• Mad Hatter

Chariots of Time

Ariktha M Koundinya

Mortals are destined to die. Death, for some reason, is unasked. To die, is to cease to exist, the inability to respond or feel. To lie on one's deathbed is to be vulnerable to life and time - a strangely familiar feeling of nostalgic dread.

You stand in the final doorway, this is what it was all for, you suppose, hand on the doorknob. Time, you think, is a peculiar thing, like that old Calvin and Hobbes comic strip that spoke about how everyday was the same until you look back and realise just how much has changed. You think of the times that the sun shone when it rained and made the rain look like the sky oozed honey. You think of the walls of the sky that were stained dark and embedded with stars. You think of the spinning orbs that bear your species, and how after you die they shall continue to bear you species and that they'll keep spinning after they don't bear you species any longer. Homo sapiens, you think , are romantic beings.

You stand in the final doorway, thinking of the swaying pendulum, the fallen mast and the ink running dry. A bitter realisation stings the still air. Perhaps this was it , maybe we're wrong about reincarnation. Maybe you'll never get another shot at this. Perhaps the myth was wrong - maybe Sisyphus just pushed the boulder over to the other side and never picked it up ever again.

Death just became very real. Maybe you didn't want to die. The heavy weight of reality falls on your shoulders. The things you would give to wind the clock backwards one final time. The things you would give; never again to cry, never again to dance in the rain - never again. For the chariots of time charge on the path that shall inevitably end; you stand in the final doorway, the threshold that lies at your feet.

The light spills out of the cracks underneath the closed door and warms your toes and feet.

What are the odds, you think, for the sun to burn, but not explode; for the stars to twinkle, but none too near; for the occurrence of species but none for too long; for the rise and perish of mankind, for the monkeys to have made it to the moon, the era of the madman, the artist and the homo sapien - and in the midst of it all, was this music playing ever so gently on the floors of the cosmos only to be heard by a dying man.

You stand in the final doorway, hand on the doorknob, waiting to cross the threshold. And with this, I shall leave you with a few words, make of it what you will -

And one day the road shall end, there shall be Flowers on the hedges to the right and There shall be flowers to the hedges on the left And like a little kid that's found a new friend, You'll let go of mum's hand one final time to come play.

And as the door closes off in the distance And you realise that it shall never open again I shall meet you there near the flowers, Near the final horizon and past the threshold And the chariots of time shall slow down at dusk, and I shall turn to you "It's been a long day," I shall say. "Go to bed. You'll wake up tomorrow and do it again"


Ariktha M Koundinya is a 16 year old who believes in fairytales and is deeply frustrated by the crushing reality of human existence. She writes poetry of her madness, winding it with metaphors so as to make it look pretty. More often than not, she is found with ink stained fingers, looking up at the sky expecting it to shatter and fall to the ground like shards of broken glass. But more than a poet or an artist, Ariktha is simply a little girl, lost in Enid Blyton fantasies, who knows that magic only happens when she closes her eyes, and so she smiles in the darkness.