Monday, August 24, 2009

The Shadow and The Soul.

Tonight, I saw a dark shadow in the caves. This shadow came to me as a reminder, playing hide and seek in the crevices and behind stalactites and stalagmites. I was being invited to a game, someone whispered. If I could catch that mist, the fog, then knowledge would be mine she promised.

I smiled. Wryly, and barely. But I smiled. Why would I want knowledge? Is a battle within the heart not enough? And I Ignored. I looked around for exit as I remembered I had been doing before the shadow went swooshing past. Touching me with her coldness and threatening me with the unknown. Oh I like the unknown. I crave for the unknown. Did she think she could have scared me?

And again, the mist went swooshing past.I could have so easily grasped her had my hands been outstretched. But they weren't. I had heard of the legend of Dr. Faustus. No, I did not intend to sell my soul. And knowledge brought suffering, it did. So I turned again, blind and fumbling, but the exit was lost.

I was not hopeless now. Hopelessness had become a way of life a long time back. Then she took pity.

"You are ignorant" said she
"I know" shot I " Even though it does not bring me to the fools paradise"

She left.

Then the shadow came to rest and spoke :
"Knowledge brings pain, and it brings you medicine so that they may be healed.
Knowledge will make you aware of the chains in which I have bound you. Yet it shall teach you how to slip out of them. "

Without darkness there can be no light.
The earth rotates.

The shadow was me. The lost soul was me. Within the globe of my heart, one half sleeps and the other acts. Then upon awakening, the sleeping half condemns the acting one as it prepares to fall asleep. They tear at each other. Carnivores, blood-thirsty, ripping apart the womb fated to encase them.

I still fumble for the exit. It still eludes me.

“Anything, anything would be better than this agony of mind, this creeping pain that gnaws and fumbles and caresses one and never hurts quite enough”
- Jean Paul Sartre.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Sea.

Sitting at the window seat of a bus on the Sealdah flyover thrusts the picture of vast humanity below you. It's fascinating. Everything moves. In continuous, unbroken waves.

There are three types of people that I spied in those waves.

The first were The Conformists. Obviously in the majority. They are the ones who surround me and suffocate me. They confuse morality with convention and we know them to be capable of terrible cruelty. Tell me, would they understand a genius genius differently?
The society does not respect them.

Then I spied, dotted all over the expanse, The Confronters.
Some found inclusion here by choice, and others in their callousness.
Do you know what happens when enters a microcosm in a macrocosm to create ripples? The macrocosm is disturbed.
So it re-groups itself and retaliates. It punishes the one who in deluded belief of being a society unto himself dares to disturb. The macrocosm would push these to its very periphery and deny them access to the core.
The society is weary of them.

Then of course, as the law of the universe dictates, there must be a group who has achieved a perfect balance. I think that the world was created in end September or start October and this is the reason behind it being doomed to be ever looking for the perfect halfway point. Neither entirely here nor entirely there. And so, finally, I spied The Non- Conformers.
They, the wise ones knew just precisely how to fit in their differences which did not ripple the waters. Or at the very least, did not start ripples which extended far.
The society is thrilled by them and it thrives on them.

But then again, I spied something else. Dots even fewer than The Non- Conformers. They embodied perhaps the one true characteristic of the waters in which they were born. They were the ones fluid and moving. They fit in neither of the three groups, and yet they perhaps found a place in all three.
They were the ones who did not know their place. Indeed, they did not know if they had one at all.

And then, a light turned green and I moved on.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Through the Looking Glass.

In the post before last, I spoke of choices.

Now that post was very inarticulately written, but as S told me, it's all the age da.Maybe it happens to all, but currently, it's humanity and its current condition that truly disturbs me sometimes.And many more things besides. I still have steps to tread before I develop a distinct apathy that makes survival a happy affair. Though in alternate stages of my oscillation I doubt if I haven't too much of it already.

Do we choose the coloured glass through which we look at life ? Or maybe they are presented to us, gifts or curses as we make them out to be?

I look at life through Red coloured glasses, and this shouldn't come as a surprise, given that I've literally bathed myself in this colour since age 8.

Which coloured glasses do you look at life through? Find here.

Then share.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Being Free.

And so two countries celebrated another year of freedom.

Are we politically free?
Are we economically free?
Are we culturally free?

Are we free to spin our own illusions?

Are we free to at least proclaim that we are free?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Of The Many Firsts.

Tis' a season for travelogues and train journeys.

Yesterday was the day I traveled, for the first time ever in a local train. It was not a choice and I was out of options.

The station at Garia stank of rotten fish and shit. Small holes broken into the concrete clogged with squishy dirt in water with flies hovering over them. Not a pretty sight. And I had to wait for 45 minutes before I could board a train. I drank in every sight. A portion of the platform was covered in chicken blood and feathers. Killed for food, presumably. The flies were densest there.The food stalls surprisingly had less of them.

People might have seen spirit in people there, waiting for hours under the flimsy shade, mostly with heavy loads, usually goods to be sold, and often of weight capable of bending spines. The will to survive as it were, to fight. People might stand applaud courage they see. Courage to carry on. Carry on in all that misfortune and brokenness .

There are people who write of pain. I myself tried writing of it, and that was the point of realization. We can hardly write of pain without romanticising it. Just like we cannot write of the past without romanticising it. Remember the time you were ostracised in a juniour class? Bet it wasn't as nice then while you went through it than it is now when you write of it. Ruskin Bond did say it: " Looking back on boyhood years/ Even unhappiness acquires a certain glow"
No, you need to have truly fantasised about pain to imagine that it can intoxicate you. You need to have been truly insulated from pain to find it heroic. I envy you. You've felt hurts maybe, and slights also. But pain? I doubt.

The people I saw too did not have a choice. They suffer and endure not in heroism, but in necessity. Their sufferings are not awe-inspiring. Anyone placed in their shoes would find that they could continue to exist. It is the most ancient and primitive law of our existence.

Choice. That key-word.If your Choice to live your life a certain way brings you to hell-holes, I give you a standing ovation. That is why Mother Teresa is her. And indeed, so are countless others, all unsung. If your choice to be a vigilante takes you to our borders, we the people who sleep stoned at night give you another ovation.But if you arrive at our borders to fuel your hearths at home, we know that the day something else guarantees that, we shall no longer sleep safe.

They had to carry on. For the alternative to that is obliteration.

We sit, comfortable in our houses warmed by the heat of their bodies, and then we talk about Art. Literature. Poetry. And oh, we talk about the misfortune of their existence, hoping we could do something to change it. Then the more conscientiousness of us go home, stopping at the local NGO to drop off some notes, hoping to make some difference, as of course, that is all we can do.
And then, there are some people like me, who blog about it, every once in a while as the realization strikes them. Doing so eases a guilty conscience, maybe.

The drunks at the overhead bridge in Park Circus were no Devdases, pining away. That is their way of life, they know no better. They have never known any better.

Never mind, Never mind.

"With great power comes great responsibility" - Uncle Ben.

P.S : I'm not too sure of the point I'm making. Actually, I'm not sure that I'm even making one.
Confused, Confused, Me, Me.