Tuesday, December 12, 2017

2017

It feels selfish to return to my blog after what seems like a decade. I remember writing a post summarising the year I have had and the lessons learnt.

2017 was probably the longest and the shortest year I have had with many memorable events and certainly more forgettable ones.

The year was pivotal due to certain reasons. I entered the Club 27 age group and have certainly tried to lead the same as recklessly as the Club warrants.

2017 will be one of those years which reoriented me with how the 20s and 30s are supposed to be.

I think the most crucial moment of this year was reading the Little Prince.

I also realised yet again, the wisdom behind a certain prior realisations, one of which is to express as little as possible and maybe to not underestimate the human beings' ability to look beyond their immediate needs.

This is enough I guess. Oh I also clicked this boy. Certainly a lot to learn from his ability to be satisfied with his cobweb and just hang in there.


Sunday, January 3, 2016

His sacrifice.

It was cloudy that evening, it may pour, he thought to himself as he sat by the window of his room. There was a mirror on the other wall. He would occasionally look back and see himself, often in admiration. He looked outside the window at the clouds heaving a sigh of relief. Rain may be able to distract him from the bloodshed and the conflicts raging in his neighbourhood. The ones he loved were clashing with swords and emotions, this time over the self proclaimed and often contested superiority of their respective revered gods. A god man had earlier said that his god was powerful and the only one in the world, to which his rival called him an infidel and the whole town was on fire.
But not him, no god had ever pleased him. He grew up struggling with making his ends meet, often using the same god’s promise of redemption to seek pennies from strangers. Religions would change, a temple or a mosque, depending on the festival in fashion.  A sickness raged in these places, he would often worry. Ignorance and false gods had infested the halls of the abode of the all mighty. His life was not worth the very gods he had misused for money. 
Hiding behind his locked doors and sneaking a view from the window, he could see his own friends cut themselves to pieces in the name of heaven which awaited their delusional souls. 
Closed windows may raise suspicion. He maybe dragged down and compelled to choose a side, something he was not only scared to do, but also detested at many levels. 
Night was slowly approaching as the darkness gripped the burning city. The clouds had commenced the occasional roar, loud enough to mark their presence in his mind. 
He sat on his favourite chair and took out his pouch of tobacco. He was earlier in a holy city and had spotted this fine tobacco which the merchants are proud to boast. 
He rolled the tobacco and lit his first cigaret of the night. He had shut the lights. He did not want to be seen at any cost. It had started raining as the tobacco burned. He could almost hear the faint crumbling sound of the fire engulfing his cigaret. It was almost like a child trying to sneak through a forest in the fall. Noone could hear him, the child thought, if he could walk carefully through the sea of dry leaves. His innocence and naivety had always frustrated him. It was almost as if he was envious of the child’s carefree walk. A sense of paranoia had surrounded him since the morning when frantic news of the first clashed had emerged. 
The city had turned into a herd of madmen. Savages who would murder the innocents over a godman’s word. He couldn’t say any better about his own self. Open windows and locked doors with all lights shut, he was anxious for his life as each moment passed.
But now he was getting relaxed as the tobacco scorched and he inhaled. He could still hear the clouds and the rain as the leaves crumpled beneath the child’s innocence. 
He had now closed his eyes. There was only a candle lit in his room, which he had now decided to abandon hoping his closed eyes may take him to another world. A world he was a part of only a few years back, when his city was a happier place to be in, despite his personal trials and tribulations. 
A sharp scream disrupted his journey as he jumped back to reality. It was a woman, he speculated. He did not have the courage to even move an inch. He carefully put out the candle as a faint thread of smoke emerged from the wick. The bright orange sparked had faded into darkness. The scream only got louder as seconds passed. He hadn’t heard these screams in a long time. He would often be dragged to the local police stations where he could hear women scream. They were abducted from the nearby brothels, stripped off their dignity in the name of arrests and rule of law. Rule of law, he thought was the only outrageous delusion besides religion corrupting the once peaceful valley. Cedar wood covered in the morning mist, turning to droplets shining with the sun. The road to the valley was full of beauty and promise. The wilderness around the city was the real charm, now a safe haven for the monsters. The child, he thought would never walk through the dry leaves in his forefathers’ forests. 
Those screams had scarred him for years, waking him up in his bed, fearing that a policeman may vent his frustration by mercilessly beating the helpless children. The woman’s scream had almost thrown him back to the prison walls, he was desperate. 
The scream had now turned into banging on his own doors, howling and begging him to take her in. He had frozen in his place. He quietly hid behind the doors, in case the rioting party broke into his house. A few minutes passed by as the screams fainted into silence. He could now hear men rejoicing. Her dignity was taken away, he was certain but maybe they spared her life. He wanted to now take her in as he heard the herd leave, but what if they returned. He would wait till the sunrise or for the police, whichever arrived earlier and only then open the door. He closed his eyes, yet again, this time in shame and fear. He was shaking, fearing for his own life, hidden behind the door and then in another room. He had closed his eyes and curled up like a child feeling cold. He had seen winter nights in prison on a few occasions. 
He could hear the murmurs of the female voice as he could hear the clouds earlier in the night. Both were only loud enough to mark their presence. it was as if the murmurs and crying was marking her being and torturing his soul piece by piece, moment by moment. He was now crying softly, it was as if he his voice was taken away as tears were leaving the corner of his eyes. A loud cry may attract attention. It seemed that even his rawest emotions of fear and sorrow were muted by his cowardice.
Gripped by the fear of death and his mutilated memories of an abused childhood, he lay there curled up in a dark corner of his room. Who could she be, he couldn’t help but wonder. Did she pick a god’s side. Is it possible that her brothers were perpetrating the same horrors on others. Did she deserve to suffer this gruesome scenario. 
He could somehow never sympathise with  the idea of destiny and worthiness. Did he deserve an abandoned childhood, did he deserve the prisons or did they deserve to be raped. His ability to sympathise was numbed by his own sufferings. He knew it is what it is and no god, god man or man could profess otherwise. 
Whoever she was suffered a violent end and a discourse on whether she deserved the same would be irrelevant, just like he had suffered and nothing could change that reality.
A strange heaviness was coming over his eyes and he would soon fall asleep into the most peaceful world of fiction his dreams could take him too. A strange heaviness was coming over her eyes and she would soon pass into oblivion outside his house crying for help. 
He woke up with the sun rays piercing his open windows and he moved away from the corner. He was just stretching his arms as he recalled the woman’s ordeal which his ears could hear. The incident and already entrenched into his memories. He could soon hear sirens of police cards and stormed out of his house to see the face of the woman he could have saved. 
The first sight of the woman’s face shattered whatever was left of his soul. He broke into tears this time louder than the prior night as he inspected the familiar eyes of the woman. It was his own friend he had once promised to save from the brothel. She had comforted him during the winter nights in prison despite her own struggled. He was to be forever indebted to his surrogate lover and had promised to save her from this hell the moment he could. 
His own struggles had taken him away from the city for sometime. His jilted lover now forgotten in the corners of the city he once called home. He searched for her once he came back only to find failure and disappointment. 

He saw her eyes, with his own now filled with regret and tears. He held her face, which was covered in blood mixed with mud and sat there. He sat there with his cries, turning into a faint smile and a chuckle. He stood up and abandoned her corpse one last time into his house, to the room he had made is sanctuary. He went to the dark corner and curled back into his bubble, never to be heard again. His destiny had finally muted him, forever.


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Wintertime Love

'In that one moment, my whole life was flashing before me', he had earlier heard a lot of people tell him. Some he believed, some he didn't. The ones he believed was only out of amusement. Life is too long to suffice in a moment he'd wonder. And yet he found himself in a flux of memories, drowning. Many would often tell him how their worst nightmares came true. He used to wonder what his worst nightmare could be. His own reality seemed to be his worst nightmare. This was always a fleeting thought in the midst of his chaotic life, insignificant on an ordinary day, but not enough to ignore in the more contemplative time.

It seemed that he was really going to find out what his worst nightmare has been. He found himself in the midst of a strange city, in the company of men he was suspecting of. He could see himself zipping through the brightest projection of his darkest memories. He seemed to be caught in a vicious cycle except that he couldn't move. Even though the memories were flashing, he was just still, in his thoughts, in the room full of men he couldn't trust. It was as if he was damned by destiny to confront the darkest days he had once lived.

He could feel his blood rushing through his veins. He could see the green vents for a month now. They were stark reminders of his starvation in the last few months. He had been unhappy, unsure and anxious about places he would visit and the people he would meet. His could see himself today, in the strange city with darker veins, as he could feel himself drowning in the whirlpool of even darker times. He was reliving those moments but his rational mind was also attempting to analyse what was happening to him. As more time would pass, and he was not sure in which world, he was only getting more confused about the reality. He had only heard about this earlier but he could experience it today and even then he was unsure about which space-time dimension was triggering this thought.
The concept of reality was only eluding him as he was becoming more desperate to decipher this puzzle.

He soon gave in and let his parallel realities and fictions engulf him. He had now decided to just let this flux him carry through rather than struggling with where he was going.
He soon found himself in a familiar room, he could see old red bricks outside the window and bleached white walls. It was a little foggy and cold. If gloom were a weather, this would be it.
He could see himself sitting on a wooden desk, anxiously waiting. He was scared, but of what, he wasn't sure. The vision was not as clear yet, besides the bricks and the wall. He saw his friend, his was reading from a book, he was on the last paragraph. His turn would soon come and he would be made to read the next passage. It was his worst nightmare, to read, not read to himself but to the whole class.
What if he stuttered, or stumbled. Everyone would laugh at him, he thought. He was hoping time runs out. He was in his class, fourth grade maybe, he wasn't sure. His friends were the same and so was the classroom, so he was still unsure about his grade but it was clearly not a pleasant time.

His friend had finally reached the last sentence. He was getting more jittery and had closed his eyes hoping for the next ten minutes to magically vanish and as he opened his eyes, they indeed did. It was one of the guys in the room, he was in his whole world, hallucinating. He was humming a tune, familiar, yet elusive. It reminded him go his favourite band, the ones with a violin and a guitar.
His friend, the one he didn't trust had become his saviour from a possible reading debacle, he was now conflicted.

He was now thinking about how much he trusted his friends in the room. He was trying to observe his friends and reflect upon various other instances. While everything was indicating towards the loyalty of his friends, he was in strong denial.  How could it be, there must be something wrong, he had seen too many fall outs to fall into the trap of making actual friends.

While these doubts were still lingering in his head, he saw himself in a busy street passing through an evening market. He had seen this somewhere before. He had visited many holy cities and the markets adjoining the temples of those cities. The manipulative god men mercilessly ruining the notions of god and religion, begging for a penny from fellow denizens and dollars from those who have journeyed across the oceans to explore the spirituality of the famed cities and their legends. He had spoken with these demonised men of god and found them merely furthering their existence, food and shelter. Pushkar, he said to himself. He was in Pushkar, he could see the familiar markets selling leather and knives. The Israel cafes in the desert had always fascinated him. He dawdled his way through the streets mostly due to the tobacco and the colours, sold by the vendors.
It was then he saw a familiar smile greeting him and mumbling something. Her lips were moving, but he could not hear what she was saying. She was not from Pushkar, he had met her in Ujjain, the city of Lord Shiva, just like Varanasi. He had come a full circle from the city of the destroyer by the ganga, to the city of the lord, by another river.

A loud song interpreted his silent conversation with her. It was hist friend in the room, he had started strumming his guitar. Guitar, although his passion on
ce had become a vestige he had been trying to do away for a while. He had given the instrument his blood, sweat and tears, practicing for hours, through the winters when all his friends would make the blanket their hermit. Not him, he loved the piercing sounds. Madly drunk in love with the six strings and in his power over it. He had become distant with strumming his acoustic wonder over the last two years, he thought to himself. Photography had starting interesting him a lot more. He wanted to capture people, places and moments. He wanted to be able to freeze time, something he wished he could do right now, but all he could manage was fumble through realities faster than the time turned and the sand passed through the confines of the sandbar and the blood through his veins. He was at ease in a way as he had made peace with his helplessness, but anxious at the pace with which he seemed to be thrown between time, experiences and places. 
He was increasingly making peace with these places, the godmen and the rivers. He had decided to sleep and let his dreams take him to a simpler reality. He closed his eyes, hoping that the darkness will set him free from these visitations. All he could see was a wall in a dimly lit room, with a  fleeing cloud of smoke leaving him. The cloud would soon dispense itself to the wall. The wall was rough with the light leaving a million shadows, just like the scars on her face, the girl in the streets of the holy city. 

He was soon on a boat, lying. Staring at the stars, he could see them move and flutter, as if streaming and converging into a lightening bolt. He could not move and the boat was needed. He heard them say, as he found himself nod at their moving lips. He was in the wooden boat in the ancient holy river with the friends he suspected. He was lying in the wooden boat in the ancient holy river. The river was calm and the wind, gentle, unlike his veins. 

He had come to the abode of the lord of destruction hoping to drown himself in the mysticism and legend of the holy city and yet he found himself floating in this ancient river. He soon passed into an earlier elusive peaceful sleep. He could only hear the gentle wind reminding him of the stars he was leaving behind as he closed his eyes. He was passing into a more peaceful slumber as the boat went on, back to the wall in the dimly lit room as the smoke was disappearing the dark. There was no more textbook and reading and the white walls or the jitters. Neither was the strange city or the companions he wouldn't trust. He was back.

The blood in his veins had become quite, much like last year, he thought to himself as he reminisced about her smile and the forever lost wintertime love. He was asleep in his version of reality, too scared to wake up or open his eyes anymore.