I wrote a sort of ‘story’ a very long time ago, and posted it here in 2007 (More on the lonely mind). Now young Debarshi, who is himself in his early twenties, a whole generation removed but still stirred by what I wrote, has penned his own ‘sequel’ to that story. I reproduce it below, just as he has written it.
More on the lonely mind (continued...)
“I carved the angel in the stone, till I set him free...” goes the famed line, doesn’t it? I am too drowsy to even think straight, let alone reason. One has to find a reason to think, or is it the other way around? Auroras of colour have started exploding like supernovae in my blurred field of vision, heightening my senses, putting me to sleep in this dark world of the senses, where all other fellow beings wake. My chemical romance has started, as I have begun to see my life through the kaleidoscopic vision of my inner eye. Someone has applied a red-hot poker to my very innards, and as I start twisting in pain, I catch myself in the mirror, with a contorted grin. I yelled out loud, demanding to know the identity of the apparition. “It is you, my dear. It is the likeness you have fashioned yourself into, and not the one you should have. Allow me to carve out the real you!” came back the answer. The glass shattered and the mirror cracked from side to side – of course it would, seeing as my hurled vase had found its target. Love built us, and pain shapes us, does it?
You rest your feet on the worn out, moth eaten pillow and stare at the ceiling, lost in thought. The endless stream of demands has finally died down, and you are left all alone with only your poor self for company. The thought gnawing at your mind now starts off as a furious tirade between two opposing factions, conceived in unity and separated by will – the head and the heart. “You must be yourself...”goes the debate. The frames per second rate of the movie playing itself out in your head are too fast to decipher. You let yourself go with the flow. Torn pages flying about, dusty walls, heavy metal, a lot of sound ensuing masking the innate fury, train journeys to nowhere, dying neon lights, dishevelled and shabby clothes, hours of boredom, and watching that ridiculously idiotic television set as if your life depended on it – images fly past, and you grow tired and weary of this world of distractions that is hell-bent on tugging at you with each passing minute.
Visions swimming past, reels changing tack continuously, all these provided me some meaning to this conundrum called Life. Now, they only seem to be the flashbacks of a fool. The chemist could help me out, you say? I laugh it off with a shrug of the shoulders, copying every move from a stereotypical alpha male you all like so much. The Eternal chemist does not even provide me euthanasia for all my prayers. I clutch the pillow tighter to my chest and try to doze off. Sleep will finally overtake me and send me off to a land where defeat and disappointment are accepted as natural precursors and successors to glory. In this madhouse, how does one even keep sane?
I have dreamt of corn-fields awash in the mellow moonlight, of picking up pink shells on the sun-kissed shores and listening to the sound of the old, old sea, of snow-capped peaks and valleys of lush foliage, of snowflakes and the emotions they imbibe in the eyes of all, of dark alleyways with a coffee-house at each turn, of lonely men in a pub sharing their stories as works of beauty which happened to someone else, of arched corridors and the delightful smell arising from old books with dog-eared pages, of stirring, soulful music which makes me free from myself, and of unending tales like the ones of Scheherazade. How can you sleep? You try to bury your head deeper into the pillow, and will yourself to give in to the lovely goddess of Sleep – how she entices you, with promises to play out all your sub-conscious fantasies! Pardon me, I am no Freudian, and so do not get your hopes up. All your defeats, the hypocrisy that masks our lives, the roles you keep on playing – drop the pretence, and be yourself in your own garden of memory, where sun-drenched acacias lend you shade, where the bluebells, germander speedwells, flash smiles at you, willing you to remember, remember your true self, so that you might not forget. Hey, you creep about in your own garden, stealing furtive glances at all others who wander into your memory! It is a dream, alright? How hard it is to be oneself!
You jerk yourself awake, splash water onto your face, grimacing as the cold reality hits you. You are what you have done, and what you will do. Humans are funny: they label this simple stochastic process as a law. You catch sight of yourself in the mirror, and it reflects the state of your soul, instead of yourself. Chaos ensues in your heart, and yet you search for peace! You finally realize that another evening has passed you by – Time is a harsh mistress. Let go of all of your fears, your expectations and start living! – You say to yourself. What’s that shrill trill? It is the beastly mobile phone, with your newest distraction widget, a caller photo flasher application. How can one plaster such fake smiles on their faces? As you start talking nineteen to the dozen, your voice fades away, and your dreams trail away; they realize the futility of a lost battle. Why can you not live between the wondrous moments that ensue between the two wing beats of the fly of Paradise? Searching for permanent happiness in a transitory, surreal, vanishing world, you realize that maybe your heartstrings are out of tune. How does one listen to this tune, amidst the deluge of cacophony? You sleep over it, and you know, your pain will soon be over. Maybe that’s why we realize all our lives, and unravel the mysteries, when we sleep forever in peace. My spirit is away on a wing and a prayer, free from itself finally!