December 29, 2010


An old man once a revered cartoonist is now forgotten, hence bitter. Once his works in local magazines, newspapers and comics were most sought after.Now it’s all a thing of the past.Times have changed so has people’s interest.His recent works haven’t been getting any kind of desired attention.He’s financially almost broke,thanks to his erratic spending and bad investments.Living poorly through small pensions and meager royalty.Of all the many prizes and recognitions he has received over time,he ranks Padma Bhushan to be his biggest achievement He decides to auction it for two reasons.Firstly to amass enough money from the proceedings for better living and secondly to show people with the help of the media the plight of an artist in a country where money scores over art. False ambitions take over desires and dreams.

Old Man-Yes.I've decided,I'm hellbent on giving it away.
Friend -C'mon it's the biggest thing you have earned.It's the
symbol of your entire life's work and success.
Old Man-Well,I'll still have the pencil and paper.Though my
vision now is blurry and hands frail and shaky,I can still draw.I still have the will to draw and most importantly the will to live.
Friend -You should rather auction your will.I bet that will fetch you more money.
Old Man-That is probably a part in everyone which never wilts away with time.

The Day of the Auction.
To the Old man's dismay he hardly sees any media people in the lobby and even fewer bidders.A lady accompanied by her school going son,around six years of age successfully lands the bid.After the proceedings they go ahead and meet the old man.

Old Man-Hello!
Boy -Hello sir.
Old Man-Did you understand what all was happening in here?
Boy -No,sir.But I do want to tell you that I want to be an
Astronaut .I never want to be a painter or a cartoonist
or any other artist,because Mother tells me such people
don't earn enough and there's no stability in fi..nen...
(mother gives the boy 'don't say that' look.At the same time
her cellphone rings for which she thanks her stars and
readily excuses herself to receive it)
Old Man-You meant finance,right?
Boy -Yes.Finance.
Old Man-And why do you want to become an astronaut,son?And what does an astronaut do?
Boy -I don't know sir.But it sounds nice.I'd like to be called as an astronaut someday.
Old Man-You should not choose things or in this matter
profession on the basis of how it sounds,besides a musical instrument.It's much more than that.
Boy -I'd still like to be an astronaut.

Mother from a few distance,"C'mon son we have to leave,it's urgent
Papa had called.Say bye to sir."

Boy starts to leave the lobby with his mother.Watching this makes the old man unusually retreat to his glory days.Happy days.But now in a state of utter sadness he removes his spectacles and wipes its frame with a handkerchief,his heavily wrinkled hands shaking while doing so.He looks up and sees the boy running towards him.For once he assumes he's dreaming.
Boy -Will I ever become an astronaut,sir?(panting)
Old Man-The answer is in the question itself.It's the first word.
Boy -What?...Oh!I'd have to become Will Smith first.I've seen him fight the aliens in the movies.He's cool.
Old Man-Ha ha!By the way my name is William and you are?