Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Quitter's Paradox

An early morning epiphany forced him out of bed. He hated to be forced out of bed. But still he always liked the idea of being forced out of bed. He figured it was like some nostalgic burp, leaving behind an aftertaste of childhood, teenage, mother, friends, lovers and hangovers.

Only when you have someone to love you, will they bother enough to force you out of bed. So however cruel it feels in those first moments of morning when your orientations are blurry and your time clock is unspecified, there still is a feeling of warmth that is associated with being dragged brutally out of the bed, by mom who slaps on your back, by dad who gives an angry growl, by friends who pinches your nose, by lovers who man handle your half erection, by hangovers that leave behind the guilt, glory and occasional puke stains.

But then again, an epiphany was the best of the lot, he thought. He liked to think a lot and sometimes between his thinking when he realized how he was over thinking a small thing like waking up in morning, a smile played out on his face and he used to start thinking about his over thinking. Thankfully, today was not the day.

He glanced soulfully to the heap of cigarette ash that was swept to the left corner of the room by the vortex of the fan. He sometimes wished he would smear the ash on his face and try to lose his identity. But then again he realised, he does not have an identity. He had a name but he cannot recall it as of now. Not that it mattered. What mattered was finally find something to write. It has been months, he had stayed idle and not a single interesting thought sparked through him.

Initially he believed that it he who was consciously taking a break from thought. It was he who did not want to again sketch another world of fantasy, because frankly, frankly nobody cared. It did not matter. But then when he tried to think, or build a thought, he could not.

Now, don’t get me wrong that he failed to think. Everyone can think. But he failed to acknowledge what he thought. His thoughts refused to stick together and make a bundle. It was like those wet sands, that should form a castle but the castle somehow just does not takes shape. You see other kids have already made their towers and now making the window holes. But all you are left with his a heap of sand that resembles more of a penis than a forsaken tower. He was somehow debarred to think, debarred to act.

But today was different, today the epiphany woke him up. Just like those days, when every morning he woke with a purpose, he never knew what the day would hold, but surely he held a sense of purpose, like a hand on the nape of his neck, guiding him through, gently but firmly.

How could have he missed such a simple idea, it was simple and elegant and it embodied whatever he wanted to cry out to say for all these days. Yes, he still knows writing it down doesn’t matter, and in the greater scheme of things, it’s more like taking a leak in Olympic size swimming pool. But still he felt he needed to write it down. He needed to write it to do justice to his thought, his character, and his protagonist. An unwritten thought is like a bunch of subatomic particle that is still uncertain about its position.

He walked over to his typewriter. Yes, he had a typewriter, and yes he knew it was clichéd. Only wannabe romantics typed on typewriter, but then again, he was always a wannabe wannabe romantic. So whats wrong with a typewriter where if you make a mistake, you just go back few spaces and typed 'x' over it, small case over small case, large case over large case. They were like books on knitting patterns.

He did a pretend dusting of the type keys though they were perfectly clean by his daily attempts to type out his frustration, which lately has been just typing one alphabet for hours over sheets after sheets everyday for 27 days and start all over again. Yes, someday he just typed out spacebars and full stops.

Then slowly character after character he started to build his story, his protagonist, and his muse who will from now play along with his finger clicks. He decided it was early morning in the story, no, not the sunny morning outside, but the dark, broody, overcast. That sucks out all possible excitement out of a person when he wakes up. He wanted to punish his protagonist for everything that was wrong with anything...he wrote

"An Early morning drudgery refused to provide any incentive for him to open his eyes and embrace the day. He could feel the heaviness in the air that hung around him. The humidity settling upon it, tiring it out of its free spirit. The air is meant to flow, freely in the crispness of the sunlight. But somehow this obese air refused to budge.

He opened his eyes and fixed his stare on the ceiling. Half expecting some hidden inscription to float out of the dampness of the plaster. It has been months now anything coherent has stuck to his mind. Scattered thoughts were like a stack of dominos always in search of its centre of gravity.

One stray thought is all it needs for the domino to tumble and imaginations to get lost. With great struggle he got himself off to his foot and noticed how the half burned cigarette butts was chasing around the room under the sweeping wind of the sun.

He always fantasized that oblivious to him, the cigarette buds had a life of their own. Each bounded by the vocabulary of the words taught to them by the smoker's lips for those fleeting few minutes, they tried to express themselves to other cigarette buds creating a environment of utter chaos.

He slowly walked up to his to his table. A heap of yellowing pages and his ink stained Waterman laid in languishing neglectance. Yes, he knew it was clichéd to calligraph each and every word of his using the ever draining ink of his Waterman. Only wannabe suicidal try to write their sob stories with ink pen, in hope that I salty drop of tear will smudge the ink somewhere leaving behind an ink stain. But he was always the wannabe suicidal, never conjuring up enough courage to drag the blade. He was always unnerved by the glint of his razor upon his pale skin with dark under array of veins.

He carefully unscrewed the inkpot, the lid dislodging dried ink-dust. And with reluctance he started to write another of his suicide notes. Not that he intended to kill himself. It was just another way for him to get started for the day. To make it survivable. To know that he is choosing to survive not bound to. He is making a choice, a poor one indeed.

But then he realized he does not have a name. More he tried to recall more elusive it seemed.

No, it was not that he forgot his name and just could not place it. It’s just he could swear that he never had a name and until now he never realized that. All this days, all these moments he spent oblivious of the fact that his creator, his god, his author has not granted him any name..."

...with a half comforting smile, he stopped the clickety clack of the typewriter. Silence, descended once again in his room and he could again trace the faint cacophony of the traffic inferno underneath. Underneath were the streets he liked to call hell. Because he liked the streets and he wanted to like hell.

He mused the agony of the man who could not remember his name. He felt the sadist calmness rising through it by denying his creation a name. He will have to suffer with the absence of the comfort of an identity. We all need identity but never justify its value until it is torn away from us.

He realized how disoriented it would be if he forgot his own name, his own tag of identity, he own self in this world of countable infinite.

He traced his fingers on the keypad to approach the keys of his name. But his fingers just fumbled across. Now what was his name? Oh come on, sure he knew it all these days, how could it escape him now.

It started with 'S' no was it 'M'. No no, it was surely 'P' it was P-something. Wait was it?

First drops of cold sweat broke upon his forehead. He had a stifling urge to throw away the typewriter, to make some loud noise, something that breaks the continuum. But he knew that's what he wants. That what his god, his author wants. He will refuse him the pleasure of controlling him.

He realised somehow he was just a story. An array of black and white characters, well spaced and equisized.
He felt the rising excitement of his author denying him every second the knowledge of his identity. He needed to prove him wrong.

He was the author, he was the god, and there can be no other god. He could not submit himself to this man's tyranny and he had to break free. In his claustrophobic urge he ran towards the door, but soon realized that he is just increasing the plot of history. He was just a puppet, in this author's novel.

His every move will add a page to this epic of his and that just can’t be possible. And with this weight of realization he took a step out of his window and gravitated towards his favourite hell.

But in the increasing cacophony of the street cars, he thought. What if the author was trying to write a short story?

P.S: Haha! I thought! it is sometimes just fun to play around with the emotions of your protagonist. Yea! a certain amount of vanity does comes with it, yea a little bit of guilt too. But you can always suppress guilt until you are murdered by a crazy blogophobe who thinks blogging is against act of god and your whole life flashes before you. But that apart, its great to be the pretend king. Because its all happening to them. I am perfectly sane with a proper identity "buckinfastard". 

Yea yea! their is a human behind it but that human kinda ruins it, a image is better than the object, a image never shits, never sweats, and a image without a face does not needs to worry about he profound ugliness that is embodied.  I am as heavy as my words are, and you cant kill me. Sure there is a sucker typing all this in the keyboard. But I m the image that infest him and make him do stuff and sometimes for the sake of it, makes him belly dance in front of mirror! You should check that out someday...its hi-la-ri-ous!!

Now just for the sake to make this post look longer a poem, 


The first stab did not hurt,
It was cold steel in warm blood.
A slight tickle in my guts,
A left behind patch on my shirt.

The second stab was brutal,
It almost hit my spine.
The knife carved a pound of flesh,
The blood oozed out with leisure.

The third stab did pain,
punctured lung stuttered and strained.
Ever gasp for air was hard,
The darkness was descending fast.

The fourth stab was final blow,
Pierced my heart in one swift go.
Slowly the ground hit me hard,
The pain seeped out and peace conquered.

For the fifth stab there was no need,
I dont even know where it actually hit.
What was my legacy is drowned in the blood,
Now all i am is a stain on the road.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Man who Certified Death

"He is dead" he said.

"He is dead?" They repeated.

"He is dead" he asserted

"He is dead?” they questioned.

"Yes, Yes, he is dead". He declared.

"He is dead", they admitted.

"Can I get a cup of tea while I write my certificate?" he enquired.

"What!" they exclaimed.

Manubhai Patel wondered at these exclamations. He wondered at the fact that a fresh bout of disappointment and despair fills people around him when he declares a person dead. Not like he kills them. When he is called for, the relatives already know the person is dead. They just need a certificate.

But still whenever he proclaims the well-established fact that the person in question is dead or mildly put, no longer alive, there is an expression of surprise and fresh grieve on those faces. As if had he not been that cruel and claimed that the person in question is not dead, he would get a new lease of life. He hated acting god.

Manubhai Patel started his career as a compounder to Zilla Municipal Hospital. His initial duties included prevention of unlawful entry of live humans inside the hospital campus and unlawful exit of dead humans outside the hospital campus. Sometimes he confused between the two that lead to heated arguments and infrequent suspensions.

Over the time on the basis of his matriculation certificate he rose to the ranks of clerk and then to medical officer's assistant over a span of 15 years. But what really bought out his craft was his ability to figure out the faintest of pulses or the mere absence of it.

The medical officer was quick to recognize and nurture this rare talent. In these confines of rural India, death is more frequent than diseases, and the certifying death is a nonprofit but necessary exercise.

But that did not in any way reduce the frequency of death. In a country of billion, too much of happiness called for death, so did too much of sadness. Death was a neutralizer, like an alkali for an acid. In the grant probability of things, it was the mean that kept Manubhai Patel and others busy.

Strange was Manubhai never experienced death. Now people like to believe that death is experienced by only those who die. But in reality it is quite the contrary. For the dead, the death itself is nonexistent. A mere botheration, a comma probably. Surely not a full stop.

But for people who loved him, or pretended to love him, death constitutes a whole chapter of their life. They were actually alive to experience death.

This simple fact was clear to Manubhai, but what puzzled him was how it eluded everyone else. Death is not the opposite of life; it is just a chapter of life. You have a fixed set of rules you need to play by when it occurs and then forgive and forget.

Hence, we come back to our original assertion. Manubhai never experienced death. He had seen people die out of old age, out of accidents, out of love and out of sheer boredom. But they just died without remotely affecting him.

He has sat beside dead bodies when they are shriveled in winter and when they emit a faint smell of rot in the summer. Still the deadness of being always eluded Manubhai like a morning mist after a humid night. One can always see the mist at an approachable distance, but as soon as one reaches that point, the mist conspicuously takes equal steps back to maintain a threshold between themselves.


That day the morning was similar, the mist was just outside the window of Manubhai's home. Outside the gates the mist stirred invitingly. And like wise Manubhai felt enticed. But with 40 years of knowledge by his side, he knew he cannot chase the mist. He sometimes did regret this surety of his knowledge.

But as soon as he begins to trace a path back through his nostalgia, there was an urgent beckoning at his door. Though it may have sounded urgent to you and me, but it was not urgent to Manubhai. He always wondered why people are always in hurry of sharing the knowledge of someone's death. As if it was not told within a certain limit of time, the dead will rise again, and question the lethargy amongst his relatives.

The dead will stay dead for the rest of their life or better say rest of their death. So Manubhai calmly got up from his armchair and took measured steps towards the door, like a schoolboy does while approaching the final steps of the school gate. As if deliberately delaying the entry to the school he can somehow magically, quicken the out time.

It was still daybreak when Manubhai dressed hurriedly with his briefcase with broken left lock clutched between his shoulders approached on his journey to nearby village to certify a death.

In first glance, she looked 17 or so, but that is just because the heavy makeup crusting her expressionless face. One careful look revealed she is not beyond 11. Draped in a starched cotton sari, which looked rich enough to respect the dead but not rich enough to be wasted on a funeral pyre. She lay at the center of the room, unperturbed by the commotion and squabble all around her.

Her half smile on face was like an inner joke she was sharing with death that we mortals were denied to know or understand. It’s kind of maturity that just comes with death. He knew this smile from all the dead faces he has scrutinized over period. It’s like a game they play with him, and once he stayed back till the person was charred to skull and few bones in the pyre before he wrote off the death certificate.

Two basil leaves adorned her closed eyes as guarding the last secret of her thought like hell hounds. Suddenly, he felt the immense urge to see her eyes, to understand that secret. He copiously looked around the ill-furnished hut to find a picture of her that will tell him the color of her eyes. He needed to know the color of her eyes, as if it is the ultimate answer to all the questions that need answers.

He grappled a bit for her left hand under the sheets of shroud. Her cold palm still retained a bit of the moisture that death forgot to seep out. Etched deeply were the long lines of life and fortune that failed to keep their promises. Still with a frantic hope Manubhai punched on her array of veins to chase an elusive lub dub that he believed existed. She could not cheat her of the secret, she needed to tell her everything she knew and he needed to know. She was the lover he never had, she was the daughter he always craved, and she was the teacher he wanted to obey.

But there was calmness in her veins, there was a silence inside her that wise men down the ages wanted to own. But for her it was just everyday silence, which comes with the responsibility of holding a secret.

A tap on his shoulder made him conscious of his surroundings. With the rising heat of the sun, the body was starting to rot, and it is time they will take her away from him. Even the eyes of customary mourners were running dry. He knew the only thing stopping them from carrying her away was his signature. She was not dead until he proclaimed her to be.

He was her god; he needed to let her be dead for her death to be complete. But sadly, there was a gap between death and life, and as much his power be from stopping her for being dead, he was powerless to drag her back to life. It was just an infinitive existence in between, a limbo.

So Manubhai Patel sat there with a bunch of coarse papers and a pen full of ink, when he realized, they who pretend to worship him has the power to take away life, he was just granted the power of death. So it will be he who will have to grant death to his lover, his daughter and his teacher, because he was the make believe god of death.

"She is dead?” he questioned.

P.S: Shhh...I am like hiding from bullshit in this mystical city of Gujarat known as Vadodara...Wonder Wonder...bullshit still follows me i got nothing better than to share it up with you.

You know solitude can force a man into great depths of thought...actually every person always passes out into his or her thoughts, but most of the time an outside intervention jerks him off to reality...but the best part about solitude is the absence of intervention...which leads you to drown inside certain darkness you dont want to intrude...i guess thats why people daydream most on toilets...toilets are therefore greatest invention to mankind..

imagine...we were perfectly happy species doing out chores in the field and day dreaming...and suddenly one day we found that privilege snatched wen our neighbour cam to the fields and hunched beside us...and then start talking about last night's dinner...i mean who wants that kind of intrusion...hence we build ourselves a toilet just so that the first thought of the day is reserved in solitude...

But i am all alone i do my business with the toilet door open and its self revealing...its kind of dramatic too...anyways back to the point...lately i am thinking a lot about death...getting scared with it and den getting desperate to the point that i want to get over death now and here...and den again..i m curling myself up in a ball and sleeping on and off...but i guess thats thats normal..isnt it? please dont tell me otherwise...

and wen you think about death, you write about death...actually writing is the best way not to think about death, because wen you write about death, you start to think about the plot and then stop thinking about death....but now that i am done with writing and publishing the post...i will have to think about death all over again...but den again i can just kill myself and stop thinking about death...but den i will be death already...kinda loses the point...anyhow...jabber jabber!! wat do u think?? wat i wrote that even fiction or does that even meant anything to u? critic me please, will you?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Lost confessions of someone unknown

Please don’t mind the tape recorder; it is just for my reference. Look here I turn it off. No wires and modern technology. Let’s just talk like two people who are eager to know each other. You tell me whatever you feel like, and I will do the same. No questions, no answers.

"Yes, no questions, no answers. I am not answerable to anyone, am I? I am not. I will not be answerable to anyone. But what is your name?"

Name. My name is let me think. It can be Rajesh. Or Ratan. Maybe even Ravi. No not Ravi. I know a person named Ravi. Me and Ravi were in university together in our electives of Journalism. Last I heard he is in Delhi, or Faridabad, maybe Delhi. So maybe people will confuse me with him. Hence, my alias will be lost. Then what is the point of alias.

"Dear, you are new to this aren’t you? You want me to relax you a bit. You know maybe these breasts have sagged a bit, but still this bosom holds a lot of warmth for young blood like you. A good time. A money's worth."

No, thank you. No No, I dint meant to offend you. Yes, your breasts look enticing. No No that doesn’t means I have a thing for older woman, any kind of woman is fine for me. Not that I mean you are old. You are just mature in a soothing way. You remind me of my Asansol's aunt. She was soothing. And then she died.

But I guess we are deviating from the point. We are supposed to talk about you, your life, your beginnings, your endings, your..

"My life? Kid the biggest delusion is that they make you think it’s your life and it’s your choice. It was never about me. It was always about their happy endings."

Who do you mean by they? Wait. I don’t think it is appropriate for you to call me kid. It doesn’t have the glamour or mystique an alias name should endow. After all it’s a career choice. It is so tough to carve out a niche in journalism and a bland alias is almost a career suicide. Wait. I meant to ask who is they.

"Everyone is they. They are everyone. Why? Even you are they aren’t you?"

Me! No! Me! No I can’t be they, I have never done anything bad, leave alone you, but to anyone. Ah well yes sure it was me who poisoned Mr.Rastogi's dog but that was just because the dog was mean to me. And I never thought if you mix milk with phenyl the dog still drinks it. I surely can’t be hold responsible. It was the dog who was responsible, whatever happened to his exquisite sense of smell that he used so expertly to smell my crotch. That sniffling wet nose, can give erection to any hormonal adolescent. It never meant I have a thing for dogs. I had to kill it. But that doesn’t makes me they. I am sure they are worse. How you landed up in this unspeakable city anyways?

"Hope. What else do you think? Hope is Satan's way to get you wet in your panties, and after that there is no looking back. But mind you it was not greed, I was not greedy. I am not greedy. This flashy extravagance you see around me is just to cover up peeling interiors. It’s just an illusion of well being. Because the biggest trick for a man is to allude himself."

But hope is something nice isn’t it. I dunno what exactly hope is but surely at times I have felt hopeless. Maybe to be hopeful one needs to stop feeling hopeless first. But hope is nice. Hope is something that moves you forward. At least that is what Ranju Uncle says whenever we meet at our family gastro enticing gatherings. Though I admit I don’t like how his hand stroking my thighs somehow callously brushes my crotch. I somehow think his words have double meanings but everyone else seems to agree to him. After all he is in the Civil Services. But I mean is how your hope is different from our hopes.

"My hope is different because my hope was not celebritic; my hope was what you people take for granted as reality. But I was not ever granted that, I was part of age old chess board, where I was a designated knight. I can take two steps forward but they choose the next step sideways. Tell me did you ever rape anyone? How you men do it? Doesn’t the cruelty of it stop you from getting an erection?"

Rape! What! Rape! No, no! I never raped anyone. Why did anyone told you anything different? Trust me! I respect woman. I can’t rape anyone. Horrible. It must have been Shashank isn’t it? Did he tell you anything? I must not drink with him. Don’t know what all I blabber out. Look I don’t know what convoluted reality you believe. But I never raped anyone. What happened with her was just out of curiosity. We were just trying to explore each other in our attic. Yes I admit she told me to stop, she told me it was hurting her. But I can’t stop just like that. Trust me I tried to stop. But once you begin, you vision blurs, and your mind transfers all your common sense to your phallus. By the time I regained my posture. She was crying. But I did made her promise that it was fun. It was no way a crime. After all we successfully experimented.

"Yes, you people think with your penis. That's it. Even he thought with his penis. Told me he will teach me something nice. Told me I was too old now to just come to school and learn to read and write. Told me education was more about experimenting. Told me that learning was more about exchange of physical knowledge, and then threw me down on the table of the staffs’ room to violate me with his hand choking on my mouth. Strangely even today when a man explores me, that hollow creaking on the depilated table fills my ear and the aftertaste of the chalk dust rises from my throat. I guess it was the collateral of what you people calls the gift of virginity. All left of my virginity was a dried blood stain on the dusty table of staffs’ room."

Yes I know chalk dust can be terrible isn’t it? I recall my terrible allergy of chalk dust when I was kid. I guess it had something to do with the calcium. Every time Pandu Sir violently dusted the chalk infested duster by the side wall, I would indefinitely end up coughing like an addict on dope rehab for minutes at stretch and he would just stand there and watch me with amused silence. And then with a sudden start will come beside me and with a big paan stained smiled rub my chest to sooth me down, with his sticky fingers occasionally twitching my nipples and his other hand in his pant pockets maybe repeating the same twitching for his penis. Chalk dust allergies were surely terrible.

But you could have complained to someone, couldn’t you? After all that person was supposed to be you guardian after your parents, someone you can submit yourself with trust. But I guess you were too ashamed to come out with your truth.

"Ashamed? No I wasn’t ashamed. Why will I be ashamed for the hunger of a mongrel that you men get overpowered with? I cried and shouted to my parents, to my brothers, to my neighbours. All they said was it was nice to know that master-saab was taking interest in our chutki. They even told me how lucky I was to be loved my someone of such stature and qualification. And when he came to our doorstep to ask permission so that he could take me out of the shackles of rural rust to modernity so that I can succeed on the platform modernity. My parents felt privileged to hand me over to the person who raped me so that he could give me a glorious future in your despicable city."

But surely you could have ran away, after he bought you here I am sure you could have ran away. After all the doors are always open. A step out of it and you can rush out to a life of dignity.

"RUN? Out of these doors. But dear this door maybe opens, but after I get out of this door, the doors on your end is closed. The doors of your society will be closed isn’t it? I won’t be allowed to get inside your door. What kind of independence is that? At least my doors don’t let people through judging them on scales of honour and respect. Your doors are cruel than mine. But I did try to let go of everything. I did try to chase out life. Gulped down a can full of kerosene. But the effect was only nausea and loose motions. Even death cums inside me and leaves me with a sticky notion of orgasm."

Oh, why would you do such an awful thing?

"Self sacrifice is not as awful as you think when you don’t have any self respect left."

No, no, I don’t have anything against you killing yourself. Not that I want you dead, please don’t quote me. Last place I want myself stuck is in an investigation of a dead whore. No No, I don’t mean it in a derogatory way. Dead woman sounds more tuned. But I never meant you dead. Death I can understand. But why kerosene, when there are such beautiful devices to die. Dead people are much more attentive than the live counterpart. They are patient and serene as if they have achieved all there is to achieve and now just resigned to the pouring calmness. Though morally it’s wrong when covering a crime beat I do occasionally try to cup a feel of those cold and firm breasts of the victim, and occasionally give myself the pleasure of a quick erection. But they don’t complain. Maybe they are too happy in their own death to realize a violation. I like dead people. They are less of a nuisance.

I think there is something gravely wrong with me. Some error in the architecture, some malfunction.

"Haha, there is malfunction is both of us, actually most of us. Most of us are just a faulty product of a good species."

Yes, maybe Darwin will come to rescue and over the time olibrate the weaker ones, and our legacy will be rejection in the survival of fittest.


Never mind madam. I shall take your leave now, the night is crowning out and I am sure you have a business to attend to. I shall find my way out of here. Don’t worry once upon a time I too was a regular. Now though I have a wife.


P.S: what is the ideal threshold of absence...i guess when i feel like a intruder in my own an abandoned house..where you come once in a decade and find that it may have been your house..but now its a home of flora and fauna and probably homeless creepy guy...and u are nothing more than an intruder in ur own space....blah blah apart...i feel like an intruder to my own feels familiar but now own... so what changed in this past months...well people used to say "get a job...get a life"...i got a job, the latter one refused to tag 9 to 5 in formals...i lost the informality of my blog...and when i got down to write down what i felt like writing...all came out was bitterness...pent up bitterness...and it overflowed that somewhere i drew a line....and hence came out this...if this post doesnt makes sense or disgusts you in anyway...then u would have found me disgusting anyways so bother not :) most likely my last blogpost from this despicable city of mine...i still wonder at the enchanting warmth of this city that makes me hate it but love it all the more....a lot more is still left to be said... not one of my fav blogpost...infact i m happy atleast i wrote if u hate it shout it out...and if u like it...whisper it once atleast....2011, you are a disappointment!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ballad of a Blind Man

Darkness has many shades, maybe even more than colors. Yes, you can call me a deluded fanatic behind my back because I never knew color, but then again you never knew darkness. What you recognize as darkness is just momentary absence of light in your neon lit world. But I have lived in blindfold of darkness all throughout my life and I do have the authority to claim my truth.

When I was born, a comment on my medical report stating 'damaged cornea' destined me to a world of oblivion. But little did I care. For a newborn, life is itself excruciating punishment served on the platter of celebration like the fine print of some insurance policy. By the time you realize the selfishness of those sugarcoated promises, it is too late to rewind. But it will be hypocritical of me to claim that I did not enjoy the excess attention, the fake care and the hushed tone of people around me and their desperate attempts to make me feel inclusive to their colorful world.

But I could feel the mockery in their voice pinching through my skin every moment, their claims of superiority was always a hollow justification of their miserable existence.

''Mr. Chatterjee....few more hours. In afternoon we will remove the dressing, but let me assure you the operation looked promising. The replaced cornea should not be rejected by your system. If you are lucky you shall reclaim your vision today'' the nurse said.

''Haha, who told you I am unlucky sister. But I am pretty sure my luck won’t be destined by the vision, but still it would be a privilege to see your world and it’s so called grace''

''My world?? It’s your world too, isn’t it? Don’t you want to see it?''

''No sister, my world is not that shallow to makes judgment on basis of the colorful glitterati. I tend to rely on my other senses more for a more accurate judgment''

She mouthed an audible laugh and walked away.

My mother died when I was 7 years old. And suddenly the cushion I had from the vulgarities of the world wad torn away. People used to say my mother was very beautiful. But what i missed was that damp charcoal smell of her that slowly stuck to her skin after the long hours in the kitchen stove of our joint family.

My father married soon after that, and no it was not as cruel as it sounds. He married because somehow he was not equipped with rearing his blind child. And you can’t blame a person of being cold hearted just because he can’t feed and clean his blind son. He thought a new mother could do that for me, but the only fault in her was she used to bath with those imported soaps every day after cooking. The 7 year old me could not just let a new mother touch him if she doesn’t even smells like mother. But somehow people took it as my arrogance, and i never bothered to correct them.

Only person who I could not manage to dissuade with my anger was my cousin Sreelekha. She was 4 years older than me, but she never showed a little bit of pity on me. I guess she was jealous of all the excess attention i got over the time and as a result my every effort to push her away from me was responded with a slap out of nowhere. I admit at those times I surely felt the loss of my vision crippling my independence. But slowly I did not mind losing my independence to her and she in turn became my new guardian.

No one in the family protested because by now they were fed up of my tantrums and my behavior. But in our society the blind child with a dead mother has social apathy as his fundamental right, and I was exploiting just that.

No, I did not go to a special school. My father simply did not know any and did not bother to find out. But that did not stop me from learning. I always had a private tutor at my disposal who would read out my lessons to me and I learned about the world though his words. But writing was a whole new challenge, though I could write perfectly well but my teachers could not make any sense out of it.

On my 13th birthday i got my first typewriter as the birthday present and surely i found a new best friend.

''Mr.Chatterjee, can you please sign this form I have?'', the doctor said approaching in a hurry.

''Ah...Dr.Das, don’t you know you can’t just ask me 'blindly' to sign anywhere...its illegal''

'' Funny Mr.Chatterjee. I assure you that at the age of 72, I won’t scam your money off. It just a affidavit that states you won’t sue us off if things don’t work out as planned.''

'' don’t have to worry about that...I am planning to sue god for my blindness after I die. I have heard heaven anyways have a faster judiciary system.'' I said scribbling my illegible signature.

''Very well, Mrs. Chatterjee is completing the formalities downstairs. Within few minutes we will be back to remove your dressing. Best of luck'', and he walked out with the aloof arrogance i could always sense in the walk of doctors.

The peaceful silence of our home in those sultry afternoons was soon ruined by my incessant clikety claks of typewriter. Though no one mouthed any protest against me, but mysteriously my typewriter used to disappear from my cupboard if left unattended and again used to appear out of nowhere during evenings and mornings. Finally, people were learning to exploit my shortcomings and i was pleased. Till now my arrogance against normal people in general was like a unfair fight. Now the humanity in form of my fed up family, my uncles and aunts, my step brother and Sreelekha came back to draw blood. It felt fair and gratifying.

My typewriter was my way to get back to world. To shout back at them till the point the clicks drown the cry of my mind. I have reached puberty and I wanted to break free. I began with documenting everything around me, the sounds, the voices, the breeze, the screams, the cries. I typed pages after pages to be swept to garbage in the morning by the house maid. But slowly i learned to listen to one voice that was drowned in all these noise. My voice, voice of my thoughts. I typed down every passing thought in my mind and my typewriter was the patient listener. Initially I could feel sreelekha hunched at the corner of my room, reading silently my private thoughts inked on the strewn pages on floor, but she soon could not keep track and lost interest. I did not mind, she was not that smart anyways to decode me.

''How are you feeling? Nervous?'' she whispered slowly near my left ear, moistening it with her fragrant breadth.

''Not as nervous as the day i got married to you under all those disapproving eyes burning on me'' I replied a bit startled at her ability to always cheat my alert senses and stealth beside me.

''Mrs. Chatterjee, ask your husband to at least fake bit nervousness. Else it robs us doctors of our proclaimed godliness of miracles.'', the doctor slowly walked up to us.

''Ahh Dr.Das, I might as well call you a thief of robbing me of the comfort of my darkness. You better make it a miracle.’’, I replied almost choking over my laughter.

''Mr. Chatterjee keep your eyes closed as we remove the dressing and don’t open them until we ask you to.'' I felt the cold steel of the scissors cutting slowly through the gauge.

I was in my early twenties I guess when Kolkata was swept with one of the worst heat waves of the decade. The slow fan of my room on attic was fighting a long lost battle with the sweltering afternoon heat. I lay on my bed slowly tracing the trickling sweat down my neck, channeling through my chest. Sreelekha busted into my room with a suppressed excitement in her voice.

''I got a letter from the editor for you, came just now by mail.''

''Ok keep it on my study table.'' I already had a pile of such letters on my study table. I don’t mind the fact that they don’t find my book suitable for publishing, but what I hated was the pity they felt for the blind struggling wannabe author. I was not struggling for got sake.

''Don’t you want me to read it to you?'' she said almost with firm conviction.

''Something tells me you did not wait for my permission to read it. So why don’t you go ahead and recite.''

She came and sat beside me and whispered to my ear, ''Well if you insist on knowing, the editor of Rita Publishers incidentally found your book a fabulous account of a beggar in a world that is much more colorful and optimistic than the one we live in. He finds it’s almost a fable of inspiration and fantasy.''

Though i failed to understand how a struggle of a beggar in was bland world that I tried to describe with fake metaphors was optimistic for him, but I was too overwhelmed to care.

I might have cried unknowingly a bit because all I remember was she hugging me and for the first time i touched her sweaty back and chill passed through me. She kissed me and I opened my mouth to the moistness of her lips.

My hands were kneading through her softness as a blind man struggled to discover new secrets of her feminity. As she undressed herself and guided me to herself there was an unusual calmness in her and I realized how beautiful she was. I traced those pointed nose, carved collarbones and her soft breasts. Every curve and troughs in her body that had accumulated pool of sweat for me to discover and taste.

I lay on my back while her hands tore every off every piece of fabric that separated us before she climbed over me and claimed her every right over me as if I was her trophy.

She pinned me down and took me inside her. I felt her warmth spread through our loins to our soul. In a moment I knew all those hidden words we never said. I reached out to inhale the musk smell of her neck before I exploded with such vibrancy that it felt like the New Year fireworks all over again. I loved her and she was mine.

''Mr. Chatterjee, now slowly open your eyes, Mrs. Sreelekha Chatterjee is standing in front of you. Calmly open your eyes.'', doctor said.

To hell with being calm, before the last layer of the gauge was removed, I could already feel the burning sensation of brightness. The darkness was already fading, and literally world was just a blink away.

Slowly i opened my eyes and light like an angry mob busted through my pupils. Bursting into my inner confines light was winning the battle against the darkness and insanely erasing every trace of it.

I opened my eyes to whiteness, burning whiteness pricking my eyes like a million needless. For a moment i thought as if this is all you people mean by vision, stark bland whiteness that overpower your every senses to blur your ability to judge.

Then slowly the colors erupted, I don’t know what colors because till now I only knew them by mythical names of greens and blues. They drew outlines on my white canvas, outlines that took shape and maybe even meanings.

When the confusion receded, the blurriness sharpened to make her shape. I saw her for the first time, i saw my wife for the first time, standing there with a pleasant expression on her face, which something told me was expression of happiness. I saw her, I saw Dr. Das, I saw his stethoscope. I saw my hands, my legs, my bed, my white washed walls, my glittering bottles of medicines and it was mediocre.

I so wish they were brilliant, vibrant and exquisite. But more I tried to over value them, mediocre they appeared to me. I kept staring for more, for something new to happen, but I guess that was that of the miracle I had in store for me. No more splendidness waited.

I gazed at her, trying to recollect her from my memories. That lushness of hair that tickled me was replaced by a dull bunch of hair that did not shine as they told in stories. That pointed nose of her, I used to pull, was little crooked to left. The small mole near her left ear that used to make her different was no more than glaring imperfection. She was nothing those women i met in the books I was read to, or I imagined her to be. She was ordinary.

I felt the walls closing in; trying to squeeze me in this normality I was gifted. I needed to breathe, i needed to falsify myself. I rushed to the window to breathe as all of them stood there failing to understand my dilemma.

But they say when you wake up from a dream, reality strikes you hard. It was not the fragrant world i write about in the books, it is a world filled with stark clarity. The green lush trees were not meant to be dull and sparse. The sky was meant to be serenity of blue, not scattered yellow. The brown soil was grey and black. And when I saw my reflection on the window panes, it was not me.

It was a stranger who was tired of living, tired of the lies I was webbing in the comfort of my darkness. I was disappointed with myself for the first time. The arrogance suddenly felt all so fake, overcome by humility of reality. The velvety stubble was an overgrown beard covering an expressionless face as if documenting my failures.

I stared at those confused faces, perplexed by my sudden aggression and disappointment. Somehow I struggled to my bed and kept hoping for a sudden surge of rewind to take me back to the day when I first got my typewriter and learned to dreams. Then I realized dreams were nothing but god's way to laugh at our disappointments.

''Mr. Chatterjee, please talk to me. Tell me is there any problem? Are you feeling sick? Are you fine?''

'' Yes doctor I actually.. no no, I am perfectly alright. I just need some time alone.'', I tried a fake attempt to smile.

''Take your time; we will be waiting outside, just in case you need us.'' She said in her always reassuring voice, with that smile with a hint of melancholy, I knew she understood.

''Sreelekha? Why dint you said to me before? Why dint you said they all wrote lies in their books?''

''Maybe I was jealous of your dream world. Maybe I wanted you to shatter a bit'' she said without looking back.

''Can you please switch off the lights on your way out, please'', I lay on my bed and closed my eyes.


P.S: I am getting lazy day in day out. Dear future me, if you are reading this and if you have turned into a workaholic (which i seriously doubt!!), kudos to you, you did it. And if u are still this good old lazy bum, then, kudos...atleast you survived till now...u shall keep doing it...amen!!

Now about the story, it was written on my phone all over kolkata, sitting at parks, footpath, coffee shops, buses and autos. Hence it means a bit more for me, coz it was fun writing it :) But also apart from that I tried to write something which I dont have any experience with, I always wonder about people who cant see, and their perspective of world. Maybe they have completely different perspective, but it was just my take on hard feelings. I also refrained from giving my protagonist a name, coz then his identity wud have mattered, and i dont want that to matter at all...he is just a medium..his perspective is the source. Enough Said!!