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.

No comments: