(Photo Credit: Sue Vincent)
An ugly appendage jutting out asymmetrically without rhyme or reason. Black, dark and foreboding with a proliferation of algae at its base. A short squat protrusion of inconsequence. Or was it? It could have been a monument of love or a humble testimony to an unnamed martyr who laid down his life in a fusillade of bullets and patriotism. An unsung hero whose exploits have been relegated to the unsparing confines of an unmoving history. Whatever it might be it certainly stuck out as a sore thumb.
The weather was blustery and dreadful. Anything less from an English weather would have been a shocker. Venky blew on his exposed palms, rubbed them vigorously before shoving them back into the expansive pockets of his greatcoat. Leaving his gloves back home was a real mistake. The unforgiving wind cut like knife and the exposed parts of the skin were as numb as nuts.
He had walked out of the house in a fit. A head full of swirling thoughts, a restless mind and otherwise restless senses numbed by a generous imbibing of Chivas Regal had all contrived to drive Venky to some semblance of action. Aimlessly walking in a direction dictated by instinct, and decided by emotion, he had walked a fair distance before the jutting adjunct caught his eye.
His life was at a crossroad. Hemingway had his boat, Thoreau had his walks and Walden, Agatha Christie had her artifacts and Sylvia Plath, her bees. Venky only had his hope. It might even be an illusion masquerading as hope. He only had a tinge of optimism to cling on to. A shard of optimism that had a beautiful face; a tinge of positivity that had round, big and twinkling eyes; a semblance of sanguinity that represented a bundle of irrepressible and unconstrained energy.
He was wagering all his bits, banking his entire reputation and clinging on for dear life, on just three letters. It was a name.