Morning Walk

My father requested my company on his usual morning walk by waking me from an abrupt sleep and then I complied reluctantly. The night before had been a war against the mosquitos who just wont quit due to which my eyes to seem to criticize every thought of a walk but then I quickly washed them with water and was ready to go. Silently we traversed new roads until my father met an acquaintance and greeted him by saying ‘Ram Ram’. They spoke at length about business while I stood there as a feast to the mosquitos. Noticing my irritation to the blood-sucking devil, my father retired from his talks and resumed our walk. Further on our walk, my father insisted on knowing about my plans after college which I hastily avoided, knowing very little myself, and replaced it with plans of my brothers college education which is due in two years time. We traced our steps around Gargaria Pokhra before entering it; it was a change of scene altogether, with cleaner air for the lungs and pleasanter view for the eyes. An unnatural green lake stood before us and on the sides people were enjoying a morning stroll, mostly men. We resolved to walk along them, finish a round and depart to the vegetable market place. We were cruising past people or the other way around but it all seemed to end very swiftly. The vegetable market place is situated besides a temple, which I later came to know as Gahawa Mai Mandir, is rather a stingy place to sell vegetables. Vendors sat at both sides along stinking drains with their jute caskets of vegetables and frequently splashing water on it to attract freshness. The mosquitos seemed to work about their chores ceaselessly and people too without complaining. No item was bought at the price demanded for my father is a hefty bargainer and once he had bought what was demanded by my mother, he handed me all the bags and we exited. We took the main road to Mahisthaan where my father stopped before a Hanuman temple and folded his hands before his chest to pray while I looked about the white marbled shrine. He avoided the feat of removing his shoes but paid his respects from outside and many like him walked by the temple, motioning their hands up and down from their forehead to chest like Christians, a gesture of respect to the deity. We bought the last item on the list by the temple steps after which I was tired enough for the day and resolved to go back home, so I requested my leave and left him to the company of his friends.

BLAME THE GODS

A man left early in the morning for work and on the way out his wife made him promise her that he will visit a temple to make a prayer for the health of his sick daughter. He nodded his head in complete disbelief for god is only a queer concept he never could understand. Also, his ways were very unusual for the man. He felt sickly about his wife’s adoration of her wax idol but he knew best not to interfere and was quick in restoring his faithless identity behind a religious façade.

He drew rickshaw all day making a meager hundred and fifty rupees and returned home to his family. On his arrival, his wife first enquired if he visited the temple. He lied to her in the most comfortable manner and took a place next his daughter’s bed. He was beyond those times of guilt and curses. Post his sumptuous dinner he noted his daughter’s rising temperature and gave her a few prescribed medicines. He was not quite satisfied with the medical treatment given to his daughter; what could he do but feed his anxieties with ignorance. He knew not to take the matter at hand lightly yet he could find no way out.

He had already taken his daughter to the local doctor three times and, on his wife’s incessant requests, the priest once.

His once a lively daughter hadn’t spoken to him in days. She lay restlessly in bed; praying day in day out to be afflicted of the clinging disease and he stood there dejected listening to her unanswered prayers to the merciless god of everything. Inferiority to god hurt him to the stomach and it bore only hatred. Hatred for everybody who worshipped him, in times of helplessness, and hatred for himself for being helpless.

On the other hand, his daughter’s health only worsened with each day. The doctor had patiently told him that it is a mild fever and will eventually come down but he just couldn’t sit patient anymore. His only worries were that he somehow knew that it wasn’t just some mild fever but a dreadful disease of which the doctor had no knowledge off. He confided in his wife about his fears and it only went on to make matters worse to such an extent that she blamed him for their daughter’s sickness. One should know that his wife worshipped god like no other. She spent hours in prayers much to his distaste. Her faith stood on indestructible pillars of beliefs that god alone could raze.

While his wife knew that her husband was an atheist, much to his efforts to conceal it with those dutiful prayers with her in the evening and those trips with her to the temple. She had tolerated his disbelief all this while, but no more could she take it, when her only daughter’s life was at stake. She reminded him that God is the creator of our destinies and he alone has the ability to alter it; that he is to be feared as much as to be worshipped. Incapability to oblige/kneel to the dominion will only anger them and unleash their wrath upon all.

She terrorized his shivering bones. Broke down every fragment of shield he had built to protect himself from the almighty tyrant. His fear crept into his dreams and gave him countless sleepless nights during which he thought of his only child he adored with all his heart. He would have done anything, anything that it would take.

This crushed the man who had all his beliefs torn apart like a piece of paper, stood naked, helpless and desolate under the sky seeking shelter from anybody. The only light he received was from the heavens above. Without questioning their intentions, for he couldn’t afford to, committed to their asylum instantly.

The next day he left home to work promising himself this time that he will make a prayer for his child. After a hard day of work he presented himself in front of the almighty. He knelt, joined hands and worshipped him like a child. He asked for forgiveness and pleaded for his daughter’s life with sincerity. He wept, and wept, and wept. Suddenly he felt much lighter and his eyes shone with optimism. He left the temple with eagerness and came under a car.

20th July, 15

Note On The Text

This story was inspired by-part real life incident. One evening, my mother took me to a temple in our neighbourhood. While I was waiting for her outside, I spotted a decent looking man rush out of the temple. In a matter of seconds, out of sight, a car speeded towards this person while he was trying to cross the road. I had enough time to predict the awaited moment of chaos. Unfortunately or you may say ‘thankfully’ the sensible driver stunned his car, touching only the man’s knees and passed away hurling abuses.

I was instantly curious to know if only it had happened otherwise. I immediately took to my mom for answers to some of my questions regarding the matter. I asked her to tell me whom shall the man blame for his untimely death. The car driver, for he was actively responsible and guilty for it, or God, who summoned the man to his abode with his mystical powers, and her mere reply was,”it was just his destiny to die”. Then that means destiny is something even God cant touch; for if he could, he would have altered the fate of this grieving father or husband who was just rushing home to his ailing daughter. Destiny is above everything and if I can honestly say, from that day onwards I am in pursuit of destiny. It is a beautiful hope, which lies in the unknown and a terribly ugly truth, when unveiled.

The Agitated Banker

He cries and cries about the drying rains,
Will it ever fill our drains?
He sighs and sighs about the beating heat,
Sitting under the fan on his whirling seat.

Got a job to do,
A mob to shoo,
and an intern too.
What an agitated banker!

But, he has his lores of Delhi to tell,
funny and intriguing are his tales, until
Someone rings his bell, and asks him
If he has any dollars to sell.

I sit opposite him
In state of sleepy dim,
Till morning turns into evening grim.
And then, he gives me a form to fill
which comes along a cheque and bill.
While I am at my job as stated
He walks around with his feet naked.

He sits there with his gloomy face
and does his work with cutting pace

While I sit lost in the world
of birds and rhymes.

The Mystery Bird

I saw you once in morning pale
In flocks you sailed in eastward trail
At times i thought I’d never seen one like you
But now I see you every noon.

I know you fly to a better place
And hide yourself in an empty space
From you I know I can run free
Till my lungs ache & long to breathe

As white as walls;
As frail as flies;
But wings are light
to bear you far.

I loose you in the horizon go
Swinging here in to and fro
Sit with me, and chat
Tell me all the places you have seen:
Dry as deserts or
green as hills, as
white as snow or
as blue as seas.
Tell me all the places you have been.

I know you are tired from head to knee
and thirst is killing all your team
But I can give you water for free and
set you sail in morning gleam

Haven’t seen you around for long
But oh mystery bird, all I know
You are safe and sound.

In Timbers and Teaks

Take it all away and
stamp it into dust,
For I am at the go
and I don’t need that rust.

Let me find rest amidst
those that I seek,
By them I shall live
in timbers and teaks.

Where is rain and
where is the breeze,
Where are clouds to
Cover the yellow beast.

Leaving all behind, I search
For that land
Where I can grow myself
something in the sand.

Break all bounds just
To lie down on the
ground,
and sing to myself
from morning to sundown.

“Let the streams flow and
Let the air blow,
Let the hills talk
While I take a walk”

I wish to linger awhile,
hidden from foul and vile,
In pursuit of you and I,
Invisible to the dark eye.

We Are Not Alone

It was a dark night sky- the stars did not twinkle and the moon kept hidden- while I walked briskly on the roads of Delhi under it. I was half-drunk and was walking it off and it so happened that a strange apparition occurred to me as I stepped into the dreary narrow lanes that lead me to my rented flat, which I was sharing with some of my school friends. There is no physical evidence of what happened that night, as is usual with all phantasmagoric events, but sole memories. So as I strolled down those silent lanes that are always bustling with people during the day I couldn’t help but notice how unfamiliar the settings looked in its natural self. These new surroundings scared me and the silence only added to it. Consequently I walked faster and faster until I heard an utterance of footsteps behind me but I did not dare look back. My heart was exploding with fright, panic took over all my faculties and alcohol just enjoyed watching me be miserable. All this while my mind was still figuring out if I should look back or not when suddenly the shrillness of complete silence hit me and I ran for my life before concluding any possible causes. I zipped through the lanes, the air gushed through my teary eyes and everything in sight flew behind like a blur until I saw a familiar figure of a friend walking calmly towards me from the opposite direction and I slowed the hell down. I came to a stand still and bent down to take deep breaths while he slowly walked towards me. I cannot explain in words just how relieved I was to see him in that precise moment. He took a jolly good time to reach me while I was still bent down ducking for more air. He then came and stood by me and put his hand on my back. My lungs were aching and my head was already dizzy so I shrugged off the extra weight and stood up to look him in the eye.
The morning I woke up taking it for a bad dream but it all came back to me when I looked around. I had passed out in the middle of street; thankfully it was not late enough for everybody to rise.
If only anybody had seen a more intimidating pair of eyes it would be me. They were just dark and hollow-nothing else to it; just like the dark night sky above me. The pupil hidden away like the moon and the shine missing like the stars.

The Gregeo Girl

I woke up from a good dream about a Japanese girl whose name is lost somewhere in my fuzzy brain, however, I would go ahead and recall her from whatever disintegrated syllables I could evoke and call her Gregeo.
Apparently the story begins when I bump into her and see a nameplate on the left side of her chest, calling her something I just mentioned (never mind the first name). This name sounded similar to an author’s but it was nowhere close. I don’t know how names are created for different characters in a dream but I quickly made one for her and drew a connection between her and the author, to which she nodded as if in agreement. I cannot remember a face because whenever I try to go back to it I see a new thundering face, with her freshness bouncing at every curve, whilst I contemplate that she couldn’t have been so young. I was never good with creating faces, even in my dreams, because they are so intricate and are worthy of your utmost attention to details. I think I will take portions of all beautiful women and manufacture one face since it is only fitting that your love interest be the epitome of desire and beauty .
I hugged her and kissed her on her right cheek just where the lips end and bought her some drinks. Touch sensations in a dream draw impulses into your body and that is when you let the dream be a reality even if it doesn’t have to be long.
I couldn’t let myself wake up when I am finally with a girl even if it was just a dream. But, I had to wake up, for I was drenched in sweat, to switch on the air conditioner in this height of summer. When I dived back to my dream, I was in a room, richly furnished, while she was sitting on the four-poster bed with her black bra and a floral skirt on. I couldn’t go into the perversity of the moment but I can tell you I had the best time with her even though it was just a dream.
Now, I was restless, swaying my legs to all corners of the bed and changing sides of the pillow awaiting the next moment when I could release myself back into her arms and into my fictional reality. It took a while before I realized that alluring face of her was not the same but replaced by a more devastating form, a blooming flower. Never has the world seen a more magnificent form of splendor riding on a woman’s face and never has a man been luckier than I was for this beauty was mine, even though it was just a dream.
She was talking to my friends and how it killed me to even think that they might allure her away from me and that my luck gave away so fast. Jealousy blocks your mind and possessiveness weakens you in the heart and you let the girl decide what she wants. When I stood in front of her, unaware of the decay of this fragmented dream with the rise of the sun over the horizon, I let myself jolt up because she refused to identify me.

Book Review-Love in the Time of Cholera

By Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Firstly I need to give credit to the translator: Edith Grossman, for his exceptional work of translation, also, his choice of words that make it a beautiful journey through various stages.
This book dissolves the reader into such a perpetual state of devotion to love that at some stage he becomes skeptic about life outside the concepts of it and attaches himself completely to worshipping his new idol. I think the author was overwhelming with love when he decided to write this novel and has passed on his notions with honesty and efficiency. Despite that, its becomes very vexing to understand Florentino Ariza’s uncalled commitment to the hopes of loving Fermina Daza someday which soon arises questions of possibility of ideal love and gives reasons to believe that the story is after all no extraordinary one.
I have noticed that the word “love” appears quite often in the small paragraph above but frankly there is nothing else spoken about in those 348 pages of the novel but about love or infidelity, loyalty or perversion and somewhere in corners something about ageing. I recommend people should read it a few times in various periods of their life to fully understand it.

Book Review-Animal Farm

By George Orwell

I was surprised to find it a tiny story about animals on a farm (as the name suggests) however it also raises a lot of questions on a pig’s intellectual abilities.
Candidly, I expected a trance of intense and invigorating struggle, which would open a new dimension of rumination to occupy myself in the aftermath of finishing the novel; nevertheless it did have a significant message covered neatly behind the story of pigs.
The Message: Intelligence and knowledge toil together to corrupt equality and that, it is the basis of classification of beings (humans and animals both) into classes of superior and inferior.
My point being that every species on earth has been treated unequally with the gift of intelligence; in which case humans possess ample of it and are the epitome of superiority; hence the dominion of the lands of earth. For instance the human race were to be wiped down to zero, every last man dead, who were next in line to have the reins of this civilization: obviously the next set of species who are second to humans in intelligence. How would they rule? Just like humans, they would tramp down every other kind, exploit their territory and bring about destruction.
In some ways animals would be no lesser humans in times of power (of intelligence).
This novel was a simple read that uncovers a complex plot and takes time to assimilate.

Choices

The poem “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost talks a great deal about choices one shall encounter and the choices one makes defines his true character or stature. In everyday life we make a choice and in the process we obviously reject the others. But, is there a way we could formulate a method which could show the losses we bear for not opting for the others. In economics, the principle of opportunity cost reasons out such premises. It says that every choice involves trade-on and trade-offs, however if and only when the choices we yields more trade-ons and trade-offs, we have made the right choice.
Everyday around the globe a series of revolutionary ideas erupt and replaces its counterparts. In retrospection, we realize that on our way to up gradation we left something behind and only the absence of it makes the feeling more profound.
When civilization barged in, we readily accepted every aspect it. We made a swarm of choices which brings us to the present scenario, where we believe in god, where we create religion and then fight wars for dominance, where we curse poverty and then we go on a spree to destroy our own kinds. A wise man very aptly said,” A guilty conscience has no accuser”. The problems we face today are results of the horrendous choices we have made. One of them is the choice of creating barriers around us everywhere. These barriers exist in the form of religion, caste and class. These impenetrable barriers with such strong threshold are almost impossible to raze and achieve unity.
A land where notions of individualism is as shallow as its believers however, words such as ‘collectivism’ give an essence and unity shall prevail.

“Out beyond ideas
of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field,
I’ll meet you there.
-Jelaluddin Ruma, 13th Century