And He Said, Speaking Low and Nervously…

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So I told my daughter, ‘Read M.R.James. You will be surprised and delighted with that horror genre! Besides, you can enjoy the BBC versions of every story!’

As a beautiful eyebrow was raised-the owner contemplating on the utility of reading a Cambridge  don exposit on the supernatural and the impalpable in exquisite English -I rushed in: ‘ Start with ‘The treasure of Abbot Thomas’! Bet it can enchant you as much as the twistor theory..’.

This time, she laughed indulgently. She knows me well. It is better to humour me , when I am on a pulpit preaching the virtues of reading classics.

‘ What of it?’ She asks, with a smile.

‘ There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy…’

‘ Ha!’

‘ Ciphers! Zacchariea 3:9  Super latinum unum occuli sunt!’

‘ Eh? Latin?’

‘ Upon one stone are seven eyes…’ And that is from Zachariah! More from Job and  Johannes…!’

‘ Eeeks!’

And a warning. In French! Gare a qui la touché!’

‘ What?’

‘ Beware, whoever touches it!’

‘ Ugho!’

‘ Yup! There was a Guardian! Depositum Custodi! Keep that which is committed to Thee!’

‘ And you want me to read it before going to bed, Amma?’

I laugh in a theatrical manner!

‘Do tell me if you enjoy the imagination of a brilliant Cambridge don!  He was a genius. Your generation probably has not appreciated him enough. He used to read  out his horror stories by candle light in the Cambridge Chit Chat Club!’

‘ What an ideal life!’

This time we laugh together.

My teenager promises that she will meander from her safe Physics turf into some intriguing classic horror genre.

I grin happily. I know that once she starts with the wicked Abbot’s tale,  ‘The Ash Tree’ and ‘ Casting the Runes’ will be  consumed soon enough. After all, no one can stop with eating just one chocolate, can they?

And as for me, The Tractate Middoth awaits! And the warm afternoon sun is so delightful in accompaniment!

**

 

 

 

 

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Wisdom Is An Elephant

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So the Science Fiction aficionado goes ahead and wins a  student writing contest. She is also invited to attend the conference of all similarly inclined souls and read out her winning entry.

When I gape at the wonder of it all, my daughter laughs. Her heroine is called Sofia and she has a cat called Davetta. Sofia reads Werner Heisenberg’s Physics and Philosophy in the dead of night. And she hates authoritarian figures. By the way, her cat is bionic.

*

Her sister gifts her a  cute pink baby elephant- yeah, a stuffed toy. The elder one  takes it by the tail and twirls it around with amusement.

‘Why is it pink, eh? It creeps me out,’ she opines.

‘It is adorable and small and pink. You better treat it respectfully,’the little girl is firm.

‘It looks rather ominous,’ laughs the elder one.

‘What is ominous?’

‘This elephant.’

‘Meaning of ominous?’

‘Er, not very auspicious, let us say.’

The younger one casts a baleful glance at me. I am all for getting the elephant back from such an  irreverent  new owner.

But finally, the sisters strike a compromise. They christen the elephant Sofia.

As I wonder on its fate, the elder one says consolingly, ‘Amma, it means wisdom. I will make it befriend Electra, the startled cat toy. Besides, we will make them  unofficial mascots of our Physics lounge.’

*

With all the wise ones around, I ask one question. What are interstitial spaces?

Sofia’s leap of victory had been in the  sci-fiction writing contest with that  peculiar theme. Her  story title was ‘Knowledge beyond Logic’. Heisenberg was an adored Ancient in its weave.

Does a pink elephant befriend a cat?  Would such friendship occur in interstitial spaces? As my mind puzzles over the uncertainty of it all, I remember Heisenberg in a most  happy, weird way.

‘Revere those things beyond science which really matter and about which it is so difficult to speak.’

Sofia or Electra, pink or black, young or old, elephant or cat, Physics or Spirituality, we are bound by infinite reams of love and laughter. And my story, if I ever were to write on interstitial spaces would be on that. And two laughing sisters.

The Gods at the bottom of my glass always have their faces.

*