‘The only way to make this over is to kill the person before me.’—the prince thought.
He thought of his restless hands and how they are trying hard to create a barrier of defensive deliberation around his body, the left one with a shield and the right one with a gory sword tied with it. He was in a battle field: a war for political reasons between his country, the southern part of India and its neighbour, another South Indian Nation State. But in his mind there was something that persisted as an irremovable, unignorable pang: a gossip that he caught from somewhere.
The gossip was about the reason of the war in which now he was fighting harder, half to save the war for his country and half for saving his own life from the enemy soldier in front of him. The gossip accused him and his love affair with the princess of the neighbouring kingdom of being the ‘real’ reason for the war. There are people who want to manipulate political reasons as personal flaws. They are the ones who make politics all what it is.
His mind was upset and body was tiring. The person attacking him with a sword seemed like a lethal machine with each of his blows capable of being potential life threats. His sword reflected the bright sun and it felt heavier. The prince realised with a sudden jolt to consciousness that his body was giving in, and his hopes too. How could he ever be together with some one living in his enemy’s country? If he had to win the battle, he must kill the adversary; the king of the enemy force, including the ordinary pawn in front of him. And if he failed he could not be able to keep his jugular nerve in good condition. In any case, there was loss: the loss of his love and of himself.
He gasped and filled his lungs with more air, but dust which stuffed the air in the battle field. And then he saw the opponent's sword gliding fast for his neck, greedily slicing the air. He had thought his shield could block the blow. But now his hands are incapable to lift the heavy shield, tired and exhausted in an arena of blood shedding virility.
This would be the end. His eyes met the enemy’s, where he found respect and an immense obligation towards duty, which almost transformed his individuality into a mechanised trance. No one could hold him back, no command, and no decree. He is the perfect soldier, and it is no shame to die with his hands: the prince thought. And then the prince felt something whooshing near his right ear. It might be the fluttering arrival of the angel of death.
On the very next fraction of a moment, drops of blood spattered on his face. His adversary was down, with an arrow pierced his heart!
The prince looked back and found the king of the enemy kingdom with a smiling face!
“That soldier was unstoppable.”—The king said to the prince. “I know my daughter loves you very much. You live deep in her heart. I cannot bear seeing tears in her eyes, because this father’s love for her too is deep. So I don’t want you to die. This war is entirely due to political reasons; and not because a father cannot bear the son of his enemy in love with his daughter. You please take care of yourself prince.” The king moved away on his horse back. The prince took a deep sigh. He realised that true love can save lives even in a battlefield of blind hatred.
Kay is a wonderful poet and my reader too. She surprised me with a comment she made for my previous post under the title “The Fateful Road”. I decided after reading the comment that this comment should be a part of the thought about which I talked in “The Fateful Road”.Here is part of her comment that made me rethink about the step I had taken—my previous post.
“We too often think the road has been created for us and we fall into a complacent thought process of everything needing to be easy. However, I don't believe the road has already been built. It is up to us, to devise the plan, engineer our own path, build it and look back at the path we, ourselves have created!
It's just too easy to fall into the paths of others, take the easy way out and look back in regret.
And making our way, building that course, is no easy task! It takes hard work, diligence, sweat and above all faith.”
“One of the questions that perplexed me these days was asked by one of my friends. 'What shall I do sir; I lost him, my love? I have no one else. I am alone.' –she was my student. All my students are friends of mine, as well.”—Said the teacher as if to gain an upper hand over me, his colleague. The young man (but aged than me) worked in the same college as I did, but in the Malayalam Department. I worked in the English Department. I thought of the situation he described of his student.
He immediately switched on to a different philosophy; he started talking about fate. He spoke as if he was the Great Master of Fatalism. “It was the fate of the girl. Now she must try to cope with the situation. And perhaps she may need counseling, sooner or later.” –he said.
I never believed in silently accepting the so-called fate. Every human being is capable of fighting his or her own good fight. For those who know how to conquer the day, every night is a possibility. Understanding the delicacy of one’s situation is crucial in resolving it. And lack of understanding of the context means problems. And in order to understand a situation better, the only thing one needs to do is to take some steps forward and check what is in there. And remember every problem is a learning too.
Here is a poem that explains my concept in dealing with problems.
The new direction
Walking your road?
There will be orchards to feed you,
Deserts to keep you think about failure,
But the fiercest of all would be
The end of the road ahead of you.
But walk to the extent until-
You can see—there is the turn.
One thing will remain-
The realization of the new direction.
No road ends but diverges into new ones.
I walked away from that friend colleague in my college, because I knew when there is a situation that the road seems to end, go a bit further and find the turn. I found the turn in the road and took it because I could not bear his Fatalism.
Sometimes at the end of the day we end up in something that we hadn’t thought or imagined of in the morning. When I write this, I too am struggling with the need to capture this phenomenon of unpredicted events in words, because I had such an experience today. I do not want to register the date, it doesn’t matter.
James Patterson was no where in my thoughts or in wild imagination in the morning. In the evening, I returned home from the town with a copy of Patterson’s novel Jack and Jill from a discount sale. One of my colleagues had recommended me to visit the book store where there was a discount sale. Of course I was happy—when I found Patterson there, though not his latest book, I Alex Cross—to buy Jack and Jill. I loved Patterson’s exuberant style and his mastery of the genre of suspense thrillers.
Does it mean such an event of unpremeditated urgency would always bring happiness? May be or may be not. But these unexpected moments whether we name them or not fill our lives with feelings that are, though transient, capable for delivering their magical touch throughout.
They talked about the weather; a middle aged man and a boy. The middle aged man was worried that the rain was lacking this year that this summer would be harsher than the previous one, and that the reasons are many, from globalization to deforestation. But all the while the boy was looking into something that didn’t exist for any one else there: a void—that the boy only felt in front of his eyes. He was fifteen. His eyes were that of some one with some one else to dream of; he loved a girl from the same school in which he too studied. ‘I used to spend all my spare time dreaming of her’—the boy thought—‘and now here I am wasting my time with this man.’ What useless things is he talking about? The boy couldn’t understand. For him the only truth perched in the two gleaming eyes of the beauty he admired, dreamed of, tried and failed to understand, his distant fantasy. But he could not talk to her yet.
It was three months from now that he first saw her, away, standing in the doorstep of the class room in which she studied. Though he did not know what it means to take decisions, he dared at that time to take some. It was a magical time, because he felt powerful enough to take decisions and dream consciously of possibilities that until that moment were utterly nonsensical for him, or at least as he was forced to believe.
‘Freedom, here, is miraculously abundant and unbelievably absent’—he thought. Freedom existed between the two extremes, abundance and absence. It existed between him and his girl and not with them together. He could never talk to her because of fear, which was supplied by the lack of freedom to make a breach in the accepted codes of behaviour for him in the school. And for him freedom was the absence of fear too. He wanted to take himself to her. So he decided upon a day to confess his true feelings for her. And that was the day. But there he was, in front of the man, the stranger who wanted to know about his father’s office time. His father was the Principal of the School.
The boy could see the girl in front of him, a few metres away standing in the bus stop. And it was then he noticed one more thing: the bus, which she usually takes home, was approaching the stop. He could see it from a turn in the road behind the green foliage. He wondered about his own gut feeling to think of murdering this guy who was blocking him now from attaining him stream of salvation, the girl. The boy looked at the man in his eyes. Now the man was talking about his own childhood days and recollected the Nature during those days.
Suddenly the boy’s heart took a leap, and came to him mouth as he saw the girl taking a brisk walk in his direction. He felt himself in a total loss for words and thoughts. But then there came another shock, of the kind he never expected or dreamed even in the freakiest of nightmares: the girl called the man “Father!”
She came nearer and told the man in a loud voice, “Father, the bus is coming. Come fast.” The boy spent the next moment in thanking God, for if he had made a single move towards the girl, the man would have spotted the oddness and handed over his daughter’s minor admirer to the Principal, the kind of things that every one here would do with boys and girls who talk about love. The same thing he was afraid of: being the culprit of falling in love was about to happen had he not been under the influence of his fear, his lack of freedom. The boy felt as if he understood a great lesson.
The best way to ‘enjoy’ pain is to feel it. And, my friend, ‘to enjoy’, remember, doesn’t mean to take something lightly, but deep, very deep so that it fills each and every pore of one’s soul. Don’t think about happiness when you are experiencing pain. Suck all the depth of your pain and get transported into another world where there would be no pain but ecstasy.
Is sadness a bird? If it can take us to another world, is it then not a bird; the Sorrow Bird? I hate to see the Sorrow Bird approaching my abode. I know that my abode is lonely, and could provide a comfortable spot for the Sorrow Bird. The bird would love to perch on my house. And so I grow more cautious, restless. But as I said I know the bird will take me away somewhere; to a much more beautiful place. That is why I stay put, waiting for the bird to take me over. I wait my eyes closed, focusing completely, and hopeful to find myself in a new place when I open them. But I know the bird will wait until its prey is fully under its control, disarmed. So I keep quiet. Keeping control over—And then there it is! It has taken me all in a quick flash of a second, without even leaving me an option to finish my thought. And that is precisely the point why I call it the Sorrow Bird.
"Most of the times what leads us towards a discomforting end of a relationship is the urge to make the other person a replica of ours."--Anu.
The girl was walking away. She then stopped and turned and said: “Every sorrow will vanish like anything.” Those were her last words (probably of consolation).The young man couldn’t help himself adding: “if you are with me.”
The girl looked at him with sad eyes, or that is what he felt. Sadness seemed to be his lot more than the girl’s. She had said she did not love him. He did not ask her the reasons; what ever the reasons were they had the right to be there. Let the reasons be there, he thought.
The young man wanted only one thing: he did not want to cry. Or even if tears overflowed, he would not want any one else to notice it. And then it rained. And so no one saw the tears in the eyes of the young man.
There was a question in my mind: what is the difference between existence and absence? Then I thought of a comparison that was mentioned once by one of my teachers; some one who follows an ancient Indian philosophical tradition. Though he suggested this example for another occasion, I felt it would be useful in this context too. No advise from great teachers die, they exist and traverse continents, cultures and minds. The comparison offered by my teacher was for advising me about the worth of my being and the significance of being with others. When we talk to someone, we are locating his presence in the world of existence, through gestures, words, and emotions, which would then be continued through memories. But non-living things, such as rocks or fire never do this, my teacher had said.
When some one communicates with us, we are brought into the realm of existence. But when we keep away from communication with others, or confine ourselves inside the barrier of seclusion, we create a space of our own absence: a blank hole in the heart of the universe. The Indian Commentator Group is an attempt to fill such a blank space called Anu Lal. You, my friend are welcome to this group. You can share your thoughts, opinions, politics, love, and every other existential concern in this page. But there is a criterion: whenever you visit this page try to share a piece from your soul with all of us here, with a comment or wish. Thus we all could understand our own worth of being.
This story must take place far from the present, the immediate and the real, because it requires a certain believability that could only be acquired if placed in a space and time distant from the normal reality. Therefore I decided to keep a time that is far back from the present and a space or place, which doesn’t invoke the necessity of being located in any of the maps. It could be anywhere. I chose it this way because we can meet some people only beyond time and space and that is what I meant by believability. People might not think this way in the present world. Or do they?
In this story you can meet a prince, who had even made his enemy’s spy his soul friend. He was wise, kind and meek. In the absence of the king, he was the one responsible to carry out the official duties. The prince was in his durbar hall. The durbar hall was full with an assemblage of different authorities from the Kingdom. There were two others too, that day: a young girl and a person accused of breaking into the young girl’s lonely house. The man was accused of attempting to steal her jewelry, an attempted theft. She was a lonely girl with her family perished in a flood the previous year. She was not married and lived alone. And like any other lonely woman, she too was a constant figure of mystery and sympathy among the local gossipers. Some even called her a witch, but that title did not catch on because she was not an extremely pretty girl. She was a moderate looking girl, with sad eyes.
There was no space to doubt if the thief should be punished. The thief had done such a heinous act of breaking into a lonely girl’s only abode. And the punishment too was doubtless—death, as the prince was known for his justice loving nature and wisdom.
As the prince rose to deliver his decree, the girl who was silent until that moment came forward with folded arms and begged the price:
“My Lord, I do not have the worth to speak in front of you. Forgive my indolence. I request you; please do not kill this thief. Please leave him.”
It was shocking indeed, not just for the prince but also for the authorities assembled there.
“Why do you say so? Don’t you have any complaint against him?”—the prince asked.
“No, my Lord, I was shocked suddenly to see this stranger in my house. And I screamed. It was my neighbours who caught him upon hearing my scream. But I do not have any complaints against him now.”—the girl lowered her eyes after these words.
“Don’t you know this man wanted to steal your wealth?”—the prince asked.
“Yes”—the girl replied.
“Don’t you think this man would have murdered you, after your shouting, in an attempt to save himself, had the villagers not arrived in time?”
“Yes”—was again heard from the girl.
Now the look in the prince’s eyes was of suspicion. “Did you know him before?”—he asked.
“No, my Lord, believe me. Don’t suspect me of adultery; I never met him before, believe me.”—And the girl broke down and wept bitter tears.
“And still you want the thief not to be punished?”—The prince attained his composure.
“But why?”—the prince said in a failed attempt to conceal his surprise.
“Because my Lord, no one came to my lonely house or to me until the day the thief broke into, neither neighbours nor relatives. After the demise of my family I was imprisoned in my loneliness, and this thief is the one who broke the bars of the prison of seclusion and took me out of it. I couldn’t go out and talk to others fearing gossip mongers. And then at least to steal my wealth, he came. I am grateful to him.”—the girl said. She stopped crying and looked up at the prince in his eyes.
The prince smiled and pointing the thief he said: “The stranger can go now. I leave him free.” The whole palace was silent. All his ministers knew the nature of the young prince. And they admired him for what he was.
The prince continued--“I understood your need for some one to break into. I hope you don’t mind young lady. Now, I am breaking into your loneliness, stealing you away from all the loneliness you suffered. Can you stay with me, here in my palace as my wife?”
The prince smiled at the young girl who looked stunned.
Now there were only two voices: two hearts beating a rhythm to merge with each other.
The night was brilliant, thought someone from somewhere, alone. But the girl was irritated. She was at her home, chatting with her classmates through her mobile phone. The night sky was clouded, and it was drizzling too, she thought. Even though she was in the company of her friends, the girl felt bored. She felt sad too. The boredom or the sadness was not due to anything bad, or may be that was, she thought. She had no idea why she felt sad. Now she started feeling irritated too. The weather might be the reason, but she had never felt such a way under similar conditions before. She felt all her moments are shrinking into single urge, one emotional necessity: to search out the reason for her unhappiness.
Then she saw someone banging on her Orkut community page which was attached with her mobile connection. At first she felt a little awkward to accept the chat request regarding her irritated mood that night. But then the other person was her new friend. She did not want to give him a negative message about herself. So she started the conversation with a reply “Hi” for his “Hi”. “The night is brilliant, isn’t it?”—he said. “No, I don’t think so.”—she said, even if she thought that would have been a wrong way to greet a comparative stranger. “Are you sad?”—came the question from the other side. And she told him whatever she felt like. And again felt embarrassed thinking how would the young man on the other side would take all her thoughts that fall comfortably within the margin of nonsense. She wanted to justify her feeling in a better way. So she said—“Rest of my friends... they are all trying ...how to enjoy each and every moment...”
It was the silence from the young man that answered her. She felt bad about beginning such a conversation. And then a text pack was emptied on her screen. She read them and felt she found the reason for her sadness. She read the text again. It said: “I too enjoy each and every moment. But sometimes happiness becomes a veil that hides true knowledge and understanding of the world, and in those times sadness becomes an effective tool. It makes us think about ourselves, the world, everything that caused us to be sad. We understand the world better. And in this way, I know how to enjoy my sadness too.”
She realized that the reason for her sadness and irritated mood that night was happiness. An unending, forceful, wild expression circulated her through the conversation with her friends. They were merry making, cheering at every moment of existence. But as the young man said, she felt the happiness as a veil over her understanding of the world and herself. She said—“I got my answer.” The young man seemed pleased with himself. He said—“Oh that is great. May I know what the answer is?”
Instead of answering the question, the girl decided to hang up. And she did. The night was getting terrible for someone, some where: the young man. But he understood what the girl had said and felt happy for the small pang seeping into his heart.
"Hope is a part of God’s soul. It exists in everything within our perception. But to know it, to read that exotic poem, one should have a Heart of Hope. Here is a poem for Joann, who has a surgery tomorrow for the removal of cancer cells. You can find more detail on this blog:.http://terrisbloomingideas.blogspot.com/"
Joann, blessings for you. Here is God’s soul for you.