However torturous and rough it may have been, but through all of it she was the happiest one on the face of the earth. In her shiny golden and black stripes with lavender & mauve flowers imprinted all over her and a fluorescent green lemon scented eraser on her back, she felt like the most beautiful pencil ever. Sure it was a tough journey since then; getting packed into a stuffy box with a small hole for ventilation may be, that also encroached by a rude sharpener sitting proudly on that end. Closed inside that box with nine other of her kind but none that could match her, she was thrown into another bigger box. Deprived of any wind or light in there she traveled for what seemed to her eternity, to be opened out in to a small stand of pencils in a beautiful shop with lot many others there, but none like her. She looked at them and smiled at them, a smile full of self admiration and pride. While all this was happening, there was not a single moment when she stopped dreaming about the wonderful days that lay ahead, in fact those were the thought which kept her going through these tough days; dreams about the one who will hold her, will it be a poet or a craftsman; will she write on the best of the papers or will be used to make marks on woods & metals; will it only be text or she will draw beautiful paintings? How will she be sharpened, a blade or a sharpener; she prefer a sharpener. What kind of sharpener would it be, a regular one or one with those shiny tops. Lost in her thoughts she stood there, waiting for her day to come when she would be a proud possession of someone. Will it be a child or a senior? Will she just stay on a table or will get to travel? Curiosity for future never ends and so never ended her questions. Quite a few pencils got sold around her; a few times she wanted to get sold to someone. For some buyers she wished they didn’t get their hand on her.
Days passed and one night when the shopkeeper was about to close the store and she was also feeling drowsy after standing there for the whole day, she noticed a bike stopping outside. Two shabbily dressed boys walked in. By looking at them she could tell that they were heavily drunk and certainly not one of those kinds who will ask for her. So, she closed her eyes trying to avoid them from interfering with her sleep. But, she could not help and had to hear.
“A pack of Gold Flake” asked the first one, “or give two, its gonna be a helluva night” and both smirked. One of the boys turned back and started walking away probably, to start the bike. Without turning he yelled on his walk “Take a few chocolate bars also and yes, one pencil”
Her eyes opened wide;” Did he say a pencil?!” She looked again at the boy at the counter, “not to them” she thought to herself. She saw the sleepy chocolate bars moving out from refrigerator and getting stuffed inside the pocket of stylishly torn leather jacket of the guy who had just stuffed the wicked cigarettes in the same pocket. But the bars looked oblivious to the insult they had just received! She thought to herself “Poor chocys! Only god knows what they had done to have such a fate”. But then, suddenly something happened which caught all her attention; the shopkeeper’s hand was moving in the direction of the stand she was in. She looked around, only four including her!! All were sleeping; unaware of what is coming to them. A chill ran through her, an unknown fear gripped her and she turned around only to find the palm rounding up on her. A screech of plight came up but died within only and before she could understand anything, she was trying to stand her feet in the midst of four chocolate bars and two packets of cigarettes, all forty staring at her with a wicked smile on their faces, bars were sleepy as ever.
She looked up, from a corner she could see stars running backwards very fast; sound of engine confirmed her that she is on her way to a new destination. Scared but still hope in her heart she started wondering what these boys will do with her, probably they go to school at day time and they will let her be in a secured arena of a bag or box. If not then she will slip off to someone else’s box when she will get to the school.
A sudden jerk and head on clash with one of the bars woke her out of her dreams and she realized that she was flying off with packs of cigarettes and two bars ahead of her, one bar beside and one who just hit her, right behind her. A sudden thud and she had landed on the bed. She thanked her stars for a soft landing and cursed the boy for mistreatments with the few swear words she had learnt at the store. She looked around the dirty room and liked nothing about it. “Poorly lit! No one can write anything in here, what am I doing here?” she thought to herself. A few bottles rolling on the floor and a broken one sitting quietly in the corner. The dirty bed sheet, ashamed of her ugliness and the old bed with a limp supported by a stack of practically dead stones. It was worse than her nightmares. She saw a boy walking towards her, the one who had taken her from the store. She tried to roll away but there was no place, pillow on one side and other was vast open plane sheet!! She was relieved when she realized that it was the cigarette he was reaching out for, but then he asked the question about which she was wondering for so long; “What’s the pencil for?” The other boy replied “Oh! That? Toll the joint.”
“What? To roll a what?” she stared blankly at both of them
“But won’t that be too big?” Asked the first boy
“No! Just taper it with a blade till the half of it…it will make a great roll” the second one replied.
“Oh yeah!!” Exclaimed and smirked the first one.
She could not understand a word. They want to roll something, but she thought her purpose was to write! The thing that horrified her most was the fact that they are going to use a blade on her and that too are going to strip her to half!! She couldn’t think more about it, she was feeling frail and nauseous. She closed her eyes tightly and opened only to see a blade staring at her lustfully. She could see golden and black colours going off her body, mauve and lavender flower patterns were on ground, at the end of it she was thrown back and landed on hard ground. She opened her eyes, tears rolling down; she gathered all the courage and run her eyes down on herself. Stripped for most of her length in an uneven patchy form she looked dreadful. The pride in her eyes was washed off by the stream of tears. What was smooth, gold and black with beautiful flowers was now uneven patchy brown. She looked up; the lemon scented fluorescent green eraser crown was still there. It gave her a very feeble smile. A hand grabbed her and a piece of paper was rolled around her. They moved her round and round for some time and then the paper was pulled out. She was kept on the ground, softly this time. She could see them stripping apart one of the cigarette and taking out small horrible looking and smelling things out of them. She saw them mixing it with something else which looked similar taken out of a small pouch. A pouch similar to one in which her favourite eraser used to reside in. They started stuffing back that mix into the paper roll they had just made on her. She was staring without a blink; this all was new to her. That was when the second boy said “Pass me that pencil” and before she knew she was in his hand. He took her in one hand and with other he pulled out the fluorescent green lemon scented eraser from top of her, she screamed in pain. Her eyes filled with water. She could not believe what just happened. She looked around for eraser but could not see it. All her dreams were shattered. She stopped feeling anything. The boy stuffed the mix inside the roll and used her to push it in. Her eyes stoned, she had not blinked it even once since it happened. He flipped her backwards once he was done. Everything was very slow to her. She looked at herself flying through the room and landing on the table by side of a window. She looked down and then up to her crown, the tears which she had held for a long time suddenly started flowing. She sat there and cried and cried until her eyes dried up. She lifted her head and looked out of the window, she looked down. A chaotic road; even during the night lots of vehicles were moving, a few similar to those which had carried her. She looked across; a building with lots of windows. She tried to look through them and then her eyes got fixed on one. There was a kid sitting by the table near the window. He was holding a red and black coloured pencil, a pencil which was running fast on what seemed a notebook. She looked at the pencil and their eyes met, she could see the joy in her eyes, the happiness, the content for which she always longed; the joy, the happiness, the content she never got. “If only I could write one of those words” she thought to herself. Then she looked back at her destiny which was looming up all around her with the smoke which was rising in the room. She again looked through the window in the building and then looked down at the road which lied between her reality and dreams. She looked back at the rising smoke in the room and looked again through the window with longing eyes and said “If only I could write one of those words.” And she rolled down out of the window falling in to vast nothingness.