Monday, October 6, 2008

Substituted Emotions

It happens at least once in everyone’s life; and I am sure it does. Each one of us is posed with a question which we do not want to find. Life does not offer solutions, only questions come naturally. What we may term as answers are in reality, only a way of ending our wait and the contemplation attached with it.

This is the bare truth.

And so I find myself lurking in doldrums about the sanctity of relationships and their essence. Most of us wait a lifetime in search of true love, to a lucky few-it just happens. In any which way, loss is the “grund norm” of love. What is important here and is the main question that disturbs me right now is how do we cope with such loss? Is it true that even if people are made to substitute those who have left, that emotions can substitute the loss of love? And love does get substituted; new liaisons destroy the sanctity of old ones.

Admittedly, in our society today, my parents are more open to the fact that people need to remarry or find someone new so that they may live happily ever after. That is how it is. Their generation seems more tolerant of it. Probably it is a grown up thing. Practically speaking it does make sense.

Yes it does.

But then again, have we travelled so ahead of our time, that we substitute relationships just like we do for things? Where do we go from here and how far? Is love too far or are we way ahead of it?

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The wound

Once the tears had accumulated to form a wet patch on his pyjama, he could begin to see towards the direction from where it was all emanating. It was hard to accept; and even to acknowledge it required immense courage so that one could raise oneself from emotions to reality.

The journey had been a challenging task which had taken up a lot of time, consideration as well as emotional trauma. The foremost thought to have struck his mind was one of promiscuity of the bond shared between humans. For it could only be that, and it alone could lead someone, anyone, to do as hideous an act as this.

Raising that piece of wood required tremendous effort; under which even his muscular body had to yield. The toil of what was going on in his head was making every inch of his flesh and soul difficult to bear-existence had been demanding its lieu from life. That moment demanded grief too, but from where he stood it was still eons away. In order to summon it, meant that the vicinity of his very existence had to be dealt with. That task was unfathomable, for he was lost in the wails and cries of a hard core society. How could they be what they were pretending to be, how could the pretence forgive their dark lonely nights and leave them unquestioned?

The desire to shout had been overwhelming, a loud scream, and uproar would wish it all away; drive away the maniacs who were challenging him towards action. Action was a sublime version, a sweet word-too subtle an expression to be used.

The priest’s hand had touched his elbow to produce a wave of unfettered electricity which flowed through every nerve of his body resulting into small bumps on every inch of his skin. It had been told to him that this was “karma”-his duty, “dharma” and “moksha”. What about sin? Every neuron of his brain was pulling his head apart with this single question. What about sin? Sin, sin, sin....”paap”. The need for an answer was overpowering, he looked around, the log of wood in his hand, the weight of it on his mind. A crowd of faces known, unknown as well as those who qualified to be called ‘his own’ looked back. The centre of their attention was that one man who was standing next to where the pyre would be burning. How could he waste such auspicious time? Their eyes seemed to question him menacingly.

At last the baton of wood was raised, the skull had been cracked.

The unholy stood there contemplating the holy act.

Sitting now, in his room with the spoils of life, love and tears shed he realized that the act had been a means to moksha, not as much for his father as for himself. The means had indeed shown upon him the wisdom that the way evolved by mankind was one of redemption from contemplating, it was a way to redeem him of attachment, to free him from fantasy; to set him free in the world of reality where he would forever know that his father had been consumed in body by that holy pyre where his head had been cracked by his devoted son.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A conversation

knocking: u know puma, at one point i really thought i figured you out
and then you put up this bitchy scoundrel who wouldn't mind mouthing fuck alls without reason,
this made me go numb and still, even now am putting as non insultingly as i can
cuz i fear your mindless aggression
i simply dont understand why i was , (more than one made the poor victim of your lambasting
Sent at 12:34 AM on Saturday
Anupama: ok cool it. I DIDN'T MEAN IT. and thats the way i am. i get mad at people cause i can without meaning it or without meaning to hurt them. thinking that they will take me for a bitch without getting hurt. I AM SORRY
knocking: civilized people, specially like you who are supposedly into such a noble profession tend to use their diction to mudsling friends
Anupama: hunh?
knocking: but not to such horrendous proportions
Anupama: i hope we are solved and lets make a truce i don want to start a new fight
knocking: well
i dont want to start wither
Anupama: good
but I'm sorry
i was messed up badly
knocking: but like the bloke i am , i have this rather irritating habit of poking my nose everywhere, and anywhere i think my friends need my advise/help
Anupama: yes they do
and thats not a bad habit
knocking: and i do think, Puma i should know why
why did it all happen
what was on your mind then?
Anupama: nothing just crap
i was mad at everyone
knocking: frustrated ?
academic pressure?
Anupama: no mad. like i was going crazy. like i still am. but with this internship i hardly get any time so i'm sober and also alone so thats keeping me cool
knocking: hee
Anupama: living through it isn't as interesting as it sounds
and don u hehehe. im serious
knocking: living through what?
Anupama: my craziness
knocking: their must be some specific reason.
for your craziness
Anupama: not really
u can say life
knocking: well, i guess i got one antidote
here's how it works
Anupama: ?
knocking: for the craziness thing
u go, start your laptop/pc/dvd player and watch your fav movie
it helps
tried and tested
Anupama: i tried
it works rarely
knocking: Anu, i seriously hope you didnt get into some kinda dope during your "crazy" time
Anupama: i was about to
but my doping buddies refused to share it with me
knocking: wow
Anupama: so i get high on drinks
knocking: you talked about it to your parents ?
Anupama: and my parents found out
knocking: about the craziness or about your dope buddies?
Anupama: about my drinking habit
and about my craziness
knocking: hmm
hope it wasn't unpleasant
Anupama: well them finding out bout my drinking habit wasn't as unpleasant as my acts of crazyness
recently they removed all latches of my room
room's door and all
knocking: oops
Anupama: lol
yeah but since the past three weeks i've been in del
knocking: so it seems they were understanding
Anupama: and now ill go straight to hostel
so it ll be ok i guess
knocking: hmm
Puma, tell me , whats your dope ?
Anupama: love
nothing can beat it

knocking: well Anu love is surely the biggest dope, for it works like an elixir for some , and a catastrophe for some
Tolstoy said
" the magic of first love is our foolishness in believing that it can never end "
Anupama:but then again nothing lasts forevetr
knocking: yp
Anupama: except for sadness
knocking: hmm
thats precisely the point
moving on
i asked ,
whats your poison?
Anupama: as in/.
knocking: ur fav wine/beer/ alcohol
Anupama: i don even care about the name, once im having it, im done only when i forget which one i had had
knocking: thats pretty bad way of consuming liquor
but then to each his own
Anupama: lol, i know
knocking: u seem like such a wreak
Anupama: i am . seriously
knocking: but then Anu have you ever felt like taking professional help?
Anupama: yes
but ive given up on it now
knocking: r u ?
Anupama: no i never consulted anyone, but i don think anyone can help me
knocking: u r being foolish
Anupama: im serious
life is a screw up-you cannot figure it out. its a dillusion so no one can help anyone out
knocking: sweety thats what happens when you stop believeing in the concept of god, and think listening to Rock is giving instant Nirvana
ANu , dont crapp all over your life
you have been a wonderfull person all this while
Anupama: how do u know im an aetheist? and i don listen to rock all that much. i prefer blues now
knocking: why giving it alll up?
what i mean is
you dont wanna help yourself
Anupama: no one wins in life. everyone is a loser in the end
knocking: when you know your life is in a rut
Anupama: its not
knocking: yaieks
thats a shipwreak speaking
but then its your life

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Internship Diaries-2

A man prays, pendant in hand, eyes shut.... The mighty court's in play

Another cries, red handkercheif in hand, no ground to stand....staring at backs in dismay

A lady sits-a lawyer in tow, no better seat than books kept in a row...

And so the saga goes of friends and foes

who travelled aboard on a visit to the Supreme Court...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Internship Diaries-1



Thursday, July 10, 2008


A bird could be heard chirping excitedly, perched on a branch in the courtyard.
The water was gushing out of the tap to an overflowing bucket. The pot of tea was whistling incessantly. Shama rushed to open the shutter to an irritated milkman.
The newspaper was lying behind the open door. She picked it up to get back to her work.
Her eyes were burning, each part of the body was seeking comfort, one soft cushion, a quilt to swathe her, or just five minutes of peace where she could cease to exist. It had been three days of sleepless writing. Although it had provided much turmoil for her grey matter thinking, enough to pen down the best of her frustrated thoughts, but it had also created a rift in her body and her will.
The story was still incomplete yearning for an end, much in the same way as her. Shama got up suddenly, rushing towards the pot. Thankfully she had had only a hall for a home; demarcation with walls would be too cumbersome, too time consuming.
From the kitchen window she looked outside. At a distance kids were rushing towards a waiting school bus, waiving fervently towards their concerned mothers.
Her schooling had been a tragedy. She had not wished to leave home although that had been one place which she had most detested. Probably then, her whole life had to be like this, where she happened to loathe potential recluse and imbibe herself in the seeming comforts of an ill-fated life.
As she sat in front of the screen once again, she wondered why she was doing this to herself.
After all had she not been fired from her job in wake of lack of interest as well as efforts that were meager owing to the present turmoil? Her life was being consumed in something of a black-hole of empty spaces and vacuum.
She had wanted to be on her own, to shove the world around. People had been a menace; she could not bear the torture of introspection of her world, her life, her acts, her words, her attitude or her presence. The axiom of man being a social animal had been true in her case too, but the concept was just too utopian. There were times when she would be harsher on herself, much more than what the society could ever be.
It had been this speculating analysis of others versus her when it came to seeking shelter which left her more bemused. She had been living on the edges of tragedy ever since she could remember. As a result her life was a constant struggle with intermittent seconds of joy which had been forced by her mind as a defense system to her anxieties. She wished for a dead mind. Then, she would not have to contemplate on anything, her blessings, the everlasting gloom nor life itself.
Shama poured out her cries in her writings. Those were her only attempts at seeking comfort. But most of what she wrote was never advanced for the public and the little which she did allow to be delivered out of the domain of her own reach was highly complicated and confusing.
Taking a sip from the glass, she wondered whether access tea could ever kill someone. She laughed mockingly. Perhaps destiny would have a strange way of introducing her to readers, making her name appear in headlines across national newspapers with the following caption adduced to a naked body lying on the floor,
“Naked girl found dead owing to tea overdose.”
She even figured out what the news item would read.
“Yesterday the body of a girl was found lying naked in her home. She was a resident of a rather peculiar showroom which had apparently been bequeathed to her by the deceased father. While neighbors are certain of the case being one of suicide, police is still investigating into the causes. Talking to one of the high officials who are in charge of the case, our correspondent found out that they are not over-ruling murder or even rape. Most of those who live in the society have divulged that she might have been a lunatic. It is said that she never appeared in public except for the monthly round that she made to the shops nearby in order to buy huge bags of tea. Once or twice she was also seen at the grocers buying vegetable that would not last more than a week. These estranged visits to the grocery were witnessed every six months. Some even speculate that she might have had a job sometime ago. Even at those times, the girl who was in her twenties dressed more than what was required, covering herself from head to toe. This revelation seems rather interesting and peculiar to the way in which her naked body was found.”
Shama would not let her thoughts go astray.
It was true that she had preferred staying in the showroom. Many people told her that it had been an unusual residence, but to her it was the most comfortable surrounding for her tired self. Unlike home, where she had grown up, this place did not witness the noise from apartments nearby. Nobody shouted in the middle of the night, there was no cheer too-on time when she was desolate. People did not knock on her door intruding in her life; ominous windows were absent too.
Shama maintained a small wardrobe. There had been two over-coats one black and the other purple. A pair of pants (grey and black striped) was present along with a couple of shirts and three baggy over-sized t-shirts which had been torn from the base in order to be of the appropriate length. She never wore any of these pieces of clothing at home. She neither wished nor felt the need for them. They had been her magic robes, things to be used when facing the outer-world.
Her mother had used the place as a beauty parlor when she had been a child. As such the corner cubicle that had been specially built at the time now served its purpose as a bathroom. Tara, Shama’s mother had lost her life to cancer when Shama had been only eight years old. While she could not completely remember how she looked like, she still got glimpses of her sometimes. She remembered her mother being content with whatever little she had had at that time, devising methods to add to the family’s meager income but always appearing welcomingly warm. She had been the perfect dash of sunlight in everyone’s life. Michael, Shama’s father, was not able to cope with the loss of the only support in his life. He looked after Shama for another eight years, making sure that she could sustain when he was gone. One evening, while she was coming back from her evening classes at the college, fairly happy about the piece that she had written she saw her father walking across the road. Shama called out excitedly and began at once to move in his direction, traversing the busy road. Michael, concerned over the safety of his child attempted to move in his direction, shouting at her to stop, that he would cross the road to reach her. Intoxicated about the flights of her fantasy which she had successfully penned down that evening, she rejected everything other than the man who was moving in her direction. Soon she realized that he was paving his way from the footpath to the road and in order to outdo him, she rushed more enthusiastically. A speeding car which was approaching her steered in the opposite direction, preventing an imminent collision. Instead it struck a van which was heading in its way.
In a few seconds time ceased to exist. The turmoil on the road came to a halt. A child was wailing in a distance. People were rushing in from all directions. Shama forgot to breathe; her body felt numb. The flutter of birds flew away to some distant place. She looked ahead unable to grasp the intensity of events. Soon people were blocking her view. It was then that her senses surfaced and she found the will to order her limbs into action. Pulling at the crowd, she made her way forward. It seemed to be a jungle of not only people but of voices, reactions and questions. It had been too noisy and suffocating; yet she wished never to emerge in the centre. She simply didn’t wish for answers or reality.
Michael’s body lay on the floor. It seemed to be of a stranger; covered in a pool of red liquid it appeared to be a huge mass of highly dismantled limbs.
Taking off her gown, Shama sipped away the tea which was left in her glass. She attempted to write more. However her will to continue ceased to allow ventilation for her dead mind.
Suresh was talking with the doctor when a nurse entered the room with the reports. Dr. Kamal explained that Shama’s condition was similar to her mothers. Both of them were suffering from multiple personality disorder. Since Mahima’s syndromes had been discovered too late she could not be saved once she realized how desolate her situation was.
Even though it had been the same centre where Mahima had committed suicide, Suresh was sure about Dr. Kamal’s excellence. What had happened with Shama’s mother had been a mishap.
The doctor explained that Shama’s condition was peculiar since her alternate personality was being carved out from her reality somewhere down the line. With the passage of time, she had accepted the hospital room as her home. At times she would imagine looking out of the window which was otherwise completely covered by black paper on her request; at other times, she would neglect it as a part of the wall of her showroom. On hearing birds chirp outside she would often imagine them as being from her own courtyard, neglecting the fact that there could have been no courtyard in a lane of showrooms. A small kitchenette had been made in one corner of the room when the doctor assured everyone that Shama would not hurt herself till the time she was confronted with her own truth.
Shama did remember the sad farewell from her father. The only exception was that she remembered the nurses and the staff as people on the road, who had been present as a block between her father and herself. That was the day when Michael died for her.
Apparently she thought herself to be out on grocery shopping when once in six months, she was allowed to venture out to the vendor who had been present in the compound of the hospital. She did not allow herself to be out for long, in fact she was very quick in her transactions since she did not like the way nurses and patients looked in her direction.
Suresh who was a very successful business, tried to steal away time from Shama’s own world. As soon as he got to know that Shama was writing regularly in her room, he had found a sudden urge to read all that she wrote. At times Shama came to deliver her piece of work to the doctor’s cabin, acting as hastily as she had done while buying the vegetables. On realizing that it was doing her no good, the doctor decided that her job should be terminated, that she should be left alone. Suresh too realized that he was intruding in her privacy by mischievously reading all that she had to offer.
Wiping the tear mid-cheek Suresh thanked the doctor and left the cabin only to return as the milkman who had appeared meticulously on Shama’s doorstep every morning.

Friday, April 11, 2008

esta tarde, this afternoon

Watching the kids play at the swings in the park that afternoon, she became conscious about all that she had missed upon. Growing up had been a hurried business and she had taken her time in rushing through childhood. Feeling stupid about how enticing the notion of being grown up sounded, she wondered why people talked about it as a perfect state of being, something to be achieved.
She had often thought about things like these only in public places, the danger of them overpowering her senses in the surroundings where the vicinity comprised of her alone, was too big a risk to be taken. Many a times she had abandoned herself mid-way, trying to get lost through the happenings of her life. But with age had come the knowledge that life would not cover what eye-lids could hide.
Her view about the world had been altered at different stages of life but the notion had stuck all through. The only change was the reason that she adjudicated for the ways of the world, the end was always her contempt for it.
There were moments in time when she felt that life was beautiful. She did not however, linger on the topic. She recognized it only to the point of feeling it. She never tried to stay with the thought. Grandmothers, on sunny Sunday afternoons had put forth a thought,
“Things talked about lose their beauty in each word uttered, each syllable spoken, emotions flowing out with words. “
And so at instances when she did feel positive without dwelling on the positivistic way of thinking, she just kept it close to herself, ignoring it beyond the flash of its discovery.
That afternoon, the sun had been particularly friendly- shining its glory on people who would otherwise be swept in the cool sensation of the winters, imbibing the cold with such sincerity as was hard to emulate. The grass seemed more fresh than green. The clouds had given way to the chirping birds which had migrated away from home, much in the same way as her. They had found this place as a recluse only to fly away to another place which seemed better still.
Someone from a distance called in her direction. Swiftly shifting her stance she looked searchingly for any trace of familiarity.
To her disappointment a young Indian girl passed by with a child holding her hand. Trying to attempt a smile was difficult; it had been centuries since she last puckered her lips for anything other than condemnation.
There weren’t enough reasons to make her smile anyhow, not even few, not even any.
She remembered the day that she had arrived in the city. It seemed to have been the perfect recluse, the place away from home- a land of opportunities and unparalleled freedom. To top it all she would have a high-scale job to match her undiluted interest in the work with which she was involved. Being appointed as an artist with one of the most exclusive galleries in the world, it had been her dream-come-true. Being called to be a member of highly acknowledged and reputed artist’s brigade, she had not only proved herself but to herself too. She had always had inhibitions about what people acknowledged of her abilities, she had always accepted criticism with much more warmth.
It was like all other things in her life-both welcoming and pleasurable, initially. That’s where it ceased to exist, nothing beyond the word ‘initially’. It was at that point when she wanted to rush back to the comfort that could only be attached with one place on earth, her home. She knew that that had been an abstract perception way before she even thought about an attempt at preparing to pack.
She stayed where she was, accepting all that came her way. Most of it was absolute criticism, which had been her domain, which had been the place where she most felt at home.
Thereafter she had never toiled with anything other than work, which felt like a pleasure only to the extent of being the reason that kept her from herself. And it had been reason enough.
In the first few years she let doubt interrupt her estimates about life, she let life prove it to be something better. Gradually she derived happiness from the fact that her estimates had begun to take shape of theories, which were being proved at one time or another. Finally there was so much conviction in her theories that she constantly searched for ways to prove them faulty, even malicious. It was as if she had become obsessed with loopholes. Each conversation every idea, all interactions had revolved around her fixation.
Her work no longer reflected a new concept; art was repetitive, no more art, just an embodiment of her spirit. Those who had stuck around her found her menacing, insulting or insinuating. People would always have better business to look after. Wasn’t everyone looking for an escape? Why would they indulge themselves in whiling away free time in getting laid by the burdens of thoughts from which they too had sought shelter?
Now, when she had grown old enough to understand only this-that there was no escape, that life was but a yearning for better, a reclusion from it and a search for newer concepts, which after all evolved from the same mind that hunted it, she tried to escape again.
Except that now, she was escaping, flying with the birds, figment by figment, thought by thought breath by breath; soul from body, life from mind. She smiled, realizing that the means to the escape had not failed her. She had been an achiever, at last.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

What were they thinking?

"Soul of India. Women of the world" ?

Either I'm creatively challenged or Indians have developed a good digestive system to bolt any form of trash!


There was a flutter in her heart. She knew what she was thinking about. Nothing else could have brought the same depth of emotion. She wished she could reminisce without being haunted; she wished for life to be the servant, not the served.

Laila yearned for escape. Not as much from her surroundings as much from herself. She wondered whether she would always be a prisoner of her past, guarded by her mind- the cell keeper. Despite the eight months that separated her past from the present, she had not learnt to befriend the night. Each hour that she had spent facing the dark reality of life, she had contemplated the imprisonment of her being- her body as also of her soul.

Tonight she could feel her anxiety surging towards higher skies- the aboard of unfriendly angels. She knew that what served as the catalyst was her knowledge about the direction in which her emotions were being consumed. She acknowledged the abyss towards which she was being shoved.

Embracing her legs within the protection of her arms, she cuddled into a petite bundle of lose fitting, shabby remnants of cloth. Everything was coming back, the good times and the bad. The only difference was that the bad times could not draw away her love for the good ones, they could not swathe her from the longing that had gripped every inch of her flesh, pinching every tatter of her injured soul.

Past was not the only thing that was returning to her tonight, it had brought with it, the accomplice whom she most dreaded- the ghosts from the future.

In the two hundred and forty four days, she had just about managed to look up into the eyes of her past which was manifest in her being despite the distant feeling that was attached with it.

“Life is more unforgiving than it is cruel.”

The words echoed in her mind as she gasped for breath. She felt a salty tear enter the tunnel that she wished would serve as an outlet for the wails that were bringing down the walls of her weakened heart. Opening her mouth in a vain attempt at rescuing herself she realized that she was incapable of even a slight whimper because her mind had already served as the tombstone of her sorrows.

When flashes from an intangible future presented themselves, she gave up the slightest hope that might have dwelled in the receded caves of her mind. The cold floor was no longer the reason why she shuddered; she was in awe of everything that she was now a part of. Enraptured in the world of nightmares, she was merely a puppet. She knew that she was hallucinating about things that were not and might never be, but the intensity of emotions which her past had brought forth was much stronger than the will to escape.

Fighting was not an option, since the enemy was still lurking behind the recess of her own being, protected by the fragility of her emotions. Laila tried to make an attempt at getting up, of shaking herself out of the cataclysm that was emanating from her insides. As she supported her left hand on the wall she figured that she could only manage to sit on her folded legs. She tried to wipe her face in order to stop the sequence of events that were chewing away her sanity. What she found instead were her hands wet with tears and self-pity approaching to traumatize all that was left. In absence of any form of life, in want of a comforting feel, she threw her chest on her thighs and drew her arms as a resting plinth. A fresh pool of tears escaped her eyes and she found herself begging the infinite space where the existence of God was highly improbable.

As if to present a gift from one in whose existence she had no faith in, she found a blade lying next to her. Probably it too had been discarded on the street after being used, much in the same way like her. While extending her hand in its direction acknowledging the fate that tied them both she thought about what she might lose and that which she might not gain. Inadvertently the absence of loss was sufficient excuse as against the absence of gain.

Monday, February 25, 2008


“There is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft.

When you kill a man, you steal a life, You steal his wife’s right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness.”

These few lines seem to be the most sacrosanct and pure utterance; the most blissful thought to have ever hit the face of earth.

But even as I use the word sacrosanct, I’m confused about its existence. What is sacrosanct? God? Humans? Or the faith that they show in the almighty?
The highest praise bestowed on humans is by emulating their existence with that of god.

Who is god?
Most of us define him as a supernatural power which exists as a support; even as a guiding light.
If this is true, then it means that he is flawless. Devoid of any sin.

There are millions in this world of billions who pay heed to him every second of their merciless life. Ones who pray to him endlessly, to bestow his glory on their respective lives, even if for just once. Are these prayers always answered?
If the answer to this question is always in the affirmative, then how do you explain the existence of atheists? Are they individuals who were born with disbelief, are they the ones who can only be born to atheists?

Then, what follows from this, is the fact that atheists too were believers who were let down not once, not twice, but time and over again.
If god is considered a parent who is trying to teach his children about varied aspects of life, then why does he compel his children to touch such extremes of disdain, humiliation and disappointment that they not only loose faith in self but in almighty too?
Do parents and teachers make a maniac of their wards while teaching them lessons of life; do they too, like god, force their children to drift away ?
The answer is in the negative.
Does this mean that humans are better teachers than god? Is god’s plan a defective one? Is he himself as human and as capable of sin- of letting people down, as humans are?

The underlying fact is that atheists exist.

If almighty is as kind and giving as he is supposed to be, then why does he force any of his subjects into submission to a phase where everything is dark, where they loose all trust in him.

A tough situation as an excuse of a test is one thing, but when repeated time and over again, without momentary relief is another. And that’s exactly why individuals turn into atheists. They are forced into a situation which is no different than the latter case.

Theists often use the excuse of “paying for sins” when it comes to unfairness in life situations.

I ask:
“What of those who are born on the streets and die there?
What wrong would you hold them guilty of, if they are compelled to rob in order to sustain life?
Do all their sins overcome the sin of god for not answering their prayers?”

The theists, smile and reply:
“it is their past sin, the sin of previous birth, that brings them to their present life.”

Can I ask once more?
“people might be re-born, but with re-birth, does god recreate the same individual, with the same mind? A person with the same thought process? If not, then how do you explain misfortune to one of good deeds?”

The greatest sin is theft.
To each widow, god is the thief;
To each atheist, he is the liar;
And to each man on the street, he is the cheat.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Last Goodbye

“Narcissism seems to be imbibing this day today. The world is almost the same, only the emotions those dwell within me are on the prowl. They are trying to form friendships with everything other than what is I; befriending those who have made them come to be. This pen is their weapon and I, their slave. It is baffling, probably even interesting-the way they seem to control me rather than me controlling those which are imbibed in me. My children, forcing me to produce them, to introduce them to the world. The initial apprehension seems lost; my over-bearing self hates the shape the soul has formed, the pregnant pouch which is difficult to carry as also to feed to a greater extent. Emotions need to be delivered. So far the world has pushed me, now I will push them; see what they bring from the world. Like every new born they too will howl, suppurate, wail and others will enjoy it, celebrate the success of their presence and their arrival. I will be the keen observer, the ambivalent mother.
You might ask what makes me come to be. Hopefully it is the birth of courage too, but I am afraid to admit that it is nothing more than my will to escape. It would make me happy to think that escapism is the biggest sort of courage, of strength to forsake all. I wouldn’t get into the nuances of details which might hold me guilty of vanity; I need to indulge in the means and not the ends.
You might not remember all the times that would relate me with you. I don’t think it is because you too have coddled in conceit but because there is much to be looked forward to, much to be lived for. As such, it is me who would have to keep it alive, the labor of our love. One of us would have to nurture it, to accept it, to look after it. I’m happy it is me, that you live in peace. There was a time when love was forsaken, a time when I abhorred it. Remember how I rushed away from all that brought you to me? My hurried farewells? Your confusion doesn’t leave me even today. I hope you understand it as my need at that time to rush away from the situation in which I find myself this day.
You continued to ask me for my hand, yearning for my presence. There was no time for you to understand my lack of willingness, I think that it was merely because you yourself had pulled out of the phase of resentment, and to counter mine would be to fight your own ghosts once again. Winning me over your conscience and mine was a triumph you had yearned for. You had your ways of talking yourself out of the coup that had formed your past. My past had been similar too. You enchanted me. I was unwilling, but captivated by you. You won once again, this time from me. We were together. It had served the end which was speculated; we found the comfort which none other could provide to each of us.
Life is beautiful. Our optimism soared to greater heights. We were the joyous pilots of our space shuttle. Divinity was on our side; our dreams were exactly the way reality was shaped. There were times, as I remember now, when either one would look back only to encounter the space that surrounded us. The empty, jagged, suffocating territory that would engulf us, which had enslaved our past. We could not turn back. It had been a mad, exciting, adrenalin rush in and about us, and it had been adduced as reasoning for continuance by the other. Those times which had detached you from me or I from you had served as only excuses for engulfing ourselves in each other’s embrace- the warm comfort of our tired core, the recluse of our irate minds, and the abode for our weak delusional being.
We had both wanted to be that which the other had never wished for; we had both been in love with what the other was. But the love for you and me was so immense that we were ready to leave ourselves behind and be the epitome of perfection for the sake of ourselves, to exceed the estimations of not others but us. I gave you as much space as would leave you with fresh air, all it did however, was to leave you lonely and alone. You on your part tried giving up those, which were your only recluse.
Our sacrifices seem to be our faults, the mistakes which we made.
It seems as if, not only did we exceed each other’s expectations, but we surpassed them to come to a position in time where our actions could no longer provide a rationale to our intentions. We had left not only that part of ourselves behind which would be an annoyance but also that which presented as our conviction. At a time when we were unable to understand that part of us which we had grown up with, we were also unable to breathe the air that was present in the vacuum. You will blame me, while reading these last few lines, of acknowledging the phase as a vacuum. But it is not the vacuum of absence of love. Love had been eternal, omnipotent. The air gap was our absence. We were both absent. There had been no one to explain that we both had been missing not because we did not love each other, rather, because we loved each other a bit too much. And in the process we had eliminated ourselves in our endeavor to cut out all that which might have annoyed another.
Our relief was in the peace which we could impart, thinking that the end would serve its purpose, that it would yield calm, if not for us than at least for the other. Our separation seemed as the only means. You asked for it; I could not refuse.
Then began a period in life where I cursed myself, for believing that I had found love. I had been confused and sad. It was not difficult for me to accept that which had happened. It was a kind of triumph of my undying faith in my belief about the despondent state of my life.
I enclosed myself in me, rushing away from all things which would relate to us. I never inculcated the idea that your decision might be the result of your own confusion. For me it had been an end which was bound to everything with which I had formed an attachment to. I remember how you attempted to say something. I still cannot be sure about what it was. At that time I did not know that you were on the other end of the phone call. Lost in my gloom, I never received it, only to realize much later that it had been you.
The excitement had intoxicated me when I found out about your call. Apparently it had been too late. You had moved on to a make belief world. I on the other hand, had found the determination to have you next to me. I would like to believe that you contributed in the attempt too. It was unfortunate that we both had not found the same level of conviction in ourselves or the other as had bound us once. Consequently our steps in the same direction were also ambiguous. Words were contemplated to represent the things which they never proposed. The distances which we covered only lead us to a place farther from where we had started walking again.
I do not purport to know all secrets of life. However, I attribute myself with knowing a few things about my own life. This knowledge is something which might be a hesitation. I want you to know that I find myself incapable of dithering too. Your loss has been the biggest loss. Our love seems to have kept me alive for so long. I know that a time will approach soon, too soon, when you will return for a last goodbye. You will ask for the last thread to be undone and I know I too will agree. I do not know why you will do it; the intricacies are something which is colossal at this point in time. All I know for sure, is that the last goodbye would tear me apart, even though I know that I am torn enough already.
I have forced myself to believe in things which a part of me knows to be present, but they too are an uncertainty, an uncertainty whose truth value I overlook. You will have to return. You will come back. I do not know for sure what for. But there is a chance of you asking for that which I will give without wanting to grant it. As I said earlier, I do not want to give up our love which has been in my custody, which rests in me, of which I am the protector and guardian. If you ask for me to give it up, I know I will. Death will be consequent. I don’t want to turn you into a killer.
I love you. Hope you do too.”
Ahana had left behind the letter which Shahid held in his trembling hand.
The last goodbye was not the letter, but the body which was being consumed by the pyre in front of him.