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Some Dont Die Everyday

Unwillingly he gets out of bed and decides to take the few steps to the window. The marble floor is ice cold. The squirrels are busy stripping down the tree outside of fruits. Rain has stopped but the rain clouds hang so close above. If he opens the windows he could touch them and wash his hands. Being holed up close to two days in his room, with only the sounds of spirits walking the stairways outside, he has erased a lot from him memories. It's time for him to get out and see the world again. To rebuild his memories.

From the far reaches of the planet, he has collected many souvenirs. All etched permanently in his mind. But he has no memories of others. When he walks the streets he see people without faces. He hears voices, he pays for the rides but nothing else shows emotions. After this many weeks he thought he knew whats outside. He shuts off his cell, and he walks in the slow drizzle. He looked up to see if the stars are out yet, the evening stars but only the ensemble of clouds covers the sky. No galaxies tonight he thought. At least his programmed memories are working, he can sense the coldness of the surroundings. He pulled his hands inside the sleeves of his jacket and walks toward the main street. A damning gridlock, the forever gridlock is still present there. He closed his eyes and just walks to the other end of the road.

After agreeing to an exorbitant rate to the terminals, he gets into the vehicle and takes out his camera. He does not take snaps of humans, they're all faceless. He aims his lenses towards colonial relics and dying trees. Richly colored ad boards dot the roads, but the faces on it are blank too. His auto driver turns to look at his camera and asks the price. He reluctantly and probably ignorantly for the nth time spells the price in rupees. Making his again the target for all sorts of outcomes, news updates tomorrow.

He gets down outside a cinema hall where hordes of fans are waiting for their lame superstars. Both on the screen and real life as it always happens in this city. Handing out 200 rupees for the 10 km ride and not taking the change he walks again oblivious to the traffic to the other side of the road towards the tunnels and terminals. The drugs have made him numb, he can only feel the cold and smell the stagnant air around him, that too in minute doses here and there.

He trains his lens at the road side vendors and attracts rude hand gestures. Probably the smartest thing he did at that moment was to bag the camera. Something strange is brewing, he can sense his surroundings coming alive. He chooses to erase those feelings too. The drugs makes this easy. His stomach now burns of acids, his right side of the body is in minuscule seizures. He knew coming out was a mistake. He walks on into the crowd.

The first few touches went by unnoticed. Then comes hands holding his own. Some tiny fingers pulling his fingers. He wakes from his zombie state but all he can see are blank faces. Children running around him, adults, peddlers and socks salesman. He stops as fear starts to engulf him. He should not have came out alone, not have awaken at all. He tightens his bag straps and shoves his hands into his pockets and walks faster into the tunnel. The shouts and laughter of the children continues to follow him. He turns back momentarily but they're not anywhere near him. But the voices, hauntingly beautiful laughter and words seems to be seconds away from his ears.
He walks faster into the crowd.

Chaotic tunnel routes and the thick air is suffocating him now. The pain is back, and is slowly crippling his neck and back and right leg. Now millions of tiny needles is ripping every nerve and blood cell in his eye and head. He ransacks his pockets and bag just to notice he left the drugs in the room. He has walked into his own hell, no way of turning back and no way of seeking help. The crowd is now pushing him deeper. On the walls are posters and plagues of humanity just standing and watching. Through their blank faces emanate emotions and expectations of the others beside them. One by one, their faces light up with a strange godly hallow. Are they gods from ancient times watching over. He wished he could see their eyes.

As his breathing becomes calculated, his nose dripping and eyes watery he sees light at the end of the tunnel. As he climbs the never ending stairs hoping to capture some air someone pulled him. He fell down and his reflexes made him hug his camera bag. He gets up and sees people ignoring him and just walking. Like glowing shadows their paths are now only photons and waves of particles. He sits for a few seconds trying to regain his thoughts, enough to remind him where he was.

Right then at the corner of the tunnel exit he sees a face. Her eyes visible staring at him. His heart stopped, they've noticed him. He gets up and turns back just as another gust of bodies pushed him back towards the exit. He lets go and walk as fast as he can and exits the tunnel. From the ramps and walkways he can see hundreds of buses, color marked to various destinations. He wipes his eyes and takes a deep breath to let the pain disappear for some heavenly seconds. His throat feels dry but he cant find anyone selling water. The drizzle is slowly bathing him, not the liberation he wanted but he must find a way out.

A few more meters and another hand pulled him. A child is smiling at him. He can see the face. Her hair is in shambles and dirty just like her cloths. He digs some coins for her and she runs away. There is another tunnel ahead and more faces are visible. All looking at him, all talking among themselves. He is lost now, his memories fading. His senses tells him to walk on, just walk the tunnels and ramps until he comes to the trains. But the pain in his head and his foraging eyes are blinding those thoughts even. He sees a flower stall, great garlands hanging from end to end. He looked up to see a temple Gopuram. His salvation maybe as he looks for the gate. It was closed. He says some prayers and hopes some of his memories come back. As he closes his eyes concentrating on his silent words, his pain disappears for a few moments. He opens his eyes in the miasma of incense smoke and the sweet smell of jasmine and the grand colors of the temple.

He turns to the road to flag a ride back to his lodge. His bag seems so heavy at the moment, the straps eating his shoulders. The rain is becoming heavier and all around him people walking, chatting, running and even hugging. Someone offered him an umbrella which he brushed away. Their faces are all visible. The veils of silence that he induced on his mind are slowly lifting. He can genuinely feel the emotions around him. His ignorance, the ones he made himself endure are gone now. He is watching the flaws and euphoria of this land. Of the people around him. They're content and happy. He is watching them. They are in pain too and they too have lost destinies they're seeking. He is watching them.

As his ride took him through new streets, the vehicles and gridlocks seems familiar. He washed his face but the searing pain is still there. Around him materialize souls and spirits. They form humans and they too in moments start to mingle in the activities around him. He has one last chain to break. He has to stop realizing that the cities revolve around him. But this realization is not happening as the pain is too much to bear. Was it the temple, was it the people that made him break his shields? And one by one the streetlights come alive. And the majestic buildings at the side of the road gets illuminated. More people are walking the streets, the rain in a soft drizzle now. Liberation's of the mind. The ones he condemned to death are advancing their lives around him. Some dont die. He is learning of his capabilities, he learned of the roads and human. He is traveling and he learned to keep his heart open and his mind liberated of expectations.

Back in his room, in the false safety of the four walls he sits and stares outside the windows. Reframing of what he has lost all these days. Why he chose to ignore the people around him. The mass of humanity that he too belongs in. After a hot shower, the water still not more painful that his migraine, in which he sees the bloods of his vanities dripping into the holes on the floor. He pulls his bed close to the window and switches off the lights. His eyes scan the skies seeking the occasional stars. His memories for today and tomorrow are formed. His walks and jumps has given him his life. The walls around him disappear as he floats into another dream. He connects to the world around him as he becomes human. The pain slowly melts showing him beautiful faces and the skies clear away displaying grand strips of stars of the milky way.



[#] A fictionalized true story (now how do people do that? :p) Btw, Im ok today...probably for the first time in over a week.
[#] I thought ignoring would make me like this land faster, I thought ignoring will make me believe less in their pain and thus saving my fragile emotions, but I was wrong.

Comments

d gypsy! said…
:)

do leave me the link for ghosting india
Tom Evans said…
"Like glowing shadows their paths are now only photons and waves of particles."

This one line is worth the lot. A beautiful combination of qunatum physics and prose... there are few more admirable combinations.

Thanks for all the reading by the way!
Miladysa said…
"He opens his eyes in the miasma of incense smoke and the sweet smell of jasmine and the grand colors of the temple."

Yes, I think it must have been the temple. Perhaps it washed away the barrier you had built. We can see and feel what is around us yet we can not take sole responsibility. We can only carry our own share of the burden.

One day I think we shall wake up and understand why.

[hugs]

M

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we realize we are admiring the beauty of loneliness
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