Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Intermittent Life of Pratti

The growing up years of Pratti was different from rest of the girls. She had developed a hobby of collecting the corpses of her earlier lives. She even made a transparent glass cupboard to keep them in. She had thrown away her dolls and spent the entire day tending the corpses. She would give them meals, brush their teeth, comb their hair and dress them up. Gradually her corpses grew up with her to become just a beautiful as her.

Pratti lost many of her friends in these growing up years. They abandoned her because they were jealous of the attention she paid to her corpses. So, her corpses were the only friend that Pratti was left with. In the evenings, she would run out of her house with her corpses following her through. They would arrive to a field nearby beside the brook where they would play different games. At the end of the evening, they would go for a swim in the brook. Pratti did it for fun, but her corpses needed the swim to get rid of the stench that the day had left back with them.

Pratti found her love in one of these dusks. The man was a metallic luster of the sun that had surely shone on him all day long. His feet were weary and he walked slowly as if dragging his body above the earth. Fighting against gravity. “He is the martyr of slowness”, Pratti thought “and he belongs to a world of a single pace. Of monotony. A world devoid of accidents and anomalies. And yet with an absolute absence of boredom: because boredom belongs to the world of speed. Boredom is the fastest spreading infection in the minds of serenity.”

“Take me to your kingdom of slowness”, Pratti wanted to say to the man but was too shy for the words. After all, she was only an adolescent girl who hadn’t encountered too many lovers in her life. Also, she felt she was not enough matured, beautiful and slow for the man.

For your sake, readers, let me assure you that Pratti was as beautiful as any of the heroines of a fairy tale are. When she walked down the road with her colorful corpses following her through, she seemed like a princess passing with her playmates. As for her maturity, she had the integration of all her earlier lives. She hadn’t got much experience of slowness as yet in this life of hers but was renowned for her slowness in her earlier lives. She could breathe in the rhythms of slowness, dance to it, make love in it.

The man looked at Pratti eagerly, hoping, perhaps, that Pratti would say something. When she didn’t he came towards her slowly, took her hand and walked away. All her corpses kept standing in a daze – they too, had fallen in love with him.

The next few days were even better than Pratti had imagined they could be. She had never known that souls can be exchanged in the union of two bodies. But that’s exactly what she found to be to be the most calming effect. The man had infused his slowness into her. She felt herself transforming into a courtesan of slowness. A world devoid of accidents and anomalies.

Gradually, as days passed she found out that she was not the only one the man made love to. The man slept variously with all her corpses. And even though she loved all her own corpses like her own sisters, this somehow infuriated her. One day she broke into a room smelling of fresh green chilies and found the man making love to one of her corpses, both of them screaming and tumbling on pepper dusts that was spread all over the floor. She went and picked his pepper covered body and slapped him on his face.

“You don’t love me”, she said.

But as she slapped him a few particles of the pepper flew and landed right inside her eyes. She couldn’t open her eyes. And they began to burn. The man picked her in his arms and led her to the fountain. There he washed her eyes with his hands.

“You’re different.” He said.

“From whom? From all my different corpses?” she shouted

“No. There’s something inside you that really interests me.”

“What is it?”

“Your life.”

“Why don’t you accept it, then?”

“Can you give it to me if I ask?”

“It’s all yours.”

And so he picked her up in his arms once again and led her to another room. It was the room of daggers. He pressed her body onto the wall where the daggers were, and made love to her. She groaned in pain and ecstacy as she found herself transforming to a corpse amongst her many orgasms. And slowly, as she found herself dying in his arms she realized that someone must come to claim her corpse as well. Someone from her future lives. Because it was a cycle of unending.

“You cannot keep me and my corpses forever”, she told him “Someone would come to claim us.”

“Someone already has, who is your subsequent life.”

She kept looking at him with an eyeful of unanswered questions. And waited until she died.

He picked her corpse in his arms and walked with all the corpses trailing behind; corpses that had belonged till now to Pratti’s earlier lives but now in the same cycle were his.

He walked towards the kingdom of slowness.

Monday, October 09, 2006

The World

I realized I was going blind for the first time when I started seeing things in the dark.... Things that couldn't have existed..... Like a figurine of love, a dead eagle on my window-sill and myself in the mirror. It was a matter of time until I lost my sight.

When light came back on earth I went searching for a blind man. I found a woman, instead.

"Teach me blindness", I told her. And thus, in a grey, cloudy afternoon our lessons began.

"Blindness is nothing but an alternative to the world you live in", she told me. "You believe your eyesight is the best gift you have..... But you see, you never know what infinite options you have. Your eyesight is a limitation to your pursuit of these options."

"What do you mean?"

"Eyes attach properties to objects. Blindness removes them. There are no particularities in blindness. As a blind person, you can see anything in as many ways as you wish. Tell me about your experience when you felt for the first time that you were going blind."

I told her about the figurine of love, the dead eagle and myself in the mirror.

"Do you remember seeing them before your attacks of blindness? See, that's what blindness gives you: Freedom of sight."

When I returned home that night her words kept returning back. I remembered the number of times she used the word "see" in her words. It sounded pretty awkward in the words of a blind woman. But I couldn't understand her purpose of using the word: Was it a mockery or enlightenment? I couldn't understand the meanings of the things I saw in the attacks of my blindness….. Or if they had any meaning at all. Only my complete blindness could help me find answers to those questions.

The next few days, I kept waiting eagerly for blindness.

But the woman came back to me before blindness did. I told her that I was confused.

"Well, all of us are, sometimes", she said taking my hand in hers.

I found she was looking into my eyes, constantly, without her eyes blinking even for a second. It took me some time to realize that she was blind. But aren't blind people meant to see better than people gifted with eyesight? Wasn’t she seeing into me much more clearly than any normal person would do?

"Are you in love with me?" I decided to ask her.

She left my hand as I asked her the question. And moved a little farther away from me.

"What makes you think so?" she asked, a little concerned.

"You were looking into my eyes in such a strange way."

Even though she was standing turning her back towards me, I could see her leaving a deep breath.

"Maybe, you should stop imagining things." She said, as she tried to leave in a hurry.

"Why are you going away?"

"Because...." She shouted; then, fell silent. At last, in a much calmer tone she said, "because it's fearful how you...." She fell silent, once again.

I waited for her to finish. But she never did.

"....Is it how I see into you? Is that what you were trying to say?" I asked.

"Not me, but everyone..... everything." She continued, "Let me tell you a secret – We can see ourselves in mirrors. You don't exactly need to go blind for that. It's true that blindness assures freedom. It's true that blindness is much, much more powerful than eyesight. Blindness in never dark, as the popular belief goes, but is capable of colors unimaginable by a common man. Only blindness gives you access to spaces intangible..... But you see it's very, very difficult to come in terms with the fact that you are blind."

"But I don't think it would be difficult for me to come to terms with the fact when I do go blind. You've already taught me so much." I said, hoping that I was able to understand what she tried to say.

"No. It's you who taught me all these."

Unable to understand I kept looking into her eyes, vaguely.

"The doctors did indeed, find you blind from the very day that you were born", she completed.

And she reminded me what the world always would, that I cannot go blind ever again.

Monday, September 25, 2006


One evening when we sat by the distances, she told me of her wish to burn her body to see her souls catch fire, too. She said she loved the perfume of burnt-out souls. I realized that it was going to be difficult but decided to give her this gift on her nearest birthday, anyways. I asked her which of her souls she would like to burn.

"The wet one", she replied.

It had snowed last night. It had started when we were playing with each other's bodies. Fondling. Jostling. Mingling. In our silent apartment. I was drenched in her presence. I always was. Despite her perfumed hair, her ethereal nudity, the sentiments of her fragrant touch; her body was only an effigy. A mirage. Because she were innumerable women at the same time. In our silent apartment, her converging souls passed in and out of her body all the time. And in every parting moment, she fragmented herself more into the nooks and corners of my room. With every passing instance, my partner in the bed would change. I made love to all of them. It felt like a game of betrayal in which you'd stopped counting. And you had no idea any longer who it was that you were betraying. You betrayed each for all. And none for the other. Living inside a deadly turn-on.

I didn't notice the beginning of the snow until she pushed my body aside and ran outside. Into the snow. Trailing one of her souls with her. I put on some clothes and followed her outside. Snowflakes landed on her naked skin. I found slowly, that her color was changing. She was becoming a deep, deep blue. I asked her to come inside but she refused. I was worried both for her and the soul that she had brought for herself. Gradually, I found that her body had begun to glow so that the space around her seemed to be lighted up in a divine light. The light kept spreading until it went in through the windows of the people who slept. All of them woke up to find their eyes being washed in a light so deeply blue as can only be found in dreams. Thinking of the light as a divine purgation all of them started to pray.

She stood unmoving, in the snow until she fell senseless on the accumulated snow. I went near her and asked if she would like to come inside. But she wouldn't answer. So, I carried her in my arms and took her inside. I put a blanket around her. But before that, I took off her wet soul and put it next to the fire to dry.

It remained wet.

As days passed, we made plans for the burning. Even when we made love we spoke about her burning body and soul. It would turn us on. We started collecting matchsticks of different sizes and shapes. Ignite each of them to examine its flame. Our days passed like dreams.

At last her birthday came. She was apprehensive from the morning about the evening 'cause that's when, we had decided, we would set her on fire. She seemed excited from the morning. I had never seen her so exuberated ever before. By the time evening came, she had tired herself out of excitation. She quickly put on her wet soul. I, on the other hand, lighted a matchstick and set her on fire.

As flames started playing all over her body she started dancing in jubilation. First she set a few of my important papers on fire, then my beautiful Arabian carpet and slowly, my entire apartment was on fire. But we little cared for any of it because nothing was important beyond this moment.

"Come take me in your arms", she said at last, stopping "and see if I've started exuding the fragrance of burnt-out souls."

I went and took her in my arms, but couldn't find the fragrance of her burnt-out souls. I told her this. She seemed surprised. It was not some thing that we had planned for. I looked more closely at her. The flames coming out of her body seemed calm and composed. They were blue….. exactly the color of her snow drenched self.

Snows were nothing but frozen blocks of fires.

I realized that the fragrance that she was looking for would only be possible if she would burn in the snow, like the last time round. I realized, also, that I was on fire. Perhaps, I had caught it when I went and took her in my arms. When we stared outside, we found that the snowfall had started.

I took her hand and ran outside.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Prism: Final


On the day that the soldiers were to leave the carnival town, a few gunshots made its way through the parting air and made a home exactly where their love resided - in their hearts. And thus, the solemn silence of a few love struck, warrior hearts that stopped beating proclaimed the beginnings of a war.

A few numb eyes of girls who had been crying nightlong after their final lovemaking last night, watched their lovers' bodies being carried away and left to the rivers. They had came following the river and let them pass away so. The news of the soldiers' passing away didn't wound their beloveds' heart any more than did the news of their going away. A soldier's leave-taking, after all, was synonymous to his death. There never is a promise of return.

The soldiers, who survived, however, went away with an added hope - They might get to use their guns after all. The soldier, who was our hero, was among this group. He took his farewell roses from the girl and left.

On the very next day that the soldiers left camouflaging themselves with the river, a bunch of well-prepared bombs, verified by the authorities, were dropped into the town busy in cleaning the leftovers of 'The Carnival of Fading Lights'. Houses came tumbling down like the tea cup on the table. And there originated from the center of the town a stale air of mutilating flesh. It became a breeze and passed onto other towns. People who had to breathe in that air cried out -

"It's the stench of the massacre. Doom's day has begun."

The carnival town became the dwelling of spirits and new-born orphans.

The troop of soldier fought with a newfound vigor. They used their guns. And contested with each other on the number of targets each of them had hit. But that phase passed away as fast as it had began. Then, came a disillusionment of war. And they found themselves being the target of a new vigorous enemy troop. They started dying and laughing at the foolishness of the new enemy troop. War, after all, was meant to be carried through and not to be lived. "They'll realize this in time", they thought.

Our hero, the soldier saw his comrades dying one by one. He gave to each of them one rose from the bunch that the girl had gifted him on his leave-taking day. Then, slowly his bunch of roses started getting thinner. And one day, he realized that he had no more roses left with him. Suddenly, a thought occurred to him - what flowers would he have after he dies? It suddenly occurred to him that there was exactly the number of roses as were the days he had spent in the carnival town with the girl. And one by one he had given it all away. He had given the girl away to the dead.

That's when he decided to surrender.

The enemies found him much too dead to have been killed. So, they decided to punish him by letting him live. They had found a weapon much severe than the gun: Life.

Our hero, the soldier, wandered through many lands and then arrived to a town that recalled no visitors. There he built a house for himself. Strangely, it became the house of three corners. It took the shape of the prism.

Then, as years passed and he became madder, he wondered why in all these years he hadn’t heard the voice of the girl in her head, as was promised by the game of the prism.

One day, when he could no longer take the void that had been created above his head; he went out searching for a mirror. That day, a breeze named agony, took him in and landed him on one side of a table on the other side of which he found the girl and on the center of which a tea cup had tumbled down.

He didn't realize that the desert was the exact place where the carnival town had been once..... that time had taken away its belongings...… that time would once again, recreate itself. He didn't realize that time had returned. The process had began. That time itself had become a maddened soul searching for answers.

He didn't recognize the table in which he had poisoned the man who had initiated the magic that was lost forever.

But he recognized the girl. He did.

She didn't.

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Prism: Third

A Loner's Tale

My death had come like slumber - vanquishing between imagination and reality until none of it was left, anymore. I slipped into the realm of a mindful of voices.... Trying to adjust their tones. And their hearts.

They would make excellent characters for my story. Unlike all my other stories, this one shall have no ending. With quite a few beginnings. Like my vagabond life.

Life. Perhaps, lives. I had left behind in places I didn't know.

I had started my journey on a day when I had realized that I've quite a few words but not a carnival of faces to assign them to. So, I traveled into unregistered towns. And found a herd of people, everywhere, clinging to each other, frightened of their impending doom. Living their lives into a prophecy of massacre. I lived with them. Taught them dancing steps in which you could raise yourself above the ground and dance into the floating air .... Thinking that they might discover a relief in their new-found lightness..... Thinking that I might be able to reconstruct a civilization - abandoning itself. But I was too small a unit for this. There were no societies anymore. The heart had been abandoned. When I had turned back for the last time, before living a town, trying to wave a goodbye to them, found them staring at me like awestruck children who could understand nothing no more. They had forgotten to greet visitors or wish them luck for their journeys. They believed they had none left with themselves. Even after I left, I felt I could see them dancing their lives into a sundry prophecy of massacre.

Even then, there were places where the disillusionment couldn’t spread their blinding white sheet. Like in the land of the prostitutes. Yes, it was a dark valley. And most of the times it rained all over again on the drying streets, drying leave, drying apartments. And whenever I would pass a somber woman, she would spread out her hand towards me and cry out –

"Look, I'm drowning. Won't you save me?"

"I think I've lost that power in all these years."

"Then come, drown with me", she would say laughing out at me.

I would go and hit her on the face, again and again. And again.

"Do not laugh, ever again. It doesn't look natural on your face."

"Face? What face are you talking about, monsieur? We don't wear a same face twice."

"You have a way with your words, you little thing."

"What else do you think we sell? Do you think people need to come to a whore for a body? They could find it anywhere and they won’t have to pay for it."

"But aren't people too afraid these days to be visiting these streets?"

"Oh! Those poor trembling souls. I can't help feeling pity for them. If only my words would have caused not a single stir in their heart, they wouldn't have returned to these dark, dark alleys."

"Ain't you afraid yourself?"

"I'm immortal. I've already drowned so many times in these rains...… Look, I'm drowning. Won't you save me?"

In the land of the prostitutes, I learnt to make love to life. And write stories.

I fell in love for the first time in the last town I had visited while I was alive. It was the only place where I found people celebrating. It was 'The Carnival of Fading Lights'. A carnival in tribute to the passing soldiers. Love was sprinkled all 'round. In the mornings, a beautiful girl passing by the streets would turn to look at me. And there was something written all over her face, that I couldn't forget.

But then, gradually, I came to realize that she forgot my face everyday. And took my face for someone else's that she was in love with. Naturally, due to her amnesia she couldn't remember his face as well. He was a soldier and every morning I became the same.

For her it was an illusion. For me, a chance I couldn’t let go. I posed for her beloved every morning and tried to live in her lovely eyes.

Then, came the night to play 'The Prism of Extinction'. The soldier took her hand and came forward to play the game, looking for a third fellow to complete the magic. That's when a miracle took me in. She chose me as the unknown man to be taking part in the game. I agreed on a condition that they would give me food and shelter for the night.

After the game was over, I came to the girl's home along with her and the soldier. I was told to sit by the dining table till they would bring me food. So, they went away in some other room. Then, slowly the magic of the prism began to work. I could hear in my head voices of both the girl and the soldier.

"I have a plan for him", said the soldier.

"Yes. I know what you have been thinking. But don't you think it's a bit harsh on the poor fellow."

"But it's our life and it's our duty to secure it. We can't let him in all the time."

"But that is not the way to deal with someone"

"Look, my dear girl, we're soldiers and that's how we are told to treat our enemies. It's our profession. It’s no big deal."

I wasn't mentioned for a single time in that conversation and yet, since I could hear all of it, I knew it was me that they were talking about.

And then, they came in with the tea-cup. The storm in a tea-cup. Somehow, the perfume of death seemed to be attracting me. So, knowing all of it I drank the tea.

My death as, I told earlier, came like slumber. And I kept hearing their voices inside my head -

"At last..."

"I hope you'll forgive me'

"We'll be free now"

"I didn't want to do this but..."

"Happy dying, fiend."

"You see, there was no other way."

Slowly, it felt as if their words were all jumbling up. And I couldn't figure out what they were telling. But this lasted only till I died. Then, once again their voices were all clear inside my head. I had decided right then, that I'd write their story.

"The tea cup tumbled on the table for the first time, that night."

Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Prism: Second


Once again she'd have to spend an eternity in a stranger's eyes. She'd take a chair and sit in there. Pick up a novel and read it. Waiting but unable to find its end. But she would know that it is a destiny she couldn’t resist.

But before any of these would happen she wondered, as she looked into his eyes, if this was her sacred death.

And even before that, when no one had ever thought about this story and when she had been independent of a writer's selfish interest; had seldom been someone's muse – she used to be a child.

When people would ask her name she used to say that she was an orphan and had no particular name. Even though no one had ever told her what an orphan meant, she liked using that word in describing herself. She had seen orphans. They were children who were set free from all boundaries; had to obey no rules. They could do anything. And she had deduced that when orphans grow up they become spirits. In their growing years they develop wings on their shoulders and learn to fly..... becoming invisible as they do so. That's exactly why there were no grown up orphans.

She had a name, though. And all of those who had ever heard it said that it was the most melodious name they had ever heard. It was like the strange softness of a silent winter night. However, she couldn't recall her name most of the times. As a matter of fact she always found it quite difficult in remembering names – of others and her own.

"You must always remember your name." her grandma would tell her "As you grow up that's all that would be left of you which would differentiate you from anyone else."

After this she found out that along with names she had also started forgetting faces. That's exactly when the news came and big, bright posters were put up on bricked walls announcing 'The Carnival of Fading Lights' celebrating the arrival of a troop of passing soldiers of a faraway land.

It was told that they were to bring a gift for the townsfolk - a strange game.

He had come there with them following the river. Into 'The Carnival of Fading Lights'. And found the girl.

The girl was young. Much younger than him. A child.

But ever since he saw her there's nothing else he wanted to remember. He had seen her passing by the street. Alone. Indifferent to people who existed. He was sure that she was a woman who wore the skin of a child. She was a fallacy of nature. She would die soon, someday. Because nature doesn't forgive fallacies.

As much as he wished, he knew that a soldier is forbidden to fight against the forces of nature. He had been a soldier for a long time now. He had come to realize in time that there is a soldier, not because there is an enemy, but because there is a gun. A government needs soldiers because it is concerned about the guns that it produces. It needs to make sure that the gun doesn't land into the lap of a wrong person. Therefore, it needs soldiers to take responsibility of that gun.

A soldier can't fight against nature because guns can’t wound the forces of nature. And there's no point in fighting an enemy you can't hurt. Like shooting a corpse.

For the next few days he watched her secretly as she passed. And followed her sometimes. But she seemed ignorant of his existence ..... even, her own - drenched in her own thoughts. At last when he could take it no longer, he decided to speak to her.

"What's your name?" he asked

"I'm an orphan; I have no name." she answered smiling at him. And went away.

He wished he could forget that smile.

She had to come out every morning, because each night she realized that she had forgotten his face. But how would he recognize him in the morning for she didn't remember him anymore. So, she decided to pass through a common road everyday so that the man could expect her. She walked until she was been followed. Then, slowly while taking a turn she would take a quick look (so as not to be caught) and drink the grace of that reincarnation of a face.

When she recognized him all over again her heart yearned to speak to him. But mostly she was afraid that she would fail to recognize him the next morning. Thinking how embarrassing that situation might be, she decided never to be completely acquainted with the man. She even went away time and again when he approached her. He seemed hurt, but would somehow come out with doubled vigor the next day.

Since the carnival began every dusk when the night would be taking over the day, it was called 'The Carnival of Fading Lights'. People from different places came to attend the carnival. As the darkness would become dense, the colors of the carnival would become sharper. People would believe, however, that the colors of all things present in the carnival had a strange property: change.

Then, came the night to play the strange game that the soldiers had brought. They brought out from one of their bags a triangular prism. They said it was a gift they had got in the land of the magnolias. It was called ‘The Prism of Extinction’. And none of them had any idea why it was called thus. But they knew that it had strange powers.

"The prism gives you access to your loved one's heart. You would get to know all that’s going inside your lover's mind for you, forever ..... As long as you live or that person does. Wherever you live, however far and at whatever time, whenever that person would be thinking about you, you'd know. I'd like to make it clear over here that this prism does not give you access to your lover's thoughts which are independent of you. Also you could play this game only once in your lifetime. The process is pretty easy though. You and your lover must come in front and put their right hand on two separate faces of the prism. However, since the prism is triangular, in order to initiate the magic there must also be a third hand of another person on the prism. This person could be anyone you wish. Both of you would have access to his thoughts about you and he would have access to your thoughts concerning him, but not to your thought concerning your lover. So, I would say that it is pretty safe. Now, whoever would like to take part in the game is requested to come with his or her partner and a selected person who would complete the magic."

As happens with any new game, there were many people who were afraid in taking part. They were afraid perhaps, because it was called 'The Prism of Extinction'.

There were also many who took part. Among them were the girl and the soldier.

They decided to take any unknown man as the third person so that they might not have to think of him ever again. The man they chose seemed disconcerted about taking part in the game with them but agreed on one condition that he be given food and shelter for the night.

The game began. They put their hands on the prism. And suddenly the entire place seemed illumined by a deep, dense orange light. It only lasted for seconds until everything was back to normal. None of them found much difference inside their head. And the more concentration they would like to apply to delve deeper into their thoughts, the more they found nothing.

The unknown man who seemed the least concerned about any of it accompanied them as they walked together, for the first time, into the night. The soldier concerned that he would have to leave the town soon along with his troops; the girl concerned 'bout the same. The silence was becoming unbearable. So, the unknown man decided to break it –

"I hope you'd agree with me that it's quite cold tonight. I'm really looking forward to finding a nice, cozy sleeping place in your home. And one more thing, before I have my food I'd like to have a cup of tea....."

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Prism: First

Three Corners

The tea cup tumbled on the table. And an emptiness that had filled it up to the brim, spilled over the orange tablecloth. Straining it. Alas! There was no one to praise the beauty of the spreading strain.

* * * * *

She woke up on the wall. Her eyes still unable to recover from her dream of the orange tree. She climbed down onto the right side of the wall. She remembered that on the other day she had been on the left. There were trees on this side; so were there on the other. There were houses on this side; so were there on the other. There were people on this side; so were there on the other. Both sides were essentially the same..... Except that the left became right and the right was left.

She had deduced a few days back that the wall was actually a mirror glass. None of its sides were real. But whether any of them were imaginary, she could not tell. She just had to live in both of them.

* * * * *

In the years of the massacre, there used to be a town that recalled no visitors. And deep inside this town was the house of three corners. No one knew why it had such a strange shape. No one knew, as well, who lived in that house. Some said, though, that they had watched a man standing naked by the window. He had his body painted with a compilation of unknown colors. Indescribable. And that he would look at them as if they were clowns. And laugh.

* * * * *

This morning when the girl started walking, her head was still filled with the words and imagery of the last night's dream...... the color of the tree was orange. And like all people who couldn't forget their dreams, she was trying to analyze it ..... trying to decipher its meaning, when she reached the windmill. She found that the wind was blowing from exactly the opposite direction than it had been the other day when she had been on the left side of the wall. And the windmill went exactly the other way round. But then she left a deep breath - A change in direction doesn't change the world after all.

* * * * *

Sitting in one corner of his three cornered room this morning the man realized that the void that he had been feeling so long is actually just above his head. A region of wordlessness. Yet not silence. A cluster of meaningless noise. A crowd of disturbing formlessness.

He had tried to look up... to the space above his head. But God had created him with a strange form. He cannot look above his head. His head recedes in the same pace in which his glance follows it through.

The solution, however, was simple. A mirror.

The difficult part was - He didn't have one in his home.

* * * * *

The day was ageing, slowly. The sand in the desert was burning. Alas! There was no one to praise the beauty of the invisible fire. Alone stood a table in the middle of the desert.... For no certain reason. No one knew how it had come to be there. Or who had ever taken tea in the cup that had been left on the table-top. No one knew, as well, why the tea cup tumbled on the table. No one was there to know.

A warm, warm breeze started in the desert. Its name was agony.

* * * * *

For the first time in his life the man decided to come out of his house. For the first time he stepped out on the road. The road was empty. They were the years of the massacre, and this morning there was a premonition of chaos. So the townsfolk decided to stay behind their closed doors. Security was their only aspiration.

The road was empty. But it didn't matter to him at all. In fact, if there would have been people on the road it would be difficult for him to control his laughter looking at them. For just because there was no mirror in the town none of them knew that they looked exactly like each other. But right now he needed a mirror for himself .... To watch the space just above his head.

"I might have to walk miles for that", he thought.

That's exactly when agony arrived. A warm, warm breeze carrying grains of sand bathed him so that when he opened his eyes he remembered not being able to see anything.

But whatever it was that he was trying to see he could not remember.

* * * * *

"What is it that changes our world forever?" she was trying to figure out. At the same time, she was also trying to figure out the cause of her meaningless meanderings upon things so insignificant. Perhaps, this search for a cause too, was a part of her meaningless meanderings. And this almost gave her Goosebumps for it meant that all her thoughts were meaningless.

Then, it suddenly occurred to her that the breeze that was blowing from the opposite direction was a lot warmer than the one that had been blowing the other day when she had been on the left side of the wall. A change in temperature was not a property of the mirror.

"Does that mean" she thought once again, "that a change in direction does change the world after all? Or perhaps, I was wrong from the very beginning. Perhaps, the wall is not a mirror at all."

That's exactly when agony arrived. A warm, warm breeze carrying grains of sand took her in so that when she found her senses back she remembered not being able to understand anything.

But whatever it was that she was trying to understand she could not remember ever again.

* * * * *

Both of them found themselves sitting on opposite sides of a table, on the center of which a tea cup had tumbled down.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Prism: Prologue


Orange was the color of the tree. We went and sat underneath.

Her: Can you breathe the color?

Me: Orange.

Her: Yes. But the smell…

Me: Maybe, I have a bad cold.

Her: I know you do. Try smelling it with your eyes.

Me: I find nothing.

Her: You have to. Touch the shadow scattered all over the ground around you.

[I put my palms down onto the grass. My eyes closed upon me.]

Me: Ah! The smell of wet mud.

Her: Exactly! The smell of dusts drenched in rain... the smell of softness... of beginnings..... and virginity. The original smell of the color orange.

Me: Perhaps, you are correct. It feels like the fragrance of the day we had met in the grey lanes.

Her: In the land of the Prostitutes.

Me: Yes. But you never told me what you were doing over there.

Her: I was trying to live the life of a whore... To sleep with different men so that I might not have to remember any of them. Maybe, I was looking for the man whose blood was pure orange. Rather, I'd been looking for a suicidal man... hoping that he might permit me to taste his death.

Me: You wanted to die with him?

Her: No. I wanted to live his death. [silence] Did you ever make love to a person who is dying... Felt yourself touching a departing soul... In a body that's drowning into itself? I wanted that. To tempt freedom into the maze of no returns. The labyrinth.

Me: So, you wanted a slave?

Her: I only wanted myself back.

Me: No. You only wished to have a scattered life. To lose meanings. To cherish all leave-takings. To die after each of your deaths. Didn't you always wish to be in a carnival of fading lights?

Her: I always was in the carnival. I only wished to take you there.

[I saw some teardrops roll down her cheek]

Me: Why are you crying? Don't you know it's forbidden?

Her: Don't you?

Me: Why? Am I crying?

Her: Yes, you are.

Me: Are you sure? I never realized I was!

Her: Yes, I can see tears down your cheek. They are orange.

Sunday, July 16, 2006


In the beginning there was a rain in the valley. A perpetual rain. It didn't stop for many years. People told that it was one of the driest rains that had ever been. It hadn't quenched the thirst of a single lonesome leaf. It was the glass-rains. A shower of glass-dusts. Zillions of glass-dust particles had poured over their houses, trees, fields and dreams.

They had a small space in one of the corners of the valley. This they called their sphere of dreams. All of them used to preserve their own dreams in this space. A library of dreams. All people living in the valley had access to these dreams of many people. They had their reveries, their trance and nightmares all heaped up in this space. The glass-rains poured on them. All dreams, henceforth, in the valley were infected with glasses.

I had came into the valley when the glass-rains fell. Thus, I was christened as the glass-boy. I was described variously by different people - the boy with glassy-eyes; a boy whose touch was like the cold glasses; transparent as he is, like the glasses. There was a girl who used to describe me as a boy with a heart of glass - it did not beat and was much too fragile.

It was generally believed that I was the harbinger of the glass-rains. The messenger.

The glass-rains kept perpetuating when all of these names were assigned to me. So that, gradually, living into the glass-rains I started believing that I was the God of glass-rains.

When the families of the valley-dwellers had their dreams infested with glass-rains, they were brought to me and I was able to heal them. In most of the cases I took away their infected dreams and kept them in one dark corner of my room - so that they may not spread ever again.

Most of the afternoons, I lied on my bed beside the window and kept watching the glass-rains. It piled on the roads on which people tried to walk. Their feet bled, but they were used to that after so many days. They toiled about, indifferent to the glass-dusts in which their footprints were imposed for ever. I looked more closely to the blood-soaked glasses.

They had become part of my existence. My children. Often lost in my thoughts I would lose myself to sleep.

One evening, I was woken up by a chaos that seemed to be originating somewhere outside the door of my house. I got up and opened the door. I found a group of people howling, trying to say me something, but since all of them spoke at once, each drenched in their own choice of words; what they tried to say was indecipherable. All of them had forgotten their umbrellas and they were drenched too, in the glass-dusts and their own blood.

Since I'd been healing people for a long time, I knew that when people arrive in front of my doorstep in the glass-rains forgetting their umbrellas, it invariably means some thing serious. That evening I was taken to a dusty, shabby looking house. Inside I found the girl who used to call me the boy with a heart of glass, sleeping peacefully.

Her peaceful sleep was a curse of the glass-rains. She had transmogrified into a dream herself. This was the worst form of the disease, in which the infected person slipped onto a surreal world of her own made up of glass imageries. A sphere of infinite mirrors. The realm of fragility. Of extreme loneliness. And multiplied selves.

Her father was looking at me with much hope. I took my eyes away from his and said -

"I can do nothing for her." "Is she…." Her father gasped, unable to complete his sentence. "No, she isn't dead. But she has been taken away by the dreams of the glass-rains." "What happens after this?" "Nothing in the reality. Anything in her dreams." "But you can do anything. Can't you bring her back?" "No. it's beyond my powers." "But you are the emperor of the glass-rains." Her father was almost shouting right now, "And you don't know how to bring her back?" "You can bring her back only if you could visit her dreams and drag her out of it." I almost screamed back at him, as I stepped out of the door. I heard her father still shouting behind me – "How cruel can you be? My daughter is dying over here; at least, you could have given us some hope." "Well, she is not dying, but I'd rather like it if she would have." I screamed back.

Walking on the way back to my home, through the glass-rains, with an umbrella over my head, I tried to recall what it was that I was trying to say. Why did I suddenly become so cruel? I had never been thus in the past. I looked up to the glass-rains. Some drops of glass poured in my eyes making them bleed. Suddenly I could see nothing in front of me. I could only hear some distant voices coming from afar.

That's when I woke up from the dream.

I was woken up by a chaos that seemed to be originating somewhere outside the door of my house. I got up and opened the door. I found a group of people howling, trying to say me something, but since all of them spoke at once, each drenched in their own choice of words; what they tried to say was indecipherable. All of them had forgotten their umbrellas and they were drenched too, in the glass-dusts and their own blood.

This time I knew all of them by their faces. I recognized the father of the girl who used to call me the boy with a heart of glass. But much more importantly I recognized myself. I recognized the dream that I had been. I recognized my voice saying -

"You can bring her back only if you could visit her dreams…."

Isn't that what I did? Isn't that what the dreams of the glass-rains had made me do? The infected dreams that I had taken away from people and stored in one dark corner of my room. I heard her father was requesting me to come to their house. I looked at the fountains in the corner of his eyes. Wet. Like the simple rains in the world from where I had came from. Left too far behind. Much too far behind. Here in this valley of glass-rains I had saved the life of a girl who called me the boy with a heart of glass, but could I ever quench her thirst? Could I quench the thirst of any of these people who come to knock my door? How can I ever do so in this valley of glass-rains where there is no concept of water?

But I had brought her back to life. I looked beyond the eyes of his father. And beyond the eyes of all the fathers who surrounded her father….. And I saw that the glass-rain had stopped. A nice, bright sunray came and touched my skin.

I did find the valley of glass-rains, myself. I was its founder after all. I realized this.

Exactly at that moment, I started evaporating.

For the first time I realized that I was made of mirrors. An assemblage of glasses. Fitted to perfection of angles so as to create an illusion of skin, flesh, bone and blood. An entrapment of light in the zillion of glass-dusts. My body. A frame of delicacy. Fragile.

I evaporated and became translucent clouds floating around like glass-slides over the silent valley. At times someone would speak out breaking the silence:

"The glass-rain could come down anytime like the avalanche."

Monday, July 10, 2006


I had seen the avalanche coming to cover her sacred nudity. Between that potentiality and actualization resided this tale. I had found it over there and tried to save it from being buried forever.

Me and her. We both knew of the tale. We had been told about it..... Had been told that it was too dangerous..... That we should not listen to the tale even if the tale tells us its tale. We knew. Me and her. We both knew of the avalanche. We had been told about it..... Had been told that it was too fragile..... That it could come down anytime like the glass-rains. We knew.

[I know I never told you of the valley of glass-rains. It’s quite difficult to write of it but I promise to try and capture it in my next piece.]

She loved walking down the way the avalanche would come. She told me that she had had a premonition in which she had found the tale exactly in the center of the potentiality and actualization of the avalanche. She had found the avalanche waiting for a provocation of sounds. And she was voiceless. She told me that she had been a mute child ever since her voice started to disappear.

She was upset when she had discovered this, one fine evening. The winds had been blowing from the north when she found out that everything she had told a few moments earlier could no longer be heard by any of her relatives. Her voice had started to disappear. She had lost her power of speech. Her utterances had ceased being there.

When years passed, she grew. So, did her silence.

Many seasons later, she met me. And I taught her that silence was a form of sound. And just as we have access to different kinds of sound we could find silences unlike each other. It didn't take me too long to make her realize this. I only took her to the silence of a soldier's death being mourned and the silence in the shade of an old tree. Then, she learnt the language and spoke to me frequently.

She told me about all her speechless years. And she told me about an evening when her voice started to disappear. The wind was blowing from the north. She had made a tale and was telling it to her relatives. But when her tale ended she found that the words that comprised her tale were not there anymore.

She told me all these tales every evening while we walked down the way the avalanche would come. I had heard them many times, but since she spoke in a language of silence the tales became new every time. They were independent of the limitation of words.

After a few evenings the same independence was infused to her being. She became a libertine; even though, I had very little idea then and even now, about what that word really means. I knew she had become one since she told me so. And then she told me about her tales of love-making to different people in the consecutive nights when she had not returned home. She told me that she had slept, on the way the avalanche would come, in the arms of insignificant men.

I had closed my eyes and in my visions found her trying to cover her skin with her sacred nudity. For reasons unknown to me, that evening, I had started to scream.

My scream. The exact center of the avalanche. Sound. The core of its potentiality and actualization. And in my continuing vision, as was promised by her, I found the tale:

"It was a distant evening. A group of people had found themselves a dark part of the evening in which, as a cluster, they all sat. Everyone in the group was silent… except for a little girl who seemed to be telling them a tale. A wind was blowing from the north and she told them the strangest tale ever been told. A dangerous tale. A tale in which a man and woman keep walking under the promise of an avalanche searching a tale that they are unknown to, even though it belongs to them. A tale that they keep reliving over and over again…"

When I opened my eyes I found the avalanche coming down. And in that glory I evidenced a strange, incomprehensible phenomenon – I found the tale covering the avalanche. And her sacred nudity, too.

Friday, July 07, 2006


Sometimes, in my flashes of forgetting, I couldn't remember the first time I had slit her skin.

She told me there was no first time. No first of its kind. No beginnings. She introduced me to her realm of deja vu -- where all beginnings kept repeating from time immemorial.

Blood was her expression of deja vu. Recurrence.

Her blood was strangely cohesive. They sprang from the association of her being, defied the gravity and froze somewhere in the air. They captured a block of air in my room and made a home. When the sunrays touched them the red droplets kept glowing for a few hours until they turned brown. Drying. The patches kept lingering in intangible spaces of my room. They smelled of the sea.

Her blood was also volatile. I could remove the strains of the brown blood from my undiluted air by simply holding the burning end of my cigarette beneath it. And see them fade like my memories. But I'd never be able to take a puff of those used cigarettes, ever again. Their taste would change. And they smelled of the sea.

She had come out of the sea one moonlit night. Naked and bleeding.

She had slit herself beneath her neck and above her breasts. Droplets of the sea played all over her body. Running down. Crashing. Jostling. Mingling. Magnifying. Making its way through them was a stream of blood.

"Taste it", she said.

Unable to understand what I should taste, I tasted the seawater and her blood. They tasted the same. The same that it had everytime. Deja vu.

I knew people would call this a game of sadism. Still I would slit different parts of her body many times on her request -

"Clown, you know I can't cry. Can never let you taste my tears, but I desire tears like any girl does. Help me. Please, let my body weep the blues."

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Swing: Epilogue

A swing is a staircase of unending. It has no bottom, no crux.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Swing: Fourth

There were splashing lights all over when the evening broke. But none noticed 'cause it had made no sound. My silent girl was infused in that evening. Forever.

It became the only evening she had spoke, among all the distinct evenings. Unfragmented.

"Who are you?", I had asked.

The silent girl kept staring at me, expressionless for a long time. And a time that seemed longer than the long time. Only after watching her unchanging expression with a long, painful sustenance did I realize the answer she was about to give -

"That is the smallest possible query to the longest answer."

I had no idea as to what was expected of me to be said in return. So I decided to stay quiet. The silent lady continued -

"I haven't been able to reach to the conclusion of that answer myself. But I've always had the beginning. As a child I used to believe that this beginning itself would lead me to the end. But beginnings never lead to an end. They only give birth to newer beginnings. Gradually as I grew up I learnt to surrender to the beginning itself. There was no escaping from it. Unlike my girlish thoughts of the beginning as a bridge to the other side of the river; to the end, I soon came to realize that the beginning was a dark room that I had to create around, above and over myself to trap myself in, eternally. It was something that though never said was always wanted of me. The day that realisation was complete I moved on to the greater realization --- that I was no longer a girl but had become a woman."

Woman. The inexpressive hands on the trapeze. The silence in my sleep. First words in her broken evening. Last words unto its end. Beginning. Bridge. Swing. Dusk. Eternity. Dark room. Frenzy. Unreal. Storm. Silent girl. Shadows. River. Leaving memories. Too much. My lone two brains. Jumbling thoughts. Gobbling words. Jesus. Forgetting. Bacteria. Fungus. Me. Woman.

And words kept lingering, irrespective of who spoke --

"I know that all of us are immortals. And life and death is as beauty is, in the eye of the beholder. Relative. We don't live forever. Niether do we die. The line that divides life and death is actually very, very thin. Delicate. So that we must overstep it again and again. We keep living our death. And we keep dying into our lives. Swing."

I've forgotten my last swing on the trapeze, but I'll relate it through my instincts.

Her tiny hands were cold most of the times, except for that evening. In that broken evening her inexpressive hands became warm. Burning. And all her eyes caught fire too.

"Bring back freedom to this realm.", she said before I left her hand and let freefall take her in his unending arms. And swing.

Monday, July 03, 2006

The Swing:Third

The trapeze is a moment of trespass. An extreme form of the swing.

I had came into the life of a silent girl. I had to take her hand and swing. Her tiny hands were cold most of the times. Her hands were just as inexpresive as her eyes. And her lips. Silent. When I held her hand swinging on the perpetual trapeze, it seemed they were detached from her body. Disconcerted. Indifferent. Disconsolate. She didn't stay in her body. she was never there inside. A perfect disappearing act. Irreversible.

The name of the process was decay. Fungus. Bacteria. me.

Most of the evenings I was afraid. I felt the audience would fail to notice her on the trapeze. Lately the glittering lights would pass through her body. She was becoming transparent. Like an empty swing on a stormy dusk.

Most of the evenings I was afraid. I felt the audience would fail to notice her on the trapeze holding my hand. they would find me clinging onto a piece of nothingness. A peace of void. And they would start laughing. I was afraid of finding them laughing for reasons other than my colorful mask.

And most of the evenings I was afraid. I discovered her independent feet, her inexpressive hands, her unmoving lips -- all staring at me. She had eyes all over her body. A constant glance on a swinging trapeze. Between this movement and stasis I found a phenomenon unknown to me. Sleep. A sound sleep. A silent girl holding my hand.

Her tiny hands were cold most of the times... except for one broken evening.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Swing: Interlude

I came musing into a senile night. And in the night's womb I found a tent, sleeping.

The tent was huge. It seemed to encompass the entire night. Clinging on to it. The night was old. It had waited in the same space for many centuries. Looking closely one would find that in some places its color had come off. Its darkness had faded. It stood naked. Colorless.

I had stepped into its white darkness. And dreamt of colors.

I had stepped inside the tent, that evening, for the same reason. A tent that promised blinding lights and deafening music. Thus, I created my mask. Its background was white. Imposed on them were more gleeful colors.

Red, yellow, green, blue.

That mask became my ticket to centre-stage. I put it on and flourished in the dazzling lights and glorifying music. I put it off and became unrecognized. I could choose between fame and anonymity. I had the freedom to accept both roles and swing between them.

Gradually, I started realizing that the mask was becoming my face. And I could not switch faces. My real face was gone. I was faceless. I had become the dream of all colors. Invisibility. The Clown.

I wished to stay anonymous but, anonymity is an identity, too. And I found, unknowingly I had been living in many hearts, simultaneously.

"The clown may heal all hearts but shall not own one. He mustn't keep one for himself.... not even his own. A clown is a saint who enlivens all but worships none." - A clown as old as the night had told me once.

I needed to swing from life to life. I found the trapeze.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Swing: Second

I felt oftentimes, that a dusk has many beginnings. As if fragmented into different spaces, in different times it lingers in its own dillemma of the dull, the bright and the dark. However, when I needed most to feel that I'm alive I waited for the dusk. Probably it was the only certain dillemma that needed no solution. This was one of those dusks. I remember being insane when I stepped inside the dusk and I remember my forgetting the remembrances of my insanity when I stepped out. I attained perfection in insanity.... Perhaps, I'm making things a bit too much complicated. Just give me one more chance and I'll start from the beginning.

I felt oftentimes, that a dusk has many beginnings. My life had only one.

The swing in the storm. No one sat on it. The frenziac winds played with it. The swing - a libertine. It swimmed in the storm's lap. And invented all possible directions in which it had never been. And those directions that didn't exist started calling me. I ran to the swing. I ran through the storm.

The winds increased as I climbed onto the swing. I looked at the direction in which I used to stand. I stared. And I found myself standing over there, looking at me on the swing. Looking past me on the transparent swing. I had become weightless; bodyless; mindless. The storm passed through me. I had ceased existing. And thus my life began.

I became the master of the swing since then. I could convince the swing to move in any direction I wished. Make it follow untraceable paths. Negotiate it to move to a space from where it need not return to its point of origin. I started telling children -

"A swing is a staircase of unending. It has no bottom, no crux."

They listened mesmerized. They tried to find those spaces. But found the swing to be unfairly similar to the cradle of their lesser childhood. It moved back and forth, and went nowhere.

The swing took me alone farther and farther ahead as I climbed the stairs and reached to a colorful tent. I little knew then how those colors would never leave my face ever again....

Monday, June 26, 2006

The Swing: First

A storm had broken in somehow, into one of my childhood days.

It wasn't meant to be there. It should have been a clear evening in the park, like all evenings in the park are meant to be. There ought to have been children playing like every evening ... with the swing. And I was meant to be standing in one corner watching them, with the last rays of the sun glimmering on their eyebrows. I would have watched each of them taking someone else's turn to climb onto the swing.

Complaining, shouting, fighting, embracing, smiling.

I would be left alone, wondering why I should not join them. ..... wondering, perhaps, too long unto the evening's end. Recurrent evenings. But this was a different evening.

The promise of a storm. Silence. Empty benches. A transparent swing. An undisturbed stasis. Disturbing.

Perhaps, it had never been an evening. I had invaded the realm of an alien moment with no escape. A part of the day that had never been before. I knew it would choke me. It felt frightening.

When fear sprinkles in your heartbeat, it becomes your heartbeat. Suddenly you are not frightened of your fear anymore. You live in it. Strange forces. Strong. I waited for the storm.

"A storm will fulfill me, my half-being."

I little cared for what was to happen. I only thought of an unknown future. And the storm waited for all my gripping realizations. I watched spellbound at the changing colors over the horizon. My unchanging stance. The execution of an end. The storm infused slowly into the calm. But as it touched my skin it seemed, as it seems with all storms, invariably, sudden.

Then, for the first time in my life, I became conscious of an existence that would change my life forever. I felt the sonata. The music of the wind.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

The Swing: Prologue

Once, I wrote on a piece of paper. On one of its faces I scribbled the word - 'Reality', on the other - 'Imagination'. Then, I left it to the winds. It went and dropped into a river. One of its faces was washed by the water. Taken in by the river. Its alphabets gone. The other face remained.

I really don't know which face remained. But, all the same, I kept living by that face. Some of the people I met in my separate lives thought imagination was my name. Others believed it was just a mask.

Sometimes, I felt I had left reality completely for imagination. At other times, I felt imagination has left me completely for reality. Actually it was a swing, I kept moving back and forth, going nowhere. And the swing became my life.

Once, a lady I had little known, had been sitting on a swing, looking at the sky, musing. Sometimes, she was no longer awake. At other times, she was no longer asleep. She lived the life of the swing for those few moments. She oscillated between the existent and the non-existent. Later she asked me how long could that moment have been existing for she had fell asleep.

When we sit on a swing what we really cover is time. But we also cover ourselves in that time. And we become beginners. Children.

Fly away, children, fly away.

This lady had opened the gate to her primordial self. And times don't exist when we are children. For time cannot stay where beauty is. This moment is the stream that runs to eternity and cannot be measured in time. And she had really lived a baby's life - waking and sleeping ..... without a pinch of deliberation.

My life in the swing had also begun thus. And I promise to start from the beginning.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Swing: Introduction

A few days in my life are recurrent. On these days I know all events that are to follow, so that I could, not only, manage my actions accordingly but also those around me. On these days I can catch an old lady by her hand and say -- "Don't cross the road or you'll meet an accident in which you die." And thereby, I not only save her life but also stop the day from recurring.

The rest of the days in my life are not mine. I wake up everyday in someone else's life. Perhaps, I live parallel lives.

Perhaps, I keep living a single day, over and over again. In changing contexts, changing spaces.

Perhaps, in one of my lives I bleed; in another I bandage the bleeding.

Perhaps, only in my dreams I'm awake.

Perhaps, my life has become the swing I had chosen for myself.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Do you remember all the dissimilar shadows you had created the last time you had danced?

Probably not. For when we dance we don't usually expect our shadows to be there. Unlike the times when we are walking through a half-lit, lonely alley, in a dance we assume we are shadowless. Like spirits.

But shadows linger. And this is exactly where my tale starts-

I had once been to a party where I found a lady dancing. She was dancing alone slowly and gracefully. Guests were watching her. And I, as you must have guessed, was watching her shadow. How gracefully it moved and changed shape and assumed better beauties. The shadow captured all her postures. The lady was dancing beautifully and she was drenched in its rhythm. But then, a different realm was also calling her in. And this is the realm that I like to call -- Frenzy. She started defying all music and danced to some silent music of her own --- The musik of dementia.

Long after she stopped dancing, I found all shadows of her dissimilar postures, the insane creation of every possible synchronization of limbs, scattered on the floor. People were walking over them. Their own shadows got super-imposed on them and left. They lingered on the floor and in the minds of those who watched her dance. It was amazing to think of all the shadows she had left behind of herself.

What are shadows but little conquests of darkness? All of us were fading into the darkness. Perhaps, we all realised this. Maybe, thats why all of us left early that evening.

When I returned to that hall a few days later I didn't find the shadows anymore. Perhaps, the house-keeper had sweeped them off, like dead leaves by the roadside.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


I have two brains. They are paired to think in two separate terms. They often work simultaneously. But it really starts getting difficult when thoughts start jumbling up. These are times when I must surrender.

In my leaving memories, there used to be a river. It kept flowing. Incessantly. Untiring.

In my other memory that refused to leave, there used to be a girl beside its bank. She kept sitting. Incessantly. Untiring.

I could swear that these two memories were unrelated. But they were inseparable. I remember walking to the girl for the first time and asking her - "why are you always sitting over here?" "Need it have a reason?", she looked back at me. "A question can never be an answer to another question." "I don't believe in answers.", she answered, indifferently.

Since then at the beginning of some uncertain dusks, I went and sat beside her. We never spoke. Just watched the water flowing. Listened to its music.

I don't remember when I stopped visiting her. Perhaps, the day I died. Perhaps, the day she did. Perhaps, the day we all do.

The only thing I remember now is that the river was a part of my leaving memories whereas the girl wasn't. Therefore, the river slowly stared fading out. And when the river was no more I watched the girl sitting in front of a defying blankness. Staring at nothing over the horizons. Without the flowing river time no longer moved for her. She sat trapped in a single unending moment .... within one unending heartbeat resided her life. And the sound of that heartbeat was becoming loud. Shrill. Unbearable.

And there was nothing beyond the unbearable. Only a never-ending stretch of endlessness. No more was to be the music of the river. Years later I learnt the scientific name of my guilt that took the river out of her life.

By then, my schizophrenia had already taken her life.

Saturday, June 17, 2006


"Must a risk always be dangerous?" - I remember one of my childhood friends had asked me once. I had found silence that day, for the first time, as an answer. The same silence had frightened me when I tried to go to sleep that night. I had realised I would be unable to take risks for the rest of my life. The silence had promised that I would never be able to recognize a risk. Because risk was just like death. It had no face.

It was from that day that I contacted a disease. An infection called magic. I could do things that other people won't dream of doing and coming out, not just alive but, unhurt. Children loved me because I could do everything. Their parents were afraid of me because I could do anything. Children were not allowed to play with me. But secretly, they met me and they loved it even more, because it was forbidden. Thus, magic was an infection that spread. And soon, all children in the town could do everything.

We had all forgotten fear. Risk had been terminated from our lives. We had become immortals. Little gods.

Thats when the rain came. And our parents told it had brought a disease. But we loved diseases. We thought magic as a disease. It had changed our lives forever. So, we went out in the rain, defying our parents, and embraced one more disease. We were growing up. We thought of it as moving from one disease to another, lives changing again and again like dates on a calender. When people stop growing up their lives don't move, diseases don't change their lives anymore. And they start growing old.

In that season of rains, however, we learnt that diseases were more powerful than we had known. Not only could it change lives but also take them. Children started dying. We saw corpses of little gods removed from their houses. We saw their parents crying. But we also saw our parents cry. They feared our death. The dead and the living alike brought tears in their eyes. The past and the future seemed equally uncertain. For those of us who survived, we kept living in guilt of some indecipherable mistake.

I rejoiced, however. I had found answer to a question asked to me a few years ago by a childhood friend -

"Must a risk always be dangerous?"

"Not as long as you take it for yourself."

Sunday, May 21, 2006


I remember seeing two people yesterday. One who kept laughing; the other who kept dying.

I've a fond memory of a girl who did both equally beautifully. I wish she was my forgetting.

The two men I'm talking about are mad. I told them so. I told them I'm the clown. I'm mad. But they were too afraid to be recognised thus.

But madness is like love, it comes when it does. I couldn't resist it. Niether could they. So they are two madmen. One who keeps laughing 'coz death has forgotten to take him in; the other who keeps dying "coz he can't laugh.

And then when it started to rain in the afternoon, they started melting.

"Jesus! They're made of clay."

So what makes them different from each other? Laughing or dying? Happy or sad? Sane or insane?..... Jesus or me? Its all the same.

Dear girl trapped in my memory, are you clay?

Saturday, May 20, 2006

A Terrible Beauty

Once upon a time, I used to have time. Like a white sheet of paper. And I had to fill it up. I believed it was my obligation towards life. My duty. Time, like money, is not to be preserved, but spent.

But then, one day, time left me. Deserted me. Or if she had been my lover, I would have said -- ditched me. So that I was stranded in one single moment. What I really lost that day was a past and many uncertain futures. And the present was unending. Tiresome.

I had attained death.

Slowly, after I had overcome the initial excitement of my great achievement, I realised that the line that divides life and death is actually very, very thin. Delicate. So that we must overstep it again and again. We keep living our death. And we keep dying into our lives. Your feeling that this piece of writting is somehow connected to your life is the evidence to this.

I know now that all of us are immortals. And life and death is as beauty is, in the eye of the beholder. Relative. We don't live forever. Neither do we die. Don't be misguided. I'm NOT writing about a reincarnation. But about this life of yours.

You'd never be able to live. Nor to die. But will be trapped in a single moment, just as you are right now.

Imagination is your escape. Embrace it.

Monday, May 15, 2006


Oftentimes, words leap up from scriptures, from books ..... even from the transparent air to gobble me up. They take each other's hands and form rings...... No! Not rings. Crystals. Disturbing crystals of jumbled words. That's exactly when I start writing nonsense - like I'm doing right now.

A few years ago, when I fell in love for the first time it had taken a strange shape in my heart. And I remember I was trying to sketch that shape on a rough paper.

Have you ever met a person who would suddenly make you realize that you were a part of a common past -- of different times, different lives, different eternities? Could you describe that person to me by words, by paintings, by photographs? By any or by all? No. Because belief is always inversely proportional to expression. We have very few expressions. This society has made expressions only for the common, the drab, and the surealistically veiled drab.

This is the terrifying wordlessness that I live everyday. Thoughts start filing up my head, they overbrim and start covering my face. And I find words everywhere which I'm unable to catch, to decipher, to define.

And then, I think maybe all words have meanings. Maybe, I've forgotten.

Maybe, I'm forgetting myself.

Maybe, I fade within your memory everyday, so that you may start remembering me yet again.

Maybe, all you're reading right now is just your imagination.

Maybe, I don't exist anymore than God does. Imaginations.

Imagine. Frenzy is a realm of infinite possibilities.

Saturday, May 06, 2006


In my childhood I was told to write opposites. So, when I saw knowledge, I wrote ignorance. And when I saw remembering, I wrote forgetting. But then things changed so that when I saw knowledge, I wrote forgetting. And when I saw ignorance, I wrote forgetting. And when I saw forgetting, I still wrote forgetting. And I never saw remembering ever again.

In those days I used to live with my granddad. He had amnesia. My parents told he had been so from a time when he had been less older. Although children in this town ( including me and my friends) believed he was 200 years old and had never been any less older. We believed he had been living in this town from a time when there was no town, instead in its place stood a kingdom where wars were fought daily to keep the king busy. We all loved him dearly because forgetting everything he had become a child like us. But then, as they say, things changed. As far as I remember it all happened one afternoon, when while having my lunch I couldn't remember what I had had in my breakfast. I shuddered at the realisation and thought --

"My God, amnesia is contagious"

From that day I was afraid of my grandpa and used to stay away from him.... perhaps I took my imaginations too seriously. It was from that day that I started forgetting my grandfather. Then, one day when I succeeded in forgetting him completely I learnt that he was dead.

I still don't know, till today, what exactly keeps us alive - our heartbeat or our memories?

I write forgetting. And I keep writting.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Come Home, Madness

I woke up and found myself inside a dream. It was my life.

Its been long since we put our imaginations in a colourful box and thrown them into a lake. We watched it sink deeper and deeper till it found no bottom. And then, one day, we forgot ourselves. That was the day we had dissappeared. Since then we've been looking for ourselves. We move from one mirror to another. And yet another. But we find no one. Void. Blankness. Invisibility.

Argentine writer Borges had once wrote: "mirrors and copulation have a strange property: they multiply people." Things have changed since then. Reproduction is extinct. Our minds are realms of sterility in which we take death, like medicine, everyday after our meal.

So, come home to madness. To frenzy. And let us once again reacquire our imaginations. Let's walk into a world of immense possibilities and expect what we didn't even expect we could ever expect expecting. Yes, just like that last sentence. Don't worry over how much you understand. Just let yourself be confused. And free. Fly.

And let this clown lead you to a space called clownscape. Learn theories about your own psychology in ways abstract, unreal and funny (at times). In the end you'll be obsessed about stuffs you won't even be able to describe.... let alone, name.

If you want to take the risk just remember me and read my next piece on "forgetting".