What The World Looks Like When You’re High

What The World Looks Like When You’re High

There was once a shape called Rectangle. She was quite disliked by the other shapes that made up her community, namely, the Squares, the Equilateral Triangles and the Circles. Now, these shapes all lived together as families, so the Squares lived in one area of Shapetown, the Circles in another, and so on. Rectangle, however, did not have a family. She was all alone, and despite searching for years, she had found no other Rectangles. The families seemed to find it odd and disturbing that she had sides of two different lengths. How unacceptable! They avoided her as much as possible, and the Squares were especially particular in rebuffing her lest anyone should think they were ‘harboring’ her in lieu of her similarity to them.

The occupation of the members of Shapetown was to fill themselves with colour.  All day they went about, trying on different shades. The Circles had hold of the primary colours, Red, Green and Blue, and so they could control which shape got to be filled with which colour. The Squares were given the shades they thought were dull and unappealing, such as Brown and Grey, because the Squares were considered of the lowest order. The Triangles got dull Orange, light Pink and such. The Circles themselves had all the bright colours, as well as White. Poor Rectangle was not even given the Brown or Grey shades, she was given no colour at all. One day, tired of being outcast, she filled herself with Black. No one could stop her from doing so because she had not adopted a colour but rather the absence of colours. Soon she became known as Black Rectangle, and was rejected even more viciously than she was before.

Black Rectangle wandered Shapetown, silently observing everything. Indeed she got so bored that she decided to walk the border of the town, which was supposed to be a circle (hence the Circles ruled it).  She walked and walked, and discovered the most exciting thing: Shapetown was a rectangle! It had four sides with two different lengths. How extraordinary! Eager to tell everyone about her discovery, she went about shouting it in the streets. A few of the Circles heard her, and went to their family. A meeting was called amongst them, and that night Rectangle breathed her last. She had made the grave mistake of unintentionally challenging the Circle family’s position, and she paid the price for it. Instead of burying her in Shapetown, the Circles threw her body in the neighbouring town, Diagonal City. The Squares and Triangles were glad to be rid of her; no one said a thing about the whole matter.

The ghost of Black Rectangle came alive in Diagonal City. Here, she saw shapes she had never seen before. There were families called Hexagons and Octagons and Oddly-Shaped Quadrilaterals. There were also so many types of Triangles! No one in Shapetown even knew such shapes existed. Everyone lived in harmony here. Each shape could fill itself with any colour it wanted. Black Rectangle was a ghost however, and her situation was not much different to what it had been in Shapetown. She was doomed to wander around, watching the colours near her but never quite able to take them in.

About The Author

Komal Qidwai – A woman in search of inspiration and an island with wi-fi.

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