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By Salil | Issue No.2 Journeys | |

The child is father of the man

José Lourenço

Papa, what’s the shape of a journey?


Yes, is a journey straight?

Yes, it could be. Like a line.

But a journey starts at one place and ends at another, right?

Yes, son.

In Maths class they told us a line has no beginning and no end. It extends infinitely in both directions.

Alright, it’s a part of a line. From one point to another.

Can a journey be triangular?

Oh yes, like going from home to Panjim, from there to Margao, and then back home.

Then it can be also a pentagon and a hexagon.

Right, son.

Can a journey be a circle?

Why not? You can go around the earth and be back where you started. That’s a circle.

I can also run around you in a circle, like so. Have I been on a journey now?

Well, yes, a small journey, ha ha! Didn’t spend much on that trip, did you!

So if it is a very very small circle, is it still a journey?

Theoretically … yes, son.

Then is a dot a journey? Is an atom a journey?

Not really now, a dot is … just a dot … it doesn’t go anywhere.

But in Physics class they told us an electron is spinning inside an atom. That’s a journey, isn’t it?

Well, yes, son. That reminds me, you got 8 out of 25 in Physics. And only 11 for Maths.

Yes, Papa.

Where am I going, Papa?

To bed, son.

No, where is my journey going to?

Have you had your milk?

Yes, Papa.

Good boy.

Where is the earth going?

Around the Sun, of course, that’s the earth’s journey.

And the Sun?

The Sun moves along with the Milky Way galaxy. It’s a very slow journey.

In Physics class they said the Universe is becoming bigger, like a balloon.

Yes, son. That’s the Big Bang at work. It will keep expanding and then it will contract.

And then?

Well, I don’t know for sure. Perhaps it will expand again.

So the Universe is becoming something and then will become nothing. Then become again?

Yes, sort of.

Something, nothing, something, nothing, become, unbecome …

Magical, isn’t it?

So there is magic in the world. Magic is not just a trick.

In a way, yes.

Where am I going, Papa?

You are going to become a young man, son, a strong young man.

I am becoming a man. But as I grow, I will grow older and die too.

Everyone has to die, son.

I am becoming a man. I am also unbecoming a man.

Yes, in a way.

I am becoming and unbecoming at the same time!

Yes, son.

I am magic, Papa. Now you see me, now you don’t!

Yes, son.

I’m tired.

Go to sleep, son. Sweet dreams.

I go to far away places in my dreams, Papa.

Yes, son, go safely. See you tomorrow when you are back. Good night.


José Lourenço is a civil engineer based in Margao, Goa. He writes short fiction in Konkani and English. He is the author of The Parish Churches of Goa—a study of facade architecture, and Priscilla’s Nose: Nine stories from Goa, 2011. 

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Issue No.2 Journeys


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The child is father of the man

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