myself by making a bonfire if it. (He started throwing those wads of money into the fireplace) What if I choke myself to death and suffocate you as well? It’s not the relief by death but the reality of life that I seek to picture for you to hold it as a mirror for man.”

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