January 23, 2014 § Leave a comment
Inspired by an experience, a friend had recently. This isn’t a real dream, rather a work of fiction,er…I think.
And the gas cylinder burst. I woke up with a start, only to find myself in a room full of what seemed like Oompa-Loompas. They peered at me, curiously, through the bright light; a few moments later they panicked when I blew my nose and a boogie hit one of them in the eye. A big ruckus followed, I lay there, tied, unable to shut my ears, nose or other er…entries,er…access points? Before I could choose the right word,a big needle emerged, which I guessed, they intended to poke me with.
And I screamed my lungs out- never, ever use a needle which you are unsure about; or razors. I have screamed quite a bit in my life, my voice holds its own at those decibels, much like the singer who can out shout..er, sing, supersonic planes, but for some reason my lungs decided to tear. Blood splattered as I continued to scream and splattered the white wall, the whitest thing I have ever seen, except the face of the Oompa-Loompa on whose face the boogie had landed. The blood painted the wall and suddenly the red queen came up to me. She was happy and even conferred a title upon me; the plaque awkwardly placed, caused itches, and I desperately wanted to scratch. At that moment my lungs decided to disintegrate- they seemed to have popped out through my mouth and lay on the floor, the queen stamped on them and the alveoli popped like bubble-wrap. The red queen tasted the blood which seemed to have hit her face, concluded that I was a slimy wretch, decreed I had to be executed.
And I whimpered unable to move. There was water all around, I could feel it and see it out of the corner of the eye, but I couldn’t turn. Above me were the most beautiful colours I had ever seen; what a lovely sunset, I thought. I relaxed, though I knew my limbs were bound and was waiting shark food. It was night, but the sea was lit by some sort of light, I knew not what- maybe a meteorite making its way to end humanity or a volcano- but I wasn’t particularly in a mood to think about our very evolved species. Suddenly, a single horn appeared at the horizon of my sight. I was glad, I would be saved, this was surely a manifestation of the god who has over numerous ancient, not-to-be-questioned books saved quite a few from impending doom. I wasn’t sure I had done enough to merit this, but, strange are the ways of…this is when I became aware that this was a dream…but what if…
And I was right. This wasn’t a dream, I saw that it wasn’t a fish approaching me, rather there was a school of them. Each of a religion, I thought. Food for thought, maybe now their brain might build with that tiny-winy additional protein. I heard screams, so there were others here, lots of good protein, though I am sure they aren’t as fit as I am. As the fish(one, not the school) swallowed me, I felt a tug, there had been a string attached to me all along, so this was all a ploy to catch them…
And I felt the acids burn. It corroded me, my skin was coming off…I was on a mountain top- die, they said, burn, for that is the law of this land, they said, I felt something moving below me, it left familiar, it was my fiance and he was dead. I didn’t scream and accepted it, for there was nothing else to do; it wasn’t done yet. Wait, I am a guy or am I- my hands are still tied.
And they planned to pull my brains out of my head. This seemed comforting, for this would all surely draw to a tame close. At that thought, the doctor looked at me; they wanted to peel my skin, for science. They wanted to test the pain barriers, apparently, for science. Presently they taped my mouth, and the man in the white coat walked up to me and assured me that it would all be deliciously painful.
And bear our sins, they chanted. You are our messiah, I could still smell the perfumes they had sprayed me with a few hours ago. It all burnt, like old cloth I burnt, a mess…
And I could smell the paper burning. I woke up with a start. This was the issue all along, I guess, the paper burning. What a way to wake me up, I chided my head. The paper had caught fire from the mosquito coil, and was burning. I picked up the water bottle and doused the fire, dark the other half.
And the nurse walked in- there she stood, a nurse in perfect whites, hair in a perfect bun, perfectly shined shoes, with a perfect shine, perfect in every way a nurse is perfect. I could even smell the shampoo she had used on her lovely, perfectly curly hair. I smiled, but she looked perfectly horrified. I did not know what and glanced at the bottle. The terror grew, with the pain. At first a tickle, and then a recognition, by the time the terror reached adolescents, my head hit the pillow, I lay.
I could hear someone else walk in, not nurse shoes, maybe a male nurse? But…it was the doctor. I could feel the light slowly fading out, exactly like in the thousands of movies you have seen, but just before I popped off, I saw the doctor, he smiled and stroked my jugular, and said something which didn’t sound too promising. Vampire food, but don’t they like it fresh? I felt something pierce my neck. Damn you, twi…
And blink now, thrice or you shall die.
August 6, 2012 § 6 Comments
Sitting at a café on a busy intersection and watching the rush hour traffic flow by- a slush is the only evidence of the rain a few hours ago. There is much ado about something. An organized chaos flows through the city like a drug through the blood stream. There is a hope to reducing some swelling but there is nothing to show for it. A medley of horns from clandestine vehicles emerges from the desperation, the need to get to somewhere before everyone else does.
A quick glance at the watch and people are always late. A little smile. Here in another city, which feels far from home. But that’s nothing the nice weather and a good cup of coffee cannot set right. The addict that he is, the caffeine kick helps him settle down. He searches the crowd for a pretty face. Any pretty face would do. He just had to see a pretty face. Not a beautiful one. Not a face with tons of makeup on it. Not a face held together by a deliberate nonchalance or decoction anger. But a simply pretty face- Without the air of high pretension, one that will knock you out with a slight smile. Maybe a hit of recognition would help as well.
One always likes to know people. Meet new ones. Especially pretty new ones. Another kick from the caffeine, he sits a little deeper into the couch. The couple at the next table rip apart the value of humanity to shreds. He wonders if they could shred paper with their mouths. Some purpose might be served. There was enough paper in this world waiting to be shred. Loveless love letters, thoughtless resignations and hopeless letters to distant homes. Some are written never to be read, others are written to be shredded.
The coffee cup stood there in an expensive stance, drawing the attention of anyone who would bother to look at not its contents but its shape and size- an appearance of something fantastic. He took out a ragged book and turned to page eighty-seven, took out the bookmark and began reading.
If only the world was written by Hemingway. If only we measured our sanity against Kafka. If only Shelley had lived longer. It didn’t matter, in the books he left the alarming crime rates of the city and immersed himself in the world of bulls, roaches and winds. The world is but an illusion after another, in between books.
Every page held another minute in a life which could have been written by anyone; or by monkeys on typewriters; or drawn by a surrealist; or sung as a voppari*. The words are but sounds which the tongue rolls, but what mighty things they do to the little recess of our senses. The way some words are the emotion rather than just a mindless blabber. If he could be a word, he would be spoken by everyone in this world.
He could never be sold or owned or hurt. He would be hurled but someone would catch him. He could be out on the streets and someone might pick him. But some day, he might go out of use, just like that- because no one felt for him anymore. Now, he was a little word in an unknown corner. Waiting to be born- he might become a noun, or be a verb or an article for indecisiveness.
He flipped the page. The world around him stood in perfect oblivion, passing through the motions of existence, contemplating origins from miniscule particles which might never exist. The world didn’t bother to prove its existence and he didn’t search for it. He would rather think of it as a fictitious mystery, a supposing God striking a furious pose behind a closed screen. No atlas was drawn and none held the world, not on shoulders, not on a boar snout.
Page eighty-seven became page eighty-eight and eight nine. A sudden rap on the nearby window- a familiar face looked in. The warmth of recognition followed by implications, struck him. He smiled politely and got up. He walked past the couple who had by now come close to triggering the Gods to unite in decimating them. He walked as fast as he could towards the wash at the far end. His friend from the window, realizing what was happening, made for the door with a mighty rush, shopping in tow.
As she reached, he disappeared. She stood there looking intently at where he disappeared. She knew, he would never come back. But there was his bag, his book and signs of him. She sat where he had just been moments ago. The wait, she had felt was over, but evidently not.
She flipped the book and stared at it. Page eighty-nine. She flipped till a hundred. And ran through till the end and then forward. Nothing.
The book was a blank. So he was, so he was, she told herself content. The world might live another day.
“Sorry madam, this seat is already occupied.”
Startled she looked up. A young waiter looked at her. His face is a blank slate with no emotions.
“Ohh, sorry.” She murmured and walked out.
*Voppari : Tamil. Crying loudly for someone dead. Mostly over the dead body.
September 12, 2011 § 2 Comments
The boy had a box of matchsticks in his hand. In front of him was a candle- A plain old cream-white candle. The only light in the room came from the LED street lights outside the window. The murmur of the rain and the occasional vehicle were the only sounds that made their way in. His eyes sparkled bright as he lit each matchstick and watched it die even as he tried to light the candle.
He would have been about 10 years old. His brows were in keen concentration and he smiled rarely. There was a bottle of water next to him, which seemed to never run out. There was perspiration on his forehead. His hair was unkempt and fell on his forehead. He had brown eyes and his nose was rather flat. He sat there legs crossed and kept striking the matches. His hands were slightly large for his age and the fingers showed signs of effort.
The artist stared at the boy and in his vision, painted. Hopeless though it seemed, he couldn’t help noticing that all that the boy wanted to do was light the candle. He never seemed to run out of matchsticks. He kept trying, again and again. He probably would grow old and the water would turn into whiskey. The calm face might lose its steadiness and become wrinkle ridden. His eyes may lose their charm to the light and he may start looking up occasionally at the window. He might go on till the day in desperation, he struck a match for one last time, tried to light the candle, watched it burn out and breath in the smoke for one last time.
But the boy had no clue what was outside. All he knew was that he had to light the candle. He did not know why. But he would have to keep trying, till he succeeded.
Matchbox of hope.
January 9, 2011 § 3 Comments
She sat on a wooden stool next to a stub. Her hand moved over the cavernous canvas, freely sketching a parapraxical tree.
A thick, short trunk which called upon an infinite foliage. The olive melt into the bright green- an iridescent plaque of herself to be hung on a sour cream wall of a monstrous mansion. Her passions tempered into a 30 inch hypotenuse, the diagonal to the quenching quadrilateral.
Behind her a seemingly infinite jungle made of imported trees, with eyes prying and mice hiding from venomous snake in rat holes – a montage to the erogeneity of the city. In front of her a perfect boulevard, leading to a monumental arch, commemorating the thesauri of a linguist state.
Yet, neither the painted jungle nor the built arches inspired her. The tree which once belonged there and had cast its shadow to the dusty traveller and the hopeless migrant, was now a marginal stub- cut and left to grow mushrooms, moved her enough to empathies and create.
She sat there, dreamily, unaware of the snide sarees and disgruntled dothis- the gossip mongers and jinn eyed obnoxious self-professed moralists, who knew none better than to judge. Her world moved faster than the time it took the sweat to trickle down from her forehead to her brows. She was in a canopy of dreams and azure blues, beyond the jaded varnish of a painted plants and polythene leaves.
On the stub, stood her paints, strew around and left a mark or two of colours on the once magnificent Banyan. The clock milled along second by second, exasperated, waiting for the artist to reach the poignant final stroke, so that it could stop itself and look at the world for a moment. The Janusian winds urged the dead leaves to rustle a bit more on the cobbled paths and moved the fountains to spray drops on to her enchanting face.
Her hands moved faster than the dissonant traffic, that screamed away past the red lights into junctions of copping helmets. Her face gleamed brighter than the setting sun, the awakening neon lights and the impending moonlight. As the day set into the inevitable night, a sudden chill thrust itself on the painted tree and the paint flowed no more.
In desperation, he searched for her and her work, but none was around. Neither a stub, nor a stool. All that remained were bright lights of the newly laid pathway and flowers with name boards. The trees swayed silently, absorbing the din, the jinn and malign.
As he came to his senses, he realized that it was a dream. A young girl with her mother walked by- there was a book in her hand whose cover he recognized.
January 2, 2011 § 4 Comments
He stood at the balcony- he was a score stories high.
He watched as the evening sun dealt its oblique rays on to the transgressed shore. The waves crashed in hope to win back the mile they had lost to the thick boulders of the city. Under the heavy cloud of the city’s spirit and pollution, the panorama was breath taking, literally.
He was long used to the choke and wicked whispers of this city built by Britannia and concrete. The bridges that seemed to connect, also cut through the arteries and brought to an end the tracks left by the last generation. Anachronistic cenotaphs to iconoclasts and sensationalists, served to remind anyone who would look- the origins of the parimutuel progress of the city’s neighbourhoods.
Today, he stood on the balcony with a railing painted black and potted plants hanging in proportional chains looking at the sunset, waiting for the right moment, to do what he wanted to do.
The sparrows, parrots and crows, flew in tight groups keeping shape, towards their distant homes, cemented into the souls of every growing area. The decadent heart, was slowly being to be troubled by the clandestine wheels, which clogged the cycles and caused the tired black cells to curse and honk their way to a place of hopeful quite and peace.
The city with its sundering cacophony was a furlong away from where he was- caught in the mesmerising magic of the sunset. The ravenous sun, which scorched hard on works and toils, was now bidding its adieu for a few hours. It first dipped behind the miranda glasses of an assurance company- he moved a couple steps and could see it again. It then hid behind the veils of a corporate- he again moved.
The sun now hung, on a few yards of open horizon, between the corporate and a newspaper company. It pressed on now, a few yards from the translucent waters of the sea. By now he was at the end of the balcony. To get a better view he climbed over the spiky railing and stood confident on the edge.
A crowd gathered below- reporters hoped to scavenge a scandal, police to ponder a rescue and others out of abject curiosity. He saw the finally minuscule crimson dive- he jumped.
As the crowd rushed fast towards him, he heard them scream and could feel the din. He was a star- he was a son of the sun. When they noticed who he was, the crowd was stupefied and a wail hung over.
The implications- the heir to the horizon of bridges had leapt over a rail! The parks laden with waste newspapers, airport with incomplete hangers! The shock. Who would bear the riots and rage of the malevolent men?
But their worst fears failed to come alive. He hung on from a shock cord. The sun after all never dies- it sets, only to returns to arise and awake.
The crowd noticed he wasn’t who they supposed. Neither was he a bud with two leaves – he was a someone, who they never knew was there.
Sometimes all it takes is a leap to create faith.
July 5, 2009 § 20 Comments
“Whats that again?”
“A feeling , you feel it in here. It gives you hope.”
” I can feel a calm ,is it love? ”
“Is there anything such as ‘universal love’ ? ”
“I love life and everything in it..”
” There is too much wrath here , I hate it”
” I love you .”
“Your my love.”
May 24, 2009 § 21 Comments
|From new camera1|
Once I had a dream that I was a bird .
The world was below me and the world watched me . I was a crow , who flew over the high horizon of the city . Many saw me as a scavenger but within they all longed for what I could do , roam the skies . Yet there is this urge within which I want to fulfill , which humans have already part done – fly beyond this rushing ether. As I see the moon rise ,even as the sun goes down ( to visit my cousins across the enigmatic sky ) my heart beats with pangs of pain , the suffering caused by the urge , the need to touch the impalpable( that moon and those distant stars) , if only to know that the world is tangible.
|From new camera1|
I see across the terraces , many with their aims set , they bicker with the certainity of security . And yet as time wans and nothing but the pale moon night throws shadows about , people become afraid and train their senses to the bright lights of their race’s creation . They never seem to think about the man who thought of those lights . The light shines the brightest , but the light is the substance , the sign but not the source itself . Even as it represents the origin , it is nothing but an extension. Maybe to us crows and birds the light is a sign of a reflex glory , felt every time it strikes our senses . It shows that one day the divinity within will purge us and start the movement towards the unseen worlds .
Maybe it already has in me . Never have we seen anything but the dawn , followed by the day , succeeded by a dusk and left incomplete by a pensive night , peaceful with a joyous melancholy . Maybe there is something greater in the universe , where in the trinities of belonging, i.e. instinct , person and thought are the mere stepping stones to enter into the castes in the skies . Or maybe there is nothing , but I need to see to believe . And sight can be the most prejudiced of all senses , yet at least it garuntees that there is something .
If only we can see beyond the zenith , if only our existence was enriched by thoughts beyond the stars which invite and inspire and reinvent the sense of belonging .
The sound of life woke me . Yet the world spoke to me . The vibrations of my thoughts left me to feel that I was in level with the stars and that which is not truly palpable is the one which is beyond. There is something beyond everything . The truth is the means to an end – yet what is the truth?
March 27, 2009 § 14 Comments
In my dreams I do believe,
One day I will achieve.
Fairy tales begin with ‘once upon a time’ and so does this one. Once upon a time, in a world far far away from ‘reality’ there was a little boy in a big city. He dreamed of reaching the stars which he saw and thought that if he could keep improving his paper plane design, he could build a craft and finally go and see the stars closer.
He was a good old chatterbox,non-stop super-sense if not to others ,to himself. But what was more shocking was the way he could observe people and things. Though people around made fun of him,he loved the stars and told himself, he would go up away from this world and see them some day , some how. But at that he didn’t know one thing-that when people decide your dream is ridiculous they try to make sure you can never reach it.
And so the time came when the kid entered first standard and the bright lad, now hated school,because the teachers some how didn’t like him.The smart boy he had been in kindergarten was now gone. He realized he liked a certain girl ,who was popular,got good marks and whom everyone wanted to talk to-things he wasn’t. Oh! he and marks – Some how,they never seemed to matter to him,yet they seemed to give people a reason to say why he can’t go to the ‘space’ and visit the universe ,he wasn’t getting enough marks!
But that didn’t stop him,he was a determined kid.In his mind,he could see himself peeping out of the window at the stars and enjoying the serene silence. Where ever he thought of that,he felt on top of that world,below him called earth,how those people tried to tell him he can’t fly,but he was little bird wasn’t he?
In his dreams ,he achieved plenty more. He lead a life,away from the reality. And as life would have it,he was never popular in school, though he wished he was , but that gave him plenty of time,to live in his own little world of ideas and ideals. But his marks saw a bit of daylight and slowly started going up for a while.
By the time he entered his teens,he still thought of his stars but he now understood,what the world would do-he was old enough to understand people and their ways. So one day he sat and told himself,no matter what life throws at him,he would get there.
But within a while,all changed and his dreams seemed to have gone away.Someone seemed to have stamped the little paper plane -he hated it,he never was a earthling,earth was meant for creatures who wanted safety,not for heroes like him.Then suddenly,a thread stuck from the sky and he started to climb towards the stars. One the way up,he knocked on God’s door and give him his best smile.
But suddenly everything came crashing,some human was pulling him down, this shouldn’t happen,to the little boy,the young man told himself , would this be the end of the road for his dream. Then something struck him, there is another path, to his dream,not one of climbing up a thread, but one which he had to discover and on the way he would learn more about humans and the way they act . He told himself that he would make it , he felt the warmth of the dreams .
During the day,he observed the race he was left in and tried to figure out why people were people and why they might be so. Then they called him a idealist. He hated it as much as he hated the way people behaved. But he knew,if he ever was going to go to the stars, he needed to tell these people , it was they who showed him , his ideas and ideals , they who showed him how to build a paper plane and it was they who crushed it and pulled the ropes. This was not helplessness . If he wanted he knew, there were other ways, there were people , who would love to have him(or so he believed) but he despised helplessness , if not this, than that , the stars kept calling.
Year after year,he tried; Then one night,he wept,the man did weep, he wanted his little paper plane , so he took a paper and made such a plane and as things would have it,in the plane he saw what he had missed , he knew that all the while he had made the choices towards love ,he knew that got him here. But he also knew, in the heart of every child,there lives a star and if you remain that kid,no one can steal the dream in your head. So he lay dreaming…..Yup, this was the path of love…
A fairy tale should have a good or a positive ending , will this end is such a way? I leave it you to write what happens to the young man…
November 19, 2008 § 5 Comments
Click here to read part one.
As He,gets tortured by terror,a series of people are faced with mysterious propositions,their choice,shall lead to his destiny.
Sheila got down from the train and started the two kilometer walk to her office.She hated everything around her.Yet she lived on,without knowing why.Her life had been normal,until she met,him.Now as she came out of the station,she saw two people across the road,staring at her.
This was becoming too common, she thought and she ignroed them and walked on.But the tall lady in the red kurthi and the short one in a blue tee,followed her,until at a signal,they caught up with her.She would have jumped the signal,as most people in India do,but had to wait,because of the fast moving traffic.She hoped that,this wasn’t trouble ,she prayed for the best.
The two women,stood behind her and wispered into her ears,” Terror has struck”.Sheila turned around quicky,causing the kunkum to fall into her left eye.She looked them over with one eye and replied,”well he asked for it!I haven’t met him in a long time,who is terror anyway?”
“Terror is the person,who has been responsible for the death of 15 members of our group till date.He is really ruthless.Simply put,he literally cuts the victim to peices.”
“Well he is your top guy,isn’t he.He has had the best training,in the country,so come on,don’t get me into this.After all,i am a lowly paid,just another Network administator.”
“Well then,tell us,how you managed to give the slip to those who have been following you for the past few days.”
“Really,people were following me?I didn’t know that.Might be my luck.”
At that moment the signal turned green and they crossed the road.Once on the other side,Shiela adjusted her hair,pushed her over grown fringe behind her ears and turned to them.
“Well Shiela,we need you.This is not for the sake of the organization.We are sure,he will not let out our plans.But this is to save him.We need him,as much as he needs you and you him.”
“Excuse me,do you people mind leaving me alone?”
At that moment a white Zen,parked about fifty metres from them.
“We will owe you a lot,if you can do this for us.Your choice can change the course of history.No this is no movie,please.”
“What will i get in return anyway? Being ditched again,sorry.I earn five thousand rupees per month and yes i am happy being a nobody.Now,i better hurry up.”
“Well you leave us no choice”.The lady in blue,who had kept quite all along,caught Sheila’s hand.She tried,to pull away,but she saw the zen in reverse gear ,moving towards them.
“alright got it.Time to end the terror.”
“As they say,the right amount of pressure,is all it takes.”
As they got into the car,Shiela’s phone rang.The driver was a guy about 25 years old,with a short beard and a black shirt.She identified him,she knew it was too late.Sheila,relaxed and fell asleep,it would be a long day.
“Look terror,look,I have the information you want.And unfortunately,you can’t get it out of me,unless you talk to me,man to man.Your games will only lead to your downfall.”
“He he,goooody goo,you want terror to be a man…but i am no human,I AM TERROR!”.
“Well I do know a lot about you,Mr.Jinesh.”
Terror’s look changed.