Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Masterful Disguise

The silence is loud. You can hear it waking up. Moon’s aglow. The great river of lore moves in stealth. A snaking phantom. The midnight light keeps embracing the day. In a few hours they’ll emerge together as dawn. But right now the quiet deepens. There’s the odd stray dog barking. Outside my room a warm solitary old light bulb becomes a burning torch.

The moths are drawn in a swarm. There’s flight. There’s fancy, and there’s bravery in their suicidal plunge. A fatal attraction of noble flaws.

A water tap drips and drops in the commode next door. Asleep, the modern and the mythical converge, embedded. Now comes a lull. Restless hankering takes a breather. The goal’s forgotten. The journey sounds with silence. It echoes. There’re songs playing in my ears. Some of them are familiar- the rhythmic resonance of insects conducting endless orchestras, somehow still in unison.

They play hush-hush tunes. As the day’s misery slumbers, the mirth passes-out. But the labors are not yet done. Dreams ensure continuum. The snores, their velocity.
In this recurring nightly solitude, voices enter, playing loudspeaker. The propaganda is real. 
The brainwashing, complete. It’s a North Korean pogrom in my head.

“Cease your relentless pursuing man, cease it. Stop it. Put on a lid, bring it to a halt and be done man, be done. Rest a while man, rest. Relax a little man, relax. Let those worries take care of themselves man, let them try. Let them work it out. Why do you need to play the peacemaker man, why? You’ll never run out of problems man, never. Attachment, like a greedy leech, will hang onto you, bleeding and sucking you dry. But don’t worry, you won’t feel a thing. You’ll be anesthetized. Out and cold.”

The passive-aggressive lecture continues humming.

“But the trick is to let them be. Do not interfere. It’s an internal domestic issue, stay out of it man, step out. Here you’ve no business. It’s not your fight. Do not even mediate. Just watch, and end your hankering. Remember the basics- food, shelter and clothing, and reject that indulgence in this, that and the other. Remember the fundamentals. The essentials, and keep it minimal, but keep it inclusive. Ban all exclusivity. Shun it. Shake it. Dump it. Defend your nose. Keep it clean. Watch the rose.”

Suddenly, the dictator’s voice-over is gone. So are the secret police. Has the regime been replaced? Was there coup d’état? Has the Plump Leader had a chocolate stroke? Is the tyrant dead in his diapers?

Who cares!

I sleep soft on a hard bed. Winter has seeped in. The two thin shawl-blankets are as minimal as it can get. As are the two hardened slabs working as pillows. The mattress has begun to shrink, and my posterior, in quite an impression, has left a sizeable depression.

Dawn’s revealing itself. Slow. Steady. Light, like a sneaky thief, breaking in wearing velvet shoes. The muezzin calls. Allah is supplicated. It’s a wailing cry. The almighty must be hard of hearing. The Hindu temples are ringing with the sounds of bells. Clashing cymbals pierce the air. There’s the chilly-laden chants of mantras as pilgrims offer morning obeisance. Others head down to the Ghats to cleanse. The bath at dawn is supposedly the most sacred. Monkeys screech on the terraces. The nimble troops are getting ready for another day of swinging raids. In the distance a train whistles and hoots. Birds are chirping. Alarms are abuzz with synthetic disco.

Morning face-wash in the commode is one big throaty affair.
Life is stirring. Spitting. Sputtering. Snorting.

They’re done and a brief lull is back again. Outside the silence is transforming to sounds. Increasingly audible, it is taking over the day. I pause awhile and hark back on vestiges of a dream I thought I’d dreamt. No such luck. You see, I used to be big on dreams. A bonafide dreamer. Now I’ve stopped caring, and somehow, the dreams are disappearing. I’m a non-dreamer even if I dream. It’s one hurdle less to mess with on the road to undreaming. Unlearning. Undressing. No mean task, this business of unbecoming.

The layers of onion are slippery, and where you can finger a grip, the hand stays stuck.
Peeling off your face by facing off your many masks seems like another masking on, if it makes any sense, so that eventually one tires of this dilemma, and thus exhausted, one retires, unbothered. Now the idea is to stop not just the bother but also the care. Selective care must die, together with demanding knee jerk-changes. 

Stop demanding. Stop judging. Stop comparing. Stop changing. There’s a natural process to all of that. A bit slow to the eye but the process proceeds, in its own pace, so to speak.

“And let it all bleed dry. Let it all leak empty,” the tyrant in my head commands thus. He decrees the death sentence to all philosophical designs, and with that academic death, he orders the strangulation of the intellect. “Let them all go to their graves. It does not matter,” He booms. “A cemetery is still a hauntingly beautiful place. And the path is richer and lighter without the burden of books. Second-hand clothes and shoes are far more useful than any borrowed knowledge.” There’s no disparaging the counsels. The advice. The sermons. It’s recognizing the fact that you cannot chew regurgitated stuff.
If it’s a diktat, it’s quite the revolutionary diktat.

The tyrant is a straight simpleton when it comes to complexity. The cud has to go. He asserts. “You’ve to venture out and take the bite. The experience should be yours. Otherwise how would you ever know you were alive? Or that you lived? And still go on living?

The tyrant, with his simplicity, momentarily reduces all complexity. “And that’s how you free yourself from being a slave, and from being enslaved to a despot.”

And that, I said to myself, is a real benevolent master.

Ps: YourLustForLifeStartsRightNow!


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