Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Love - Less

I once knelt down,

And offered my prayer to the tree.

I saw God’s reflection in the clouds then,

I felt Gods touch in the breeze.


But today when I went back,

I saw emptiness and desolation,

A cloudless and dark, wistful sky,

No longer inspiring, no longer free.


In these highways where God used to reside,

And doesn’t do anymore;

Has the world become too loveless,

Or is it just me?


I once dived in,

Lost myself in those eyes.

I saw the flower of love blooming then,

And heard the truths beneath the lies.


But that sparkle that charm,

Lasted not long, died like a bee.

No longer does it house the brightness,

No longer does it host felicity.


In these barren, fallow glades of solitude,

Where eyes don’t sparkle anymore.

Has the world become too loveless,

Or is it just me?


I once was a different man,

Made up of softer; greater things.

Temples of my courtyard used to flourish,

And bells of faith used to ring.


But now the time, the world does not permit,

For innocence to breed in me.

Coz no longer do the bribes suffice,

And no longer can I afford the fee.


In these endless repetitions, all too common,

Where ears cant hear, what eyes can see,

Has the world become too loveless,

Or is it just me?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Eyes Cast Away

How do stories start? Do they have a beginning? If they do, then what happens before they begin?

How do stories end? Do they conclude? If they do, then what happens after they conclude?

How do stories live? Do they have a life? If they do, then what distinguishes them from us?

Are they too able to breathe, hear, think, understand, complicate, synthesize, integrate, divide, multiply… See?

Do stories have eyes?

Can stories watch? Can they experience what eyes do? Can they too break down in front of their nemesis, fall prey to their enemies?

Can stories also contract conjunctivitis?

I did.

I have developed a severe case of conjunctivitis. So severe, that I am almost blinded by the sheer force of water drooling down from the corner of my eyes. I seem to find absolutely no cure for it. Try as I might, the disease has gripped me in its pincer like grip, so tightly, that even if I dare to open my eyes for bare few seconds, torrents of water, pain, irritation and soreness flood in the two bulbous, and somewhat red orbs of my vision.

I have been, in effect, relegated to blindness.

People said that I will be cured easily. It takes, what? Three days to fully recover… Pah! Take a sabbatical. Lie your butt down and relax.

But that’s exactly what I have been doing since I took birth. That’s no welcome change. I do not need it. What I need is to know. I never wanted to know, but now when I can’t, a sudden, inexplicable desire to know, and to roam has emerged in me. I wish to understand so many things, discover so many places, and meet so many people. I wish to do things I was determinedly unconcerned about, before this time, when I could have easily done them all. But now that I cannot, all I want is to do what exactly the same.

And so, I move out of the house. Hiding my eyes behind the shade of dark sunglasses. But as soon as I took my first step in sunlight, I realized the futility of my ambition. The dark sunglasses not only turned day into night, they made it virtually impossible to distinguish between things. Everything was similar, equal; proportionate. I was the Communism guy, who now was blind to anything disproportionate. Everything was same, similar.

And I don’t want what I get. So I look out for ways to make things different.

At a little distance, I saw a group of people gathered around a man. Maybe he was doing a peep show. Maybe he was showing some magical tricks. What lucky man! He had people to watch him, with rapt attention, devoting all their interest to what he had to say. People looked in his eyes. They gave him re assurance; we know you exist, and we are damn well pleased you do.

I craved for it.

I reached the group and shouted, Hey!

And realized that I could not make out what was who and who was what. Everything was dense black shadow, embossed outlines of figures same-similar to each other.

And so I removed my sunglasses.

The next few seconds flew by in hours, or maybe crawled in a jiffy. Like the middle of a hurricane, everything went so fast, yet so systematically out of order that it was impossible to gauge or understand what really transpired.

All I could say is that there was a bright flash of light.

Maybe it was seen only by me. Maybe my conjunctivitis ridden eyes were the only ones affected by them.

Or maybe I was the only one who escaped it.

Whatever happened doesn’t matter. Because as soon as I called out, all eyes turned in my direction. And when I regained my sight after the tiniest infinitesimal second of lighted darkness, I saw all of them were dead.

How do people die?

Can conjunctivitis kill?

Can a Basilisk exist? Am I one of them?

Why do people die?

Have I killed them?

I saw the man who was in middle of the group, who was entertaining those who had died just a second ago. And I saw him clearly now, without any distortions of equalizing, Marxist sunglasses. He stood there, in bright sunlight, with a funny instrument in his hand.

I saw his dead blank expression of surprise mingled with fear.

I saw my own expression mirrored, not in his eyes, but on his face.

And we ran.

We ran away from each other, in two opposite directions. Fearing what may befall each others destiny.

What happened? Did I kill those people? What nonsense? That man would have killed them. That man was the culprit, not I. He killed them in that moment when I was blinded and the people had their backs turned to him.

Yes, that’s the truth. I did not kill. How can conjunctivitis kill? He has killed them all.

But.

Maybe I did.

I don’t know. I run. We run away, not even daring to pause and look over the shoulder to see if either of us is chasing each other.

We run, not from fear of being caught, but the fear of being pronounced guilty.

We run because we both are innocent to a crime whose only culprits can be both of us.

Maybe a few years later, when I have ran enough, the finer details will change.

Maybe there would be no flash of light to blind me then. Maybe there would be no dead men.

Maybe, I would never have seen it at all.

Maybe I was still at my home, in my Marxist darkness, counting hours before the water in my eyes runs dry.

But maybe.

Maybe not.

This story will never begin.

This story will never end.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Duryodhana's Dilemma

“Ow, don’t do that! It tickles”
“Oh… then I will not do it”
“So you were talking about some story… what is it? Have you written it? Are you a writer?”
“Yeah… I have written it, and yes, I am a writer”
“What is it called?”
“I call it ‘Duryodhana’s dilemma’”
“Hmmm… Interesting. I hope it’s not about religion. I hate religion”
“No it isn’t. Why do you hate religion?”
“Just… It’s so biased…”
“And why do you think so?”
“I dunno… Look at how it treats its villains. It’s not fair…”
“Aha… That’s pretty rich coming from you, I must say.”
“Well that is rich coming from a self professed writer in a brothel…”

Silence for a few minutes.

“So anyways, you were talking about the story. Duryodhana’s dilemma. What is it about?”
“Things beyond your understanding, surely…”
“Don’t be so naïve. Tell me. I’d like to hear a story.”
“I doubt you will be able to understand it”
“I might not. But you paid for an hour. We can spend that hour counting the silence. Or we can spend it in hearing your story. Anyways, does it matter to you whether anyone understands it? I am sure, all that matters is to write, not to explain”
“I must say, you have a pretty loose tongue for someone like you. I hope what’s loose above is tightened below.”
“That, you will discover for yourself. Are you gonna tell your story or not?”
“You seem pretty interested in it. I wonder why… Boredom? Or they just don’t fuck properly?”
“No. I am sure you wont be able to fuck the way they do. Might as well distract myself with a story.”
“You nasty little cheek. Bloody prostitute… Dirty shithole!”
“And you are about to insert your thing in that shithole. C’mon… don’t waste time, you don’t have all your life over here… lets do something fun. I am sure you might not have done something like this before.”
“No I haven’t. But I don’t think it’s a good idea to tell it to you.”
“Why?”
“Because A. I haven’t finished it. And B. I don’t talk while I fuck.”
“You are such a pussy. I wonder why all you intellectuals think that the world is too unreal as compared to your imagination. Get real for once… Face your incompletions…”
“I am facing one now. Incompletion as to why I ever chose to pay to fuck you. I think you should pay people to get screwed, the way you talk…”
“That is a variable. Lets not get into variables. Look, I know your kind. You’d love it if someone hears your story. I am sure you are as attention deprived as rest of your kind are. So are you going to tell it to me or not?”
“Its not that easy you know… Kinda diverts your attention too.”
“Yeah, well that’s the whole point, isn’t it?”
“Oh well! You have already killed the excitement. Fuck it. Strip yourself, and lie down.”
“I take that as a yes.”
“YES you shitfuck… YES! Now will you give me a chance to do some screwing?”
“As you say master.”

“So this is a story about Samir…”
“Ouch, remove your belt, its hurting me…”
“Don’t distract me. So this story is of Samir… Now Samir was a really nice guy… you know; a proper hero. Someone who had everything, yet felt incomplete…”
“Ah… you mean your hero… Ouch… yes, go on…”
“Whatever… And next time, I am gonna hurt you if you interrupt. So Samir, was very unhappy. I mean, it wasn’t as if he lacked something in life. He had everything one could ask for… Money, Family, Intelligence, Good looks, Social Status, Eligibility… He had it all. People in their community fought with one another so that they could get the first chance to ask him to marry their daughters. They tried to bribe him in so many ways… They offered him rich dowries, foreign trips, business capital…”
“Sorry to interrupt master, but aren’t we going a little off track here?”
“No we are not. Let me decide what’s on and off track in my story. So as I said, Samir was the hottest property around. Yet he was unhappy. Because he did not have one thing in life.”
“Ooh… ahhh… ouch… Lemme guess… ah… what that might be… ah… Surely, Love? ah ow!”
“I am kind of regretting telling it to you. Yes, love. He could not get love. But not because he could not find it. It was just blind to him.”
“You mean he was stupid enough to follow one girl! Duh! Ouch…”
“Yes. He was in love with a girl who did not reciprocate his feelings. Now shut the fuck up and listen.”
“Everyday, he would look out for. Like his world had started to live in the corner of his eyes. Each day, with surreptitious glances, and unacknowledged looks, he used to quench his thirst for her beauty. But how long can you live in a bubble? Someday, you are gonna break it. Even though you know you will regret doing it for rest of your life…”
“Philosophy! Touché!”
“One day, Samir decided that he had enough. That he should stand up and claim what is rightfully his. He decided to declare openly his feelings for her, and expect nothing but a yes in return. So this next time he saw her, he told her how he felt for her, and asked her to marry him straightaway. Now before you interrupt me further, let me also add that she refused as expected. And as expected, he was crushed!”
“Like you are crushing me right now.”
“Turn around. I don’t think I can continue while you are yapping like that.”
“And doggy will help?”
“At least I won’t have to look at you while I am at it…”
“If you say so…”

“But Samir was not a loser. He did not give up that easily. He pursued her determinedly, never losing faith in his love. But alas, poetic justice is never sweet. And life always has ways to trap you inside your own demons.”
“Er, the last bit was Greek to me. Can we talk English?”
“You are despicable in every sense of the word. I stop.”
“Oh don’t kill it. Why are you so temperamental? Want a pinch of salt?”
“Forget it. It’s not working out. I am leaving.”
“And waste your money? I am sure this kind of stories must not be paying well.”
“There is a level. A level till I can take crap. Don’t test my patience.”
“And what will a jackass like you do to me? I cannot imagine the horror!”
“That’s the problem with you girls! All of you, you are so self possessed! Can’t you think beyond your comfort for once? Can’t you stop screwing around and accept man’s dominance? Cant you accept that you are biggest mess ups, and cannot clean your mess without a man’s help?”
“Woo-Hoo! I am sure I don’t agree with that, but I wonder how Samir or you, or both come to this conclusion.”
“Oh its pointless arguing with you…”
“I wonder why… wait, I think I know… Because you are A FUCKING LUNATIC!”
“Now now… We might not want to do that…”
“Oh yeah? You chauvinistic pig! Filth!”
“Filth I am, am I? Lunatic, Chauvinistic, Pig, am I?”
“Every bit despicable as the spots of shit clinging on the commode”
“That’s it! That’s what the problem with you women is! You just are so self centered! Why, tell me, why?! Why do I find every next women cheating on the men? Why do you find a woman every next corner who is making fool of yet another man? Everyday that I pass I see yet another form of villainy in you… Tell me, why?”
“You are mad… crazy guy… Get lost!”
“No tell me… what is it about you women? Can’t you have a little pity for others? Cant you be sensitive to others needs? From times immortal, you have made us fight for your petty ends. We keep on fighting for you, with each other, with ourselves… sometimes even with god. And what’s the use? You just stand in a corner, and laugh derisively. And all this while we get lost in our own shells, fighting our own demons. But you wont help unless you are benefited will you? You will just laugh and taunt us, “Blind king’s son is also blind! Huh!”
“Tell me, aren’t you Samir? You are the one who has been rejected isn’t it?”
“That is none of your business”
“Hahahaha! A blind king’s blind prince! Wow! Frustrated Samir, lovelorn and ignored removing his frustration on a lowly whore! Bravo!”
“So what can I do? Tell me, what can I do?! Nobody is ready to hear the truth! Tell me, will you understand the truth if I told you that Samir was a shallow loser, and not an achiever or a hero? Would you sympathize with him if I told you that all he did for living was selling porn to young teenagers? Does it make him less of a human if he is sexually uncontrolled? Is he not treated unfairly when a girl stubbornly refuses love? Is he not vindicated when he rapes that girl and kills her? Does he not deserve justice???”
“You what?! You raped that girl and killed her? Why?!”
“Wha…what? Who… who raped? Who said I raped her… I did not… you are wrong… who are you to accuse me…? Don’t come near me, or I’ll kill you…. I did no wrong… why are you looking at me like that…?”
“Get out Samir! Get lost from here and never lay your fucking shadow anywhere near a girl…”
“Now we won’t like to do that… don’t try to act too smart…”
“Samir, I am warning you… get lost before I make a complaint in the police…”
“And you think they will believe your testimony? A stupid whore! You got some sense of humor!”
“Why! Why did you do it! Why?”
“Because she deserved it. Because she needed to learn to bear pain and insult if she was openly dishing it out to me.”
“Samir, I request you, leave this place. I do not want to be involved… just go…”
“You filthy hypocrite! You fucking woman! I wont leave you… You must understand the sweet taste of justice… you must see the optical illusions of the real Indraprastha. And realize how painful it is to see your world fall down in laughter…”

Friday, April 2, 2010

Across the Arch

1. Love: Bites; Eats, and doesn’t even Burp!

Ok, its pretty long on the outset, longest I have written till now, but this is just the first installment. Now dont raise your eyebrows, I have been writing this thing only since past 4 months (not to mention that I have been composing all of this and the next 2/3 installments since over a year now) So you can understand a lot of me has gone into it. I just expect a patient reading from your side. I could have published this earlier, but I am doing so now, knowing you guys will be free right now. I assure you its not as big as Gone with the Winds (And not remotely as hard) to read this.

Enjoy. :)


The room of Mirror’s is a wonder to behold, because in the room of Mirror’s, you are completely naked even if you have donned a space-suit. This room, through the tyrannies of its occult powers, pierces through the body, and reaches deep down, right to your core, where defenseless and weak, a light illuminates through you, clearing everything from the dense jungles of burdens of your life. This light evaporates and consumes everything, so much so that all that is left of you is light. So when you look anywhere, all you see is eerie glow, shimmering in every direction, arcing back in shoots towards you, making the concept of anything other than light impossible. All that is left is light, no colors, no memories, no life, no miseries; just light… plain and unending, simple as existence, eternal as death.

But the room of Mirror’s is a torture to you till you resist it, because it is not a room of redemption or atonement. It does not spare or neutralize you. The room of Mirror’s is just a room, a corner in your world, maybe God’s bathroom, where under pressure, the holy almighty also, for once is not ready to compromise and forgive. Room of Mirror’s burns you in consummate fury, erasing everything you thought you were made of.

You have to give up, you have to cease the struggle, cease fighting. Only then calm resurfaces, and the light recedes back, and like an Excalibur, a picture emerges, a picture of what you need the most, a picture of what completes your existence on earth.

So, the elementary question arises;

“What is worse; to be Loved, or not-to-be-Loved???”

Pretty heavy to be elementary. Goodness Rama, Secondary maybeTertiary, but love being elementary? You jest.

Ok, lets begin with a lighter note;

Elementary question:

“Which is the bravest way to suicide…”

Lets take a holistic approach in analyzing this:

List of alternatives:

  1. Trains?

(Too quick)

  1. Traveling in Trains?

(Too stressful)

  1. Taking Rat poison?

(Too animalistic)

  1. Taking Real rat poison?

(Too scientific)

  1. Slicing of arms?

(Too messy)

  1. Overdose of sleeping pills?

(Too hormonal)

  1. Overdose of drinking water?

(I have bladder issues)

  1. Blowing up the brains?

(Hmmm… Not bad, cowardly though)

  1. Dancing with fire?

(Too Romantic)

  1. Pouring kerosene and then dancing with Fire?

(Smelly)

  1. Becoming a suicide Bomber?

(Terrorism, no way…)

  1. Becoming an Honest politician?

(You have pretty fertile imagination!)

  1. Running away with Dawood Ibrahim or Osama’s daughter

(?)

  1. Reading any further suggestions on committing suicide by me

Good, now lets get serious

I presume you must have, at some point of time in your life, swam at least once. Imagine yourself standing at the edge of that ledge, 7 feet above the huge and deep diving pool. You look down at the silently rippling waters, and suddenly the creepers of vertigo catch hold of you, cementing your body to the ledge, making movement of continuation impossible. You close your eyes and stretch a foot forward in the void and feel a pull, as if some invisible zombies are pulling your leg down, trying to add to their number. You take a deep breath, look upwards, and forgetting for a while that life and earth is real, you jump, trusting in destiny to reach the other end of the chasm. And a few minutes later, you emerge out of the water, thrilled, refreshed and excited. In all probability, if you have jumped once, you’ll jump at least twice again.

I am also standing at a height, albeit way more than 7 feet, yet, nonetheless a height enough to knock me out two-three. Now I wonder where does that feeling of excitement and rush disappear. I look straight down, and see miniscule figures of people and vehicles… things reduced to infinitesimal proportions… like I am some giant watching the ignoble termites do my bidding, as if I am a life size emulation of Gargarensis, looking down at those countless Arkantos, who will, despite my power over them, in the end bring down my fall, dethroning me from my seat of power, making me bow down in pain and anguish, as I recount this tale of mine… in my final moments.

Guess Baba was right after all… these termites outnumber us ten to one. One day, in all probability, they might bring an end to all of us…

Yes I stand here to kill myself, ending a life; a constant endless confusion, or temerity to keep on living a blank. Drawing nil, going zero.

How to do it, methinks? Just jump in, or stop, wait, calculate, make sure the wind is right, and the sun is in shadows. Or the birds are not in the way. Oh forget it, I think I should just jumpin-pumpin, and no thinkin-shinkin. Its worthless waste of time, all this foreplay. If you want to do it, just tuck your arms in, and let go…

SwishSwash ZipZooooooom Dabaaang Dishoom dishoom I go… Winds blow into my ears, as I fall like a stone for an instant and flutter like a feather next moment. The more I fall, the farther it seems, the more I try to accelerate it seems greater and greater effort and energy I put to reach the bottom. I must admit, its pretty boring.

These pestilential birds are giving me creeps now. They look at you, as if you are already dead, as if they can see your flesh sticking out of the body. Goodness grief, bloody rascals give a look so lecherous, I almost feel like trying to flap my arms, go back to the parapet, and try to die by some other way. But they look at you, as if you are already dead, sprawled on the earth; dirtying her by spilling your corrupted blood on its bosom.

Fuck! Imagine this picture: My brains are spilled on the concrete, my body, spread eagle on tar, eyes wide open, head burst after getting cracked open like a coconut, blood leaking like a water-tanker. WoooooHooooo!!!! Really things which makes up for romances.

This is one of the reason’s I prefer committing suicide like this. Its so…. Brave, and… Glorifying! Ultimate paradox to the kind of life I lived… a life so damn blunt so damn bland… A life so devoid, so; what is that expression, Null? So empty of anything! It’s a wonderful way to end the tragedy of nothingness…

Erm, are we missing out something over here? You must wonder about the reason to just step off into thin air, do some crazy Gold Olympic worthy gymnastics, and then crack the hell of your brains to end your life?

Pretty long stuff to discuss in the approximately two minutes of life left in me. And damn unbelievable stories too… Not sure if I can do justice to it…

You wish to continue?

Well do then, only at your own decision…

Everything starts with a story. Even big-bang has a story behind it. We all end and begin with stories.

To tell you the reason, I’ll have to tell you my story.

Although mine starts a little down the timeline. Rewind twenty six years behind, and there it starts, the story of why I am committing suicide.

3rd December 1984.

I had taken birth that day in the city right in the middle of country;

Bhopal

Oh, and I can even claim to be a Midnight’s Child! Though not so much as midnight, yet still, there was no less magic around me.

I had taken birth at a time thousands of people were getting suffocated to their deaths.

Ah tragedy… Seems like a villain is lurking around the corner.

You know, there may be more than one single villain… How easy it is to blame! You can pick out any, any random person from the world and blame him for your tragedy. And the funnier part is that you might actually hit the jackpot. As the Jap’s say, “Movement of a butterfly’s wings causes Tsunami’s somewhere in Universe…” Howsoever crazy I believe them to be, they kinda make sense in there…

So whom should I pick up? There are so many, valid, eligible contenders for the coveted post…

Hmm… Lets go with the one who is not a culprit. There’s a wholly romantic feeling in blaming a blameless victim, don’t you think? And it fits so well with the mood! Blameless vestals lot! So lets go ahead with the Company’s villain. All hail Union Carbide!

On the evening of 3rd December 1986, the pesticide plant of Union Carbide closed down and all of its workers went back home. It was a short day, and work was virtually absent. Most of the company was in dismal condition, management was behaving worse than a government office, workers weren’t being paid fairly, promotions were like lost Atlantis, there was a constant danger of being ‘pesticided’ by exposure to lethal chemicals, employment alternatives were nil, economic policies were tight, and as usual, the company bosses were eating off all the profits, leaving most of the employees with virtually nothing more than peanuts. It was a very, very unhappy situation. So don’t get into your minds that government PSA picture of happy workers heaving a sigh of relief after day’s hard labor, heading home with a contented heart, seeking solace in sleep, food and love of their respective wives. Things like comfort, solace or love did not exist. All that existed was a constant struggle. And for such people, life was a daily choice between hell, and fury of hell.

But one worker was left behind. This man presented the real face of the average, common, lower-middle class’s man of India. A face of abject apathy, disinterest, and tiredness. A man who is so frustrated, that he cannot even summon cowardice enough to feel angry. A man, who is lost… no, a loser; who is like a personified Titanic… doomed from the beginning.

This worker was me dad.

This is what he did:

(Not that I can vouch for the verity of this story. I am just extrapolating on the story company proclaimed in its defense. So don’t come around with batons raised if this turns out to be untrue. I don’t believe this; or any story company has told.)

As soon as water cleaning of pipes started, my dad, being disgruntled and frustrated as he was, pushed a hosepipe down tank 610. He did not do this out of vengeance (or intelligence for that matter.) He just wanted to destroy something of the company, and he saw the water pipe hanging loose beside. Down it goes, and starts filling the tank up.

He did not know then that tank was already filled with 42 Tonnes of Methyl Isocynate (MIC).

What followed is documented like this:

The resulting exothermic reaction increased the temperature inside the tank to over 200 °C (392 °F), raising the pressure to a level the tank was not designed to withstand. This forced the emergency venting of pressure from the MIC holding tank, releasing a large volume of toxic gases into the atmosphere. The reaction sped up because of the presence of iron in corroding non-stainless steel pipelines. A mixture of poisonous gases flooded the city of Bhopal. Thousands died immediately from the effects of the gas and many were trampled in the panic.

That’s about it. Rest, as they say, is history. But how does all this make me commit suicide? All because of my home, dearall. All because of home.

I still call it home, even though I never lived there. Somehow, despite whatever happened to me, despite my cursed stars, despite the zilch that I have been, I feel a kind of fealty with that place, that city. As if I am indebted to it for my destruction. As if my destruction by their hands was an act equivalent to my birth… better than my birth; since I never took birth… I was always destroyed… I was always this dead-man walkinglivingeatingsleeping. Exist, yes I did, but it was a destructed existence, like some kind of a bomb, ticking away till the time it explodes, knowing that in the end, alpha and omega are one and the same…

And that brings me back to my first question;

“What is worse; to be Loved, or not-to-be-Loved?”

I ask you, not because I am confused, or loveStruck, or forlorn, or desperate, or affected by Louu in any way. I ask you, simply because I do not know.

Yes, crazy as it may sound, I ask you, only because I DO NOT know. Have never known. Can never know.

I havenotcannot Looou.

Don’t try to say this is ridiculous! This is a fact. Plain and simple.

All my life, each single moment of my existence I have never felt. Never had a single pulse of heartbeat above or below normal.

I have never Loved, or felt Loved.

So don’t go on to try chiding me for the apparent preposterous nature of my proclamation. It happened to me. I am telling the truth (and the story) so that settles it there itself.

Here is how it may seem to happen though;

I took birth on 4th of December at three hours past midnight. Midnight of 3rd December that is. The clouded night, the night when stars evaporated, and fell down on earth, and thence burnt humanity in the world. I inhaled my first breath, while thousands around me cursed their luck, hated the cruel providence for making them suffer so vindictively. I opened my eyes to a world full of destruction, a world which was evaporating into the thick gossamer folds of poison, as its people struggled to breathe oxygen, while their bloodstreams filled up with venoms of gas their lungs inhaled. And slowly, torturously, each part of their body, each cell suffocated, while life persisted in their hearts. Like rising water, each passing second the poison climbed their bodies, freezing it, making it dysfunctional, so that by the time the poison-march knocked at the doors of heart, everything had already vanished, KABOOM! Gone, disappeared! All that was left was poison, which destroys everything, even itself. And that is the time, my heart started to beat.

Do you still cast aspersions on my (in)ability?

Here’s another explanation:

Just after midnight, when the whole city was in a state of upheaval, as people scampered in open herethereeverywhere for one single breath of fresh air, my mother went under labours. And she was alone, since my dad had already been executed on the guillotine he himself made. He had rushed outside on sniffing (pardon my wrong choice of words) trouble, and came in direct contact, full blast salla, of the poison cocktail he was responsible for creating. I hope his last thoughts were of our safety, and that, in his dying moments, he felt proud to have been a father of two kids.

Two?

Yes, two.

God, I have started becoming amnesiac. I forget the most important detail of story so easily! Heavens curse me…

I survived that day, not just because of my lucky(?) stars. I survived, because my brother was sacrificed for me.

We were twins, double role full inmaking, before destiny decided to open its cards and the whole bloody pot went in its favor. Sometimes I wonder what he would have looked like. Sometimes I wonder how it would have been to be with him. Like a world full of mirrors, reminding you each second of how you are, what you do. A world, which did not blow up in pieces around you, since the world exists till the time you do. I wish I could have grown up with him. I wish my dad hadn’t done what he did. I wish there was no union carbide. I wish people didn’t use pesticides. I wish agriculture was not invented. I wish so many things. But wishes are wishes, fickle friends… If wishes were what I had to live with, then I wouldn’t be falling down from this building, two minutes away from my death.

Its an interesting thought though. Imagine him being me.

Lets say our names were Ram and Shyam. Me Ram, he Shyam.

So just before they were going to leave their mother’s womb, when nicely tucked, and ready to kick out to their in-dependence (funny word), while they were sleeping comfortably in their oblivion, their mother smelt gas. And started suffocating. And just then, her water broke and she went under labors.

Now come back to Ram and Shyam. From the exit p.o.v, shyam is better placed, and so; singing mefirst-mefirst, he starts moving towards his doom. Mommy thrusts, Shyam bursts, and Voila, welcome to death. Within seconds, tiny Shyam’s feeble lungs inhale enough gas to send him into coma. Poor Shyam cannot even cry. He is out of oxygen to do anything. Slowly his heartbeats stop. Everything in his body is turning off, like lights switching off in a dilapidated building. One by one. Turn by turn. After few minutes the main switchboard corrupts, and there’s a short circuit. His brain fuses. Somewhere in the electrical sparks flying across his nerves something goes missing, and SNAP! He has multiple hemorrhage. Gone, khallas, finished, dissolved within seconds of crying for the first time. Some people are damn lucky I guess. They don’t have to go through the elongated process of pain. For them, life is a quick, fast-forward, 100x trip, within which you see all, do all and then say the sweet farewell, return back to comforts of paradise.

For most of us though, it’s the regular merry-go-round of 70 to 80 years (or more depending on your will) before you get the opportunity to sip pinacoladas reclining on the beaches of heaven.

Now Shyam was not just lucky, he was damn cunning bastard too. While going away, he made sure he was the sole beneficiary of the vacation to Paradiz:za… He kicked me right in while moving out, so that while he swept up in the ocean of poison, I, was left inside in the watery annals of mothers womb.

Such a bitch, me brother! Jealous loser I tell you. If he wouldn’t have backstabbed at that moment, I wouldn’t have had to play this blame game now. Finish, end without any reason, or more romantically, natural reasons, how sweet! Clean, anti-septic way to die.

But he kicks me! His own brother. Just as much as a traitor as Jack was to Rose. As Jai was to Veeru. He left me in comfort, and killed himself.

Meanwhile my mother was no less perplexed. Worried that I may get stuck, she pushed again, and again, and tried so hard and so determinedly. And what about gas, how was it not affecting her? Well, frankly even I am perplexed how that happened. I have my theories though. Maybe, being under so much strain, her breathing was not as regular as others. Maybe she was ventilating herself, so that of whatever she was taking in, she was giving out also, in form of perspiration, screams, still babies etc.

And after what must have been at least twenty minutes of struggle, whereby I was left in a boring silence of vacuum inside, I being the only surviving Man in the family, decided to take matters in my hand. And went for it, straightupupup, my hand stretched out like Superman, albeit without his red chaddi, I maneuvered right-left-center, blocked organs and TA-DA! I emerged out, victorious, happy, and sort of out of breath.

I inhaled, (and this seems to be only explanation left) what was the leftover, stale air in the damp stifled room. Maybe this or maybe the Gas was again coming to its normal proportions, so that I did not get exposed to so much of venom, and hence, Good News Sir, one of your babies has survived.

But my mother had already given up by then. As I lay there on the cold floor, screaming, and crying and living, Shyam, and Mom passed away, maybe together, towards their pre-determined Holiday to Shangri-la, or Atlantis or wherever they had gone to.

Going back to the matter of concerns, and your query as to How I cannot not-love.

Would you have wanted to if you would had been in my place?

They say blood never dies, that of all the things in world, blood never compromises, always stays loyal.

And there I was, in a pool of blood; helpless, orphaned, wretched, and isolated; with just two dead bodies and an empty shanty for company.

And you wonder that I could never love.

Its no magic, no fancy surrealism that we are talking here. It’s a plain, hard knockout slap that I received. Thatsit, nothing more, Ze End!

Now if you ask Baba about all this, he’ll have a different point of view. Baba always has a different point of view. Squatting by the lake, with his Kamandalu by his side, and his long tresses flowing all over his face, migling with his eternally unshaven face, Baba always saw things differently (or maybe he saw things too clearly beyond his entangled banyan shoots of hair)

He always ridiculed all this brouhaha about not being able to love.

“Love is over-rated, he said.

It’s a mutual deception to keep yourself happy. Love does not exist, only happiness does. Whatever molasses you leave behind after extracting the nectar of happiness; that is love. Love is not the goal. Goal is to be happy. Love is just a catalyst… no, not even a catalyst. Love is just an excuse to be happy. To convince yourself that you are happy. For all you may, just be happy. Love is just an everlasting fad.”

Baba, and his ramblings… His endless sermons! Baba the incorrigible recluse… the eternal hermit. Baba, and his wild ideas, and his seamless knowledge! If not for the Gas leak, I wouldn’t have been orphaned. If not for being orphaned, I wouldn’t have been immune to Love. If I wouldn’t have been immune to Love, I wouldn’t have met Baba. If I wouldn’t have met Baba, I wouldn’t have been committing suicide. Can I just assume, that I am dying because I took birth?

Even here Baba would have differed from me.

“You think you are real do you? You sitting there, with your ego’s tattooed on your sleeves… what do you think yourself to be? Are you real? Is anything ever real? You, thinking-sitting-acting-loving-hating-killing-believing, do you think this is what is real. You are a dream, somebody’s imagination, that’s what you are. A living dream of Brahma or some such guy, who’s fertile imagination knocks up on your door and frames up your life, packaged to customization. Do you live for yourself; nada… you live for that guy who is dreaming you… You are indispensable, you can be knocked off, just the time you cannot do anything more, anything of any importance. You are just a figment of somebody’s vision, an endless dream… you are no better than a ghost, worser than a ghost, because you live, not for anything, but just to complete somebody’s story.”

Speaking of ghost’s, I think I should mention it to you that a few apparitions are making cameos over here. I am not the only one flying down… A curious little fellow with a top Hat accompanies me, removing a flurry of rabbits and bunches of roses from inside. Pretty entertaining stuff I must say. This chap is some showman, the flourish in his moves!

Another person with a bicycle appears, continuously paddling the absent paddles. There’s no chain in his cycle, just two wheels stuck on to a rod without handles and seat. Yet he does crazy stuff… There goes a back-flip, here comes a wheelie, he even manages an invisible cat-walk, shit man, damn good performance…

Who are these people? And what in holiness’s good name are they doing over here. Apart from their crazy performances I mean. There’s a woman who is continuously vomiting. There’s also a lady with the ability of incarcerating herself, and then resuming a new form, and then again burning herself… I mean it’s all entertaining and kills the boredom of flying endlessly and does serve a lot of other purposes, but frankly, there’s a limit to being random in life with me… I mean, even I am giving life reasons for my behavior; at least trying to make up satisfactory reasons, so I expect the same from life…

And what does life do? Bloody bastard switches it off completely. Shameless git just throws attitude, and cancels the mid air show. Damnfool asshole.

What was I talking about?

Yes, Baba… No actually, my brother, or was it my inability to love? Or the gas tragedy? Hell, I was talking about why I am committing suicide…

Well, I am frankly bored of life. I wanna go back again to that time, in the valleys, and see rainbows bursting out of skies. Rainbows on which we could slide off, chase each other, run in abject mirth away from life and thoughts and worries… away from anything remotely connected to love… I wanna go and look into the Well again, and change my stars, and their ethereal movement in the cosmos, changing them to suit my whims… But I cannot do it. I am caved in, behind the waterfall, and thus, am lost inside my own shell…

Meanwhile, Saturn is entering Leo.