kaleidoscope rose

It was a day like any other but somehow I felt that it was a day unlike any other. Something about the air that day felt special. Whether it was the fragrance of the freshly bloomed jasmine flowers in the verandah or the rippling sounds of the Kaveri river flowing just outside the kitchen door, all my senses were on overdrive that day.

The smells, the sounds, the touch, all of them felt special that day. Something special was going to happen today.

And I was proven right when the holy man arrived. Mysterious at first, I seemed more at ease with him when after his lunch, he started talking about his travels and some of the wonderful places he had visited. He presented such a vivid picture of the places he had visited and the things he had seen and experienced that at the end of the conversation I felt like I had already been there with him.

I don’t know if it was my cheerful nature, my pleasant demeanor or my innocent inquisitiveness, but something about me stuck a chord with him and he seemed to like me a lot. After more than three odd hours of narrating the stories of his travels, he suddenly said – Tell you what, let me share a little secret with you.

I have this wonderful potion which has the ability to make just one of your senses super sharp; vision, hearing, smell, taste, or touch. Just one of them, while dulling the remaining ones.

I offer the same to you. Do you want to sip it? If so, which sense would you choose to be enhanced?

It was a ‘no-brainer’, of course I would want to sip it, and I choose the sense of sight.

After all as the saying goes ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ isn’t it! The things we see tend to remain with us longer than anything we hear, taste, or feel. Yes, while I do remember the wonderfully juicy flavor of the rossogollas that Lakshmi Athai brought all the way from Calcutta, I don’t remember how they looked. While I remember the lovely starched crispness of the Bengal Cotton saree that she bought for Amma, I can’t quite remember what the pattern exactly was. I seriously needed to sharpen my vision, no doubt about that at all.

The holy man then offered the potion and instructed me – Just one small sip, mind you, we don’t want to dull the other senses permanently do we and be left only with vision.

And remember, the potion takes a little bit of time to take effect. You must be patient, and prepare your brain for the ‘visual assault’ in your case, as some of the things you will see going forward might be things that you are not ready to see yet.

Saying so, he made me open my mouth and poured a little of the magic liquid inside.

At first nothing happened. And then slowly I could feel new warmth creeping through my face. Starting from my chin, it moved up to my cheeks, my nose and slowly towards my eyes. And then I could feel the glow radiating through my eyes. It kept increasing slowly, until suddenly I felt a splash of water on them.


Narayana, Narayana, wake up. It is already 11 in the morning, the sun is beating down on your face and still you manage to babble in your sleep  – Amma’s voice was shrill and the cold water that she had sprinkled on my face woke me up.

For somebody who was born blind, you sure do dream a lot ­– she said.


This post has been written for the WordPress Daily Prompts : 365 Writing Prompts where the idea is to publish at least one post a day based on the prompts provided.

Today’s prompt was “You encounter a mysterious man offering you a magic potion that, once sipped, will make one of your senses super sharp but dull the other senses. Will you sip it, and if so, what sense will you choose?” I chose to write the short story of Narayana, the blind protagonist using this prompt.

26 thoughts on “Dulled

  1. Oh wow… I was so waiting to see what happens. That cold water was as much a shock to me as to Narayana. It was a wonderful prompt and I loved your take.

  2. I thought the protagonist would see things that ordinary humans can’t and interesting incidents would take place but the cold water was a real shock when I too was enjoying.
    beautiful writing Jairam.

  3. The twist was good but sad 😦 loved your narrative…. You know what added for me to the plight of Narayana being blinded? There lived on the banks of the Kaveri, he could hear it gurgle by but never see it come and go…

  4. Mr.Mahabore….you’re just the opposite of your name…Maha-entertaining 😉
    Brilliant writeup! Was just not prepared for the twist in the end.

  5. Mr.Mahabore…you’re just the opposite of your name…’Maha-entertaining’ 😉
    Brilliant writeup! I wasn’t prepared for the twist in the end.

    • @Proactive Indian, that would’ve been nice, an Asaramian ending, never thought of it that way 🙂 Glad you liked the story though 🙂

  6. I recollected this story as I read it and it was a pleasure to re-read it. Do bring out old treasures to savour it for old is gold.

    • @Kalpanaji, thanks to Facebook and their ‘On this day’ feature 🙂 For sure, I will be putting up old links from time to time 🙂 Glad you re-liked the story itself 🙂

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