Sunday, July 25, 2010


…the wind blows. The debatably heterogeneous mixture of various gases, vapors and particles ad infinitum wedge themselves in the clefts of the sandstone. What was once conceived as a solid union of assorted molecules is now forced to break shards of itself – the tide of time is an executioner of extreme ruthlessness - unbiased in its crusade of change. A grain of sand is born. A short distance away a belt of tiny particles of newly formed rock and dust float on the wind without much of their will or consent.

The desert seems harsh and inhabitable for those who insist a cage is the safest way to complete a journey. Locked like birds with a false sense of assured survival, with the ignorance of the fact that at sometime the sand in the hourglass will run out, they smile. The ochre dunes move like the fluid that they are, floating by from one point to the next, devouring all that comes in its path, all that doesn’t acknowledge it. The sun beats heavily down on this vast creature determining the cyclic rhythms of its inhabitants – sparing some, rearing others and tearing the rest.

It is a fallacy, and a broadly spread one, that the dunes are hostile. I lie amidst the sand, partially buried by it, patiently biding my time. The torrents of heat, riding majestically on its chariot of convection, envelopes the bit of me the sand cared to spare. My skin flakes and cracks as moisture steadily ebbs off it – everything in the desert is like the sand. Understanding the correlation is integral. The rags cloaking me lose much of their definition, not that its much of a problem; its just the situation.

I had seen movies back in the day. A lot can be learnt from movies. The do-gooders discredit them as mere entertainment but my question to them is simple – what isn’t? A lot can be learnt from movies. ‘The man is lost in the desert and in his sheer desperation is hoping for a messiah to come to his rescue. Perhaps an aircraft, lost like him on a different plane but destined to extradite his hapless soul, would take him back to a water bottle and a quaint palace awaiting the return of its prince. As this thought glides across his wandering mind the air does bring a messiah but expectations can be rather deceptive. Splashed across the wavy blues a black blotch appears. The shriek of the vulture having found its prey sends jitters down his brittle spine; the audience sympathizes, and then sip on their cola with much gratitude.’ The messiah does come.

The vulture approaches me cautiously, testing my will with every move it makes, carefully assessing whether there is any left in me at all. A rather large bird of prey, and prey it is for sure, as the creature is not dead. It shrieks again, this time in a more assertive and directed manner. Come closer. Time fine tunes this game of chess. Predator and prey; some need to be reminded of who stands on top of the pyramid, and its overflowing; the line is gray.

The bird leaps towards my skull, its aim certain. The removal or dramatic impairment of vision puts one at a position of loss; fact. The vulture however lacks empathy - I feel the same way too. The sand leaps sideways, like a wave in the ocean, revealing the rest of my white rags. Clenched tightly with my fist I fling the cloth over the bird – caging it in the darkness. Wedged between the sand and fabric it shows signs of desperation. The hero of the movie. Experience in a craft makes it look simple, even seem simple, and as you would know, it does get simpler.

Fluids. They are perhaps the most essential aspect of survival in the desert. A desert is a piece of land without much fluid, a commodity becomes integral if its availability is scarce. Simple economics. The bird’s heart must be beating. From under the cloth I break its legs and wings, communication breaks down. The factory of stealth built over years of adaptation, trial and error is now consumed by natural imperialism. The heart must beat. Under the cloth lies my meal, a banquet served on natures very own platter.

The right hand clenches its beak, the left its body. The last bit of life tries to struggle out of sheer instinct. There is a clear line between hope and instinct. We both know that. I raise its body closer to my head and kiss its throbbing jugular with my teeth. Life syncs into one and out of another. Fluid is essential. The flesh is secondary. The sun watches on. Predator and prey; the line is grey.

In my time I have heard sermons on the violence, the dos and don’ts, ascertained by those confined by one value – scale. The blood flows and there is no morality in it. The big fish consume the little ones. Vegetarians take antibiotics. The body rips apart carefully integrated proteins, carbohydrates, sugars and burns and mutilates them just for its own convenience. Our actions are not confined just to what we can see or sense. Sensitivity is infinite; morality draws lines on its plane – making spectrums and divisions. Universes are consumed within a breath and as I exhale ….

... the wind blows. A spot afar the eternal spark of the sun tries to paint the fading evening sky with hues of the most fantastic shades of orange and yellow. The fire still tries to burn the darkness. I watch the two in their endless dance on this evening. The horizon seems to stretch with attention, time slows down and the colours intensify. My hands are outstretched and they try to grab all that they can’t touch – the funny part is that I know it. I can taste the beauty of it on my tongue, I can smell the fragrance that this whirlpool of alteration causes.

A perfect world must be a moment, the one moment when everything and everyone is content. There is a comforting silence that everyone and every being shares – living or not. I have heard of people who harbor this dream throughout their lives but fail to see the point that this moment is eternal and its always with us. The noise, the change, the movement of particles and colours is what adds the flavour to it. The notion of peace is relative. There is peace when there is violence. If there is no violence there can be no notion of peace. Yet people look at the violence with such disgust and horror. You’re not Atlas, not at the least. Violence on the other end is not very different from anything – it comes in all shapes and sizes – what would you want to disturb you?

I am not propagating hate, but I am trying to make myself understand the reasons why people want to propagate sympathy. I look outside my apartment window and on the threshold there’s a dead vulture. Welcome to the Urban jungle: Ver 2.1.0. Survival is never easy but there is no need to make it seem more difficult than it is. The trick is that once it doesn’t seem difficult it stops being so as well. The child smiles – its chocolates and festive seasons all year round. Death however, makes people stop. I never quite grasped the concept until recently.

The human brain is such a powerful instrument that it is often out of the control of many people. Butterfly. That one word would have sent your mind on such a tangent, it would have given an imagery of fantastic colours, perhaps a sense of serenity, an illusion of pristine natural surroundings. Or perhaps it triggered a mathematical phenomenon in your head – a small change here can cause a great change elsewhere and so on. All of this materializes before your eyes glided past a few inches. An entire universe – complete in every conformed dimension, is created in a moment. The interesting part about the brain is that we are born with it and its working since its inception.

A child is born and interpretations of his surroundings start – a biological robot surveying every aspect of his immediate environment. As the child grows the environment shapes it to suit its immediate needs and requirements and vice versa. The fire fights the darkness. Slowly but with certainty, the brain understands and involves itself into the environment. Memory begins to function. Slowly it gets to a point where this life, viewed through the five senses, is all that the child knows. Enter death. Don’t jump, you might die, don’t run, you might die, don’t think – it’s probably a lie. Death begins to play its aces. “Remember remember sweet child, this is all that you know and that knowledge is asserted upon you every day. There is nothing else for you lack the instruments to perceive beyond this and it is comfortable. Comfort is the satisfaction of projection. The brain has learnt so and therefore it must be.

Death is the end of all these perceptions, and what might that lead us into? A realm of the unknown; something that we have not experienced before. If it is something that we have no clue about then there can be no possibility of knowing what the experience might be like. This is all we know. A caged animal dies comfortably. How can you experience something that you do not know? How can you leave all of this behind, all that has made this life for you? Remember how comfortable it is. Ace of fucking spades.

The so called thirst for knowledge is a façade, it is the thirst is for improved mechanisms. Bigger, faster, stronger. The scales shift. Yet I wonder what makes people so afraid. These things that gratify us and satisfy us have all been learnt. The fear is what keeps people blind – fear of knowing what lies beyond for there is no way to see the steps before you take them – conventionally speaking.

It’s a lottery with a hidden prize and everyone has a ticket. Life is a dream and death a lie; for only in a dream can you be constrained by ideas. What you see is what you wish to, an experience. The line begins to get grey. Human Beings not Human Been. This is just momentary – a learning experience. We are all in school – everyone enrolled, the world is bliss and the doors to it are for graduates. Children are playing their little games in the garden waiting for a day to grow up, for the sun to shine, for the doors to open. The dream is shared and by it some get scared. Shivering, wishing for new – dancing to the drumbeat and His little red book. I sit down, straighten my back and return to silence as I inhale…

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