Saturday, 13 September 2014

Boo Radley

Boo Radley

-Shriyank Mulgund

When I was young, I read about a certain Arthur 'Boo' Radley.
This Radley character was indeed a curious one.
They said he stayed locked up in his little room all the time.
Said he'd been that way for twenty-five years,
Said he stayed that way because he wanted to.
I was young. And baffled, yes.
Why would someone do something like this?
Stay locked up and miserable for so long,
Not wanting to come outside and see the world.
Not wanting to play, like other kids, like myself.
So, in my mind, I asked Boo Radley why.
He said nothing.
Just smiled a knowing smile.

When I grew a little older, I scoffed at him for being the way he was.
Called him names.
Made ridiculous self-assumed conclusions about the cause of his condition.
I tried to convince myself that he wasn't quite right in the head.
In my mind, he continued smiling his knowing smile.
And though I didn't show it,
His smile aggravated me.
And so, I resolved to forget him.
Cast him to some remote and apparently inaccessible corner of my conscience.

Last night, I turned as old as Boo Radley was when I first met him.
I haven't seen much of the world.
No, I'm not the old hermit I am supposed to be.
After my last cup of coffee, I locked myself up and threw the key away.
Locked myself up in my little room,
Like Boo Radley had been,
All those years ago.
As I turned the key in the lock,
He smiled at me.
I smiled back.

(Inspired by Harper Lee's 'To Kill A Mockingbird')

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