“No one cares when a clown cries…”

–Joan O’Brien
(1972, The Day The clown Cried)

The clown stood in front of the mirror, leaning one hand against the wall. It was late in the night and the tiny incandescent bulb above the mirror did its best to drive out the lengthening shadows. He looked at his reflection, his alter ego, his image that wasn’t true, and sighed. This is not me, he told himself. I am not someone who gives up. I’ve been making people laugh ever since I can remember and now, in a matter of one week, I’ve seemed to slip.

He shook his head and broke his train of thought. The make-up on his face was fading after a hard day’s work and he could feel the tiredness in his legs creeping upward. He knew that come tomorrow, he would forget all his insecurities and go about his routine as if nothing were wrong. He knew, therefore, that this was the only time he could devote to some soul-searching. The tiredness could wait.

“You’re desperate,” someone had told him. “You are clutching at straws and hoping that people would laugh at your inane attempt at humor. You have lost your touch.”

He cringed when those words played back in his head. He looked back at all those times when he felt genuinely satisfied about the quality of his work; he knew that he could manage to keep his audience enthralled come what may, and he had done it, time and again, over the past five years. And now…

And now, in a matter of a week, he had had three lousy performances and one no-show and he was shocked when he realized it a bit too late. Reviews started pouring in, and bouquets were replaced with brickbats. One member of the audience had walked out in the middle of the show, something that had never ever happened before. He had to pull up his socks or give up trying to make people laugh.

“I’m not someone who gives up,” he told his reflection in the mirror. “Tomorrow will be a better day.”

He splashed cold water over his face and closed his eyes, allowing the slight breeze to wash over him. His skin felt the heat of the day evaporating and his mind relaxed a bit. As he switched off the light and plunged the room into darkness, a tiny sliver of light from a street lamp forced its way through the half-open window, kissed the small imperfection on the mirror, and shone with an unexpected brilliance, reflecting a thousand times within the crack, causing a mosaic of light and glass.

The clown did not notice the mirror cracked with shards of light as he pulled the sheets over himself and fell into a dreamless sleep.

Published by Nikhil

Nikhil Kumar lives in Bangalore with his wife and their stuffed dog. They are both advertising professionals and lead very exciting lives on the streets, dodging traffic. Their fridge is filled with cans of Diet Coke and their water heater doesn't work. He doesn't smoke (up) anymore.

47 thoughts on “Sliver

  1. Oh wow !!! I love this post! I just so love this!
    *β€œTomorrow will be a better day.”*…yes, it apparently is!!

    *One member of the audience had walked out in the middle of the show* ?? Seriously??!

    Btw, I hate his theme as much as I love this post πŸ˜€

  2. @Scorpria
    Thanks! πŸ™‚
    I am trying some major upheavals… So, I’ll keep changing some color combos… πŸ™‚

    LOL… πŸ˜€
    I’ll make a few changes…

    Thanks man! πŸ™‚

  3. hmmm…your pic doesn’t have a crack..:P

    well even if a mirror cracked on your face…you have the ability to erase,
    its curse and to keep going on with the chase πŸ™‚

  4. It was a great poet, the great Smokey Robinson himself, who wrote that “there ain’t too much sadder than the tears of a clown”.

    I really like this one. It’s got an air of surrealism that almost makes it seem like a religious experience or revelation, with the light pouring into the mirror. It’s that same surrealistic feel that, for me at least, ensures that it isn’t overbearingly serious.

    Great job.

  5. @Po
    It’s a parody of what’s happening in my life right now! πŸ˜€

    Welcome back! πŸ˜€
    And thanks, I was searching for the original quote and wasn’t finding it! πŸ˜€
    Yeah my life seems a bit too surreal at this point! πŸ™‚


    @La Vida Loca
    Introspective week it’s been… πŸ˜€

    Add me! πŸ˜€

  6. Is it just me or does the new template strike an amazing resemblance with the weekend creation? πŸ˜€

    The Joker.. I’ve always wondered how they felt.. was best pictured in the movie by that name, i think…

  7. You know, this reminded me of this joke

    “Man goes to doctor. Says he’s depressed. Says life seems harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain. Doctor says β€œTreatment is simple. Great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go and see him. That should pick you up.” Man bursts into tears. Says β€œBut Doctor… I am Pagliacci.”

    If it’s any consolation, nothing’s certain in this life except for death and taxes. If you aren’t plagued by either, you’d be fine πŸ™‚

  8. Very true … its the way of the world which one raarely realize at the peak … its the reality which is a good reminder to my life…thankx

  9. @Aparna
    Hahaha! You’re right.. this theme is kinda groovy… I’ll run with it for a while… And yes, Joker.. Hmmm.. Now you know! πŸ™‚

    It’s not an autobiography and I’m not making it up! πŸ˜›

    Hehehe… Ok, point noted… πŸ˜€

    Welcome to MirrorCracked! πŸ˜€
    That’s a good story, hadn’t heard it before… Yeah, kinda like what I was going through when I wrote this… πŸ™‚

    You’re welcome! πŸ™‚

    Yeah, I realized that… Thanks a lot πŸ™‚
    Really means a lot… πŸ™‚

    Yes, it does… πŸ˜€

  10. Your introspective phase still going on I suppose?! Hope you find your answers or clarity? Don’t quite know what you are looking for πŸ™‚ Was looking at this theme and decided on mine because of the space it provided πŸ˜€ though this looks too drab for you!

  11. Hi. We haven’t met. I was told this is a brilliant blog by, among others, the Editor of WordPress, though he was a bit high at that time (jes’ kiddin’).
    Your post is in the WP frontpage. Congrats.
    And, yes, I agree, you do write well.

  12. NOT FAIR MACHA…first you terrorize me to get back into my style and now look out what have you done!!!!
    WAAASSSUP knee kill?????????

  13. @Apar
    I’m not too sure of what I’m looking for either! πŸ˜€
    But, theme-wise, I’m back to Regulus, and I’m gonna stick to it for a long long time! D

    Hehe.. πŸ˜€

    Welcome to WordPress! πŸ˜€
    Yeah, I’ve heard a lot about you too! Hehehe… Well, now that we have got acquainted, I shall get down to reading your pages… πŸ™‚
    And thanks, I saw the frontpage feature, and took a screenshot! πŸ™‚

    Oh, thanks!! πŸ˜€

    Hehehehe!! Don’t worry, frooty… I am still here, and funny as ever! This was just a phase, and it has passed! πŸ˜€

    Welcome to MirrorCracked! πŸ˜€
    Thanks, I’m glad you liked it!

  14. Dont be so serious dude ..

    Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

    and yeah, remember this always : 24 hours in a day … 24 beers in a case …coincidence ???????

  15. Hey dude, nice story… i’m still waiting for ur book btw…

    And u’ve read the day the clown cried’s script? brilliant, isn’t it?

  16. Narration there in third person… Hmm, quite neat. As per clown crying, I too feel the same and if at all anyone cares, they care not for long. Get back to self.

  17. @Perx
    Thanks! I’ll send you the book soon, don’t worry… πŸ™‚
    And yes, the screenplay is brilliant! πŸ˜€

    @Quirky Indian
    Thanks! πŸ˜€

    Hehehe… thanks! πŸ˜€

    Hehehe… I am back, don’t worry! πŸ˜€

  18. Your post reminds me of this music video on Abbas Ali Khan’s “Sun Rae Moraey Pyarae Sajana”, where a clown is seen crying and pining for soemthing or soemone….
    Great blog~

  19. @Su
    LOL… πŸ˜€

    Welcome to MirrorCracked! πŸ˜€
    Thanks, I’m glad you like it here… I’m checking out that song on youtube now… πŸ™‚

  20. Good you changed the theme. There are some excellent blogs that use light letters on a dark background and I do not read them. πŸ™‚

  21. @Shefaly
    Thanks! πŸ™‚
    Custom header did the trick in changing my mind back to Regulus! πŸ™‚

    Thanks!! πŸ˜€
    Glad you liked it! πŸ™‚

  22. BRAVO! No matter what these people say, you are a marvel both in writing comical posts as well as serious ones. Cheers! To a job well done! πŸ™‚

  23. Ahhhaa I really loved reading it …esp “tiny sliver of light from a street lamp forced its way through the half-open window, kissed the small imperfection on the mirror, and shone with an unexpected brilliance, reflecting a thousand times within the crack, causing a mosaic of light and glass.”

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