Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Shed and Don


It’s easier shed than donned, as first it did appear, he said.

The marble homes inside it an upside-down vision, dusted and stormed, reflected. Catapulted, its trajectory an upward straight-line – up and straight, in furtive flight. Trees, pillars, sky, roofless homes, unending rows of roofs, architecture, all culminate to a head-braced face, dashing against molten metal, the impact the marble cannot withstand, splinters and scatters, the withering ground its final refuge. Golinath spits his gall, leaps and pins down the perpetrator. Davood, after a unstruggled clever struggle, from under his rival’s grip slips, a snake shedding its skin, climbing his back, gripping his throat, he screams: ‘Who’s taller now, you lumbering gient?’ Golinath must stand up now or lie forever there, nose pressed to the dust. Either way, Davood’s victory, as yet unannounced, is apparent. ‘When I’m riot, you’re wrung!’ The rival stands up, the man half his size clung to his neck, to acknowledge defeat. ‘Let’s be the divided dominant.’ The wind blows askew and the crowd blurts out an uproar. ‘You mean, in other words, divide and dominate?’ says surly Golinath. Davood chooses to rather hold his peace.

The place is guided by heart and mind, or at least that’s what it’s been believed to be. What holds sway over what, between heart and mind? When you sever the link between the two you should know, they converse and concur. Clasp the vessels, in suspended animation preserve and observe them. Decades go by. While the greatest minds are at it, things go askance – glands, bones, spleen, for instance, revolt – things go berserk. Some die, others spew venom, some malnourish, others question. When things get worse, this worse, when it’s late, this late, it’s all but possible to restore the system. By the by, observance yields results, only there’s no significant difference, statistically speaking, between the observed: They both perform, albeit in varied territories, the higher function of reflection and expression in order to attribute meaning, in a world devoid of meaning, to inexplicable phenomena which is nothing but an offshoot of the compunction of wallowing in the lowest common denominator function of survival.

In the middle of everything, Davood gets comfortable in his new skin, the inexplicable adaptability of which surprises him. The media celebrate him. He sets the standards and what yesterday was written off as ugly is today an accepted norm: Beauty. He grows, his muscles swell up, what’s beneath his field of vision grows smaller and smaller. When he stands up after one of those treaties to shake hands with Golinath, they stand shoulder-to-shoulder. Yes, shoulder-to-shoulder in the sense touching shoulders. He feels out of sorts for a moment as he senses he’s catching a glimpse of his reflection in the mirror when he’s not. There’s no distinction as to who’s who. There’s no telling this is Golinath and that is Davood. It will no longer be Davood versus Golinath. It hereupon will be Golinath versus Golinath. He will not be quitting. No!

It’s easier donned than shed, was at last just as true, he confessed.



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