October 14, 2010 § 2 Comments
The second you open your eyes. Reality takes a moment or two to make an impact, but once it finds the needed space, it break in. Who are you to complain about privacy? I’m reality, it tells you. It’s like agents in movies- where it goes, there is no right, except its own right to invade and do what it is ordered to do.
As you take your mobile out to check the time and messages, the day plays in your head. Whether you like it or not, you have no option- this is it, this is reality.
There are days when you wake up rather hurriedly, aware that the day might just be yours- maybe for once you get to paint the world in which ever colour you want. Maybe words will not choke you- maybe they will flow out of you, if words are your preferred ink.
You hear horns blazing, vendors and people shouting- not a perfect way to begin your day- but inevitable when your room is near the road. Your heart functions at a rate much higher than what would be called normal. The smells of the day add to the chaos- of food being cooked, of the heat and the agarbathi noticeable among others.
As you pick up the water bottle and gulp down about 300ml of the liquid, your mind finally decides what mood it is. Sometimes you are grumpy, sometimes all smiles. The secret to be all smiles- make sure you don’t listen to anything, till you have had your coffee.
Trying to tackle reality without a dose of caffeine, is like trying to play football without a ball. Unless you are fully awake(you should at least feel you are fully awake) , you never know whether what you are tackling is real or not. And as the mug of dark brown concoction goes down through your throat and hits the stomach, your eyes become wider, the brain seems to kick into action, you feel good again- for a few seconds.
Your heart is still beating at a rate higher than it should- what do you expect when the noises around you increase? You try concentrating on your breathing, to help calm yourself down.
But someone inevitably says something, which challenges the reality you thought you woke up into. The present comes into being, true reality walks in with its follies and marginal deprivations.You come to realize that, waking up was just a knock on the door, this is a raid.
You shrug your shoulders and let your heart race away. There is no hope. You walk up to your computer and while waiting for it boot, you look up at the sky. Someday, you tell yourself, someday.
You enter a world which you like, a world which you hope you can stay in forever, but you can’t. You tweet, “good morning 🙂 “. The day has arrived as usual and you still find it irritating. If only you could sleep forever…but then you remember the moment you wake up-maybe it is worth putting up with everything for that.
July 25, 2010 § 4 Comments
We shake hands and exchange pleasantries . I look into their eyes, each has a purpose and determination. I wonder where this is leading. I do not like this. Something within prompts me to run away from here, but I don’t want to make the same ‘mistake’ again.
We walk back towards where Shree and Diya are sitting.
“They still look beautiful”, Shorty says.
“Ya well, time can steal beauty from mortals and those who become sad.”, Ben adds.
Maybe true. How did I look? I thought I had quit from such social interactions. After what happened when I tried to be an agent of change, I did not want any human contact. I sound like a freak. I am one.
There is nothing worse than being let down and left in the middle of somewhere to be the fall guy. Once I left school, I got into a reputed college and there started a movement. I felt a benignant movement was needed to make this world better. Only to realize others were in it for lesser reasons than me. Oh! the disappointment, the pain and everything along with it.
But I discovered someone special- she helped me over come it, only to again leave me alone. Frustrated and flustered, I decided to not commit to anything. I did those things which built me a house, gave me a vehicle and put me in a position that saved me from any sort of political, financial or other sort of trouble. I had created a bubble and lived a perfect life within it.
And then she broke it all- Shree. There she is now, right in front of me. With a weak smile and sad eyes.
Diya as usual didn’t bother about those small things like greeting people- ” Shree’s husband was killed two days ago. We can’t trust anyone to help her, simply because the person behind this crime is a someone who pulls a lot of strings.”
My stomach turns and fear rolls in. I know where this going to go.
“We are going to help her find who did it. Of course, we are no carpets either, but still beware, this isn’t going to easy.”
“Scooby dooby doo…”, Ben and his stupid wit.
“Show some love Ben.”
Shree smiles. I wouldn’t want to be her at this moment. But neither do I want to be me now. Ha! Pity, we can’t choose only from the possible options. I can of course walk out, can I? Or do I know too much already.
Sai is looking at me. God, that pretty girl.
“Nope, you are too deep.”
I hate this bonding thing. It was really cool back then, being able to understand each other without talking, but now it sucks.
“what I am here for?”, I ask. Sai is about to reply but Diya cuts in,
“To make us breakfast and give a room to stay in of course.”
So I am to be a safe house. How wonderful. I feel threatened. There is space for only one in the bubble, it doesn’t have enough oxygen.
“Now that everyone’s present, let’s go. A group of officers are heading our way, they don’t look particularly friendly.”
We start walking away. But they catch up.
We turn around. They were a group of officers wearing helmet and carrying guns. Oh! dear God, what now?
“What are you doing here?”, asked an officer.
“Well we are friends, we were just hanging out.” Shorty replied.
The fellow doesn’t look convinced. Who will, when they find a group of people ‘hanging out’ in a park five minutes after a blast? I decide to step in.
” Hello sir, I am Raj Srinivas. We were scared after the blast, so we gathered here. Is something wrong sir? may I help you? ”
“No nothing..you are Raj Srinivas? Wow, indeed..the Raj. Pleasure to meet you sir..sorry for bothering you sir, can we help you in anyway sir?”
Fame has its uses. Of course those prying eyes keep following you, but it helps.
“Yes, can you give us a ride back home.?
July 21, 2010 § 11 Comments
Babu stood up. He had been waiting for the bus to arrive from Nelinjeri, the preceding village which was some 20 kms towards West. It seemed to take forever.
He had fought with his parents and had decided to run away. Having made the 6 km trek to the bus stand, he had spent a good 5 hrs thinking and rethinking his decision. He had no option, he told himself. He convinced himself that the road will lead him towards his dreams.
But now as the sun disappeared behind the monsoon clouds, he began to get worried. He wasn’t as confident as he was a few hours ago. What can a 16 yr old boy do?
The more he looked up and down the road, the more insecure and small he felt. It was a state highway, which connected Trichy and Madurai. It seemed to go on forever. He never saw it this way, till now. He and his friends used to call this the road that never ends, half-jokingly. Now he believed it. And what lay ahead seemed to a faceless ocean.
He was in two minds now. He wanted to go back home, but he dared not. The clouds threatened to break and let lose a torrential hell, in which he had danced many a time. But he wasn’t in the grove to dance.
He had no clue what he would do once he got to patnam(city). He again glanced up and down the road. It stretched on for a kilometre or two and then took a sharp bend. He was fascinated and determined, yet he was scared. But he held on.
Another half an hour passed. He finally heard the horn. His mind became agitated. He knew that there was no turning back after this point. He closed his eyes in indecision and fear.
The bus screeched to a halt. It was over crowded. He couldn’t open his eyes, surely??
His legs took the decision- one foot on the step, then another. He was sucked in and pushed between people. The whistle blew and finally he was about to see where the road that does not end took him.
July 11, 2010 § 4 Comments
No, it is her alright. So life apparently has decided to wake me up by sending the past. And this is no dusk shadow or a stream of headlights-this is a full fledged assault. I am screaming-within. I feel like a trapped beast with no where to run.
Nothing makes sense.
“ha! Diya so you made it.”.
“Yes. Hope it wasn’t a problem getting him here, Shree.”
‘Oh! please, he is the same hapless child, tempted by the uncertain and yet searches for his mummy to hide behind, when he encounters something alien.’
They laugh. I am blank.
“Look at him, shocked and flabbergasted.”
“So..so…”, I fumble.
“Oh! darling, this is no evil plan devised to wake you up and put you through some more. After all you are a fine pickle already. I am sure, you have enough wisdom to propel a six year old to insanity and bring him back alive.”
Diya and her sharp tongue. But her lips haven’t lost the gloss or the curves, how I wish I can watch them work wonders all the day long.
After the few moments of joy, Shree looked distraught again. So, I figure it out. I am not duped.
“ha! If this was a movie, we will call it bringing back the dead or whatever. But since we have grown past death marks and Justice league and whatever, we will call it a reunion. And the reason is quiet evident, we are going to help Shree.
Now that dog looks cute enough to be Timmy, but not big enough. Talk about a chihuahua running away, seriously.”
Shree giggles. That endless anger is growing again. What is happening?
“Who else is coming for this reunion? Can someone tell me what really happened?”, I almost bark out.
“We will wait for the others to come. Sai, Ben and Shorty will be here shorty.” I am relived, she saved me from a bashing. I am confused, I can’t understand.I can’t understand. Diya, continues rattling away..
“The super zapper is all ready, the only problem is that the zip is not working.”
Is it only me or has she really become better at this than she was? I wish this will end now. Just like how it ended back then, abruptly. I hated it then, but now I will love it. I had no intention of meeting these people again.
“And wipe that dumb look of your face. You haven’t turned any prettier or cute or handsome or whatever. That just makes you so much more irresistible, my hand loves those cheeks, my how many times have we hit it darling?”
This is ridiculous. But Shree- I have to put up with this for her.
“Evidently, you are still single. Who will want a ..”
“Diya, please stop it. Leave the poor guy alone.”
“Why did you even bring him?”
I stood up and started walking away. But what do I see there? Sigh, it is the others. We were pretty dumb back then. Wanting to change the world with our supposed super powers, but looks like I am the only one who has grown up. No, that beard makes Shorty look really really stupid. Sai looked as beautiful as always. Maybe that was the problem- I couldn’t decide whom I liked more. Now I know it is Shree, but what is the use? Ben and his sunglasses, certain things never change.
July 4, 2010 § 4 Comments
We are waiting at the station for the train to arrive. She is pacing up and down, tense and despondent. People kept gazing at her, but she seemed oblivious. Now she comes towards me,
“They don’t have a face.”
” The face lets out secrets, they cannot have one. Rather we cannot see it. Each one of us has a visage which tells his own story, but for the congregation, there is none.”
“yes….”, her voice trails.
It lingers within me. I cannot understand my own emotions. I could until she turned up again. Personally, I am fighting a battle within. Is she good for me? I had all but retired from being a captain planet. It makes you remorseful. day after day, spent looking at the oblivion.
Murder, genocide, droughts, floods, disasters, poisonous gases, derailments, jealously, hate, pride- the list goes on. If you want to do something with your life, it is better to ignore and try to put yourself above it all-figuratively and politically.
but when disaster strikes close to you, when it affects you, you have no other go. You have to either tame the tiger or shoot it. It doesn’t show itself-so you can’t shoot it; It cannot be tamed either, for it is such. What is your nature?
I was distracted. A pinch brings me back to my senses. The train rushes in. The vast human diaspora-some jump down, some hop on. A flurry of activity- All reconciles with the nothingness. Some step towards their dreams, others step away from and fall into servitude. The penchant for failure and darkness is innate and it eats away anything left.
We board the train. About 10 seconds are left, I can hear the horn. Around us, people push and crush each other. A beggar is singing, a couple of people are shouting at each other. A few are carrying their daily stock from the nearby markets.
Noises. The train grinds to a halt. Rumours spread like wildfire- a bomb in the next station! Eager men, climb down and try to catch some of the action. Blank.
She sighs. ” Now this…”
About five minutes pass, we hear sirens. She urges me to get down,
” Let us get away from here.”
We jump and walk away. We jump over tracks leading to somewhere. We jump over tracks which run over rivers, joining shores and cleaving through mountains, running past fields and factories- suddenly these things seem important.
The fact that you are a small nothing in this ocean- maybe the eyes are humongous and we fail to see it. Maybe we shouldn’t see it at all. Maybe we are meant to search and suffer and yearn and then begone. She is walking along silently, listless.
This is torture. I don’t like this silence. We reach a park. renovated and painted. Perfectly cut grass and disciplined trees and drunk men loafing away, ignorant and blissful.
” Tell me something, I cannot carry on like this.”
” What should I say?”
” You can tell me what happened?”
“I cannot. I don’t know. I don’t know, what is wrong, anyway.”
“Look I don’t feel good about this.”
“Neither do I.”
One part of me wants to run away, but legs do not listen. After all when you stare into those eyes, nothing else exists- the world belongs to them. Or does it? Maybe it doesn’t. The fact that she is where she is, is a give away. Or maybe not. Maybe this is a drama within her. Maybe she truly loves me.
She laughs, ” You men are all the same!”
I chide myself, within. But manage a weak smile, “You know that isn’t the case.”
“Oh! I know so many things. And yet, what is the use?”
“There is something beyond everything.”
“There is nothing beyond this for me.”
Big words. I dare not say something wrong.
“Let us sit here for a while, I need to breathe.”
“But this is the middle of the world. Just look around.”
Apparently subconsciously I did take in the world around. There is a bustling market around us. the shops though were furiously shutting down- precaution against more bombs.
“See the fear. See it chases us. See the fury. They never leave you alone. The come after us.”
“yes, but you left me, when I needed you.”
She keeps mum.
” So why do you come to me now?”
“because, you need me as much as I need you.”
I hate this. You want to believe that destiny is written as you go along, but when people like her interfere! What is wrong if a man lives with his peace?
Anger. But I some how keep calm, it is those eyes again.
“Tell me what happened.”
“I will, but not here.”
Someone taps me on my shoulder. I turn around.
“hello Raj, how are you.”
That voice. Memories. I turn around, slowly…
June 29, 2010 § 8 Comments
We are sitting in a cafe over looking the beach. Some slow music is playing in the background, picturesque seascape, still cutlery and antique furniture and yet the atmosphere is losing out- to her fear. And to my fury- which has now found its voice again.
A faceless enemy. Those dark nights, where I sat and swore at the clouds through my window, came back to me. What was I up against, what did I do? That fear and that rage returned, only more mature and wise. They sat in that corner of the heart, one with burning eyes and the other with a rye smile. They had waited, they had been patient and now they had their chance.
Shree keeps quiet. Words lose their meaning among closest of friends. We can feel each other, like we always did. Yet, her eyes- I cannot understand them.
” I can understand”, She broke the silence, reality beckons and the wall clock which hung in some imperial lord’s court, where as the seconds laboured through their crafted revolutions, the king dispersed volatile justice, loved precocious courtesans and threw corrupt gold at the poor.
” What do you understand?” , a hint of the fury.
” Long ago, I thought I had conquered them. But they have returned now.”
She made sense. If only all those fools can see us now, if only.
“I can see them in you.”
She stretches over the table and places a hand on my heart. I hear it beating through her. Friends? My head mocks me.
She smiles. She knows. She understands.
“You are a book. I know what you hold. And yet am compelled to read it.”
The rage wants to rise. I can see that my face is shrinking under the first lashes of the whip.
She withdraws her hand. I am a fool. Tears want to tear my eyes and fill the gap. I close my eyes and hope to hold on.
A couple of minutes have gone by and I ask,
“He disappeared over the mountain. the last I saw of him, was when he stood at the peak. He waved to me. That pure joy, shone on his face.”
“Even a God will be afraid to touch such a spirit. But man does. Oh! The sensation we are!”
We both know. It is foolish to talk about God or man or devil or Humpty-Dumpty or that stupid neighbour. What is the use? You try to give it a face. You try to see something in the vast darkness. You see a silhouette and you fix someone into it. The fury cannot be aimed at the walls, it needs blood and a worthy soul- fear feeds it and makes it grow. What can you hide.
She is feeling weak. Oh! I hate to see her this way!
” And then he went down the other side. We got a note and all it does mock. I burnt it.”
I can understand. In fact more than she thinks I do. How many people have I lost? But maybe this wasn’t merely a metaphorical mountain.
“No, I can’t talk about it. I can’t. I have to hide. Hide like a coward.” Her voice is rising, she seems possessed.
” Coward! Hahahahahaaa!! Me! And I thought, I am beyond it all. You thought I was beyond it all. But no I am not.” Tears, most precious. These are rare, very rare, very very rare- rarer than a metal, rarer than gold, rarer than diamonds, rarer than peace, costlier than seconds.
” And here I sit. In a perfect world, where birds chirp, where the waves crash, blah blah blah and yet the person I love the most, is taken away from me!”
” What did he do? Nothing bad. He had risen above it all!” she seems to have regained some control.
“And yet…” her voice trailed. She sat down.
Guess I have to wait. After all she has done it for me before. Now the fear takes over. What awaits me?
June 25, 2010 § 11 Comments
I closed my eyes and sat there. In one desperate corner, that served as a perch for the lonely birds of this world, I sat. Human temper is nebulous and mine is a cloud which sways with the winds of thoughts and tides of emotions. I felt defeated and purposeless. And then she walked up to me.
The shock of being spoken to when you don’t expect is always a pleasant surprise. Albeit being taken aback, I was too tired to show it. I Raj Srinivas, had officially lost it, or so my friends told me. Failure is a stepping stone to success, but what if it drops down from above you? I muscled a weak smile.
“Why do you look sad?”, she enquired.
” Just like that.” I hesitated. “maybe I am a sad person.”
‘I don’t think so.”
“You don’t think so? What is their to be happy about anyway.”
“What is there to be sad about anyway.”
“look, I don’t have the strength to argue. I am tired.” I tried to dismiss her, but she persisted,
“Then you should take a nap. Not sit in some corner and look lost. It doesn’t help you in anyway.”
I raised my hands in desperation and try to end it, ” Just leave me alone.”
“If you want, you can talk to me. I can help you.”
There began a bond, which would last for a couple of years. Those were the best years of my life. I woke up and saw the world. She made me see the world. And then something happened. Something happened. Something..
I am not going to let anything happen this time.
She still wore that look on her face. I am no expert in rescuing Damsels in distress, but something told, I was about to learn a lesson on that. After all you learn as you go.
She burst out, almost as if she didn’t want to but had to-
” They have kidnapped, Navneet. Navneet, he is my fiancee. They refuse to tell me for what or when. I am scared. I cannot take it to anyone else, I either don’t trust them or they will hurt me more than help.”
So I was going to be nothing but a stepping stone. Maybe they will kill him. No, that is wrong, after all I am a friend. Sometimes, time freezes certain things. My relationship with her is one such. Though a lot has happened between then and now, I know she has come to me for a purpose.
Life gives you a second chance. Chance, choice and change- are the only constants in life. My head is in a turmoil- my emotions are fighting with each other. But I have to keep calm.
“Look, I understand this is sudden.”
I groaned within- she always could read what went on inside me.
“I am sorry, but i don’t know any one else.”
“I will help you. But what can I do?”
“Nothing much, I want you to stay with me.”
Reality is stranger than fiction. After all why would she want me to stay with her? It makes no sense. But making sense is not her strongest point and neither mine, so I remain silent.
“This is not about money or politics or whatever usually it is for. This is different. And I can’t rescue him. I can’t go after him. He most probably will be killed.”
Sketchier. And my head is running away from me. After all, I lost it long time back. Hold on, Raj, I try to reassure myself. I look into her eyes, they sparkle with fury. They tell tales which I fail to understand, which I once did.Now she speaks in a different language, or it seems.
She came closer. I can smell the memories. I savour them. Nostalgia. And we hug. I fell her tears fall. ” I am afraid that they will come after me.”
P.S:- You can read the prologue here. Forgot to give the link at the top 🙂
June 10, 2010 § Leave a comment
It has been a while since I wrote a story. This is another humble attempt at writing one. As the title says, this is a prologue, hopefully i will continue this one(*fingers crossed*).
Raj looked up from the book he was reading. It took a couple of seconds for his vision to adjust and as the blur disappeared, he saw who it was and smiled.
June 10, 2010 § 6 Comments
It has been a while since I wrote a story. This is another humble attempt at writing one. As the title says, this is a prologue, hopefully i will continue this one(*fingers crossed*).
Raj looked up from the book he was reading. It took a couple of seconds for his vision to adjust and as the blur disappeared, he saw who it was and smiled.
” It has been a long time, hasn’t it, 12 years I think have transpired.”
Raj,wiped the swear of his brow and replied, ” Yes. 12 years, 4 months, 3 weeks and one day, and this city hasn’t become any cooler.”
“But the weight upon it has increased never the less.”
“Yes, it has grown leaps and bounds. The humble duplexes, how have grown taller and taller, so that you have to look up to see them.”
“Prosperity always comes as a cost.”
“Sometimes, I wonder if it worth all that. After all it has created this mountain by bringing the hills together. The rivers and lakes are soiled and the quaint waves that crashed on these shores, now throw old shoes and despicable plastic. At times, it looks like we are trying to conquer the very spirit which grew into what we live in.”
” But growth cannot have a saturation. It has no saturation. You destroy the old and replace it with what fulfils the present. You know how the past was and you know how today is. But the future will not know the present or the past, but only the future.”
” What future is there, if the very spirit is eaten?”
“Every time you put a foot out, you destroy and you create. Consciously or unconsciously we all do. If we all tread the same road, then as we dig and pave, someone behind us does the same. But we all don’t ride on the same road. This city is not made of one spirit, but many which work together.
“And the spirits choose, what happens and doesn’t happen. A city stands on the ground and that ground serves as its nexus to the other cities. Every tree that is felled, will lead to a change not merely within the city, but in the whole world.
“The spirits of a city are guardians of not merely their creation but also of the spirit of life, their source.”
Raj got up and said “It is nice to have you back my friend. I missed you. Not one day has passed without me thinking about you. Those moments which we spent together. That magic- we thought it will last forever, but it didn’t….”
“But it does and will. Time steals everything that is affected by it. When our eyes met for the first time, they forged a never ending bond.
“The two eyes of a person never get to see other one on one, but ours get a chance when we see other.”
Raj led her out of the porch, into his well kept garden. “You know what, we are still young.”
She smiled. That smile which which held him like a song. Those lips, naturally beautiful, on which he wrote songs. She saw him look at the lips, ” Yes, we are still young.”
Her mobile phone rang. The lips straightened and shrunk. He knew, something was wrong. He caught a faint fear in her eyes. his gut told him, he was going to be drawn into something. His mind resisted. Why him? She attracted enough people, but why him?
“Yes, I know…”
“please, give me some time, I told you so…stop bugging me!”
She sounded miserable. That is rare, he told himself. This is far from being bad. He took a deep breath and asked , “So, Shree, what…”
Their eyes met again…
August 21, 2009 § 21 Comments
Once upon a time, I found a key. It opened all the doors I tried. And in one room, which I walked into , I found a madman.
He seemed to be talking to himself. Papers were strewn around the room. There was a musical Instrument , I noted(but I forgot which string it was) and also a football. When he saw me , he gave a rather rueful smile. Sorrow not his , but mine. He seemed to know, that I held the key. But he did not try to escape, rather he started talking to me. This was what I think was said between us. I have(for obvious reasons) excluded the initial part of the conversation. I regret keeping you in the dark about the secret, but then the war within me has not yet ceased and the land is still the ante, how can I spread ruse among the people , the bounty?
The madman:-Shhhh…its a secret..
me:- But why should it be?
The madman:-Because people don’t deserve to know it.
me:-Who are we to decide?
The madman:- Who can predict the masses? Nitwits lead by nitwits.
me:-But isn’t it our responsibility?
The madman:-You are responsible as long as you use are allowed to use your discretion.
me:-But don’t we have the choice? And when we choose to act , aren’t we accepting that we can withstand anything.
The madman:-True enough. That is why we choose not to be a part of it.
me:-But this a nation. We people are a part of it. If we don’t rise up the challenge, then no one will.
The madman:-Of course they will. You and me , will never be allowed to do what we imagine. We have a few good leaders among the thousands and they some how survive, some become sycophants , some are born into a creed and some are just destined to be.
me:-What if , we choose our destiny , by making a choice now.
The madman:-Tell me, have you ever felt at any point of time, that you should share this secret?
me:-Yes I have.
The madman:-Have you shared it?
The madman:-And, How did people take it?
me:-They couldn’t understand what I told them.
The madman:-Why do you think so?
me:-Maybe I didn’t put it properly.
me:-Or maybe I chose the wrong people.
The madman:-Then you agree , that the majority till date , in the sample space you chose can’t understand a simple matter.
The madman:-If so , can you think of the type of leaders they would elect.
me:-Yes, but isn’t it our responsibility to help them choose better?
The madman:-And how do you intend to do it?
me:-By simplifying it.
The madman:-You want to dilute it even more? What is it you are trying to do , add more water to the ocean?
me:-No…its not like that..
The madman:-Alright , tell , do you think people will listen to you?
me:-Why do you think they won’t?
The madman:-Because you try to make sense of things, you try to see the source of problems..and that is what no one wants to do , at least they are not allowed to do that..
me:-But aren’t they free to realize that?
The madman:-Freedom? How can slaves be free? From the second they are born, they are bombarded with everything that which we are against. It is not that people are bad or something , that is relative, it is just that life makes them such..You call it inertia, they call it determination; In the end who is right ? Its either or neither and not one.
me:-But aren’t you the one who told me , that there is a right and a left , a while back?
The madman:-Of course and I still stand by it. Yes what is happening is wrong. We see things differently and we realize. We have , even when we were small , realized that you are not supposed to do certain things. We have exploited our capabilities and our cognition is better developed. But tell me if I were to lock you in a room , how would you feel?
me:-Aren’t we all locked in rooms of sort or the other?
The madman:-We are. But how big the room is the question and also if it dark or if its got some light. Imagine you are in a small dark room , just big enough so that you can’t really touch the walls , when you are tied to one place. How would you feel?
me:-I get what you mean , but isn’t that our mistake?
The madman:-IS it our mistake that this world has people who are willing to exploit the masses? Is it our mistake that we cannot chaff with good stupor stuffing? Is it our mistake that all we seek is a peace? Is it our mistake that we become a kind of aliens if we were to stretch our heads to full sensibilities? What shall we do, slay the animals when we are against cruelty to animals? Can you tame a wild, fully grown beast?
me:-No we can’t , but we can help them when they are young.
me:-So? Let me go tell the secret to the young ones.
The madman:-To what vain? You would have to take it upon your self to make sure they perceive things the ‘right’ way. And yes , we are like this because of our circumstances.
me:-But it is possible, if we can separate them from the society?
The madman:-And then how will you show them enough of religion, so that they respect culture and understand the functions of it but at the same time they aren’t be draw to the mania. How can you show them enough about difference in classes , so that they understand not everyone can be a master for not everyone knows ‘why’ they are doing something and at the same time ensure that they feel that no one is superior than another?
me:-But isn’t that the truth?
The madman:-That is not the truth but the reality you see. The difference is bound exist . But all animals are equal. And it is not that some are more equal than others , it is rather some understand equality better than others.
me:-But then if they do understand equality why do they exploit?
The madman:-When people know smoking is bad why do they smoke? When they know hurting someone is bad , why do they hurt? Some understand equality but only a few can judge and answer the why. We believe in equality not because it sounds cool but because we need to be equal to everything so that we can talk the same language and make everyone feel inclusive and thus belong to everyone and everything. The reason for that is , we seek peace. We cannot tell a tiger to stop killing the deers but nor can we kill all the tiger. We cannot imprison the tiger nor can we reason to it, when it is hungry.
me:-Then? Anyway humans aren’t tigers.
The madman:-Yes we are not. But tell me can you talk about your riches to a beggar? You do nothing but tempt him. Is it possible for you to praise a dead leader in a land where he was loathed? You will only end up stirring unwanted emotions. Can you explain to a moderate that there are extremes? For him his grey , is bright enough and dark enough , if anything , he is happy to watch a silver lining on another cloud and say blessed are a few.
me:-But we are talking about Equality.
The madman:-Exactly. To the beggar, you can talk about the world. In the country you can talk about the precedent and the consequence. And you can agree that the silver lining looks good and blessed are a few, but then you can blow him a little so that he starts flying towards the sun.
me:-All that sounds wonderful , Yes yes. But how do you do it?
The madman:-That will be something you should search for. You have the key , you know it opens doors, but you should know what lies behind the door before you open it. A key without a lock is useless and the secret without cognition is worthless. And if you open the wrong door, you might let out the true madman.
me:-Aren’t you the madman?
The madman:-I am.
me:-Then did I open a wrong door?
The madman:-yes , you have. Your life will never be the same again.
me:-Will you be leaving this place , now that I have set you free?
The madman:-Ha but a home needs to be lived in and besides who will tell people, the others who open this door, the secret ? I cannot leave.
me:-But I insist. And I already knew it.
The madman:-Everyone knows , few realize it. You are a madman like me. I have locked myself , in my room and spread the keys so that people who I hope to meet , will come to me. You have locked yourself in your mission and you place the keys with a few, who know you. If either of us was free, we would never meet our kind. What is freedom, but the chance to realize our choices? Our freedom lies within and not in the world. How can we belong to a world which is not ours?
me:-I hate to leave you.
The madman:-We shall meet again, when we need to meet again. Our choices will lead us. So choose wisely.
And I left the room. I walked for a while, before I realized what had happened. As he said my life has never been the same again.
1)The title is borrowed from Gibran.
2) “All animals are equal but some are more equal than other” is a line from the book animal farm.