இப்போதைய நிலவரத்தில் இருபதாயிரத்திற்கு ஐநூறு வார்த்தைகள் பின்னால் நின்று கொண்டிருக்கிறேன்.
இதுவரை எழுதிய அளவில் பார்க்கும் போது, என்ன நடக்கின்றது என்பதைச் சொல்கிறேன். ஒரு காட்சியின் துவக்கத்தை மட்டும் கற்பனை செய்கிறேன். பின் அது அதன்பாட்டுக்கு எங்கெங்கோ என்னை இழுத்துச் சென்று, எனக்கே ஆச்சரியமூட்டும் அளவிற்குக் காட்சிகளும், அவற்றிற்கேற்ற வசனங்களும் தம்மைத் தாமே உருவாக்கிக் கொண்டு வளர்கின்றன.
பிறகு எங்கே எவற்றைச் சொல்லி முடிய வேண்டுமோ, அந்த இடத்தில் ஆச்சரியமாக காட்சித் தொடர் நிறைவு பெற்று நின்று விடுகின்றது. எப்படி முடிவுப் புள்ளி தெரிகின்றது என்று யோசித்தால், அதற்கு ஆழ்மனத்தை இத்தனை நாட்கள் சிறுகதைகள் எழுதிப் பழகிய பழக்கம் என்று புலனாகிறது.
நாவல் துவக்கத்தில் கொஞ்சம் தடுமாறினேன். இப்போது ஊதுவத்தி புகைகள்போல் சுருள் சுருளாகத் தமக்குள் கிளர்ந்து எழுந்து உருவாகி, உருண்டு, திரண்டு...ஒரு வடிவமைப்பிற்குத் தாமே கெட்டித்து வந்து ஒரு சேப்டராக ஓடி நின்று விடுகின்றது.
ஒவ்வொரு சேப்டரும் இப்போது ஒவ்வொரு சிறுகதையாகவே எழுதுகிறேன். முன்னோர்கள் சொன்னதன் காரணம் இப்போது தான் அதன் பலனை எஞ்சாயிக்கிறேன்.
'எழுதுபவனுக்கு இரண்டு மனம் இருக்குமோ?' என்று வாத்தியார் சொன்னதை நன்றாக அனுபவிக்கிறேன்.
எழுதியபடி ஓர் ஆழ் மனம் முன்னோக்கிச் சென்று கொண்டே இருக்கின்றது; வெளி மனம், ஒரு வாசகன் போல் அதன் பின்னோக்கி ஓடி அந்த எழுத்துக்களை அனுபவித்து மகிழ்ந்து, ஆழ்மனம் வாசகன் என்ன உணர்வை அடைய வேண்டும் என்று தீர்மானித்து உருவாக்கிக் கொண்டு போகின்றதோ, அந்த உணர்வை வெளிமனம் திகட்டத் திகட்ட அனுபவிக்கின்றது.
நேற்று எழுதியதன் ஒரு பகுதியை கீழே வெளியிடுகிறேன். அந்தப் பகுதியை எழுதும் போது, உடலுக்குள் ஏதோ ஒரு சாத்தான் புகுந்து கொண்டது போல், என்னால் உட்காரவே முடியாமல், அந்த எக்ஸைட்மெண்ட் தாங்க முடியாமல், எழுந்து கிறுக்கன் போல் குறுக்கும் நெடுக்குமாக நடக்கத் தொடங்கி விட்டேன். அழுகையே வரத் தொடங்கி விட்டது.
அந்தக் கிளர்ச்சியை மொத்தமாகக் கொட்ட வேண்டும் என்று பண்ண முடியாமல் ஒவ்வொரு எழுத்தாக எழுத வைக்கிறானே கடவுள் என்று கோபம் கூட வந்தது. ஒவ்வொரு எழுத்தாக டைப் அடிக்க அடிக்க, காட்டாற்று வெள்ளம், ஸலைன் குழாயில் சொட்டுகிறது.
சம்பவங்கள் கண் முன் நடந்தன; திடீரென ஒரு கேரக்டர் உதித்து மறைகிறான். அவனுக்கும் பிரத்யேகமாக ஒரு வசனம் தோன்றி மறைகின்றது. அவனுக்கும் ஓர் இயல்பு.
இந்த நாவலை முடிக்கவே முடியாது என்றும் தோன்றுகிறது. இன்னும் முதல் பாகத்தையே முடிக்கவில்லை. எழுத நினைத்திருந்த எட்டாவது சேப்டரே மூன்றாவது பாகமாக, 8.a, 8.b, 8.c என்று போய்க் கொண்டிருக்கின்றது.
எழுத்தாளனாக இருப்பது வரமா, நரகத்தைத் தின்னும் சாபமா என்று புரியவில்லை. என்னை உருக்கிக் கொண்டிருக்கின்றது இது..!
இந்த நாவல் ஒரு காயசண்டிகை; இந்த மூளை ஓர் அட்சயப் பாத்திரம்; அது தீராப் பசியோடு 'இன்னும்....இன்னும்...' என்று ரத்தம் பாயும் நாக்கைச் சுழற்றிக் கேட்டுக் கொண்டேயிருக்க, இது தீராப் பிரியத்தோடு 'இந்தா....இந்தா...' என்று பருக்கைகள் கொட்ட அள்ளி அள்ளிப் போட்டுக் கொண்டேயிருக்க...இரண்டுக்கும் இடையில் ஓர் அற்ப மானுட உடல் சிக்கிக் கொண்டு துடிக்கின்றது..!
ஆனால் ஒன்று..! நிஜ வாழ்வில் என்னைச் சுற்றியிருக்கும் நெருப்பு கக்கும் ட்ராகன் பிரச்னைகளிலிருந்து கொஞ்ச நேரமாவது என்னைக் கண்ணீரில் பொத்திக் காக்கிறார்கள் என் கேரக்டர்கள்..!
ஆனாலும் அந்தக் கண்ணீரும் நெருப்பைப் போல் சுடுகின்றதே...! என் செய்வேன்...?
"this is a big ground with red soil for a hard soccer match...!" vinod told by looking the ground.
"but your clothes will get a reddish layer, if you fight in this field. or the blood will drench if you play hard like in the november semis..! " pawan told.
"like Manchestar United jersey...!" vinod twinkled.
vinod was a soccer fan. not simply a fan, but an admirer.
last november the sports club of the college arranged a soccer tournament between departments to select fresh batch soccer team. we had seen a completely different vinod there. there he appeared, as he wasnt a boy who spoke about girls; got interested about latest flicks; flirtous. in the soccer section which was at the eastern part of the college ground, vinod showed a soldier inside him; the bravefull, the fighter, the never tired spiritful and the never give up warrior.
all the matches in which vinod's batch participated were one sided, excpet three matches.
the first one was between vinod's E batch vs C batch. that was a third league one. since everyone was fresher, none knew one's capability better. there was a friend of EEE named Tilak in C batch. He showed a powerfull knock in the second league match between A and C. He became a star immediately after he goaled a second one in that A vs C. so it was spread that this E vs C would become one sided. but it wasnt.
upto the first half of the match, null was for the two teams. but it seemed vinod and tilak found the other's knowledge in handling the ball, passing and the tricks. in the very five minutes of the second half, tilak made a goal straight forward. none was in the line; that was straight to the post. (Rhitam murmured to me that ‘the ball passed like light particle’) before twenty minutes for the end, the ball was in vinod's legs; literally. he was dancing; practically. he reached the post and simply passed to vinay. after that a rat could do, vinay did. goal. equal. the time was going to finish. we were shouting as 'penalty....penalty...'. very surprisingly tilak put one more goal. but this time, it was not direct shot. there was two sets of legs in between him and the post. A won.
That night me, aman and pawan went to vinod’s room for taking him to dinner. his roomies were already gone. the door wasnt locked. inside it was pure dark. we opened it and lit up. vinod was the only person there and lying in the bed with a collapsing sheet.
"vino..! come for dinner..!" aman asked. i went and sat nearby him. "vinod..! get up..!" i told. he opened his eyes. those were in red. and he started crying...yes man... the romantic boy cried.
both aman and pawan came near. vinod lied on my lap and continued. "vinod..!" pawan came to tell something. i signalled them to leave and assured will-bring-vinod. they left and closed the door.
"vinod..! it was just a game. and also it was a league one. still you have a chance to go quarters..!" i tried to cool him.
"kowshi..! you dont know that. soccer is my girl friend. she is my lover. the ball starts rolling in me from my age three. i cant imagine a life without soccer. and a defeat in that was equivalent to rub my brain in mud..!"
"understood dude..! but you have to pass it..!"
"how..? Were you be the same if you lose your girl..? did you feel that..?"
i was dumb strucked. I know my friend. i felt that loss.
"vinod..! let the past be past. you want to take a revenge for this defeat, right..?"
"then, there is only one chance. by the point calculations, C was already in quarters. E has three matches before that. you have to make win in all that matches to do two things. one, to make sure E's entry in to quarters. two, to show the arrival of a fighter who could stop tilak. do you accept that..?"
" entirely..! "
"then, you have to play all these matches. to accomplish that, by the laws of nature you have to be alive. because i never heard the news, ghosts played soccer. because of they do not have legs to kick the ball or the keeper. so, to keep youself alive, you have to come with me and take the heavenly food, chappathis and kuruma, provided by our motherly mess..! "
vinod laughed. mission completed.
after he came with a washed face, he asked, " can you tell me what rhitam could tell if you ask whether ghosts can stand..?"
"might be the same reason, 'no. because ghosts dont have legs..' " i replied.
" that would be a layman's answer. but i am sure, rhitam, as a physics geek, would tell ' since they dont have legs, the center of gravity which make a thing to stand still, gets confused on where to present. so, even if they try to stand, they couldn't..!"
i busted. and i was happy vinod gained his form back. then i asked the question, " vinod, do you think the laws of gravity apply to ghosts too..?"
and we continued our pointless chat for the entire night.
The second match was three days later. it was the last league match. it was between E and B. E was already in quarters by winning the other two games they played. B was already out of the tournament. but that match showed the perfect defence game by vinod. exactly i could tell that match was an example of vinod's controlled play. E was already in a safe region with three goals in the first half. out of that one was by vinod. there was no goal in the second half made by neither one. there was very close four tries by B. vinod captured two of them and stopped two of them. if the ball goes into vinod's legs in that match, he never make it to come near any of the posts. the ball revolved nearby the center of the ground. 3 – 0. obviously, E won.
since E was already in the next round, the victory celebrations were not big. we walked out the dark ground and towards the hostel block, pawan asked, " so you must be happy now... vinod...?"
"ofcourse. but not fully..! " vinod replied.
"yes..! because he has to prove E = m C square..!" who else, rhitam.
"why again to prove..? and why vinod..?" aman asked with enough confused tone.
"not that what old albert told. vinod has to prove, that E batch has the power equal to multi times, m for that, of even of two C batches..! am i right..? " rhitam explained.
"rhitam.. come here..!" pawan called peacefully. rhitam was coming near to vinod.
"what yaar..? " rhitam told by came near to pawan. Pawan made a big pat on rhitam's left back. it was like spanking him. rhitam's reply for that was a small 'ouch..!'
needless to say that everyone was in different batches, we never think about winning of our batches, but our friends. out of us four, vinod was the only one played and what a player he was..! we gave importance to friends over batches, because the later would end after the first sem.
The third one which never forgettable was the second semi. fortunately or not, the chance for the clash between E and C didnt happen in the quarters. they separately played against some medium teams and easily won. in the semis it was D vs A. E vs C. in the first semi D won with 2 - 1.
the grand match between E vs C was conducted on one friday. i was surprised by the presence of huge crowd. it didnt contain not only our freshers but seniors too. it was because the fame of both tilak and vinod reached immensely in the campus.
the match started. the new ball started to roll between legs. the gallery was small compared to the crowd sitting there. and not only in that, students were standing around the ground wherever space was present.
within the first ten minutes everyone understood that was not a game between two teams; but between vinod and tilak. the ball struggled between them. slowly the others treated to help their own team superstar to handle the ball. after fifteen minutes from the start, tilak made a goal. the crowd shouted. within two minutes vinod equaled it. The crowd shouted for this too. that was the status upto five minutes before first half. but tilak made a pass to anand and he made it simply.
2 - 1…! I had seen small clouds started to gather then.
they exchanged the sides and the second half started. one of a friend from geo named hari came near to me and told, "kowshi..! this half would be one sided. because that side is a lucky one to tilak. he made many goals when they played from that side. so this must be a easy win to them. i go to room and just tell me the same result. ok..?" he smiled and left.
from the play within five minutes i understood the strategy by C. Tilak, Tarun and Anand played the aggressive play and the remaining in defence. I was sure that even a layman fan as me understood that, so vinod must knew that. i was correct. but vinod took a reverse strategy opposed to everyone expected. since E was in need of goals, i thought many of them took up aggressive and less to stop C from goaling.
surprisingly, vinod single handedly took up the aggressive play and the others were kept in defence. that was a remarklable move by vinod and it paid twice. he made two goals with five minutes apart. then the game turned towards C. 3 - 2.
after that we have seen the tempo increased in the crowd, in the ground and in the sky too. The small clouds stayed there became big black bodies waiting there to pour. the last fifteen minutes came. then it happened.
tarun passed the ball from the middle of the ground and it came into tilak's. he rolled that here and there and came near to the post and collect his full power then kicked. vinod was jumping from his position eight steps from the post and floated in the air and exactly carried the ball on his ....nose.
the crowd shouted; we shouted and jumped into the ground. i thought rhitam would tell this time 'it was like a comet dashed on earth'. but he was strucked by seeing the sight. a blood flood started to flow from the nose. we went and teared the hand kerchief of aman and tried to stop the red thing.
'"vinod..! come...will go to clinic urgently...!" i shouted more than the crowd's large noisy shouts, so that it would be hearable by him. he was highly shocked happened to him but shouted firmly, " go out of the ground friends..! i have to play....!
we were surprised in heart and left him and aman's kerchief in the ground. everyone in the ground was taken aback by vinod's words but they thought not to allow vinod’s words make them to lose, it seemed.
the game started again. the aggressiveness continued in both sides and especially from C. but it failed miserably. because vinod made one more goal with his broken nose and un broken faith.
when the whistle arrived from the refree and flag was shown, everyone in the ground ran to vinod, who was at that time near his post and surrounded him. tilak hugged vinod tightly and shouted, "vinod...! you deserved this...! you deserved this dude...!"
we took vinod to the campus clinic. The doctors scolded us as a good doctor has to do. Vinod was kept there for one hour.
We went to the medium size hotel afterwards to celebrate vinod’s attitude.
Before we went I told "boys, wait for one minute. i will come.!". They confused but started to wait in the then empty ground. i went to the ground floor of our block and to the room nearby bathrooms. i knocked it. one boy came from inside and opened the door.
"oh kowshi..! what's the result..? as i told, right..?" he asked. He had a book of ‘ Mastering Astrology within 10 days’ in his hand.
i told calmly, " your luck side fucked off...!".
do you want, that I have to say E batch won the final vs D and the Sports Club Soccer Trophy – 99 and both Vinod and Tilak were selected for the college soccer team directly..?
கண்ணன் காலடிகளில் கொஞ்ச நேரம் படுத்துக் கொள்ள வேண்டும் போல் இருக்கின்றது..!!!