The Despicable

darkness-as-me

“So, how do you portray the characters of your stories?” – all of a sudden Joy threw the question over the luncheon towards me. We had been friends since our college days and he was always so interested and amazed with my little scribbles that I couldn’t help laughing at times at his exceeding curiosity. So did I today, but he was serious. So I replied that I did construct the characters from the real life – sometimes exactly, being overwhelmed by the uniqueness and sometimes blending my imaginations. Joy remained silent for a while and spoke in a thoughtful tone, “I have a little story to tell you. It’s my own experience I am telling.” I became curious at his tone and he narrated me a singular story.

” This is a story of one of my classmates. You know, he came from a well-to-do family, though not very rich, and was an average student of literature. His indifferent round face with a blunt nose and dim eyes was a clear portrayal of his mediocrity. But he was a jolly good fellow, though a sign of melancholy always drooped from his gaze. After finishing college he went off in search of job and I didn’t hear anything from him until a few days back, when I met him at a shabby, disrepute by-lane of Delhi.

He was in an unhealthy state with torn, dirty attire – hardly getting a square meal. He was living in a cage-like worn-out shelter in a filthy lane. I was shocked to see him – but it seemed that he took really no notice of me, hardly recognizing me at first. Even after he recognized, he was indifferent to his circumstances. I offered him tea in a cafe, which he accepted with indifference. I was startled at his change. He had turned into a cold fellow, with the same blunt features, but his eyes shone with a strange spark – indicating something unusual – as if something else has possessed his soul like a devil.

His wordings had become pretty incoherent, as if he lacked words to express. But from whatever I gathered from him was startling. After his college, he found a small clerkship job in the outskirts of Delhi, with a decent pay check. He married a local girl and settled there with an apparently happy life. I am saying “apparently” as he never mentioned any signs of any row in the family. But then, after ten years of married life, one fine morning, he left his job and family and his children altogether! And he did that willingly, without remorse! When I asked him the reason – he said an absurd theory that he wanted to express himself through a medium, and he took music as his medium.

You won’t believe the areas where he visits daily – day or night. He himself said that sometimes he was in possession of lust and most primitive natures of human race, and he believed that these are the elements that made his soul experience the forces of primitive world. I saw him burning inside – in search of himself – and his expressions came out through his innumerable sheets of music. I saw one of the sheets he callously crumpled and threw out after wiping his hand. The flow of melody can’t be expressed, or is there any melody at all? I don’t know pal, but I am certain of one thing – they are singular and incomprehensible to us, the commoners. There was something queer in those abrupt ups and downs of the tones – it seemed that an inexplicable force was trying to escape the agony and the appeal was horrific but addictive, as if a dark spell was cast.

Now, tell me what do you think of him? A talented Satan? A selfish moron? A man with a loathsome and substandard character? Or a primitive, boundless character who is far too idealist?”

With this, Joy finished his narration of his extraordinary (though real) story. I was in a state of shock and awe. The layers and dimensions of this character turned my head spinning. Both of us finished our lunch without anymore words and then sat on the sofa to make ourselves comfortable for a smoke. Joy was looking at me inquisitively. After a long silence, I spoke up, “Joy, are we capable of understanding what is standard? Or is there anything called standard – other than a set of rules made by ignorant fools like us?” Joy nodded and drifted off in different topic to lighten the mood of our discussion – but I was not hearing anything – and just decided to portray this singular, extraordinary character in my next writing – “The despicable”.

Substandard

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Work….. Again

I hate to post this but unfortunately again I am stuck for around two weeks. I know my readers are really angry with me ๐Ÿ˜‚ but I am helpless at this moment. I hate to disappoint my readers like this but I promise after two weeks I will be regular in posting. I am so busy that I can’t even read your posts ๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ข.. Please bear with me for another two weeks please.. ๐Ÿ’

Once again, a big SORRY for my readers..๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’

Emerging Out of The Shadows

Capture
Emerging out of the shadows

Most of my photos are clicked en-route of a journey – just like this one. I don’t know the name of this river – neither do I know what is her origin or where she is going. In my journey on a moving train, she just emerged out of those distant shadowy land, took a sharp bend and suddenly embraced more lands with her flowing water.

The water is not deep – rather shallow and land emerges beneath the water in some areas. Is this a change of state? Difficult to say as she continues her journey – though the end is not far. So, maybe this is the beginning of the end? Or the beginning of the new life – in those little islets created inside her?

Delta

Moving On

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Moving On

I have always believed that our life is a continuous journey and a culmination of numerous transient moments. Time never stops – but the good news is we are the pilot. All we need is to live these moments and enjoy this gift of life.

This is a picture of a small, unknown railway station of a village, glimmering from the sunshine of a new day – taken from a moving train while travelling – symbolizing the unknown, transient moments of our life.

Transient

The Futile Hope

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“Come on mate, don’t get so stressed okay? Everything will be fine.”, Ben tried to comfort me. I stared away from my bed, blankly, gazing outside the window of my cabin in the hospital, a cabin which had become my home for more than two months, finding nothing but emptiness. “Hey, come on – don’t break down so early. You have a long way to go mate. Just let docs operate you.” “Don’t try to give me false assurance Ben. I know you want to relieve me out of stress but sadly it isn’t helping. I know this is incurable and I have got no hope. All I can get is a few more days, hours, minutes than normal.” My voice trembled as I spoke. I knew it was unbelievable to me as well but this was the truth and I had no other choice than accepting it.

Ben buried his face in his hands with a hopeless sigh. He finally rose up and gave a pat on my back and slowly his tall figure with stooping shoulders disappeared from the room. I was left alone. Not alone, but the window of my room was with me. During all these days of loneliness, better to say last days of my life, the window was the one who accompanied me whole day long – rather guarding me from falling into utter darkness. I knew it was nothing unusual – death is a reality just as the Sun rising in the East. Being a bachelor and with an unhappy love life I had no bindings of family as well. But I was sad. I didn’t want to lose the window – the outside world, the world full of joy and life, only a glimpse of which the window gave me.

Suddenly I felt a touch on my feeble hand. I looked up and found Jin standing. I couldn’t believe she would come as we had separated three years back and I hardly had any contact with her for months. She sat down beside me and we both remained silent for long. Ultimately she broke the silence by clearing her throat.

“Why didn’t you tell me Vin?”

“I… Well, I didn’t want you to unnecessarily get bothered about a worthless fellow like me.”

“You really believe that I think about you on that line?”

“I don’t think anything. I just don’t care anymore about anything. I have come alone in this world and go away alone as well. I have no grudges against you or anyone in this world. All I want to remember now is the good things that happened in my rotten life – and I must say most of them are centered around you.”

A drop of tear rolled down from the corner of my eye as I uttered those words. Jin leaned on my shoulder and started weeping silently but uncontrollably. I just couldn’t say anything – it seemed that the thought of approaching death was detaching me from all the worldly ties I had – whatever left of it. I knew I had a subconscious pain buried inside me regarding Jin – but all was passing by when I saw her sorry for all that happened. I was feeling a strange sense of relief – feeling like a free bird.

I looked at the window. It seemed it was smiling at me too, saying, “Look, you were afraid of losing happiness because you always wanted it! Now that you have got happiness from inside – do you fear anymore?” Strangely enough, my fear was disappearing little by little as well. The more I felt satisfied, the more I was feeling complete. To let go all the grudges, pain was filling my heart with an inexplicable satisfaction.

Meanwhile Jin composed herself and found me staring at the window again. She held my hand firmly and said with a firm voice, “I am not going to lose you again Vin.” I was shocked to hear that. I was overjoyed and in utter dismay at the same time. Her words again brought back the feeling of dilemma – dilemma of losing the inner happiness of renouncing all worldly ties vs the worldly happiness of getting tied. I was again stuck at the same question – renunciation or hope, which one to rely? Jin was holding me back here and it seemed I was falling into the worldly dismay again. I just couldn’t give up the “hope” – “hope” to find happiness with the person I love, “hope” to live more in this world.

Relieved

Work in Progress….

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My apologies to all my readers. I am extremely busy currently and hardly getting any time at all to write and even read your stories. I know my readers are expecting me to complete my long pending story and read new ones as well – but frankly I don’t have enough time to think now to write.

I don’t want to write in haste because I don’t write for the sake of writing only – I write with all my understanding and feelings. I am really sorry to be so inactive currently but I promise I will be regular again after sometime. Meanwhile I will be writing occasionally when I find time.. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for understanding.. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Living Root Bridges

“Bridges” – we all know about them right? They are used mostly to cross strong rivers, deep gorges, between two cliffs etc. How many types of bridges do we know? Pontoon bridge, cantilever bridge, suspension bridge – and many more. But ever heard of a bridge made of living roots?

Meghalaya
Umshiang Double Decker Bridge ( Credit – Neelima Vallangi )

Yes, this unique wonder exists in Meghalaya, a north-eastern state of India and a plateau geographically, placed just on the “shoulder” of Bangladesh. This is the place receiving the most amount of annual rainfall in the world (the village in Mawsynram).  Being situated at the windward side of Eastern Himalayas, this place is gifted with lush green vegetation of tropical evergreen rainforest. Numerous streams run through the rough terrain, creating a lot of waterfalls on their way. These waterfalls and the streams are normally gentle but becomes pretty rough during the monsoon rains – creating troubles to cross them, for the indigenous tribal people of this area – the Khasi tribe.

In order to overcome this barrier, the elders developed a unique way around 200 years back. Rubber tree roots are collected and made to grow at one side of the river, through the Areca Nut trees, commonly found in this region. These roots are supported firmly with the help of sticks, stones etc. so that they get a strong hold of the ground. Then these roots are gently nurtured and guided to the other side of the river. The whole process of building a web of roots from one side of the river to the other takes 15 to 20 years to get completed.

The most interesting fact about these bridges are they grow stronger with time – in contrast to the conventional bamboo bridges which worn out fast. These bridges are capable of handling around 500 people and last nearly 500 years. Age of most of the strongest bridges present here are 100 years or more. The most spectacular and famous one is the Umshiang double-decker bridge – on the river Umshiang. This bridge is about 180 years old.

Today’s prompt “survival” goes so well with this unique strategy of devising natural solutions to survival issues – that’s why I selected this topic for today.

For more information and Image source  – Click Here

Survive