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?