Monday, January 21, 2008

Rape of the Senses

The “I” has been conspicuous by its absence for quite some time now. Silhouettes have been complaining of its continued scarcity. “Whispers of unknown shadows have been shared”, they groan. “What about your miserable self?” I, being an obliging stranger, give in to their sustained protests. Here’s the journey, backward in time.

Let’s start at the beginning. It’s always the easiest. It’s not that the shadows were conjured from thin air. Their inspiration came from substantial sources. But what followed was a flight of fancy. Or was it something closer to yours truly? Let me be at the mercy of your discretion. Haan, so the dark shadows came and whispered their stories in my ears. I listened, often laughing, more often jeering. But they kept coming back to me. So I started sharing their anecdotes with fellow mortals. Their lives were opened up to enormous possibilities. Their love stories were discussed with unabashed zeal and their failures guffawed at with an equally shameless juvenility. An unsuspecting couple, lost amidst several strata of passion, became the starting point of this weird rendezvous. The story would have ended there and then. But fate often sneaks up on you in a variety of ways, often leaving you flummoxed, if not aghast. A chance book was thrown down the alley by a stranger wearing a pink cape. The weary senses were, well, wary of any new onslaught. But the stranger had asked me to keep my word, before disappearing with a fashionable swish of the cape. So the pages were devoured while trying to catch some ZzZz.

The ignorant senses went into hibernation, not realizing that a new consciousness was seeping through the small orifices. The senses, being true to their pompous master, denied any such blasphemy and went about their daily business. But the new consciousness had started making its presence known. The pompous master drew caricatures in the void emptiness of space. Hyperspace and star ships became the order of the day. Some gila monsters were disposed of with a clear conscience. So were certain Cheekat characters. Personalities were born and slowly took a definite shape like a potter’s surahi. The world of philosophy changed its course and took notice of a new star. A gullible android wooed one and all with his paranoia, making manic depression something of a cult. Kekda jeered at the unknowing masses, marveling at their ignorance. Chirkut seemed pleasantly surprised that the unsuspecting public had not yet included her in its discussions. All seemed content and at peace with their own parallel universe. Meanwhile, backstage, some senses were being subjected to well, let’s say, a rape.

Fact and fiction coalesced to form one hazy outline. The opinion of the junta on the sidelines, often mattering more than expected, further assisted the deformation. The senses cried out in suppressed amusement and amused pleasure. Their master, the grey gooey matter, felt the ripples of disturbance reaching up to its previously uncharted shores. He set out to find the cause and, as is most often the case, ended up discovering quite a few. We are not here to psycho analyze each one of them. We are here probably only to point out at their stupidity and chuckle to everyone’s content. So be it.

I (or more precisely my wandering grey gooey matter) had been feeling left out of everyone’s story. Garnering attention, while denying providing it, seemed to be my wont. Somehow, wise people of the world realized the fact and set out to avenge my selfishness. Devoid of some much needed company and attention, I retreated into a cocoon and started concocting stories for my strangers. They seemed to be the only one around. In the meanwhile, I tended to jump at those who had sought a vendetta, further distancing them. I had somehow managed to forget that their soothing whispers had been the only thing that kept me from losing my senses in this increasingly maddening world. Their lewd jeers being the only thing that made me blush. Their ill suppressed retorts being the only constructive criticism available in close proximity. The shadows were fine. But they could not fill up the space. I needed them whom I had pushed away. I realized this with unrelenting desperation. Could they not see the same? Could not they for once come to my rescue without my pleading to do so? I believe we must all feed our ego. But eventually, all that matters is finding someone who knows you for the weak person that you are. But I must not generalize. So I shall rephrase my statement. For me, not having to put up any appearances, however subtle, is happiness. I continue to seek it. The façade is for the world. It breaks down in front of a selected few. Choosing the right few is what takes some a lifetime.

The pompous master and his even more reluctant senses were made known of this bitter truth. Inhibitions had to be shed. Some apologies needed to be handed out. Frank conversations were on the charts. Letters were written to a few. Some just talked about the last time someone had hugged them so tightly that the world had seemed small enough. While a few broke the barrier of silence that had been stymieing the flow of emotions and whispered about lost love and shattered ambitions. As for me, I tried forgetting about love’s labor lost. Thereafter, I tried believing in perfection, all the time keeping my eyes closed, lest the bubble burst again. For once, I ventured far enough to trust someone else with myself. Let’s hope the concerned don’t just flush it down the poop hole. I couldn’t help but smile at the simplicity of it all. It does not take an abstruse equation to find the key to satisfaction. But people learning cryptography can hardly think on straight lines. They must continue to seek evermore complex solutions, while the answer jeers at them from behind commonplace situations. So we must decide for once. Is it just these simple things we seek? Is it just the smugness at knowing that there is someone to whom you mean the world, despite your umpteen pitfalls? Is it something different like proving an unsaid point to no one in particular and everyone in general?

I think I am a selfish person. But I feign concern so that the few people I value think otherwise. This is the only way in which I fool them. This is the only way I deceive them. I hope they don’t mind.

PS - I wish to dedicate this post to all "the few" people in life whom I give more than I can take back from them. I hope I have been honest enough that they know it's them.


  1. I was startled to see 0 buggers had responded. I really was. I guess the significant "few" have communicated via other means.

    "Fact and fiction coalesced to form one hazy outline."

  2. it's Trillian or Tricial McMillan in case you are a purist

    zero or long as the concerned have read and understood the comments on THIS post do not matter

    baaki sab posts par karte rehna bhai/behen log....un sab pe band mat kar dena

  3. its was,as usual,a treat to read your post.what i really liked about this post,in particular,is the profundity enmeshed in its simplicity.....perhaps it is easy to be complicated in one's expressions,but, really very difficult to achieve profundity of thought clothed in simplicity of words.....kudos for:"The facade is for the world.....Choosing the right few is what takes some a lifetime." Expressions like these are the bare bones of this post and which compel the imagination to flesh out the 'THOUGHT'undercutting it.Being oxymoronic,be it in thought or expression,seems to be your forte:-)you have,however,achieved the desired result:its simple and yet almost touching....provides a lot of food for thought....almost leads one to stop a minute and internalize our thoughts and emotions before they are swept under the carpet in our quotidian existence....and,i think,thats the mark of a good appeals to what in hindi is called "mann"(a word which,according to me,has no appropriate english translation).brilliant!

  4. "But eventually, all that matters is finding someone who knows you for the weak person that you are."

    True, profound, beautiful.

  5. Piper's comments Suck !!!!
    Big Time !!!

  6. I shouldn't be interrupting this delectable dialogue, but then:

    a-fan, what if Piper found the post a yawn?

    Is his comment any lesser than yours because it is nonchalant: neither criticism nor praise. If anything I applaud the honesty.

    Did YOU understand the post enough to call it profound?

    I am just an amused by-stander, wondering at the volatility of the comments and how strange it is that one set of emotions can ripple through several people in different, ever-enlarging eddies. Why do we think our opinion on anything matters/makes more sense than the next person's? I am just wondering.

  7. kya yaar itna selfish!!!
    sochne ko majboor karta hai par woh bhi bas apne(u) hi baare mein!