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.