Monday, February 27, 2017

Guru


Fiction

Guru had been sitting in meditation on the hillock for as long as he could ward off the hunger that was humming in his belly.  By the time the hunger became a fire in the belly, Guru had reached enlightenment.

“It was about four and a half hours that I sat there in deep meditation,” Guru declared to the devotees who had assembled at his ashram by the time he had finished his meal.  Perverts and antinationals spread the rumour that Guru’s chelas had paid in hard cash to bring in so many people as devotees.  They were the days when the Prime Minister had shoved all hard cash into the trash bin with one 8 pm television address to the nation.

“Up to that moment,” Guru went on, “that moment of my enlightenment, I always thought that this is me and that is somebody else or something else.  At that moment, however, I did not know which is me and which is somebody else or something else.  Suddenly, what was me was all over the place.  The very rock on which I was sitting, the oxygen I breathed, the very ecosystem around me, I had just exploded into everything.”

Perverts and antinationals said that the guy’s business had gone bust and his wife’s father had refused to pay more dowry.  So he exploded. 

The explosion was a Big Bang.  It gave birth to a whole universe with Guru at the centre.  Planets and satellites formed soon and started revolving round Guru. 

Miracles occurred once in a while.  The greatest miracle was the Mahasamadhi of Guru’s wife, Kalyani. 

“On the 13th of next month,” Guru prophesied, “when three planets will form a cluster centred on the 13th degree of Aquarius, joined by the Sun with the Full Moon opposite them all, Kalyani will achieve her Mahasamadhi.  It is the most auspicious day for Mahasamadhi.  The great sages of the past chose this day for their Samadhi....”

Perverts and antinationals spread the rumour that Guru had murdered his wife. 

The devotees beat their drums.  The drum beats resounded above all other noises.  The drum beats became the music of the spheres in the ashram.  The music enticed.  The music bewitched.  Guru claimed that he was the music. 

The heavens were pleased.  They poured down showers through the holes in the ozone layer. 


PS. This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to anybody else or anything else is a figment of the reader’s imagination.


Friday, February 24, 2017

An Unsuitable Boy – Review


Reading Karan Johar’s autobiography is like watching one of his movies: you remain riveted to it from beginning till end.  It may be a world that’s quite different from the one you are used to.  The grandeur is dreamlike.  But the sorrows are more real and touching though not deeply enough.  It’s entertaining as much as a steaming cup of coffee or occasionally a drink of Scotch on the rocks.  And you know that a coffee or Scotch is not going to be much of a classic.

The book begins with a self-deprecating account of the author’s childhood.  We see Karan as a chubby boy who was teased for being a “pansy” or who could not survive in a boarding school beyond a couple of days or so.  The young Karan was not very promising in any way so much so that his mother was alarmed enough to lament that he was just “ a mediocre student” who had no interest in anything particularly and one who could not even make friends. 

Karan entered Bollywood without much difficulty, thanks to his father’s reputation there.  The book would make us think that becoming a success in Bollywood is not a big deal.  Karan has not gone deep into the issues that make Bollywood a teeming cauldron.  But there are a lot of interesting details – like the entertaining antics of a Shah Rukh Khan, Karan’s favourite actor and long time friend – that engage us though not involve us. 

It fails to involve us because Karan doesn’t actually seem to believe in anything profound about life.  “In this world, your only barometer is wealth and money,” says Karan unabashedly.  He admits that he loves luxury and the upper classes.  He cannot make movies about the poor and the oppressed.  He can empathise with them, he says; but we never see any evidence for the empathy, however.  The book makes us feel that he is floating through life like a well-equipped luxury cruise ship. 

Karan has an inborn talent.  He can engage the audience whether in the movie or in a book’s narrative.  That makes the book an engaging read.  There’s more.  He is as candid as possible for one who wants to say things without hurting others. He speaks frankly about his sexual orientations and inclinations, his friendships and dislikes. 

In the last chapter, ‘Bollywood Today,’ he speaks candidly about the three Khans who dominate the industry even today.  He has all admiration for them.  He stands in awe before the “mysterious” Amitabh Bachchan.  He would prefer to have the younger generation a little more open and genuinely expressive.  “They don’t allow you to get to know them,” he complains.  “You don’t know what they really are as people” unlike the Khans who speak out their views in interviews. 

There is a generation gap, it seems.  Karan writes, “I find sometimes when you ask this generation a question, there’s no coherence in the answer.  You’ve asked a question and they’ve gone into something else altogether.  And they laugh at their own jokes, which are not funny.  They have nothing clever to say.  It’s so sad.  Some of them are supreme talents, yet they have nothing to say.”

Karan’s verdict is right, I think.  But Karan himself could have said more in the book and made it a classic of sorts.  He has the supreme talent. And cleverness too.  Why did he draw the line then?  I guess the younger ones are drawing the lines for very similar reasons.  Maybe a time will come when they master the maturity as well as success required for the kind of candidness that Karan displays.

Before the Epilogue, the book carries some photographs.  It’s nice to see Karan as a child, little boy, young man and then with his friends in the industry. 

I particularly liked the last sentence of the book: “Death doesn’t scare me, life sometimes does.”  I wish Karan had made that scariness of life a little more vivid in the narrative. 



Thursday, February 23, 2017

Divine Conundrums

Rao and his wife appeasing the gods

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao’s faith in God is a highly expensive affair for his people.  His latest offering at Tirupati Venkateshwara Temple amounts to gold worth Rs 5.6 crore.  Earlier too he made similar weighty offerings at various other temples.  He is rewarding God for making the state of Telangana a reality. 

If any individual wants to give away his/her wealth to anyone for any cause, it is his/her personal affair.  But Rao is throwing the money from the state exchequer into the temple coffers.  The taxpayers’ money is supposed to be used for the people’s welfare.  If the people of Telangana share their CM’s faith that throwing money into divine repositories is going to ensure their welfare, may God save them.  Otherwise they should question the misuse of their money.

Rao is rewarding God for creating the new state. If God is going to do all such things, then what is human endeavour for?  All we need to do is to sit in the temples, sing bhajans, promise kilograms of gold to the presiding deity and then leave it to God to create new roads and bridges for us, to heal our diseases, to educate our children, or whatever. 

Rao is making a mockery of human endeavour.  He is strangling man’s honest quests to understand and grapple with life’s inevitable conundrums. But he is likely to get away with it because gods are involved.  That is a more serious conundrum.


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Open-Eyed Meditations - Review


Book Review

This book is a compilation of 64 inspiring meditation pieces.  Each piece, brief and to the point, deals with a specific topic, a very common human problem.  ‘How do I enhance my happiness quotient?’, ‘7 secrets of innovation’, and ‘Jealousy – a terrorist attack on self’ are three of the 64 titles.  Each piece gives eminently practical counsel on the topic.  Each piece is meant to be read and meditated on.  We have to absorb the lessons slowly, not just read and understand.

‘Valentine’s Day Secret Tips’ begins with a question: “Are you sure that your first valentine will remain your last valentine?”  The secret of maintaining a good relationship is acceptance rather than expectation, the piece goes on to counsel.  It gives us the example of Dasaratha and Kaikeyi from Ramayana.  Their love grew stronger when they set aside personal needs and focused on the other’s needs.  Kaikeyi was ready to risk her life for her husband.  But then conditions and expectations entered that relationship ruining it as well as ruining other people’s happiness. 

Each meditation piece in the book is founded on examples from the Mahabharata and the Ramayana.  Rama and Ravana, Krishna and Arjuna all come to teach us certain fundamental lessons of life and happiness.  The author has combined psychology with religion successfully.  However, one who does not believe in the divinity of Rama or Krishna can also find succour in the book provided they are familiar enough with the great Indian epics and their characters. 

Those who take the epics as divinely inspired books will find Shubha Vilas’s meditation book a source of spiritual strength too.  In fact, spirituality achieves far more than psychology when it comes to transforming the psyche.  This could be one reason why the author chose to mix psychology with spirituality in this book and call the chapters meditations. 

In the chapter, ‘Can your talent be your enemy?’, we are told that “While talent is useful in handling things and projects, good attitude is useful in handling people and relations.  While talent moulds our actions, attitudes mould our reactions.”  Then it presents Karna and Arjuna as examples.  Both were great warriors, equally talented.  But Krishna chose the latter because he had a good attitude.  Suffering from inferiority complexes, Karna boasted a lot; he used his talent as a means to shield his deep insecurities.  “Exhibition of talent is an expose of one’s weakness when the attitude behind it is negative,” we are told.

This is the way each chapter in the book proceeds.  It is a method that Thomas a Kempis employed in his classical meditation book, The Imitation of Christ.  Shubha Vilas has written a contemporary Indian version of that classic, I dare say. 

Each chapter is very brief and yet each is followed by a condensed summary which makes it easy to recapitulate.  It will be highly rewarding to begin each morning by reading a chapter of this book and spending a few minutes in contemplation.


This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Hemingway and the Yogi


Ernest Hemingway, Nobel laureate in literature, loved life passionately.  He loved adventure and relished the big game safaris in Africa as much as sailing through the dangers in the ocean or even punching the opponent in amateur boxing. More so, he trusted people just to know if they were trustworthy.  Many of the adventures he embraced had the potential to kill him.  He survived two plane crashes during his last safari in Africa and read with considerable amusement the obituaries that appeared in the morning’s newspapers which had presumed his death.

The Yogi, on the other hand, has no passions by profession.  He is supposed to be dispassionate.  He has conquered emotions and passions.  Rig Veda says that the whole spectrum of human passions ranging from enthusiasm and creativity to depression and agony, from the heights of spiritual bliss to the heaviness of earth-bound labour, belongs to the rank and file.  The Yogi has transcended these contrary forces. 

Between the extreme passion of Hemingway and the equally extreme dispassion of the Yogi, there exist an infinite variety of possibilities which we the ordinary mortals embrace.  A bit of adventure here and a bit of spirituality there is good enough for us.  We can extend the bits occasionally to protracted entertainments too, maybe in the mountains or in the temples.  We can be both passionate and dispassionate, as demanded by the occasion.  We can be secular and religious at the same time.  That’s why we are normal human beings.  Albert Einstein wondered many times, looking at people like us, whether he was crazy or the other people (that is, we) were.  

Hemingway was crazy anyway and his passions took his life in the end.  The Yogi may live a hundred years though I will never understand for what.  What’s the use of living like a vegetable even if you can exist for a hundred years?  I’d rather have much shorter life filled with joys and passions.  That’s my personal view: one of the infinite varieties of possibilities that lie between Hemingway and the Yogi.  But I love those Yogis who go around entertaining the world with passionately undulating bellies and selling us everything from fairness creams to Ayurvedic Soanpapdi.  They entertain us with a difference.



Friday, February 17, 2017

Pessimism in Literature


A fellow blogger whom I requested for a review of my short story collection, The Nomad Learns Morality, turned down the request on the grounds that my stories were pessimistic.  “Howsoever wrongs have been done in the past and howsoever bleak the present may be appearing, optimism needs to be preserved in one way or the other, that's what I feel,” he wrote to me. 

It is almost impossible to come across such candidness in today’s world.  I found my respect for this blogger friend increase manifold merely because he cared to express his opinion so frankly.  That’s my pessimism and my realism.  When I say “It is almost impossible to come across such candidness in today’s world”, I’m expressing my pessimism.  But my respect for the friend’s candidness is my realism. 

Is it the duty of a literary writer to preserve optimism?  The lion’s share of the world’s best literature would be rendered trash if we answer in the affirmative.  From the great Greek classics to the contemporary Nobel winners, great literature is not at all optimistic.  Is the Ramayana optimistic?  Is the Mahabharata?

“Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought,” wrote P B Shelley, the Romantic poet who is still taught in the world’s universities that teach English literature.  While the Buddha suggested the Eightfold Path as a remedy for overcoming suffering, the literary writers discover the beauty in suffering.  The Buddha was a greater pessimist than Shelley!

Literary writers don’t preach ethics and moral codes.  They are not motivational gurus.  They don’t create nursery rhyme heroes. They explore life as it is.  They create narratives about life as they see and understand it.  Is there any classical narrative that has not its moorings in sorrow?  Is the literary re-creation of the sorrows of life pessimism? 

PS. These are some thoughts that flashed through my mind as I read my friend’s response.  I repeat that this is not an answer to him.  I respect his right to his views and more I admire his candidness.  But I thought it was important to explore my pessimism.  At the same time, I hasten to clarify that I’m not claiming any literary merit for my stories by writing this.  I’m nothing more than a blogger.  I don’t even consider me a writer. 


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Zorba's Wisdom


There are some books which are unputdownable, yet they compel you to put them down in order to contemplate.  Every page is a bewitching invitation to turn over to the next.  Every line captures your fancy and you don’t want to leave the intoxication.  Yet your mind urges you to stop and take in a line here or a metaphor there more deeply.  One of the many books which did that to me (and will do it again when I read it again) is Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.

There is very little by way of plot in this novel.  There is the first person narrator who would rather choose a book on love than a beautiful woman who offers the experience of love to him.  Then there’s Zorba, the protagonist, who is a sixty year-old man with boundless passion for life.  He thinks that a woman sleeping alone is “a shame on all men.”  The intensity of Zorba’s passion for life can seduce women, notwithstanding his age.  He is a lover, fighter, adventurer, musician, cook, miner, and enlightener. 

Happiness, for him, is as simple as a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, or the sound of the sea.  Probe him a little and he would define happiness as “to have no ambition and to work like a horse as if you had every ambition.  To live far from men, not to need them and yet to love them.  To have the stars above, the land to your left and the sea to your right and to realize of a sudden that in your heart, life ... has become a fairy tale.”

Fairy tale, yes.  In your heart.  In actuality, life is trouble.  Zorba knows that too well.  To live is to embrace trouble. Seeking enlightenment from books as the narrator is doing is to go on knocking on a deaf man’s door forever.  Ah, but follies are not just the bookworm’s prerogative.  Every worthwhile man has his folly.  The greatest folly is not to have one.  Without that folly, which Zorba calls madness on another occasion, a person never dares to cut the rope and be free.

Zorba grows into your consciousness.  Zorba becomes the consciousness.  That’s why the book is unputdownable.  But you have to put it down.  Again and again.  Zorba will make you do that.


PS. Written for Indispire Edition 157:  #irresistiblebook

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Mexico – A Review




Reading Mexico: Stories by Josh Barkan will make one think that Donald Trump’s demand for the border wall is justified.  Mexico comes across in these 12 stories as a country of drug dealers and their mafia along with prostitutes and quite many people who resort to violence without too much provocation.  The stories are set in the capital city where “To live ... you have to pretend there aren’t many dangers” [‘Everything else is going to be fine’].

Each of the twelve stories shocks us with a different variety of danger.  In the very first one, ‘The Chef and El Chapo’, we meet “the most badass narco in the country” who is ushered into the Chef’s restaurant by a retinue of his AK-47 swinging guards for a uniquely tasty meal.  The Chef is under duress to prepare that exquisite meal the type of which the Boss has not tasted so far.  The reputation of the Chef is at stake.  Worse, his life as well as those of the clients present in the restaurant is in danger as the Boss’s ego can be provoked dangerously and too easily.  The Chef finds a way.  He mixes his blood with the dish.  But his blood has certain bitterness that comes with age and experience of the world.  So he adds the blood of a little innocent girl whose thumb he cuts in order to procure the blood.  The Boss who does not know of the secret ingredient yet relishes the meal.  But the subsequent knowledge does not bother him unduly.  He cannot go back on his promise to reward the Chef if he relished the meal.  The Chef’s ego is comparatively diminutive and hence he regrets what he did.

The violence and darkness notwithstanding, each story has much humanity too in it.  Each story throws light on both sides of human nature: the dark and the bright; sin and the potential for redemption.  This makes the collection eminently rewarding in spite of all the darkness that may nauseate the reader occasionally. 

I found the story ‘The God of Common Names’ particularly profound.  “This is a Romeo and Juliet story.”  Thus begins the tale which goes on to narrate the tragic end of two adolescents in love.  The boy and the girl were the offspring of two notorious drug dealers who are each other’s rivals.  Their teacher, a non-religious Jew, tries his best to save his students but fails.  The teacher himself married a woman against her father’s fervently religious appeals.  The very religious father, according to the teacher-narrator, negates life (not very unlike the drug pusher) while wrapping his self in a small bundle of virtue, blind to essential things of life.  Like most religious people, the father wants the teacher to “denounce who he was” for the sake of God and religious traditions.

Every story is a gem by its own right.  The drawback, however, is the violence in which each is steeped.  Each story is narrated by a first person narrator which makes the story very convincing and personal.  But as we move on to the second half of the book we may feel a sense of déjà vu in spite of the fact that the narrator is an entirely different person, belonging to another walk of life that we have not seen so far. 

We meet a whole spectrum of narrators in this collection ranging from a retired nurse to a drug peddler, musician to plastic surgeon, painter to architect.  But all of them present a rather dark picture of Mexico City.  The book deserves to be read, however, if only to realise that there is much potential for redemption in spite of all that wretchedness. 

PS. I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Visit Josh Barkan, the author, at his website HERE

Friday, February 10, 2017

Relationships


“I am your handiwork made flesh.  You took beauty and created hideousness, and out of this monstrosity your child will be born... I am the meaning of your deeds. I am the meaning of your so-called love; your destructive, selfish, wanton love.  Your love looks just like hatred.... I was honest and you turned me into your lie.  This is not me.  This is not me.  This is you.”

Salman Rushdie’s character, Boonyi, in Shalimar the Clown, spits out the above dialogue to her husband Max Ophuls.  Relationships have the tremendous power to wreak such havoc on people.  Relationships can be devastating. 

Relationships can be beautiful too.  It depends on the people involved, their attitudes and motives.

Relationships are quite like chemical reactions.  The elements can enter into strong and beautiful bonds creating admirably different compounds.  But unlike in chemical compounds, the individuals should be able to retain their own unique personalities in human relationships.  In a good relationship, the individuals grow and help each other grow. 

The primary ingredient in a sound relationship is mutual understanding and acceptance of the otherness of the other.  When I understand that the other person is such and such and I am also able to accept those traits, I enter into a beautiful relationship – provided the other person reciprocates with similar understanding and acceptance. 

That’s not easy, however.  Most people are not much different from Rushdie’s Max Ophuls. In varying degrees. They like to impose themselves on the other.  And go on to create lies out of honesty.  Re-create the other in one’s own image or after one’s own ideal about the spouse or friend.  Since people are not insensate clay to be moulded by a craftsman or craftswoman, such attempts at re-creating are doomed to end in disaster.  The other individual ends up as a living lie, an  impostor, a fragmented personality, a victim, unless she/he ends the relationship and walks away to rediscover her-/himself.

I have had quite a few friends who insisted on reshaping me because they thought that my soul stood in terrible need of redemption.  Some thought that I had to be tamed if not reformed altogether.  Some had ulterior motives like breaking me in order to please the boss who would award him a promotion as a reward. 

I have never understood why I attracted so many such ‘friends’ and may never.  So much so that I have embraced virtual solitude.  But I know that relationships have their beauty in human life.  Relationships can enrich.  I have had at least a couple of such experiences too.  Not everything has been dark.  Some light is good.  Otherwise I wouldn’t be here as a writer – I mean, blogger.  But I do wish I had met different people on the way.

PS. Written for Indispire Edition 156: #Relationship

  

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Brownian Motion and Karma


Fiction

The first thing that greeted Govinda as he stepped out of home early in the morning was a spider web which stood right at the entrance to his house.  He had come out, as usual every morning, to pick up the newspaper that the delivery man would throw into the yard from the road.

The spider web brought out the philosopher in Govinda.  His mind went on a contemplation trip. 

Why did nature create spiders?  Just to make webs and trap insects.  Insects are created to be trapped in spider webs. What a fate!  What a futile life!  To eat and to be eaten.  And reproduce.  How redundant are these creatures?  Govinda wondered.  How redundant is life itself by and large?

He thought of people.  Most people meant nothing to him: like the passengers who travelled in the same compartment in a metro train, for example.  They just jostle us along: into the compartment at one station and then out of it at another. And then we go on.  Jostling.  The jostling becomes more personal at the workplace.  More intimidating.  Like the spider and the insects.  The boss and the staff.  Among the staff, there are those who are close to the boss on the one side and those who don’t know how to get close on the other.  Jostle becomes hassle. The push eventually comes to shove and the spiders win.

Govinda had once asked Karunasagar Guru about the futility of such a life.  “Life is an illusion,” explained the Guru.  “The result of our karma.  The self is the only reality and it is one with the infinite.  Aham Brahmasmi.  Those who don’t attain that level of realisation are destined to be reborn.  As spiders, insects, anything according to their karma.”

“But spiders eventually win, don’t they?” Govinda asked.

“When spiders are themselves illusions, maya, what does victory mean?” answered the Guru.  “Maybe, such victories necessitate the incarnation of God to put an end to the mounting evil.  Sambhavami yuge yuge.”

Govinda never liked that idea.  Even those gods who incarnated to put an end to evil were themselves deceptive and malicious.  He could never justify many of the things that Krishna, the god of Karunasagar Guru, did.  He perpetrated much duplicity during the Kurukshetra war.

“Bindaas!”  Leslie Pereira would say.  Leslie was a recent addition in Govinda’s office.  He loved music, wine and women.  In that order.  “Never in excess,” he would warn, “unless you want to be knocked out of the Brownian motion.”


Life is nothing but the Brownian motion.  That was Leslie Pereira’s philosophy. Jostle and hassle.  Push and shove.  Some win and some lose.  Naturally.  But the motion goes on.  Inexorably.  Relentlessly.  Without any purpose other than the fun in the push and the shove.

Govinda was awakened from his contemplation.  The newspaper was still lying in the yard. 

He stood before the spider web that stood between him and the newspaper.  “Karma.  Brownian motion.”  He muttered to himself as he cut the anchor threads of the spider web.

The spider became alert.  It moved a little and then stopped.  Even the spider knows how far a push can go to become a shove.  It retreated. 






Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Universe is Crazy


Through the haze of the twilight walked in Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s Little Prince.  He was still the same old Little Prince (LP).  That’s why he appeared in the twilight.  When they grow up they become princes or princesses of darkness.

“The Universe is a crazy place,” said LP when I asked what he had learnt after so many years of wandering among the stars and meteors.  Just imagine your own situation, he said.  Right now you are moving at about a speed of 1500 km per hour. 

“You mean the speed of the rotation of the earth?” I ventured to ask.  It is dangerous to ask questions to enlightened people.  You never know how they will take your questions. They live in a different universe altogether.

Precisely, he said.  If the earth is rotating at a speed of about 1500 km per hour on its axis, you are moving at that speed, aren’t you?

“The earth is also revolving around the Sun at about 30 km per second,” I said. 

Indeed, he consented immediately.  So you are spinning at about half a kilometre per second and rushing in the space at about 30 km per second. 

He had converted 1500 km per hour into km per second, I understood.

Then there are your airplanes and maglev trains and what not, said LP.  So much rush, so much rush.  He shook his head as if he didn’t like all that rush.

“Rush is the law of the universe, it seems,” I ventured again.

That’s why, I said, it’s a crazy system.

The madness is perhaps its beauty too, he went on.  There’s a method to that madness.

“Yup.  Our scientists have found out the formulas of those methods.”  I wanted to add that the formulas make the system very sane.  Not crazy. 

Well, you never know when a shooting star will appear from nowhere, said LP.  I have had to dodge quite a lot of craziness during my cosmic wanderings.

“Maybe even the shooting stars follow some formulas,” I suggested.  “Our scientists...”

Little Prince
What is essential remains beyond the formulas and rules, said LP cutting me short.  What is essential reveals itself only to the heart.

“But the heart is crazier than the universe,” I blurted out. Every terrorist is a lover at heart, I thought. Every hater is.  Every fanatic is. 

The heart is the root that keeps you from being tossed about in this crazy universe.  LP peered into my eyes as if to check whether I had a heart.  Your religious people haven’t discovered the heart, he said, they only discovered gods.


Saturday, February 4, 2017

Wings of Chances


The beaten tracks belong to the poor, tired, huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of teeming shores.1  Life’s thrills belong to those who trek on the Vesuvius.  To those whose ships dare the uncharted seas.2

Toe the line if you want to be the winner in athletics.  But there’s little fun running between lines, in circles, over again along the same track.  The dandelions flutter longing to be touched, beyond the tracks. 

The longing of dandelions will acquire wings and fly in search of new horizons. 

If only we could be dandelions.  With longings that grow wings.  We’d leave the beaten tracks and circular races.  We’d discover new horizons.  New ecstasies.

New truths. 

Personal truths are like wings.  They carry us above narrow considerations of nationalism and jingoism.  Above political games and religious terrors.  Far away from the jargon of gurus who enslave. 

Pick your chance.  And grow your wings. Let no shadow fall between the wing and the circle, between the flight and the ratrace.3

Notes:
1.     Inscription below the Statue of Liberty. 
2.     Friedrich Nietzsche
3.     T S Eliot: The Hollow Men

PS.  Written for Indispire Edition 155: #TakingChances

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Emptiness


Some days are like that: vacuous.  Nothing stirs in the consciousness.  Even the annual budget fails to rouse the spirit.  Nothing matters really.  “Earth to earth and dust to dust,” the cleric at the funeral service makes a ghostly apparition in the consciousness filling its foreground with what William James described as “a sense of surrender to the empty passing of  time.” 

Shadows walk about in the haze of moonlight that has turned marmoreal for no reason.  Reason becomes a spectre that has put on dark goggles and a mocking smirk and gallops through the dying embers in your consciousness. Clop-clop-clippety-clop.

Emptiness is unbearable.  Even if it is the DNA of life.

Fill it.  With whatever you like.  Words, for example.  As I’m doing.






Illness and Man

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