Tales of the Non-cons…

To all the unattended guests of nature; the visibly unsuccessful, religiously challenged, socially questioned, and morally threatened residents of this humble earth. This sprawling art of words is dedicated to all of you, beyond gender, cast or creed.

The source of inspiration has been Dale Carnegie’s Five Minute Biographies published in 1949, relevant till date, with words of solace, smoldering self reliance and phoenix-ian nerves. A few of those words have been gathered here from three of his stated biographies, in the form of a narrative concocted to bits, aiming to reverberate through the hollow corridors and halls of our mundane lives for long. Behold!

They say when you travel the world without a clue, the world unravels more wonders. He would have also picked that from his telltale grandparents perhaps, he couldn’t recall. He started roaming the world with his few pals, on foot. He was good at thinking only but he never gave a whoop if his thoughts were all cock-eyed or ground-breaking. Only he knew they were the latter. So he went on to explore the fumes of the developing world around. He met chefs, navigators, truck-drivers, writers and stingy vendors, all blabbering about the same so-called daunting course of their day to day lives. He was on the verge of giving in to the never-ending monotony of their experiences, but soon his pals stole a DSLR from a loner bench in the premises of the tomb of their country’s founder.

Many years have passed since then – years packed with action, photographing and filming the slight strokes of wonder and amazement he could catch the glimpses of around him. ‘Oh, there have been lots of close calls.’ He shared once. ‘Once when I tried experimenting with levitation photography and to grasp the truer forms of it I thought of filming my own self while trying lucid dreaming’. lucid-dream-flying‘Well, that was my closest of calls as I nearly ended up losing all senses and being reported dead the next morning.’ He is now one of the famous photographers in town and abroad. His world still holds a lot to be shared. He was the one who referred me to the next oddity I intend to pen down about below.

And they say that one of the sought after skills ever since the advent of humanity on earth or perhaps traced beyond the world of Ideas of Plato, to the sacred tale of the forbidden fruit was none other than the art of discourse; the far-famed sweet tongue and its tinted virtues. Broadly speaking, formulating an eloquent and convincing conversation with your counterpart or an adversary in any possible scenario on this earth could help you track your goals down and achieve an individual or a collective vision all together. But he couldn’t ever grasp this small tactic of the world. He was called a supreme genius and also a magnificent failure amongst his close-knit social circle. He was an idealistic regional language instructor – cold, distant yet dignified – lacking in human warmth. However, the truth was, he was intensely human, the most humane of all his mates – craving human relationships but failing every instant on the hands of his own reclusive demeanor. ‘I would have done anything to trade my shyness off, but I just couldn’t ever find the right buyer – or perhaps that too had fallen prey to my innate aloof nature.’ He once shared his disillusionment with his closest of kin during his last days. antisocial_reader

Being a language teacher with humble resources, he could never afford any luxury but one: buying and reading books. He cared little about appearances, his own or of others. He could live long with one pair of trousers or a suit. Nevertheless, he ended up with one of the well-honored beauties of his community, with whom he shared the life-span of 34 years, bearing 7 children. Even such an apparently successful married life couldn’t break his frozen exterior. His lack of tact, his alienation towards art and culture, his inability to retain friendships or his own health for that matter, all this left him at the altar of dignity alone and dying. He was found dead in his room with his books and his unfinished cup of black tea, in his ragged pajamas, at the age of 55. At his funeral, one more peculiar soul was found mourning in the corner. She agreed to be part of my unusual eulogy.

She was an avid listener, they said. She could counsel others with empathy and grace. During one of her sessions she came across a religious practitioner. He said, ‘You know ma’am, the truth was a mirror in the hands of God. It fell, and broke into pieces. Everybody took a piece of it, and they looked at it and thought they had the truth. I am not saying that, Rumi said that.’ And that kept her wondering ever since.

She too believed in faith and that it could move mountains but she could never confine the idea of the Almighty, the guardian, the benefactor, the benevolent of all, in one sect, one Holy scripture or a Holy building for that matter. She loved all, felt for all, befriended all and staunchly believed in humanity and serving it. download (1)Problems occurred when she worded her thoughts and beliefs in people, fueling their judgments, infuriating their self-righteous selves. She was labeled, blasphemous, sacrilegious, a shame. She expected her family or close friends to understand or at least support her in that war of forced estrangement waged by her own very community. She renounced all. She discontinued counseling and helping others, and listening for good. She escaped and ran for faraway lands. She is still missing and nothing has been reported of her whereabouts ever since.
The tale continues as the world still brims with such geniuses, castaways and nonconformists, ill-treated by the masses in their bliss of ignorance. A lot more will be shared soon.


You are limitless!

“You are limitless”, someone had told her once. She had brushed aside the thought with all its non-conformity then and led her life on with her head in the clouds and her imagination beyond. Times changed, seasons passed, mother nature remained constant in her ever-changing course; people entered her life, played their parts and departed when they were decreed to. She remained unsure of that and all that stayed and all that was going to enter and was going to leave. Her self-doubt and skepticism in general fueled her self reliance; she could never stay one with her own self, there were so many of her versions, overlapping each other, entangling her further. Could she undo the knots? She never dared. She thought of a better way; she thought of conforming to all her selves, no matter how intriguing and frustrating that got. But that was the only version of conformity she could ever endure. The fault rested with the thought that still budged and prompted in the back of her unrestrained mind, “you are limitless!”. She couldn’t take it more and started looking for some logic to back the thought with. She started with the word that she always adored, that always provided handy inspiration, that was crisp yet profound. The word “Infinity” flashed through all the corners of her convoluted brain and stunned the brain cells too. She waited for the the world outside to shutdown a while so she could focus and bring back logic in action. In vain. Preposterous her thoughts always were and genuine her intentions. So she sought an alternative and opened the door and stepped outside. She headed towards the family park in the midst of her dwelling. She got there in less than ten minutes or that’s how she calculated the distance between her question and the answer she looked for. She crossed the entrance and walked towards the center of the park, treading the yellowish green grass blades beneath, detached and disillusioned, engrossed in the only word that dragged her there. “Infinity”, she whispered and that very instant looked above. She froze there. Stayed there. Life stopped, mother nature gasped, and time seemed to miss a beat. There, just there, in her face, was the answer. So detailed, comprehensive, and just there. It had always been there. How could she ever miss that? She couldn’t even wake up and ask herself as her senses were benumbed and comatose were her nerves. She lost it and tears rolled down her cheeks, she got neurotic, started crying uncontrollably. She had found it. She had found the missing link. She could now resume her journey, that all too long-awaited ceaseless journey within. Infinity was there, up there. It existed. How could it never? The pale white sky above, with white cotton clouds but that wasn’t it. Her gaze traced beyond, far beyond, where darkness prevailed and worlds existed and horizons met. Her eyes traveled even beyond and it couldn’t outline more. She just couldn’t with her finite faculties track the infinity down. She cried and knelt and mourned her limited self. Was she limitless? “He had lied to me”. She lost her senses there, whatever were left, forever.

Last Word…

To Love,
Not long ago, it started off with spontaneity and grace, bit by bit, step by step. There was amazement and awe, which soon shifted places with affection and infatuation, not in the same order perhaps. The impression was of extreme reverence and care but it lasted not more than an eye blink.
He thought she needed a hand with her isolation and absolute solitude, she thought he understood better. The perceptions clicked, similarities emerged, differences seemed to last no longer or mattered less. Whatever was the ground, it did seem firm and reliable to endure the new feeling. Soon, she understood, he had been through a lot and that he had nothing more to offer than mere time. While, he thought she never knew, and thus he used every moment to remind her of the fact. She would smile inside at his naivety and the fact he thought he knew her better. She went with the flow to let him figure that out himself.
He brought feelings, care and emotions along, quite handsome were his words and reassuring his gestures. She just stayed there, all that while, bemused. She knew it was transient. Then they would argue the social facts, religious dogmas and relationship rules. He would speak, she would negate and vice verse, but in vain. The similarities shadowed, differences appeared yet they thought their version of reality was more real than the sun above.
Soon urges paved their way in; no they had been there all along but who knew they were tangible and lasting. He compromised his vows and she her values, yet both remained hollow and wanting. They thought it was love what they felt and thus trusted it and went deeper. Soon they found themselves on the banks of the river of expectations, gushing its waves and scaring their passions off. All too soon the clouds of mistrust appeared; and all that instant, her expressions never altered. She was dumbfounded at the brevity of what she presumed a soulful pact with him. Nothing left of the bond but a few sighs, and some downtrodden words of affection. She stayed there, beside the river of expectations, thinking, wondering, alone.
With love,

Him.. the fallen one

And he so knew the tale, the crooked smile and handsome trail,
Of fallen angels and soulful mystics,
Wandering and swirling in quietude rhythm,
There I saw him waiting, beyond the worlds of wrongdoing and right-doing
Beside the lake of piety, with the forbidden fruit in hand,
In his beloved purgatory-

To the Self and all that means…

And she believed in the feeling and the fact it could move mountains if it were real. Love in all its forms was what she always sought. She could see herself falling for humanity and God’s creation beyond gender, cast or specie. Even after sharing her love with all the creation, she had the same amount left in store, left to be shared further. She could take care of the souls around, nurture them and still not feel empty at all. Nevertheless, something was missing deep down. She sought the answers and tried figuring out the bit but in vain. All seemed to harp the same old tune of being alone and not getting committed in a socially acceptable bond for good. Her quest seemed so futile and meaningless at times that folly would call it her kin and insanity would claim her meandering thoughts.

She did have episodes of self discovery during her life’s continuum. What she couldn’t have was the contentment of discovering it all. She craved for the reflection of her soul in others’ but all she could see were bits and pieces of herself scattered meaninglessly here and there. Once, she tried forcing it. She thought love could happen when sought with full intention. How much more preposterous she could be.

Stating her life’s course and all its lessons would be a tiring old tale. What matters is if she ever felt what she yearned for. She did. Quite recent.

She could see all in that one image. Her future, her hope and the all too real feeling. That very instant, she decided to keep whatever she could take from that moment and not ask for more. She might never feel the same what she did then. The wait and longing and the feeling of losing the truest reflection of your soul, all at once, all that and much more was there, in those eyes. She may remember that for long. She may never have that again. Nevertheless, she won’t regret not meeting her soul-mate ever as she did have a fleeting glimpse today. She needed to wait for the soul to appear again and stay for long. She had to wait a while more perhaps.

“The glint of light on broken glass”

The Daily Post

Not only did Chekhov dispense great writing advice, he was a sharp dresser, too. Not only did Chekhov dispense great writing advice, he was a snappy dresser, too.

In college, my writing professors shared a constant refrain: “show, don’t tell.” I had a hard time grasping this nuance of writerly advice until I discovered a quote by Anton Chekhov — a Russian physician considered to be one of the greatest short story writers of all time:

Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.
–Anton Chekhov

For me, reading this quote made “showing” “click.” Not only does showing make writing far more interesting to read, it’s free of that boring clunkiness — that perceptible weight telling hangs on innocent passages of text that make them drag for the reader.

Often these “showing” parts make you swoon and sweep you off your feet. Consider this passage from one of my favorite novels of all-time: The Shipping News

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