The bottle was too emerald a blue. That quality made it all the more easier for Ali to imagine tall tales about it.
He thought of Arabian sands more for their peculiar paleness that would strike particularly odd against the bottle’s richness than anything else. He thought of traveling princes…
Sindbad, for his father, the king, had named him so, was exceptionally tired. He had grown among the heat of the sands and the heat of the sun yet, he had never been able to truly love them. He blamed it on the refuge his marble and granite palace gave him, all his seventeen years, with a number of clear pools and fountains on every round corner. Sindbad had none of those luxuries now and was reminded of how his gentile character really depended on their presence. Truly, he feared losing his head under all that heat. Sindbad reached for a water bottle. His long fingers, white and fatigued with the constant tugging at the horse’s rein, searched in vain but it was a sad truth that no water remained on his person.
Would he finally, shamefully, call on his fellow travelers and ask them to part with their worthy share for their prince? No. He wouldn’t betray his loyal friends like that- he wouldn’t press them with his position when they had done so much for him, without thinking of the dangers of that very position, as their presence here was proof enough.
Just as his hand withdrew from the empty bottles, his best man and better friend, entered the tent. It was very unlike Mirza to enter without announcing or asking permission. Sindbad wondered what was wrong.
But Mirza had seen the prince’s falling face and the empty bottles. Before voicing his worries, he took out his own flask and handed it over.
“Please, it’s yours anyway.”
Sindbad took the bottle, more out of respect than the ownership Mirza mentioned. If he refused, Mirza’s friendship would be wronged, a feeling of distance would impeach, of formality.
Sindbad had gifted that emerald blue bottle to him, studded with rubies and diamonds near the base and the neck, design-plated with gold leaf. It was a joke between them. Funny how it should save his life today.
Sindbad took only a few necessary drops of the precious elixir and thrust it back into Mirza’s hands. His duty now complete, Mirza said, “Your father’s men have caught on faster than we expected. We must move.”
Rejuvenated, the fleeing prince, sprung up a new man, and led his faithful quarry to another great distance across the yielding golden sands…
Ali smiled. He would much rather have pictured a princess fleeing her royal home than a prince, but he couldn’t bring such thirst, such misery on a lady and yet call her fair… Well, the lad’s got to take the blow then. Ali reached for his own blue bottle, having exhausted its imaginative potential, unscrewed the cap and drank like a dying prince himself. Water… the elixir.
Note: I just had this huge urge to write about a girl who I would name Candice. And just if you’re thinking of gifting me something right now, you know what I want. Really.
Candice threw another stone across the shallow pool, and watched the ripples in the water reach the white walls at the end, breaking softly. Candice with her vivid imagination could already imagine the white foam of crashing waves onto the beach, and the blue deep sea become sheer nothingness at the feet of the brown and golden sands.
Candice could even imagine herself in that sea water, sitting and being swayed by the waves as they rushed to their death. Candice loved it. Her imagination, not the sea. Because the sea was permanent, while her imagination could create one whenever she wanted and dry it up if she cared.
Candice sighed and went back inside. She would like to imagine the Great Canyon now. Maybe she would finally think up something more interesting than falling off it. Seriously. Boring.
Candice went over to her desk, pulled out a Mars Bar from her stash in the top drawer, and flopped down on the pillow. Mars. Should she dream about aliens? Nope. She had already imagined them in every possible colour, except skin of course, and they had gone from vintage Roman to cut-edge scientific.
Candice threw the empty wrapper in the bin, having now perfected this daily routine. Maybe the bin should be a frog-mutant? Or a fairy-cleaner? But fairy’s don’t look like cleaners and frogs are mutant enough without being mutant.
Candice soon fell into a deep sleep, because when you dream, you fall deep. She dreamt beautiful dreams of gigantic Jack-in the-boxes playing with children, tossing them in the air and catching them, of white and orange roses flying in the sky in the shining beaks of migrating pelicans, of bronze coins clinking down someone’s piggy bank, and of love.
The conventional, the common, the obvious meaning of Nut and Bolt is simple. It’s parts of the screw that has saved many a day. As I said, simple. But it’s also very boring.
No good for me. My imaginative mind refuses to accept such cute phonetic words could be wasted so horribly. What I’d like nut and bolt to mean, and what they do mean every now and then, is a fun game. Let’s play!
Say you meet a nutjob. Notice the nut. And though you don’t like it, you spend half an hour with him with no escape. Finally, finally, there is a chance to escape. You think about the half hour this guy has frizzled your brain and played with your senses and you want revenge. Take a hammer/ rod/ any heavy stuff you find around/ your fists if nothing else, and bring it crashing down on his head. Logically, now run for it.
Nut the nut and Bolt.
Now, you meet two fast friends, thick as tar, who stick together so much and so often that one thinks they are really literally stuck, like with glue. They go together so much that you’ll call them bread and butter, thread and needle, pancakes and maple syrup or….
Nut and Bolt.
Some people in life are vulnerable. They were always there to be sat upon by the biggies. Others are the one who sit on them. Lightly maybe, but if a seat’s available, even dogs take it. This one’s tricky. Pay attention. The dumb servant is the nut. For obvious reasons. And bolts crack open, when something strikes them at the right place. Things like lightning bolts.
Nut cracked by bolt.
I can’t possibly finish taking about bolts without mentioning Bolt, the super dog. I liked that film. Now I don’t have anything against that girl. She’s smart and super cute. And I’ve always wanted my hair like that. (Yes, the colour too.) But, but, but, at the altar of consistency, she’s got to be called- ‘Nut’. And that shows that nuts may not necessarily be wacko.
BOLT (Frizzzzz, frrroommm…. craaaaaccccccck! Laser eyes!) and ‘Nut’.
That’s pretty much the list of common Nuts and Bolts. Except the real Nut and Bolt, the dullard one. There’s one more though, I realised some days ago and that set off this post in the first place. It’s this guy you know…
Yeah, it’s one of those types…
The dub-dub kind….
The heartbeat, you know…
I’m Nuts for him! But if you see very technically…. I’m the Bolt because he’s always in my mind and the nut is the part that ‘enters’ the bolt. Ok, lameness apart.
Ain’t my Nuts and Bolts better? I know!
Destiny. Fate. Luck.
“I make my own destiny.”
“Whatever you do- you can’t run from it. It’s all pre-decided.”
Heard this before? Been confused? I for one have been thoroughly rattled by this madness. Sometimes I think, What rubbish! If it all really is decided beforehand, I should just sit and watch TV because what’s supposed to happen will happen right?
And sometimes, won over by perplexing things like Deja-vu and dreams, I say, Oh gosh! It is happening. I’m a part of something very big going around here. There is a pattern… There is a ‘why’ behind everything. Surely, some things are just supposed to happen.
I usually connect EVERYTHING that hasn’t been explained in this confusing topic. And thence begins the eternal battle.
“KIDDISH! There was a time when I believed in Santa! It only takes knowledge to dispel such things.”
“Knowledge hasn’t explained hiccups, has it!”
“Are hiccups really my defence for these absurdities? Destiny? The course of our lives written already?”
“What about The Leaning Tower of Pisa then?”
“What about it?! It’s some very explained thing with the ground!”
“Why doesn’t it fall?!”
“It’s not that steep yet! No God is holding it up, geez!”
Or if the feeling of mystical fantasy is outdoing mundane logic, the argument goes-
“Whoa! Things are so beautiful!”
“I wouldn’t stop such optimistic thinking, dear mind, were you not associating it with a divine being, and mystical activities! So STOP FANTASIZING!”
“How can you be so blind! Can thou not see the web we are a part of? Today itself thou had a vision, didn’t ye? Didn’t ye see, in thy dreams, how you had lost your science book. Can’t find it now, can ye? And this moment- hadn’t ye felt it coming? Hadn’t ye seen it before, happen exactly so?”
“Dreams are just ramification of the human mind. They are no sorcery! Psychologists have proved how we tend to see dreams of things affecting us at the moment, and the exams are coming up.”
“Is that so? Then do you not dream about Leonardo di Caprio? I wonder how your mind dreamt THAT, since you have never met nor spoke to the man!”
“THAT is irrelevant to this discussion!”
“Is it now? And what about greater things like shooting stars and tooth fairies? Don’t you indulge in such ideas?”
“Man has always wanted to let his imagination run wild. That’s how mermaids and sea serpents came up. However it is no harm to indulge in a little fantasy!”
“A little fantasy! Explain ghosts then- the cold they leave behind in ships drowned by mutiny, the curses they leave behind in old houses they were murdered in!”
“It’s just the brain playing tricks on us! We want to believe there is something beyond us going on.”
“And isn’t there? What about people who have risen from the dead?”
“Taken into shock, ability to hold breath for long, fits and other explained answers.”
“Draculas? Vampires? Edward Cullen?”
“Myth, myth, and jaundice.”
“Oh you are just evading the depth of these things! Fine. Tackle the heavy stuff now-
Explain a completely healthy person standing before you in a line for the most important interview of your life, suddenly having a wheezing fit making him leave the line and you getting the job.”
“Not keeping well lately, that man.”
“Jack Sparrow avoiding all the bullets as he dances his way out a bar in Pirates of the Caribbean- Dead Man’s Chest.”
“OHHH it’s useless! Don’t you see- Chance? LUCK? You yourself have had a HISTORY with it. Luck, luck, luck, all the time. The new teacher had to get ONE section, and he got yours. The P.E. teacher was giving everyone punishment and YOU got away. The bollot was to choose ONE person to give admission, and IT WAS YOU!”
“Luck’s okay…. A string of incidents happen prior to every case of good or bad luck that can completely justify it, we just don’t know what.”
“Yes… things happen for a certain thing. You say yourself- DESTINY!”
“Oh come on! If it’s already written that I’ll be a Professor at Harvard, just tell me and save me all the rat race! Scholarships, years at college, PhD! For what? For something already supposed to be mine?”
And the Bomb.
“Great. Explain Bermuda Triangle then.”