Sunday, January 30, 2011

Siolence

Imagine a cave-dwelling prehistoric family. Woman says to man Butcher go tribe for. He wields a weapon made of wood and stone, says to her You go with no me now. Why that? She says Cubs small now too. I go, they grow too. He mutters as he strolls toward cave’s mouth I care take of too cubs can. A crowd about to turn a swarm waves him. They’re gathered around a bush that is totem. A woman gestures to hush when someone in the crowd remarks how the man approaching is turning into a chicken. The silence impeccable falls over the hill.

Imagine a palace-dwelling royal family. Queen says to king You do it to create one unified country. King says It’s always one more province. This never ends. She hands him the herbal potion, says There are a few more. You conquer them and be forever remembered. You can seek Buddha if you want and become Buddha yourself. Once you unify, that is. Diplomats seek audience with the king. The courtyard rises to its feet. The violence to ensue will turn the king an emperor.

Imagine a defense-dwelling modern family. Wife says to husband How do you say you’ll be played for a puppet? He says I’m not too sure what they say coming is a just war. I could be flying to drop a nuclear warhead and not know it until it’s too late. I’m resigning and that’s final. She crushes the paint catalog, tosses it at him, says I should’ve known your Kafka…PKD obsession wasn’t mere reading. You’re a ball of paranoia. Know that! Your EGOISTIC COWARDICE amazes me. A feeling unnamed wraps around him. The siolence victim—humiliated to an extent—wishes he were dead.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Way


A week it’s been, I think, since I’ve been outside four walls. Just I and walls. I haven’t been to office in a week. My work is being done somehow though it’s hard to tell how. Since what is expected of me is being delivered I’m not called. I wouldn’t know to call. I’m not a foodie, and I don’t crave for food as such. When I look at the basket it’s wiped nearly clean. A question ripples inside my head: Have I been eating out of it? I think the last time the maid marched in was two weeks ago. Either I wasn’t eating at all or-. I think the landlady forgot to chain those big dogs. From their stomping and barking I infer a craving for flesh and blood. I search for a little pocket book. It’s called Forgetting Things. I can’t find it. I cannot remember who borrowed it. It’s not there. I don’t know why. It’s just not there.


Day eight finds me wandering the streets. The kid on a rooftop sings: F…L…A…G. Her brother beside is hoisting a kite. My sight cannot see beyond its lifeline called thread. It’s freezing cold. My hands reach to zip the windbreaker. I am surprised that I’m wearing just a cotton layer. There goes an old man with a whipped puppy expression. Did his granddaughter tell him to piss off? Here comes a young lady in pantsuit. She looks the part I think. It’s hard to tell what part. This urge to be someplace creeps inside me. I’m in a taxi and I’m alarmed. I only wanted to hire an auto. It’s a traffic halt. I want to ask one of those people at bus stop if they know where my office is. I cannot bring myself to do it. I don’t remember the name of my firm. I don’t know where my workplace is.

The day after, which is the tenth day, I’m at work. I am at my desk almost through with day’s work. The basket to my left beckons my attention. I don’t know why. Those stained paper cups, do they know they’re used? I see Right and then scroll back, delete, and type Write. For a second work feels easy. I see Lied, replace i with a, e with i. For a second work feels strenuous. I don’t want to finish my work. It’s hard to tell why. I just don’t want to. I’m trying but I cannot remember my way home.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Distance



There’s a dog that’s circling at your gate like a cat just gave birth she says into her mic. What do I do?

She turns her phone to capture that movement. See that?

But... he says glancing at the screen. Hang on. He smiles to the interface as he rushes to her window.  In return, she’s not smiling at all. No he says. No dog there, honey.  Just someone looking for her lost car key?

Right she says. That someone is the dog and…it’s your ex. What do I do?

Really… he says. …You just met me an hour ago. We switched homes. And I'm not supposed to meet you for the next twelve hours and we aren’t. You do go ahead and deal with it. I’ve got nothing to be afraid of.


One hundred feet is the distance between the two homes. Outside where the boulevard is a signboard in a corner reads Residence Spouses Independence. Inside where the souls rest a chiseled clock face says 2012. The calendar beside displays February 13, 2031.




Sunday, January 16, 2011

Ethic Cleansing




It is in J. Heinrich Arnold’s Freedom From Sinful Thoughts I read where he talks about hearing hateful remarks against Jews at the Gasthaus, his father Eberhard Arnold remarks “It may only be evil talk now,” and what begins as hate speech leads to Holocaust. That was 1920s. Year 2002 is when I am reading it, a time I am also reading Khushwant Singh’s columns in Hindustan Times. He writes one on an anomaly called saffronization just before he goes on to pen his End of India.  Around the same time, Vir Sanghvi heretofore critical of the First World’s tactics concerning Iraq, once the invasion bustles with opportunities takes a nosedive, in a manner only Chanakyan, suggests we aid to build and dip our finger in the well of oil. Year 2010, after her shamanic journey through the jungle Arundhati Roy talks about the sinister purpose behind demonizing the poorest people, who aren't consumers, in the country.

It all starts with slurs, like gossip at workplace, and when the time is ripe for it though you are not the one doing the killing—it could be the slaughter of a random lost tribe, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs or Tibetans, Americans at soup kitchen, Hindus in Bangladesh, Tamils in Lanka—you feel, rather think, the bloodshed is justified. You think it is justified not because you sought to look into the heart of the matter that lies beyond what the powers that be and popular media purport to be true but because the term ethnic cleansing aided by popular opinion resonates right within you. I suggest you call that sort of shooting without aiming Ethic Cleansing. I am sure there is morbid pleasure to be had from it. Not that you wish to be ethic cleansed. Nor do I wish it for you.



Saturday, January 8, 2011

Cycle

She witnessed his sweet disposition tail off when he said 'You ruined my life.' My life as in our life? She once has confessed to him 'I feel bliss' meaning 'We feel' – a state they very much were in. 'Heaven is a place the façade lasts and it is the only place' she heard him say lips to her ears and felt on her side something sting. 'I’m stabbed' her senses thought. 'YOU—' Before she said anything further she felt something unimaginably heavy knock against her knee and as she swayed between the weight of gravity and the violation of being felt even a heavier knock on her other knee. 'PRECISION—' was the last word she heard. When she came to she was sat her back against the wall and found his back pressed against her chest. An hour ago at the studio she is editing. 'In your last life you were an Englishman and were poisoned by your Indian wife, the life before you were a yogi and you raped a nun.' She cuts her face to a close-up, a wretched face in disbelief, and inserts split screens. Nine screens for nine lives. The sounds begin:  Couples orgasming fade out to a voice singing the anthem in vibrato fades out to cries and screams. The middle screen blows up and she sees a chap-skinned beggar with outstretched arms who says 'IT’S BLOODY OVER.' The screen fades in to pristine white. It is an indie and she hasn’t yet settled on calling it Perfect Whiteness or Perfect Blackness. She thinks acting is not nerve-racking enough here I’m editing and directing, and that the co-writer is a little much for mainstream. She walks out the door and lights a cigarette. She has kicked the habit and it’s one of those just this once. The smoke fills her lungs and it warms her. Nary a star in the sky, yet it may not rain tonight. She gets back in and the tech wonders where she has been. 'A call for you on your phone' she says. 'The voice said your ex is waiting for you by your apartment.' 'Must be the guard' she says. 'You must meet him then' she hears. 'He may be weepy for all I know and is broken bad.' 'All I sought was a child of my own and not a father to the child' she says. She regrets her choice in men. She leaves the phone behind. She checks on the guard, tips him two thous. Mahatma smiles that smile (that puts violence to shame) on him. 'You go be with your wife now she says. She is delivering tonight I remember. Use the notes on your son and not liquor.' He smiles and takes leave. She then finds her ex with a smile on him too. Now her peripheral vision compromised, she saw what she saw with a tunnel of vision. In the mirror, her eyes met his and all she felt was the heaviness in her head. This close proximity at this juncture wasn’t comforting. She couldn’t tell the mirror was brought to her or she was brought to the mirror. As a certain fact dawned on her, she heard him say 'The cycle must end.' Then, in the mirror, he put a firearm to his mouth, locked his eyes on hers, and with a quiver emptied a chamber. The dead weighed heavy on her and she chose to lay it down. Into the mirror if the dead ever looked it would find itself abandoned. She frisked for his phone and stood (subconsciously seeking pain) bleeding through her ribs on her broken knees. Before a hypovolemic shock overcame her, taciturn and laconic she said 'YOU SISSY BASTARD' and the barrel before the trigger at her finger aimed for the cold, livor mortising heart. As the phone dialed the numbers she fed to it she stood stolid and felt in the pit of her stomach the fetus turn.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Innocence

The earth the kid stood was nature tinted crimson.  Or more precisely the sand upon which his feet rested. The atmosphere a mile from here was hot. Here, it was less so and pleasant. This here is a sand forest where you hunted rabbits at night with the aid of Petromax lamp and it bosomed cashew trees perpetually deep-rooted in it. I found a fruit he said. The dad plucked the nut from it and said Go ahead now. He threw what he plucked very gently near the tree. Why do you do that…always the kid asked. The nuts are valued and belongs to the landowner he said. Valued he asked. What you hold in your hand is the false fruit he said and the nut there is the real fruit. A fruit that is false the kid said …that cannot be. It tastes good. I never once wanted the nut…the real fruit you say it is. He took a bite and savored it like he always did. Here is a town in a country some laden folks pillaged first and then left indelible marks behind on. This here is a town, a village more precisely, founded by a missionary – a good man your grandma said, he rode on horseback she also said, the part you imagined vividly.  A church, hospital, college, schools it owned and this is all that you can ask for. Gender equal literacy rate of 85% the census declared is not untrue. In those days you played football more than cricket and you cheered the team up every time if you were not among the ones being cheered up for. Drop the ball the kid said to dad and kicked before it landed on the sand. The ball took an awkward turn up on the air and rested upon a miniature avalanche. He giggled and was joyed. When I grow up a bit I want to do what you do…when you play, dad…what…that! He stammered. That dribble dad said. Yeah, yeah, dribble, I want to dribble…always he said in anticipation. You sure will, petal, you sure will dad said in reassurance.  Now let’s head home before the sun begins to scorch even here. The kid moved his false bowed legs through the sand, lifted the ball from where it was with his tender hands, and left home this day with dad oblivious and innocent to that future night on which he will bury to hide, not far from here, for want of some more land than he is already bestowed, the disfigured remains of his sister. The spot whence the ball rested emerged womb-shaped, ungainly - the nut, or more precisely:  The fruit of false but delicious fruit.




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