An Orphanage Named Damnation

He looked out from the smoky window
At a city that was overflowing like its sewers
The cacophony of tormented souls ringing in his ears
He could see the true face of the people
The city reverberated with their oppressed cry
It was a cry for attention. A prayer for a Messiah.
He saw a thousand blackened and blank faces everyday
Staring blandly at the painted rich bastards
Who spoke of things they never would understand
Never.
The rich man would always turn his head away from their face
Their face
They all had a face, but no identity
Might as well call them the scum of the Earth
He thought how their existence mattered as much as a heap of shit on the road
Or a rotting carcass in a garbage dump
Perhaps as much as the maggots feeding on that carcass
He had seen children picking off food from restaurant trash cans
To feed mothers who were now too old to be whores
He realized how this city is like an orphanage for them
They didn’t know how they came here, they don’t know who their creators are
They don’t know what future holds for them
They don’t understand what makes them any different from ‘normal’ people

The bus stopped. He got off. His orphanage only a couple of blocks away. His shirt was soaked in sweat as he held tightly to his Jute handbag. He entered the roadside Motel and gave the man in charge a nod of acknowledgement. He walked through the dingy corridor that had rooms on either side; the filth on the floor was hardly any dirt compared to the sickness of the activities inside the rooms. The people inside and the people who ran the place or washed its rooms evoked no interest in him, he had learned to ignore them as he had learned to remain indifferent to the negligence that had been bestowed upon him since birth. He had often thought about the slum families and the junkies and the hookers and the thieves and somehow he had always felt like he was one of them, one with the filth that contaminated Earth. He felt omnipotent. He felt powerful.

He entered the toilet and stood at its ventilator. His grip around his handbag tightened. He took out a tattered picture from his pocket that a volunteer had once given him when they had realized he was too old to be adopted. It said ‘Your Savior will arrive’.

He was now looking at the busiest and poshest streets from the ventilator. He knew his moment had come.This was his chance to stand out.To be known. To be a somebody. He took out the rifle from his handbag and held it against the open frame. He saw a young lady standing with her mother near a parking lot and aimed carefully at the girls head. He squeezed the trigger.

There was a splash of red and slobs of flesh flew from her head and splattered on a car behind her. A smile erupted on his face. ‘The Messiah is here’ he thought to himself as he blew the mothers head off with a swift shot. Soon people started running around in all directions. They looked all alike in that chaos, a cesspool, like scum with no identity. He squeezed the trigger again and watched an old mans face disappear with the bullet. He heard cries from within the Motel corridors and loud banging on the washroom door.

‘Can’t ignore me now can you?’ He thought as he shot another one in their chest and watched them collapse into a pool of their own blood.

 

An Ode To The Almighty 

I speak on behalf of all celestial beings

This is a prayer to thee,

The Master of all

Beyond whom nothing exists

You’re like a Buddhist monk

One who walks with utter peace and serenity 

Unperturbed by the happenings of his surroundings 

His consciousness on a higher spiritual plane

And his movements so subtle 

Even his shadow cannot mimic the grace

But even he, my Lord, knows

That you’re above him 

No being born in this cosmos

Goes one day without thinking of you once

You’re in the minds of all

Striking fear in some, an utter awe in others

Our only absolute certainty in a life of chaos 

But you remain silent

Undisturbed.

You judge no one 

You respond never,

But you’re there.

Ever present.

The cries or the prayers never affect you 

No man has been born 

No matter how rich, or talented ,

To be able to escape your awareness

You’re ultimate

No war or bloodshed could shake you 

No tears could leave you disturbed

You walk your path and pick us up in your eternal cusp

The predator or prey, man or woman , a child with a terminal disease 

They are all the same in your mystic eyes

I acknowledge your presence

I bow down before you, my almighty

Lead us one by one out of misery and lust,

This is my prayer to you, Death.

Dirty, Dirty Rockstar

You saw him on your TV

A God that you had wanted

Lust that grows with peoples hatred

Every protest, and you feel insulted

He’s the man of your dreams

His words are more divine than your priests

His sound is the voice of your screams

And yet you think his style is grounded

 

He’s an angel with scabbed wings

A demon to save your world

He said he loves you like his little girl

And you felt the pain in his voice

He was the end of your misery, its dirty demise

 

Now you wear the same brand of lipstick

That he does, and the mascara he wears

His gothic black boots are your parents nightmares

He cuts himself on screen

With words too obscene

You waited in line for hours, you wanted to meet him

But he went too soon, didn’t get a chance to greet him

You were so frustrated you broke out at your parents

And spat at the guy from school who claimed you’re the dearest

That was the night you put his songs on loop

You slipped into a depressive cocoon

Of your lustful devotion

A bag of hallucinogenics and a mindful of twisted emotions

 

 

He’s an angel with scabbed wings

A demon to save your world

Watch as he lets his darkness unfurl

You wish he would be yours

Because he looks so sad and lonely

But little did you know that his story is phoney

You’d bathe in his sorrow

But all he did was piss on you

Because power always pisses on the weak

 

He’s a drug addict now and part of a scandal

He wasn’t too merciful with his groupies

And did things to them that you can’t fathom

But he’s the love of your life

And you stand by him even though he sold you lies

You thought he held your hand when you were alone

But heroes die too soon, and your models are decievers

You cut your arm for real but his blood onscreen was fake

His entire facade was built to target your emotions

 

Now you plead for the Angel

The demon you left your love and family for

You thought he was true, but he left wounds so raw

Your insecurity is his market

It’s not the sadness but the drugs that made his face rugged

You thought he would be yours

But as always, you’ve been cheated again and left alone…

 

Lets Answer Some Questions (Liebster Award)

So I have I have been nominated for the prestigious Liebster award by the lovely lady M. Saluja, but unfortunately I do not accept award nominations anymore. However, this particular award nomination came along with a very interesting list of questions that I would love to answer, simply because it gives me an opportunity to introspect even more than I usually do.

If the world is going to end tomorrow, what would you do?

I have often pondered over this question, if I were to know life ends tomorrow, what do I do today? Well, the most honest answer I have come up with is: nothing. My mind would be too chaotic to allow me to do anything but think of finding some way to avoid the impending disaster. But if I somehow manage to convince myself that the world is guaranteed to end and there is no escape, I would sit quietly and reach the deepest corners of my mind and jot down whatever comes to me at that point, then pass it to whoever is in a similar state as mine.

When did you think that you have grown up?

I have not grown up. I don’t think I will in the near future.

If you can trade your life for something, what would you ask for in return?

I won’t trade my life for anything unless it is to save humanity or some unrealistic scenario like that.

What is your deepest desire?

My deepest desire is to cause some sort of a revolution. Not necessarily a social one, maybe an academic or artistic one? I do not know how or what, but being the cause of a great revolution seems like a dream come true to me. Catalyze a big change in some way.

If you have unlimited money and time, what would you do?

Follow my deepest desire(s).

Who is your idol and why?

I simply do not have one. Having an idol implies that you wish to be like them in ways more than one. I have not seen a single individual who has impressed me with their ways in so many fields that I wish to emulate them everywhere. Nope.

If you are to write history again, what would you change?

I wouldn’t change a thing. If I wiped off the World Wars, they would take place but at a different time. Maybe at a time when the world couldn’t afford to have a war of such immense magnitude that could potentially wipe off existence as we know it. It is the horrors of our previous experiences that makes us learn lessons and change our ways in the future. Changing history would mean changing the present and the future. Maybe, we would be having a Holocaust in 2015 if history were any different.

Which is your favorite classical work and why?

There are plenty, but the one that comes to mind is Edgar Allan Poe’s poem ‘The Raven’.  The narrative and the tone of the poem are beautiful and I just love the Gothic quality that the poem carries.

If you get a chance to meet someone from past or present, whom would you prefer meeting?

There are too many names here! Lots of writers, film makers and musicians that I would love to meet and ask them questions about their art. But right now the one name that comes to my mind is Indian poet and novelist Jeet Thayil. There are so many questions that I would ask him about his poems, about his book, his life, and also his musical projects!

Foreigner 

It’s a challenge for me to keep walking

Because all along the way I feel their eyes

And see them on their arcane thrones

Every step of mine is scrutinised

And every word placed under a fine tooth comb

They claim proudly in their tongue that their land is warm

But the frost developed over my heart knows it’s a lie

I often refuse to concern myself with their condescending advice

Because I know I am the only person who can change my life

I often feel left out and ganged up against 

But it’s the price you pay for being different 

The rivers, the birds and the way of people is foreign 

But only the sky and its stars remind me of home

I am homebound but no longer know what home is

I seem to be trying to reach a place that exists only in broken memories 

And sung in folk songs by old men with no families or shelter

I just follow the  moon like moths looking for light 

My footsteps proceed rapidly and I let go of all my attachments 

I am now a wanderer, looking for a place where I truly belong  

Giving Voices To The Voiceless: Why Tragedies Should Be Given The Cultural Significance They Demand

I remember the first time I listened to Metallica’s ‘One’ from their 1988 classic album ‘…And Justice For All’ when I was 14 years old. It was slightly different from the usual testosterone-pumped hyper aggressive and abrasive music that I was so used to listening from the Thrash Metal stalwarts. This particular song had an atmosphere that was somber and serious and spoke of great pain and tragedy. The song, inspired by Dalton Trumbo’s 1971 anti-war drama ‘Johnny Got His Gun’ chronicles the pain a soldier goes through after being seriously injured when he gets hit by an artillery shell during World War I and ends up as a quadruple amputee with no arms, legs, eyes, ears or mouth.With no senses left in his body, Johnny is left alone with his thoughts as his life flashes in his mind and he reminisces life spent with his loved ones.

Fed through the tube that sticks in me
Just like a wartime novelty
Tied to machines that make me be
Cut this life off from me

Hold my breath as I wish for death
Oh please, God, wake me

-Lyrics from ‘One’ by Metallica

Years have passed since I last saw the music video for the song but I see images of the video flash in my dreams ever so often. The song and its imagery have left a very deep impact on my brain. Which had me pondering, why would Metallica (or Trumbo, for that matter) create something so tragic and disturbing in nature? The answer, I have realized after years of subjecting myself to tragic tales, is to generate that one emotion humanity needs the most: empathy.

Along similar lines is the Japanese animation film ‘Grave Of The Fireflies’ which follows the journey of two infantile siblings- a brother about 8 years old, and his baby sister- as they try to survive in a village devastated by American bombers during WW2 after both their parents are killed and the other relatives become hostile towards them. Tales such as these force you to see things from the perspective of those who we would never hear from. They put you in the shoes of the innocent lives who are destroyed because of no fault of theirs. Yes,they are tear jerkers and are extremely difficult to watch but the experience is always a rewarding one. I paused Grave Of The Fireflies more than 5 times because some of the scenes were too emotionally overwhelming, but the film gave me a new found sea of emotions about the World War and war in general. This is the kind of art that screams for peace by subjecting you to the agony of characters stripped bare of any melodrama, glitz or glam. The deliberate portrayal of characters belonging to middle class families and who lack any interesting personality quirks is a pattern I have noticed in many tragedies. Why so?

By portraying them as normal individuals who let us in on their psyche only through their interactions with others onscreen, we as the audience are left with no choice but to see a reflection of ourselves in them. By making the characters as relatable as possible and not going to great lengths to define them in any way- politically or religiously, for example- you end up making them far more universal. Tales like these make the underlying morals and the overarching story lines their protagonists, and not the characters themselves. As a result, you see yourself in the story. Tragedies thrive on empathy.

The very purpose of any art is to give its audience perspective.It carves out windows in our brick houses and allows us to have a view outside our cocooned lives. The best way to make an anti-war statement is to subject the viewer to the horrors of war faced by its victims.

The film focuses its attention almost entirely on the personal tragedies that war gives rise to, rather than seeking to glamorize it as a heroic struggle between competing ideologies. It emphasizes that war is society’s failure to perform its most important duty to protect its own people.

An excerpt from Grave Of The Fireflies Wikipedia page.

Immortal Technique’s Dance With The Devil from his 2001 album Revolutionary Vol.1 is another masterpiece that comes to my mind. The song speaks of a black/latino character named William. Raised by a single mother who works very hard late into the night to ensure her son gets a proper education and a respectful career, William eventually succumbs to pressures of the Ghetto lifestyle and chooses a life of crime instead. To seal a spot among fellow gangsters, he decides to showcase his skills as a cold hearted criminal and plans to gang rape a woman he and some men find walking alone down a street at night. An intoxicated William covers the womans face with a shirt from behind and beats her up brutally and then proceeds to violently rape her with his comrades. When they finish, it is up to him to decide what happens to the woman who is a witness of the crime and he chooses to kill her. With a gun in his hand and a smile on his face he pulls back the shirt covering her face only to realize that the woman they raped was his own mother.

She looked back at him and cried, ’cause he had forsaken her
She cried more painfully, than when they were raping her
His whole world stopped, he couldn’t even contemplate
His corruption had successfully changed his fate
And he remembered how his mom used to come home late
Working hard for nothing, ’cause now what was he worth
He turned away from the woman that had once given him birth
And crying out to the sky ’cause he was lonely and scared
But only the devil responded, ’cause god wasn’t there
And right then he knew what it was to be empty and cold
And so he jumped off the roof and died with no soul
They say death takes you to a better place but I doubt it
After that they killed his mother, and never spoke about it

(Excerpt from the song ‘Dance With The Devil’ by Immortal Technique)

The song, with its beautiful poetry and raw language can send shivers down the spine of any listener. Immortal Technique then proceeds to deliver some of the most beautiful lines of poetry I have ever come across:

The devil grows inside the hearts of the selfish and wicked
White, brown, yellow and black color is not restricted
You have a self-destructive destiny when you’re inflicted
And you’ll be one of god’s children that fell from the top
There’s no diversity because we’re burning in the melting pot
So when the devil wants to dance with you, you better say never
Because a dance with the devil might last you forever

The lyrics not only highlight the horrors of rape and intoxication but also the sorry plight of Ghettos and the African American and Latino American communities. The song also hits a philosophical and moral note by speaking of the ills of taking ‘shorcuts’ to success.

I feel tragedies are underrated by society and many people actually look down upon them. Be it Darren Aronofskys Requiem For A Dream which chronicles the descent into oblivion of 4 lives when all of them become drug addicts or Lars Von Trier’s Breaking The Waves which shows a mentally handicapped woman struggling to find acceptance in society or Eminem’s song ‘Stan’ from his album ‘The Marshall Mathers LP’ which tells the story of a fan who is so obsessed with his music that he ends up killing his pregnant girlfriend after Eminem fails to answer his fan letters (inspired by Eminem’s well documented hatred towards his wife who apparently cheated on him) or Anurag Kashyap’s Black Friday, about the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts which captures in the most brilliant way the anger of both the communities and the resulting bloodshed; well executed tragedies always manage to leave a lasting impact and give the audience enough fodder to empathize with the marginalized and the wronged and quite possibly alter the viewer/listener/readers perspectives about society. It comes as no surprise that the Nobel Prize for literature this year was awarded to an individual who spent most of her life documenting the pain and horror of war and its impact on humanity.

Acid Words By Acid Souls 

*This post is not meant to be read on phone screens.*

ABUSING SUNSHINE                                                                       RUTHLESS

-Girish Jalihal                                                                                -Shreya Tiwari 

It is like an addiction 

You smoke the pipe 

It fills up your lungs

With a warm fuzzy feeling 

But before you know 

The pipe has sucked the shit out of you

                                  Little did I know, You came with an agenda of your own.

                                                                    To lure, to exploit, to cheat, to deprive. 

                                                                         What was once a smiling invitation, 

                                                                                  Turned into a nightmarish exit. 

                 And many have come since then, Each one worse than the other. 

                                                Some came in as family, While others as friends. 

                                                              Each exit wound worse than the previous, 

                                                                   Each one leaving me broken and spent.

My emotions are violent 

My words are bloody 

You’re naive if you worry of scars

I can show you worse 

I can wield a bloody axe in broad daylight 

But tremble in my knees when I speak to you

Nobody realizes how possessive I am 

I will slaughter sunlight if it touches you the wrong way 

                                                                 You haven’t made life any easier for me, 

                                                                                     Being there till you wanted it. 

                                                                                              Careful till you needed it. 

                                                 Caring is not a virtue I’ve experienced from you, 

                                                                             So now you see what I’ve become? 

                                                                                                          Pebbled and ruined

What you made me 

Is a junkie 

Who can’t smoke anymore

Because he knows it will be a disaster

Every breath will be heavy

A part of me has died 

But I am glad he did 

I had to kill him off 

To be able to live 

                                                                                         These are only mind games, 

                                                                                   And see you will, After a while, 

                                                                                                               When I will quit, 

                                                                             For I played no games,I held it all, 

                                                                                                         But all you’ve done,

                                                                                                            Is push me to fall, 

                                                                                                       Play no mind games, 

                                                                                                          I see through it all. 

                                                                     My mind is sharper,Than You thought