This Is What Murakami Meant | A Short Story

Her eyes swell up. I don’t want her to cry, but I cannot utter a word. She has too brilliant a mind to lose it over her heart.

We would have been perfect for each other, I know she believes it. We both love the same things. But for us to happen, we’d need another universe. We are here instead, and this isn’t going to happen.

I tell her, hers is the most brilliant mind I have ever come across. And I wished I could give her back the marvels she has given me. But I fall short. I’m only human, she might have been divine.

Admiration is what bonded us together. I have told her one too many times how much I adore her mind. When did she begin to blur the lines between the mind and the heart, I cannot tell.

‘I know it’s not your fault, not my fault, or anyone else. It’s just how it is. It’s just living,’ she says. A fine line of tear has already left her tiny eyes.

Living, the word echoes endlessly in my mind for a minute.

‘This is what Haruki Murakami meant,’ she says. ‘When he wrote, that a person can, just by living, damage another human being beyond repair.’

The words are too hard for either of us. But it has been said. Was she really beyond repair?

‘Maybe not beyond repair,’ she says realizing the harshess of the words. ‘But if you think of it, we don’t go repairing our heart. We just peel off the broken parts till new ones grow in. So it is beyond repair in one sense,’ she adds.

I told you, she has too brilliant a mind to lose it over her heart.

I knew Murakami was one of her favorite authors. I never read one myself. I don’t know if she was blaming me, or herself, or anyone for existing. Living was in itself a coiled reality. That we could live in so many different levels in the minds and hearts of others is both terrifying and amazing.

Either of us hadn’t done anything. She was hurting. And I felt guilty. But there was nothing either of us could do.

Wouldnt it have been so much easier if we could love the ones who loved us? Maybe Murakami knows the answer to this. Maybe he doesn’t. What did he really mean with that line afterall?

The Adventures of Minu and Bo: The Drawing

MInu and Bo by Subina
Drawing by Subina Shrestha

Bo could smell something burning as he woke up. He tried sniffing more to know if he was correct.

‘Aha!’ he said. Minu must have forgotten to turn off the stove, he thought.

Minu and Bo, two brown squirrels lived under a big Purple Tree in a big garden opposite of an even bigger palace.

Bo walked out to see what was really the matter after he checked the stove which was not lit. Minu was outside, standing in front of a big fire. Bo ran, grabbed her hand and bought her closer to the door at the tree trunk.

‘What were you doing?’ he asked, panting.

Minu looked dejected, she did not answer. Bo dragged a bucket full of water and poured it over the fire.

After the fire subsided, he was stunned to find what was burning. A few portraits were already half burnt, a few more had turned into ashes.

‘You burnt your drawings!’ he exclaimed looking at Minu. She couldn’t tell if he was angry or shocked.

He hurriedly started searching something in the remains. There was a drawing of the big purple tree, another had a beautiful nut that Bo remembered was from when they had travelled to the mountains. He used his sharp claws to dig deeper.

‘Phew!’ he said wiping droplets of sweat from his forehead as he pulled out a drawing slightly burned at the edges. He hid the drawing as he walked inside.

Minu thought about the the Annual Squirrel Fair they had returned from a few days earlier. It was a big fair with squirrels selling clothes to nuts to the things they had made. Minu had her drawings placed in the art corner. But she was not able to sell a single drawing. Sure there were other good ones, but hers’ weren’t bad either. Furious at herself, she decided to burn down her drawings.

Bo did not talk to Minu for the coming few days. He was angry that she had tried to burn down everything. She wasn’t in a good mood either but tried to remain distracted by cooking, cleaning or doing anything that kept her mind off of the discussion.

One morning when she was cleaning, Minu uncovered a drawing from Bo’s room. It was the same drawing he had retrieved from the ashes. Her eyes swelled with tears.

The drawing was from the year when they had collected one of the highest number of nuts. There was Minu and Bo standing besides a big pile of nuts. Bo looked extremely happy, and so did Minu. It was Bo’s favorite drawing and Minu’s too.

How could she have decided to burn it down? She could not understand. Bo had entered the room and was standing beside the door.

‘Sorry Bo,’ Minu said, tearing streaming down her cheeks. ‘I had been too stupid, just because no one bought my drawings in the fair I had decided it wasn’t good enough.’

‘But you are wrong,’ Bo said quickly handing her a box of tissues. ‘I like your drawings a lot.’

‘I do too,’ she said looking at the drawing in her hands. Bo smiled. It was ok if she wasn’t able to sell her drawings anymore. She felt glad looking at the portrait, thinking about the time they were so happy captured in her art. It wasn’t perfect, but it was special.