1001 Stories: Holes

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That belt you are wearing has holes to hold it in place. There is a tiny hole in the lock in which the key turns to unlock it. The fabric of the clothes that you are wearing also has millions of minuscule holes that allow what exists, to exist in comfort. You don’t keep birds in a metal box, you keep them in a cage to allow them to breathe. The pores in your skin are nothing but holes and empty spaces for moisture to be stored in.

Everything, our entire existence consists of these holes that are everywhere. The spaces between our atoms, our nostrils that allow us to breathe in, our mouth to ingest, the anus to defecate; the creation of life wouldn’t happen if a hole wasn’t filled.

I see around and see so much emptiness in these holes that hold so much of the world together.

But what does she see? The little five-year-old who treads casually on the sidewalk rotating a tire-tube with a stick. What does that hole in that tube entail for her? Certainly not a way for rotational dynamics to take place.

What is the hole in the ground from which her mother pulls out buckets and buckets of water every day? It’s a “well”, they say. But does she know where does the water come from? More importantly, does she want to?

Or is she to restrict herself to that hole in the kitchen from where the smoke just went up or the water drained from?

I write this as I plug my earphone into the jack of my mobile—another hole that works wonders, but something I know virtually nothing about. Zero, Alphabet O, eight. She learns them all in class, this little girl.

She learns about alphabets and numbers, and people unintentionally and instinctively. She looks at me and I wonder if she would ever understand the thoughts that are in my head right now. Would she hone her skills, her thoughts to the level where she could tell me, “Don’t restrict your theory to holes, there are spaces and shapes and matter that makes us whole”?

I hope so.

But I also hope she doesn’t have to see the things from my perspective. That she sees life in things and something in nothing, unlike me because I have just been repressing, evading that one image from where the entire idea about holes came from. The holes in leaves are left by insects feeding on it, the holes in my file are left by that hole-puncher, the hole in my ears make a path for another mystery.

Why then, if holes are so important to sustain life, does the bullet hole cause my best friend to die?

The little girl comes up to me and smiles so bright, I almost forget that the sun that shines today will one day die and there will be a big black hole in which the earth will be sucked and it’ll be the end of the world.

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