Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Test

"What you know is mostly what you feel about knowing something."--Anu.
One day God found the Angel of Death lost in a deep meditation. That was unusual about the angel.
“What are you thinking; you most exuberant of my creations?” God asked.
Shaken from his thought, the Death Angel fumbled: “Master, I was studying how emotions work in human beings.”
“And why this befuddled expression on your face?”
“Father, I learned that emotions in human beings are akin to expressivity. And then I tested them to understand if they have mastered how they express their emotions.”

“I saw your test, my child. Now, tell me what did you learn from it?” God said.

“Lord, when I presented a man with precious he cried bitter tears. I heard him say ‘what have I done that the angel himself has come to me.’ Another time, when I appeared to a woman and took her elder son’s life, she had a smile on her face, and I heard her whisper; ‘my son is in heaven’s gate.’ This is the lesson I learned, Creator that different emotions are separated with a thin layer of wisdom and that anyone is prone to make mistakes in choosing the right one.”

God smiled at this. The Death Angel was left with himself once again. And once again he lost himself in the maze of his own thoughts.   

Friday, March 25, 2011

One Sane


“Then the eyes of both of them became opened and they began to realize that they were naked. Hence they sewed fig leaves together and made loin coverings for themselves.”  — Genesis 3:7

“I came up to you risking my reputation. They will call me insane, for I consulted you, a doctor for the mind. But for my sister, I can cross the any limit. I need to save her, her mind, I mean.”

When the young girl finished talking, the psychiatrist asked: “What is her problem?”
“She finds it pleasing to expose herself, especially her legs.”
“Why have you come alone, then?”
“She doesn’t think she is out of her mind, or what she does is against the norms of our culture.”

The doctor and the young girl took a long time to reach the S. N Park. It was high traffic hour in the Kannur city.

“There she is,” the young girl pointed to a girl, who was reading under the shade of a tree, in a frock that exposed her legs from the knees. She was sitting in a gentle way, with her legs crossed.

“I cannot see anything gross about her dressing,” said the psychiatrist.
“But her legs--“the young girl was about to say something. But the doctor cut in.
“Her legs are extremely beautiful,” he said. “Don’t worry about your sister.” The doctor continued, “Do you know why we prefer such dresses that cover most of our body? It had been fed into our minds that we should use such sort of dresses to be culturally acceptable. It happened in the great past when the women of the time did not feel their legs worth showing off; they had the best reasons to hide themselves behind a piece of cloth.”

The young girl stared at him embarrassed. She could not understand the doctor. To believe a new thought is to keep your sanity at stake, and that was what happened with my sister, thought the young girl. At the distance she noticed a beautiful pair of legs existing beyond anything normal.    

Also Published in Beyond Fair

Friday, March 18, 2011

Fragrance


This is a Molecular story: A molecular story is a very short story; a very very short one, with all the impacts and effects of a real one with all the intrinsic structural peculiarities.


The Fragrance was with a lady, one with a rose that decorated her dark tresses. The port was filled with people as the ship had lifted its sails to part with the shore. The lady too, was there to farewell someone: her beloved. Fragrance desired to enter the ship. But the lady was not leaving at all. The rose in her braids, the lady thought of gifting her lover, who was leaving for a long journey. But the lady was sad, too, because she was left in that land, alone. She knew her slightest change of emotion would give him chronic heart-aches, and now that was exactly how she wanted to avenge her love hurt. She did not give him the flower, as a silent word of frustration. But she decided to keep the flower in her diary, forever. The Fragrance could leave the flower and take the air as its accomplice to reach the ship. But it loved the flower, and it had also seen how sad the lady at losing her beloved was. So the Fragrance remained with her, waiting for the ship to comeback.    

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Knowing

Your likes,
Dislikes, dreams,
Nightmares,
The soil you are-
Born out of,
The smell of your cloister,
And may be what to know about you,
With a whim of knowing you not,
And also that I don’t exist in your world,
All is known to me.
I know you.
And the feeling of knowing you suffocates me.
There is no going back now.
‘I know you.’
You no more exist,
But what I know about you.
‘And the feeling of knowing you suffocates me.’

Monday, March 14, 2011

Bridge

A Molecular Story: A molecular story is a very short story. A very very short one, with all the impacts and effects of a real one with all the intrinsic structural peculiarities.


Once upon a time the people of the Far East believed in the existence of a bridge. The bridge was called Predictability. Whenever their earth shook and mines exploded they took refuge on the bridge. They constructed their lives around this bridge. But one day some thing happened and Predictability failed. That was the day when the sea was in a mad rage, and was coming to eat them alive. The bridge was destroyed. And the unpredictable overpowered man’s earth. But when the sun shone bright the water withdrew, and man found a vast land endlessly stretched in front of him, he called the land his new bridge. And gave it a new name: Hope.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

You and Me


"If you look for answers in love, the questions will never end. The answer is Love itself."

What if
I hold the right
To die for you more than
Being alive myself;
What if I love you more than
You ever thought
And what if my love's infinity
Is always away an unknown distance
From the nearness of-
Your loved ones from you?
What if I am you?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Tsunami Warning

This news item was found in the BBC on line. 



The most powerful earthquake to hit Japan since records began has struck the country's north-east and triggered a devastating tsunami.
Japanese TV showed cars, ships and buildings swept away by a vast wall of water after the 8.9-magnitude quake.
A state of emergency has been declared at a nuclear power plant but officials said there were no radiation leaks.
At least 60 people have been killed by the quake, which struck about 400km (250 miles) north-east of Tokyo.
The death toll is expected to rise significantly.
Now the question is what we can do for those living beings out there in the forefront of the wild dance of death. We can pray. 

The report says death toll as 60.
Prayer:
May there be peace for all those departed souls.
May there be peace in the hearts of the living.
May there be peace with the earth.
May there be peace with the ocean.
May there be no more death.
May there be life.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Rock and the Tree

“Perseverance is not that steady rock that slowly loses itself in the torrent, but that wise tree that gently sways and gives way to the storm and exists as shade to passersby and home to that which fly.”
A stranger arrived at the party offered by the richest businessman in Chalode. The businessman was in his fifties. He owned a network of restaurants and hotels in the area. Once in a year he gave party to his friends. The stranger found the businessman talking among a group of people.

“I would like to have a chat with you.” The stranger said to the businessman. Both of them settled themselves in one of the corners of the huge hall. The stranger looked restless. Before the stranger could speak anything the businessman said:
“I sent you the invitation, because I wanted you to be here. I would like to tell you my story.”

He narrated the story of how he became rich. He had started his business more than twenty years back at Chalode, which was a very small town back then. He had a small teashop. Not many of the town’s people stopped by his shop. But a young writer was his regular visitor, who was his friend, too. The writer would tell him stories of hope and inspiration, which lured the businessman with dreams for a better future.

One day another person started a new teashop across his shop on the other side of the road. Day by day his financial condition dwindled.

The businessman felt himself close to failure. Then on an evening he asked the young writer: “would you please write my story, my friend? It will make me feel good about myself, make myself important and it will remind myself that I too exist. I wish the world to know about my hardships.”

“But I write stories of hope. The stories I write should end happily.” The writer had replied. And after that day he never visited the shop, implying that he had no hope on the poor teashop.

But as the town was small, there were not many customers for the new teashop either. Before long the owner of the new teashop, having lost all his hopes on the town, moved away to a distant place. But the businessman persisted.

As the years gone by an airport was commissioned in a place nearby Chalode. Prosperity fell in love with the small town. The town began to grow and its people affluent. The business man was one of them who earned a good fortune in the turn of things. The businessman opened many teashops and restaurants. And as the small town transformed into a city, his profit too began to increase.

The businessman finished his story. He could see the stranger’s face pale.

“This is my story of survival. I have a request too; I hope this time you will not deny me, my friend: Please write my story.” The businessman said.

The stranger stood up. His eyes were raining dews and his face was twilight. “I am sorry.” Was the only sentence he cold mutter before embracing his friend, the teashop owner, the businessman. The businessman too was dabbing his eyes. After all it was after long twenty years he was coming so close to his old friend, the young writer.

“It was you who made it all possible. It was you, and your stories of hope and inspiration that gave me the courage to dream.” The businessman whispered.


The Days that are No More--7


Dear reader, with this story the series named “The Days that are No More” is coming to a close. The series of individual stories connected with the common theme ‘writer’s block’ was primarily an experiment from my part as a writer, but it had another purpose too. It was an attempt to utilize the supreme power of art. The supreme power of art: the power to transform. My attempt in writing this series was to transform one of the most uncomfortable and confusing periods of an artist’s life—writer’s blocks/creative blocks—into works of art, into stories.

Hoping as always that you have enjoyed them all,
Anu.     

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Bad Stories


“There is a crack in everything that is how the light gets in”—Leonard Cohen.

When a story is born angels smile. They rejoice along with God, for a story is the writer’s resurrection under the shade of words, calling for spaces so close to the signs with endless meaning, the young writer thought. He was sitting alone nearby a river, which was deep enough to swallow even a huge mountain. He was about to make the most crucial decision in his life; he was going to die by flinging himself into the depths of the river.

The sun shone bright in the sky. His tears dried up on his cheek. He stood up and moved closer to the river. But then he heard something like a murmur. Was it an animal? It could be an animal. The place was near to the forest. Would this animal kill him first? Being a failure in life, he had decided what his end should be like; he had prepared his mind to be drowned in the peace of the river, to commit suicide. It was a sin, according to his tradition. He knew he was making the angels sad, and God unhappy. But he knew this well, too that no angels smiled at him yet, and God hadn’t yet had shown signs of joy over his existence; he could not become a successful writer. The young man repeated to himself: “I am right, this time.”

He did not see any animal. He waited with a pounding heart. Then he heard the voice again. It was now a whisper…. “Once upon a time..,” it said. The voice grew bolder. He recognized the voice. It was the voice of the storyteller who lived in the mountains. No one in his place was much interested in his stories, but still every one found him at the market place, where people gathered in the early evening. He told them his stories there. This was almost a ritual, and would go on till late night. The young writer too, never went to listen to his stories. Who in his sane mind would? Most of the days it were thieves and lonely beggars who listened to him late after the sun set.

The young writer wondered how the voice of the storyteller could get to so far a distance, to the river shore. The mountain range was kilometers away from the river. It might be the wind that brought his booming voice covered in its cloak; insane wind, thought the young man. He suddenly felt a new idea and it forced him to think something else. Even though everything was decided, why not take a turn in the path and come back after giving a visit to the old man, the unpopular storyteller, in the mountains.

He took his bicycle and drove towards the mountains. After reaching the foot of the mountains he had to abandon his vehicle for it could not take him over the hazardous twists and turns of the mountain path. It did not take him long to reach the house, on the slope of the mountain. An old man was sitting in the verandah, writing something, frowning over a white paper. The storyteller looked up from his work as he heard the footsteps of someone approaching.

The young man halted politely nearby. “Who are you?” The old man asked.
“I am a failure.” The young man replied, irritated upon his own decision, now, to visit the old storyteller.

“Ah, my fate hasn’t given up yet! All failures first visit my door step, before entering the world.” The storyteller looked frustrated, too. “Why are you disturbing me? Can’t you see I am at work?”

“What are you working at?” The youngster asked curious.

“Why, I am working at my new story.” The old man retorted without looking at the youngster anymore.

The young writer felt a huge lighting bolt striking his heart. Questions welled up in his mind. Will it be rude, if he asked them? After all the old man was a harmless person, who always tried to entertain the people of the town. He never heard the old man harboring any ill will against any of the town’s people.  That doesn’t matter, for everything was sure, absolutely, undeniably sure. He was going to die.

“Do you know something old man; nobody in the town likes your stories. Then why are you working on new ones? Why don’t you stop betraying yourself?” The young writer blurted out.

As the storyteller looked at him, again, in his eyes the young man noticed a drop of tear taking ground in the corner of his left eye. The youngster suddenly regretted his question.

When the old man spoke, his lips fluttered. “I have a reason for what I am doing.” He said. “I believe that when the bad stories are all consumed the good ones will surface. And then I can harvest them, unstopping. So I never stop creating new stories, because you never know when you step upon a priceless gem, for which you had spent a lifetime searching.”  

The young writer returned without a word more. He knew, absolutely, that he had found his path, this time not of death, but of an eternal life, full of possibilities.

  


The Days that are No More--6



Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Stars Behind the Blue Drapery

"The best way to know love is to lose it."--Anu

Had a writer been watching us, he would have written: a man and woman were walking on the beach, may be a husband and wife or may be lovers; they hardly seemed friends since their hands were intertwined in such a fashion that could drive out any possible suggestion about their relationship except that they were in love. The writer was with me; my writer, my love, part of my body and soul, my husband. Near me, Manu was a warm presence, but I knew he was feeling confused, may be a little out of place. The previous night, he had told me that he was in a block and that he felt absolutely cut off from his personal fairy land. 

January 3rd 2011 was a special day in our lives: the third anniversary of our marriage. I don’t know who decided on our visit to Muzhappilangad Beach. Someone; may be our love; the love that we believed divine, close to God.

It takes just a glance for expectations, sometimes, to shatter. But it did not take even that on Muzhappilangad Beach. It just took a smell. We walked in ward on the beach and the air smelled terrible of the human excreta. We walked away from the stinking shore forward. And there we noticed some construction works in progress among the Weeping Willow canopy. There were five to six cottage-structures raised over a platform constructed approximately ten feet above the sea level. We climbed the stairs and I was taken into my own world of imagination and creativity. I always felt, I had acquired the faculty of imagination from my writer husband. The whole place seemed perfect for a holiday spot in the possible future in the screen of my mind: a futurological attempt. But it was also hard for me not to think of the trees slaughtered down, the sand stretch tampered with, and the environment all left to stand in stark nudity with its green tree covers stripped; a bad poem written on sand. We had heard of the drive-in beach and were excited on the prospect of walking together hand-in-hand; the waves, the sand, the wind. But now, the implacable decision made by Mr. Love to take us to the beach seemed stupid.

“What about your responsibility as a writer? Don’t you feel like reacting?” I shot two questions to Manu. He was silent. My intention was not an answer to these questions, but to listen to his voice. A part in my always felt I could not survive without his gentle voice humming near to my ears. Every word spoken by him is a promise; a promise that carries pain and pleasure at a time.

I sat there on the floor on top of the platform. It was paved with interlocks. But Manu did not. I looked around and saw him wandering, looking down, slowly, as if a warrior searching for a lost weapon. After a moment or two I was completely lost in the beauty of that paradise turned Muzhappilangad beach. The sea was gracefully spread, vast with fleeting waves curving in the blowing wind. I wondered how the people of this place could damage this beach so awkwardly. It was beautiful.

I can’t remember now, what reminded me of Manu, then. It was a sudden realization: he was nowhere in sight. Many had disappeared. Even though I knew that would not happen, I felt bad. I stood up and started pacing around. A worker was polishing the bricks near to a building. I asked him had he seen Manu. He seemed surprised, may be due to the absurdity in a strange woman asking about some ‘Manu’, who was another stranger to a stranger. Who was Manu for him?

“I mean the man who was with me, my husband.” I clarified, with a sudden shock remembering what Manu had told me prior to the visit about the morality keepers of the place. They were demons for whom nothing matters, no man-woman-sympathizing-with-each-other, Manu had told me. A man and woman coming together to this beach would be in danger, as it hinted sexual mingling, unless they were husband and wife, and not so young. Otherwise there was always the chance of being accused of adultery and put on trial legally.

I knew I was safe with Manu being my promise and my love. But where was he now?

Photo By Eve Love Cher
While I was turning away from the workman my eyes caught the writer. I found something else too, with him: a smile. Smile had deserted him many days past, and he had been living through a delirious silence, his writer’s block. But now, he was smiling, and that meant a lot. He came running towards me and caught my right arm.

“There is something I want to show you, dear.” He said. He pulled me towards him. The workman seemed surprised. Then I noticed his expression changing. It changed into a vague smile. I couldn’t judge its meaning. Was that dangerous? A morality demon?

Where was my writer taking me to? My writer, my love, part of my body and soul, my husband. I was ready to follow him wherever he wanted, whenever he wanted. We were almost in a run. Then he stopped and suddenly raised his left hand, pointing something: a broken piece of mirror that reflected the blue sky and invited the sea gulls to its crystalline surface to gift them with a self reflection so rare in the turmoil with the life in the sea. While I looked at it, the piece of mirror transformed itself into a small lake, which lies a little away from the sea.  

“I feel inspired.” Manu whispered into my ears, and I felt my soul responding to his voice with a slight murmur, echoing the wind. Just like to the seagulls, the lake seemed to offer him something inexplicable, completely unique, out of the understanding of an idiot like me. The writer was smiling. I smiled at him, too. Actually, we both smiled at our love. Mr. Love, thank you so much for giving us that day. I doubted you, still you were right. I remember that day I felt like dancing with the stars though they were nowhere to be seen with the bluish curtain that covered the sky.       

The Days that are No More--5

Also published in: Trifter.com
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