They say that the sight of a black hole, one of the formidable forces of nature, devouring a nebula is a nerve wrecking sight. But I can tell you that it isn’t true. Right now, I am swirling around, stretched tight and on the verge of being sucked into one. From here, it looks like a giant space toilet flushing down an emerald blue nebula with me in it. Like a clueless ant caught up a turbulent mass of water. Well, I don’t know how this is going to help you (unless you find yourself in my situation and needed a bit of humor to ease you into your imminent death) but I just wanted you to know the truth before I die. John Jacob, senior marketing executive, age 44 (now 11), divorced, is now trapped in a Bajaj Chetak scooter that’s stuck in hyperdrive waiting to be gulped down by a black hole in T-minus 2 minutes.
I could see her flying towards me, leaving behind a milky white comet trail. She won’t be able to make it. Her top speed cannot be more than Mach 7. So this is the end of the line. The end to a bizarre and astounding journey was about to flame out in a few seconds.
“There are no ordinary lives.” That’s what my friend told me on a winter’s night as I walked her back to her apartment. The context was something related to my strange attraction to those fictional characters with broken souls, the ones who can only look at the past through the frosted glass of pain and loss.
I was explaining to her how these people were much more interesting than the happy-go-lucky crowds that come out of nowhere on a Friday evening and fill up the party street downtown. She was right, of course; no life is ordinary. We all know it quite well. It’s one of those intuitive truths, which silently binds us all together. Rich, poor, happy, sad, single or not, these truths are the grand equalizers of life and often the hardest to face. You know why? Because it makes us feel that we are just one among the billions who had walked this earth and then withered away. It shatters our belief that we are capable of making a dent in the universe and reminds us that one day we too shall be food for worms. And for most people, it is a blasphemy of the highest degree. Continue reading
The two hours that we were together passed away like the swift cold breeze of a December evening. Before we knew it, we were standing in front of her apartment building. It was an old building with glossy exterior paint which hid the dirt of ages with appreciable conviction and a creaky old elevator that scares me every single time. We exchanged a few casual talks and bitched about the work awaiting us on Monday morning.
“So do you wanna come upstairs?”. She asked me. A slight coy smile dangled on the edge of her thin lips and a spark of childish naughtiness flashed in her beautiful brown eyes.
Inside his lunch box, the shards of a broken mind waited patiently for him. Is it for real? Or is he seeing things again? He cannot tell. But how could he ever know? His own mind and the minds of the million others were in the same state; broken, shattered. It has been 20 years since the war ended and the last ounce of sanity and humanity was squeezed out of the human race years ago. This is not the world of modern marvels or miracles that were promised to us. This is a savage wasteland where individualism is dead; ‘I’ is no more. It’s all a sickening, claustrophobic “WE” that now ruled over the humanity under the whims of the supreme council, the Gods who decided the fate of every single person.
Long, long ago in a world unbound by the chains of time, there lived a princess on a tiny island at the farthest corner of the world. Her kingdom, her island, stood alone. A wallflower with its crooked triangular shape, an accidental chip that slipped away from the great creator’s chisel and fell among the other perfectly round islands of the archipelago.
The perfect ones had always ignored her and her island, for they were busy with their rubies, diamonds, gold, women and liquor. For them, her crooked island was nothing but a wasteland filled with unmotivated laymen and worthless ideals. But the princess’s island was not a poor one; it too was home to innumerable treasures. It was the sort of richness that only a privileged few could comprehend and yet alone enjoy for hers was a kingdom of books, pages, verses, and phrases where reality and imagination were caught up in a never-ending tango.
The hard bound covers of the ancient books formed the tree trunks while coloured papers, embellished with nuggets of poetry formed the flowers and leaves, each one more beautiful than the other. The birds, animals, and insects were nothing but a display of the exemplary origami skills of the supreme creator whose imagination seemed as boundless as the universe. A dense plethora of books made up the mountains while the rivers that burst out from their hearts were nothing but pages filled with allegories, allusions and metaphors and honey dripping poetry.
What do you see when you look out the window of a speeding train? What do you see when you lie down on the back seat of a car and watch the moon follow you around? I remember my English teacher in school telling me that a poet is someone who could see an entire universe in a rose bud drenched in the morning dew. I was in the sixth grade back then and I must have thought that all poets were a bunch of nut cases.
But eighteen years later, I now know that I belong to a clan of such poets or writers who coexist in a world of fiction as well as in what you call as the reality. I often feel like the Schrödinger’s cat trapped inside that big ominous black box, who’s said to exist in a state of duality. Writers like me have come to accept the fact that often the reality is just not good enough. Sometimes we acknowledge its existence just as a mere source of raw material to construct our own original worlds. It’s a power unlike any other with which we get to turn a girl into a goddess, immortalize love, bottle up a genie, churn up epic battles, make animals talk and much more; a whole universe stands at the tip of my pen like an anxious drop of honey, waiting to violate a helpless stack of paper. It’s an obsession, no doubt, that’s what it is. But it’s also a humbling power that opens our heart to an immense amount of love for life and teaches us to be tolerant. Continue reading
“Now listen closely and try to apply that brain of yours to what I’m about to say. Trust me brothers, today is that day, the day that shall change the way you look at life. Now remember what I had said earlier, be a visionary, look ahead, shut out all negativity and of course, trust me blindly.”
That’s what he said, that two faced, fair skinned bastard with a moustache that looked like an ugly caterpillar. But he was right, that day did change the way we saw ourselves and our lives, and nothing was ever the same again.
A few months back
New city, new job, new friends. I arrived in this great city brimming with youthful swag just last week and so far things were fairly pleasant. Except for one self-declared intellectual butt head rest of my roommates were all jolly good fellows, very sociable and fairly reasonable, and I was happy too since half the trouble of moving to a new place is solved once to get good roomies. There was plenty to explore and experience and things went pretty great until that fine evening when fate came knocking our door like an uninvited guest to remind us that good things don’t last forever.
There I was, lying on my bed, watching an old episode of Friends, laughing at some lame joke of Chandler as my roommate ‘S’ strolled hurriedly into our room.
“Dude , J won’t be coming around as promised so suit up we are going to meet someone”
I lazily tore my eyes away from the screen and asked, “Do I have to comeeeeeee? I just got back from office man…..GEEZ!!. Take one those other lazy asses with you man”
“Those lazy asses are already there you moron. Now get your butt up and get dressed. We are meeting an acquaintance of V and he’s waiting for us at the ITPL mall”.
The wheezing of the ventilator and the monotonous beeps of the ECG machine periodically tore up the silence of the ICU with surgical perfection. A boy, probably in his twenties, lay there on the sterilized hospital bed laid out with extra white bed sheets that smelled of Dettol and antibiotics; caught up helplessly in a fight between life and death. The room had the stillness of a graveyard, devoid of any promise of life and one could almost feel the presence of the death’s ferryman lurking in the dark corners of the room. But as always, as if by some divine flaw, one couldn’t help but find the ray of hope in this sea of darkness. People often find this tiny bit of hope in the grimmest of situations and cling onto it with all their strength, foolishly believing that that feeble thread could ward off the vast black tides of the inevitable death. One couldn’t help but wonder which is crueler; the inevitability of death or that faint trace of hope.
The lights on that floor of the hospital started flickering; an uncommon phenomenon in that super specialty institution and soon a heavy darkness engulfed the entire floor. Outside, one could hear the commotion of the technicians and nurses as they analyzed the electrical anomaly. The light from the life support systems filled the ICU room with an eerie green light, making the place look as if it existed beyond the realm of life.
The power came back up within seconds and once again flooded the room with the cold white light from the fluorescent tube, but this time, there was something else in that room with him. Two glowing entities stood there looking down at the frail body of that boy. They were the priests of his bodily temple, the navigators of his life and the one’s responsible for his past, present and future. You may address them as spirits, ghosts or angels; they were his Heart and his Mind.
“The free soul is rare, but you know it when you see it – basically because you feel good, very good, when you are near or with them.”- Charles Bukowski
The Pichola lake , subtle and stagnant lay before us. It was my last day, the last day without strings. That’s a lie. I have never lived without strings and I don’t think I could ever exist without them. Even after running away a hundred miles, just to listen to myself, to disconnect myself from everyone I find my inner voice drowning in a puddle of memories. But Daami, she’s free, cut out from all the tugs of strings, living life with a sort of freedom which I find both unsettling and unrealistic. I started writing about her to find out why her face will be one among the few things that would remain with me for quite a long time. So let me warn you or rather take an anticipatory bail from my end regarding the fate of this piece of writing. I don’t know how this would turn out or how it would end, but I think this is the best way to write about her; so let the words flow freely, just like her spirit.
I hate making decisions. I’m a man who likes to swim with the current, meander through life as if it’s a lazy dream. But lately, every single morning that I wake up into has started off with a question staring square at my face. To go? or not to go?
All those inhumanly perfect magazine models with their chiseled body appear before me each morning and makes every inch of my body crave for those tough muscular fibers and bulging blue veins. If only I could…..if only I could escape her clutches.
I have to get up at 8:00 am at the very latest if have to hit the gym and make it to the office on time. But I know she’d never let me leave her before 10am just like I know that I am too weak to resist her. But today would be different; I could feel myself waking up now and I have already made up my mind.
Sarah feels softer than ever today ; I could feel my body sinking into her as if she was as soft as a cheesecake. Aah! How could one escape such a subtle sensual touch that’s spreading through me like poison? Exfoliating every single pore of my skin, shutting down the logical voice of my brain which is trying in vain to make my senses understand the hidden motive behind all the sensuality. She’s actually my third, and so far the best I have had. I had just bought her last week from the best store in town at ridiculously high price. But she makes up for what I have spent on her, every single night. She still smells fresh…mmm…as fresh as a dew dripping meadow on a spring morning.
The new bed sheet that I had gotten for her feels swell, better than usual. Why everything about her is feeling extra good today? The smell, the touch, the sensuality; all so sweet and perfect. I could feel my will wavering right now, almost on the verge of tipping over and I was more than happy to surrender to her.
“Good god! She knows”, I said out aloud with more horror than surprise in my voice. How could I have missed it? She has read my mind, she knows what I have decided and she’ll do anything to keep me with her till 10 o’clock. Once again I found myself caught up in that battle which I have consistently lost for the past 15 years. But today, the odds have shifted and neither of us is planning to lose. Continue reading