VOID

He lay back on the bed, his big belly protruding rather vulgarly into the space around him, looking outside the window at the garbage dump nearby. He wished the window had shades so he could avoid looking at the scene outside but rains had covered the glass with fog and it was getting thicker and denser by the minute. He let out another cloud of chemical smoke from his mouth and let his large body stretch and relax. A lot had happened in the life of the towns’ richest businessman in the last few months and he had managed to remain in the news quite frequently.

On the floor sat Rosy (what a cliché name, he always thought), the Eunuch hooker to whom the room belonged, she sat there reading a children’s book about alphabets though she was about 25 herself (Rosy preferred the female pronoun. Being a male meant less business). He was one of the few who actually knew where she lived, he was a frequent customer after all ,and one who did not want to be seen anywhere around the Red Light District.

‘You shouldn’t be sitting with a children’s book, it’s a turn off.’ He said with evident displeasure in his voice.

‘I am all but trying to learn how to read.’

He chuckled. ‘And what do you plan to read?’

‘Rene Descartes to begin with, maybe some Baruch Spinoza and some Voltaire as well. But they are the first ones to come to mind, I have a lot of other works on my wish list as well.’

He was dumbfounded. ‘What does any of that mean anything to you?’

‘It means a lot to all of us.’

‘Why should their thoughts mean anything to a lowly street whore?’

‘Ah, it is simply a matter of interest.’

He chuckled again. ‘And what interested you in them?’

‘A man. He would come here very often, the only other person who knew where I live.’

‘He came here to talk about that?’

‘He came here to talk about a lot of things. You see he was a man full of doubts, and this was his safe space.’

‘Quite a place he chose.’

‘I went to him first, to meet him when I first came to this area.’ She continued, ignoring him, ’I was going through hell and the brothel business was a nightmare. I felt disgraceful, dirty, and imprisoned. But I remember what he said to me after listening calmly to my grievances, words nobody had ever uttered before ‘you live and work in an island where you’re not bound by the chains of morality or expectations, you have the privilege to see the true side of humans on a daily basis, the side nobody reveals in public. You might be confined by your physical environment but you are truly free in thought and in word. Nothing you ever say or think will be blasphemous or judged. You are the symbol of depravity and that in itself means liberation. In thought and in word you are the freest soul.’’

‘That’s an interesting way to look at things’ he remarked.

‘Yes.’ Rosy said. ‘He asked me for my address and I at once gave it to him. He would come here very often and talk to me about the doubts that his life brought to his mind. Grave existential thoughts, the kind of doubts that might have had him removed from society and incurred the wrath of people.’

‘What? Why would that happen?’

‘He was a priest.’

He stared back with widened eyes.

‘Stuck in the wrong profession’ Rosy continued. ‘He had read Nietzsche and Voltaire and Spinoza and knew at once what he should have realized a long time ago. ‘A brothel might be a moral graveyard’ he would say, ‘but religion is an intellectual one.’ He lamented over the fact that people came to him to solve the riddles that troubled them, but his was a troubled soul that never could decide if it could continue living the way it did.’

‘That’s horrible.’

‘Indeed. He would talk to me about a lot of things, about society and its people. He was an intelligent man. He would come to share his feelings, never once did he even touch me. He spoke of you once, too.’

‘What did he say?’ He asked, sitting upright in a matter of seconds.

‘He told me about your recent marriage, that you had married the woman you had been cheating on your first wife with. He predicted the new marriage would fail as well, and as luck would have it, that’s when you started coming here.’ She smiled.

‘Ho…how did know that?’ He asked with a frown.

‘’What do you think makes the mistress so appealing?’ he asked me once and upon my admittance of ignorance he said ‘it’s the fact that she is the forbidden fruit. It is only desirable when it is sinful, the moment the wife is gone and the mistress is yours legally and morally, the pleasure disappears as well.’ When I told him you had started visiting me he had said ‘let’s hope he isn’t foolish enough to marry you as well’’

‘Does he still come here?’ He asked after a few moments of silence.

‘He died two weeks ago…’

‘What happened?’

‘…I was present at his funeral, but I left as soon as people started pouring in.’ she continued.

‘I don’t think anyone would have known you.’

‘I still remember the last time he came here’ again, ignoring him completely, ‘I had told him about all the pondering I had done over his words, about my life and my state of liberation. ‘Good’ he had said ‘contemplation is the beginning of any intellectual journey and also what keeps it alive’. I had remarked how glad I was that God made me this way because I wasn’t confined by gender roles either. He gave me a weak smile, but then his face turned grave and serious and for the first time I noticed how old he had become. ‘I don’t think God cares.’ He had said. And then he left, forever.’

 

 

A Play Of Words And Faces

“So what kind of music are you into?”

“Metal and some Hard Rock.”

I heard a patronizing chuckle.

“So you are one of those types. Is that why you had long hair?”

It was just another one of those get-to-know-each-other conversations where the person puts in very little effort to hide the fact that they are classifying you. Putting you into categories where you seem fit, based on assumptions that leave you wondering if there exist rumors about you that you aren’t aware of, or is this person really THAT delusional?

I have been a helpless victim (Did you just say victim? That’s weakness. Are you sure you don’t suffer from a Victimhood Complex? Are you sure you aren’t in need of some psychiatric help?) of these conversations and many more, ones where I am made into things I wasn’t aware I was. Dealing with this identity crisis for me has been far too complex and almost always unsuccessful.

When people do get the categories correct (Oh, you’re an atheist!), it’s the negative connotations that come along which are irritating. Being an atheist doesn’t imply I’m nihilist or angry and frustrated. Although going through bad life experiences, death of a loved one for example, is the reason some people turn into a Godless state; most others are atheists for purely logical and rational reasons. Some others reject the existence of God in favor of an even more supreme absolute; humanity. I guess atheists get a bad rep for deliberately choosing to stay away from the perceived majoritarian beliefs and lifestyles.

“I am afraid of speaking to atheists.”

“Why?”

“I always feel they might make me one of them.”

The immediate consequences of these assumptions are never good for either of us. I can’t count the number of times I have been told I’m unpredictable which has always come as a surprise since I lead a pretty mundane and consistent routine and thought pattern. Maybe the unpredictability doesn’t lie in my actions but in the fallibility of your baseless assumptions about me. No relationship, or conversation for that matter, can happen without a certain amount of trust. Trust comes with consistency. False judgements create a distorted sense of this consistency.

People would generally react to this situation by ‘sucking up’ to people which can be a total suppression of the individuals true identity. An obliteration of individuality. It can lead them to behave in ways they never would just to seek the approval of a group. While this can be positive reform in some cases, it ultimately leads to a suffocating effect where the individual feels like they are no longer in control of who they are. ‘Lost’, ’empty’, ‘confused’, and ‘insecure’ become regular states of the mind.

My body is a cage
That keeps me from dancing with the one I love
But my mind holds the key

I’m standing on a stage
Of fear and self doubt
It’s a hollow play
But they’ll clap anyway

“My Body Is A Cage” by Peter Gabriel
(originally by Arcade Fire)

 

How do I deal with this? I generally try my level best to not be judgemental towards people and give them a fair chance to reveal themselves. When I do encounter people who I feel are judging me in disagreeable ways, my response is either in silence or when the situation is appropriate enough, I like to play along with the statement and make a really offensive and/or silly joke about that particular stereotype. Not only does it take away the awkwardness but also manages to give the person some food for thought. Let them be aware that there might be a lot more to you than what meets the eye, you just might be the most perfect person for them if they hadn’t been looking at you through a fractured piece of glass.

“So, are you in a relationship?” She asked after a long period of silence. I didn’t know how much information she had gathered about me in the course of this conversation. I didn’t actually want to know. I didn’t want to know what she thought of me. Somehow it just seemed too irrelevant even though we had been around each other for a considerable amount of time now.

“No”

“Do you think you’ll find someone?”

“I guess I’m weird enough to find a real special one.”

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…

 

Carcinoma

22/12/2015

 

Its just another day with very little sleep

Another night of horrible nightmares

Another day of violent vomiting and nausea

Another day in the Land of Malady

It’s been like this for a while now

My body has become a wasteland

A host

 

In me grows my baby

I still remember the day

When the doc said I was pregnant

It was a day of such simple joy

But all too soon came the news

A crushing blow

 

My body was also a host

To an emotionless alien

Growing, spreading inside me

Eating my insides and corroding my immunity

My heart sank when the doc said it

‘Cancer’

 

And that’s the day the battle began

A beautiful soul growing in me

A human life, soon to be born

With dreams and hope and love

Together with a being whose sole purpose

Was to kill

 

‘Life is a race’ they say

Yes, and I’m a finalist already

But I have to run for the life that lives inside

Outlive the monster, I tell myself

But it keeps growing

Its will as inhuman as its purpose

Pure evil

 

I give up sometimes

‘Just begin with the treatment’ they say

But it endangers the life of the child as well

The thing, it has spread its claws on both of us

I shed tears, of desperation

Of guilt and sometimes of joy

When I feel my child move inside

It is a little triumph of life

A little nudge reminding me to carry on

‘Be a fighter mom!’

I dream my child say with a smile on an angelic face

And then I see the face begin to rot

It’s like even my brain is full of venom

I hope my child wins

Hope.

To Wish For A Glasgow Smile

I am standing in a dark tunnel

The floor beneath me feels mushy

And a damp stench is in the air

It is how my life has been;

lately.

I have no idea what I am doing here

All I know for certain is how numb

I have become

But then the ground shook and there was tension in the air; I suppose fear is what I felt; and I was glad I could feel it

A fear of failure?

I pondered some more about life

In the damp darkness

About how it is so uncertain

Shaped by disaster;

Lead by chaos

Sometimes it seems like its been years

Since I was happy

But then I heard a sound, a sound that told me I was close to the end of the tunnel; My heart started pacing and I was glad to be alive

I paced my footsteps faster

My breath grew heavy

My sight grew dim

But I knew the path led somewhere

Somewhere; anywhere but here

Memories flashed in my mind

In fast motion

I could see all the faces of childhood again

I was running now

And my mind was hallucinating

I knew I was not far from the world I dreamed of

Adrenaline pumped through me

My legs which dragged me through cold empty streets;

Were now filled with a rage so mad

I was excited enough to exhale my lungs out

My mind for once was not distracted

It wasn’t taken over by fear

(Fear of what? Failure? Rodents? Death?)

I thought I could hear the voice of another soul closeby

And it reminded me of words such as friendship and love

Oh, how I have missed those!

And I ran like I was being chased by goblins

Or the Reaper himself

Trying to escape a terrifying life

Leave a past that has haunted me so

And walk into a dream world

Where I finally knew why I wake up every morning

And it was as if the God who had failed me all these years showed up

For I saw a light at the end of the tunnel

And tears hot as lava flowed down my face

I know knew what ‘alive’ meant

I was running fast enough to numb my brain

And screaming till I thought my throat would bleed

And my mouth was a grin so big and my eyes so wide;

My face looked like that of an alien

And then, my heart stopped.

My mouth went wide open with a waterfall of saliva

My eyes wider than ever before

My legs gave out

As I realised

There was a train coming my way…

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!

Red

The monk had to bite his tongue

Before he could admit it to himself

He had seen the girl during the festival

And she had stayed in his mind ever since

It was the first of his innocent sins…

I wanted that rose so badly

I wrapped my flesh around its thorns

The way it stood, bright red

My hands are withered, but my heart is clean

Why did you do this to me?

He spoke to her so frequently

She seemed to him so disturbed

What is wrong, my child, he inquired

Her face twitched and made sounds absurd

Her parents had harassed her

And now all he knew was rage

I wanted that rose so badly

All my prayers were for it

The way it stood,so brightly

My mind is without peace, but my heart is clean

Why did you do this to me?

They decided to end her misery

He was man enough to help her

He broke into her house and killed her parents

She looked at him and smiled and that smile was treasure

But the smile melted away

And her eyes turned sinister

I wanted that rose so badly

I betrayed my God for it

But still it stood with so much pride

My conscience is stained, but my heart is clean

Why did you do this to me?

They put him on the stake next day

All the monks and villagers

She was there too, with a smile

He was treated like the killers and pillagers

They burnt him while they cheered

And he wept through his final moments

I wanted that rose so badly

I traded my life for it

But it stood like nothing had happened

My body burns, but my heart is clean

Why did you do this to me?