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’. ‘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.
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. 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.