Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dan

Dan was lying down on the bed in his bedroom. There is nothing out of the ordinary about this. But Dan was doing too much of it. The only time Dan had left his room in the last week was to eat in the cheap restaurant opposite his apartment. His room was covered with layers of dust and sprinkled with cobwebs all over the place. His room was utterly disorganised, just like the state of his mind. Dan was almost getting comfortable with his decay. He read something, watched a bit of TV, listened to a few songs and slept the rest of the time. Dan was so confused about what to do, that he did nothing.

His life had come to a standstill.Till the last week, he had a decent paying job. He had an ability to keep the HR managers at bay and thus was pretty much satisfied with the job too. And then all of a sudden, decided he had enough and tendered his resignation. He had to forsake a month's salary for leaving his job without notice but he dint mind. He tried to remember the words he had said to justify his resignation. The words were trickling in."Not job material", "Entrepreneurial", "Pursuit of passion". Now that he looked back, those words were mere excuses to disguise his lack of planning in quitting his job. He quit because he had felt intense suffocation for a matter of two minutes and that resulted in the resignation.

Now, the only thought that was running in his head was the excuse that he was going to give his mum for not finding a new job yet, when she would call worriedly in a few hours expecting some restoration of sense in her son. Searching for an excuse was being too much trouble so he decided that he would tell her the truth instead. The only issue that was really plaguing him was he did not know what he wanted. Everyone else were so certain of what they wanted. Dan hated his utter cluelessness. He had to find a way. "I have to think" Dan thought. His struggle with the lack of understanding over his existence overwhelmed him. He wished he was like the others who did what others told them to do. Dan had a largely uneventful life like the others and that's why he wondered  why he could not behave like the others too. Make money, recreate and procreate. And like them, basically try feeling good about yourself and feel important from time to time. It was such a simple and easy way to live Dan thought. Yet he could not follow that path. Dan knew what he did not want but he did not know what he wanted. He had no idea of it. He did not want to follow the path everyone else did but had no alternate path in his head ready. Danny smiled to himself. Even infants were better functioning than he was. They cried when they wanted milk, play or a cuddle. And here he was, a 26 year old grown up turning into a semi vegetable with hardly any decision making capacity. The world wasn't such a difficult place to live in as long as you had an ounce of purpose. Take away that ounce and you will have a person like me, Dan reasoned.

"Life is an illusion" he had heard people say to sound intelligent. Right after saying that, the same people dived headlong into the mundanities of life. "Life Is an illusion and everybody is a part of it, me included" Dan thought. " The illusion will deceive me too. Just like my fellow participants. The trick is to not try to solve the puzzle because the puzzle is unsolvable. The dice of the universe is always loaded against you. Dan was half proud half embarrassed with his philosophizing but happy that atleast things were beginning to make a little sense. The point was not to understand or question the point of existence. The point was to go about that existence as it comes. Like watching a movie for the first time. With that thought Dan went back to sleep.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

For your eyes only

Cherry's head was spinning around. Everything was revolving. Cherry put on her glasses to make sense of the world, but the glasses made the world rotate as well as revolve. Cherry finally understood what her Science teacher had meant when he had said that the Earth moves on its axis by revolving and rotating. Cherry instantly felt better. If she could make sense of the world, surely her life was no big deal. "To hell with life" she suddenly declared in her thoughts, "Why make sense of a thing that is inherently nonsensical". That thought brought a smile on her face. She prided herself on being a nonsense person. Everyone else claimed that they were a no-nonsense person but Cherry claimed instead that she was a totally nonsensical person. Cherry wondered where she had gained such kind of wisdom at such a young age.

Cherry shook herself off her ruminations as she had a UN job interview scheduled in an hour. She readied herself quickly and galloped away towards the place where her interview was going to be held. She was excited and nervous at the same time. This was her dream job. It would give her full freedom and autonomy to bring forth her ideas to the real world. She had a feeling that she was going to impress the interviewers out of their minds. "Hungry and poor people of the world, here I come" Cherry thought cheerily to herself. Thats when she heard a whining noise right behind her. The noise had come from the most sickly dog she had ever seen. Its bones were sticking out and it was so thin that the wind would have taken the dog along with it, like a piece of paper.

Cherry instantly realised that the dog would die if help was not given to it. She forgot all about the interview, picked up the dog and took it to the nearest Vet. It did not take the Vet Doctor two seconds to realise that this was an emergency case. She arranged for a glucose drip to be put into the dog and fed it with milk. 3 hours later it looked like the dog would live. It had been abandoned by its mother and was left alone to survive the harsh winter by itself. Cherry vowed to herself that she would help the dog survive the ordeal. The dog had angelic eyes. Cherry fell in love with the dog and named it Lil Cherry.

Suddenly Cherry remembered that she had forgotten all about the interview. Her heart sank. There was no way the UN interviewers would entertain her after she came so late. She became dejected and started crying noiselessly, with her tears dropping on her palms. Lil Cherry who was nearby started licking Cherry's  palms lovingly. "Its all worth it" Cherry thought and gently kissed Lil Cherry on her eyes.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Sleep induced writings

You meet someone who is you
And you wonder why you feel hatred.

You scoff at his dreams and laugh at his life
Hoping desperately you are not him.

You see the reflection in the mirror
And see yourself in the human race.

Life runs in a circle of delusion
After running the whole circle, old age relapses into childhood.

Your life is as random as a thought
And thats when you realise that life is about nothing at all.

Chasing dreams that vanish once you reach them
You get fooled by what one chap said was randomness

What is important is you have a smile at the end of the day
What is important is you dont curse the alarm for waking you up the next day.

Life is not black, white or grey. Life is sweet.
As sweet as brown sugar.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Merchant of Soul

I hated travelling in planes. They always made me sick. I looked at my co passenger, Mahesh, who was busy reading a magazine. I had shared the routine pleasantries with him and asked him the boring usual questions about what he did for a living. He turned out to be a bank branch manager at some place which i dont remember the name of anymore. He seemed a boring unassuming person who did not have much excitement in his life. The only thing I had found interesting about him was the fact that he was unmarried inspite of being around 40 years. That intrigued me because I had never heard of a 40 year old unmarried banker before. Bankers are conservative folks. They like to have a wife and kids as soon as they could. Maybe this guy was not as boring as I thought he was. I felt like striking a conversation with him. As if reading my mind he asked

"Where did you get that deep gash on your cheeks from"

"That was from a bungee jumping accident I had a few years back. The rope that was tied to my legs got cut and  I crashed to the ground" I replied

" I m sure you never tried bungee jumping again"

"Never. It did a lot of damage. I lost a few of my teeth. These front teeth you see, they are fake. And I was in the hospital for around 4 months"

"Its lucky that you survived. I hope you know that"

"I know I m lucky. It was a harrowing experience. I was very close to death. Its a good feeling to be alive"

"I know what you mean. It feels great to be alive"

"Why? Did you come close to death as well?"

"In a way. Yes. I could have died as well"

"Tell me about it. I m all ears"

"I havent told anyone about it. Its too personal"

"Hey. This is not fair. I told you about my experience. And now u need to tell me about yours"

"Well alright. if you say so. But its a pretty long story. Do you want to hear it?"

"Sure. I like stories. If its good I may even write it" I said.

"It goes a long time back. Around 20 years. I was sleeping in a place that I rented a few days prior to that day. And in the middle of the night, I woke up suddenly. I m a light sleeper. Then I saw a white translucent light creeping around my cupboard. And the weird thing was that the white translucent light had eyes"

"You mean it was a ghost?" I asked him.

"Yes. Thats what I mean"

"Surely you are pulling my leg. But anyways carry on if you will. It sounds pretty interesting. I might as well have a listen"

"Well, the ghost seemed surprised at me waking up all of a sudden. It started panicking, and in the panic, it started swirling round and round in search of a hole to escape"

"Gosh. Really you saw a ghost?. You must have been freaked out"

"Oh yes. I was freaked out out of my wits. I shouted and screamed till my flatmates next door came running to my room to see what had happened. All my books and all my belongings were scattered all over the room. She, the ghost did it while swirling around the room."

"This seems to be out of a Ramsay brothers movie. Are u sure you dint dream it. Maybe you slept-walk and in your sleep you must have disturbed the room while imagining the ghost"

"In the beginning even I had come to the same conclusion. As the windows were closed and the door was closed. I thought I must have hallucinated and slept walk as you suggested. Thats why I dint even leave the place for another one. But I had not imagined it"

"Why?"

"Because I saw her again the next day as well. The ghost. I was reading a book the next day and there she was staring at me. This time she seemed comfortable when she noticed me looking at her, she just kept looking at me. sitting in a corner. And neither did I scream. Even I kept looking at her. Her stare was almost mesmerizing. She never talked. She just stared"

This banker was saying the most incredible things. He dint look like a raving lunatic. But he definitely talked like one. He spoke as if he was talking about an unexpected roommate rather than a ghost. I was not believing him but I was piqued enough to know more.

"This is creeping me out. Are you sure you are not delusional?" I asked rather honestly.

"Maybe I was. Maybe I was not. But you havent heard the creepy part yet. After that day I really wanted to leave. But somehow I also wanted to see her again. See her eyes again. Her figure was not easy to discern, but her eyes were really prominent. When she looked at me, I could see adoration in her eyes"

At these words, I could not help laughing. This was developing into a love story. And the weird part was that he was saying it so seriously.

"I cant believe you. You are acting as if the ghost was in love with you. Which is totally unbelievable"

"Sure, the ghost was in love with me. You got that right. But its not the love you are imagining. Even ghosts become lonely. And she was very lonely. When I discovered her, it was an escape from her intense loneliness"

"I have no words to say. But please carry on"

"We had a few more staring sessions that week. She would appear suddenly. I would be tying my shoelaces and there she would be, staring at me. You have no idea what I went through at that time. I was going crazy. I used to imagine she was around even outside that room. I could sense her around me all the time, even though I could not see her. I did not say it to anybody, fearing that they would put me in an institution or worse, take me to a psychiatrist. I had to bear all this alone"

He was saying it so seriously, I couldnt help symphathise with him. I really felt he needed a trip to the psychiatrist though and I thought it made sense that he dint tell his story to anyone.

"Why dint u change the room?" I asked

"Thats the thing. I just could not do that. I did not want to go away from her. I wanted her to leave me but i dint want to let go of her. It was really comforting to see her staring at me like that. But I used to feel messed up after she vanished. I felt like a Junkie does. Desperately wanting to leave the habit but just did not have the control to do it. I started changing. Started getting paranoid and felt that everybody was staring at me. Staring like her"

What he was saying was shaking my whole foundation of reality and rationality and yet there was a tiny part in my brain that wanted to believe him.

"Why dint you signal her to leave you alone. If she cared for you, she would have left you alone. Instead of driving you nuts like that"

"Oh yes. I begged and pleaded. She would not appear for a few days and then after a few days, I would see her peeping at me from the corner of the room. And you know what, I used to feel relieved when she would arrive because I was going crazy without her too. Then one day, I could not take the  whole thing anymore. While she was staring at me, I took out a knife and acted like I would slit my veins if she dint leave me. But she seemed pleased that I was going to kill myself"

"Is it because if you died, then you could join her as a ghost. Is that why?"

"Yes. I guess. That smile in her eyes deterred me from killing myself. I thought if I killed myself, I would still not be able to escape from her. That, coupled with the fear of dying, ensured that I dint kill myself. Or else, I would have"

"I m creeped out of my wits. You are scaring me like hell. How did you finally manage to get rid of her. I hope she was not too hurt when you left her"

"Who said anything about leaving her. I never left her. I can see her even right now. She is right behind you"

I looked back quickly. I could not see anything except passengers removing their seatbelts.

"What" I asked him almost in a stutter. I was totally psyched out and I was clutching wildly at the handle of my seat.

"Oh my God" he replied " You are sweating profusely. Listen it was just a joke. I was playing a prank on you all along. I m so sorry. The plane seems to have landed. We have to part ways now"

"Not funny Mahesh. Not funny at all." I said. He just waved at me and smiled while moving towards the exit.

I would have believed him that he was playing a prank had I not seen him wink at someone right behind me.  There was nobody I could see behind me.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Raghav

"Do you want to play with me Mummy?" Raghav said.

"No not now Raghav. I have so much work to do. It is your sister's wedding in a few days. Go play with your sister"

"OK" replied Raghav sadly. But the thought of playing with his sister interested him and he ran to her room excitedly.

"Please play cops and robbers with me na didi" he told his sister.

"Go away Raghav. Cant you see that I talking on the phone"

"But its been ages since you played anything with me"

"Really you are missing me. Me too. I m sorry but my baby brother is pestering me. Give me a minute. RAGHAV. Get out of the room. Sorry, what were you saying Tony"

Raghav ambled along slowly away from the room. His only option left in the house was his elder brother Raman. He expectantly went to the room of his brother hoping that his brother was in a good mood. Otherwise his brother was very nasty and would slap him if he acted naughty.

"Will u play with me Raman"

"You are stinking. And you are wearing the same shirt and pant for the past 4 days. And look at your hands. They are so dirty". Raman slapped Raghav hard and said " Dont come into my room until u have had a bath you stinking Urchin"

Raghav got dejected. It seemed that even Raman was in a bad mood that day. Raghav called up his friend Tarun to ask if he was free. Tarun's mum picked up the phone.

"Aunty is Tarun home?"

"Who is this?"

"This is Raghav"

"Just a second"

Then Raghav heard the voice of Tarun saying " mum tell him I have gone out and wont be back for a while"

"He is not home Raghav.You can call back after a few hours" Tarun's mother said and kept the phone.

Raghav tried to hold back his tears after hearing this. Nobody wanted to play with him he thought. His father too was always busy working and never had time for him. Raghav then tried his luck with his mother yet again and hoped she was free

"Mummy nobody wants to play with me"

"Go outside and play with the other kids. I cant play with you. I have so much cooking to do"

"But Mummy, I dont want to play with the other kids. I want to listen to a story from you"

"Not now Raghav, I dont have the time"

"You dont love me dont you Mummy. Nobody loves me"

"Stop being silly Raghav". Just then the phone rang and Raghav's mother ran to pick it up.

Raghav started crying and nobody was around to console him. He started thinking "Nobody wants me. Everyone hate me. If i die, it will be so much fun. Then they will finally value me. They should have realised that they should have played with me."

Raghav excitedly ran to the terrace that was located above the 6th floor. It seemed like a jolly good game to him. He was fearless in his ignorance. He jumped without hesitation and he felt like he was flying like the Superman when he  was hurtling towards the ground. Raghav had an intense wish to play with the toy Superman that he had kept in his cupboard and did not want to die anymore. That was his last wish as his body crashed headfirst into the ground.