The Predicament

What we know about life are just mere abstractions of what we have experienced in our absurd lives. The absurdness of our life not only extends to triviality of human nature in times of both joys and sorrows but to the inexplicable nature of human existence.  And one such absurdness is the need to fulfill one’s desire is incessant and which has always been superior to our sensations leading eventually to the depiction of indifference shown towards the greater good.  How much one may muse over the origin of one’s meaningful existence and it’s bizarre, hilarious, witty, conscientious or despicable rationale to be concluded, one always knows that it is absurd to have lived a life. And it is experience which makes us know for certain to have some knowledge of such bizarre sensation. But since such sensations cannot be declared absolute, one has to assume and what more resolve such precarious position in which one has plunged into. And hence, abstractions.

And one such abstraction was once made Raman Shakya who after this conclusion believed that the world was a place for people with desires and not for him. Raman considered desires to be acquisitive whilst his own desires lay at the attainment of greater good. No he wasn’t a communist or an anarchist. He was just humane.

Now that desires leads to the awareness of various roles that people play in the success of one’s desire, while the procession of such awareness defines our thinking and influences and even obliquely manipulates behaviors.  And it was such role that a certain sister of Raman had played which led him to think that human attachments are necessary evils that need to be experienced for attainment of desires. Raman was a recluse’s recluse.  Or he wanted to become one. However all we need to understand here is that he wasn’t a sociable person.

However, being sociable is not about being voluble of ones desires in a gracious manner so that benevolence broadens but it is about respecting what others desire.   Raman respected his sister in such a way but soon it was to change.

Admiration is assured till the admirer beholds admirable actions.

Raman gazed up into the dim sky where he could see birds descending upon a copse of trees.  He could see them hovering above the trees before making their descent to the dense green of the leaves. He thought highly of birds. Their endless journeys, diligence, adventures that they were prone to encounter and most of all the freedom that their light wings gave them, to be able to fly where they wanted and when they desired.  Raman now desired to have wings that could take him far away from this madding crowd.

He was in a café at Bouddha located at the roof of an ugly eight storey building which overlooked the noisy and grim looking street. Raman was leaning left to the wall which was adjacent to his wooden chair. He looked contemplating at the world outside the windows of the café which was effervescence with its own occupations. He gaped.

Mrs. Kabita was sitting across the round green table and was holding a cup of cinnamon coffee with both her hands while her legs crossed and her body stooped towards the cup which she was holding warmly. She was looking at Raman, her brother, through her rectangular spectacles of the 80’s fashion. She asked, “What are you thinking”? Raman replied without caring to look at her, “women”. Raman now turned his head towards her and their glances met. What else do men think about? , said he and produced a faint smile from his stern countenance.

“I do not have a choice”, countered Kabita. We all have choices which shape who we are to be, roared in Raman and then lit a cigarette.  The sister gave him a quick glance and turned her eyes towards the copse of trees where the birds had earlier descended.  Raman took a puff and said calmly now, “Who gave you such an idea in the first place?”  The sister slowly took a sip of coffee and answered coldly, “then you think that women are imbeciles with boobs only, huh”.

Raman never wanted to have this conversation. He loathed it. He abhorred the idea that his own sister was involved with another person. Kabita had been married for eight years.

His love for his sister was remarkable. They were extraordinarily intimate since their childhood. There was few times that Kabita had made her young brother shed tears from those very eyes which beheld Kabita to be the epitome of a woman’s warmth  to him. Raman remembered them lucidly because those rare times of anger that he had felt towards her. And now the time had come when he felt repelled by his sister. It was an action that was to be repelled but Raman was disgusted at whole. His conscience was battered and he now hated himself for judging his beloved incongruously. He didn’t know what to think anymore. What is dark and what is light.

The only respectable thing to do for him to do was to tell her husband what had transpired. But the guilt of obliterating his sister’s reputation in the society would be greater. Such pathetic was his predicament.

That day Raman separated from his sister after countless minutes of argument and never spoke to her ever again. She bore her husband a daughter and apparently lives happily married. However, he did accept invitations for luncheons, suppers and occasional celebrations which were thrown at her place. It is bizarre that they were able to conceal to the outside world the fact that they had ceased to speak with each other and when such moments came where they would have to confront each other they had their shrewd  ways.

And one day, Kabita’s daughter who was by now fifteen while having a stay-over at Raman’s house was being put to bed by him asked, “Do you believe in love at first sight, uncle?” Raman gave her a faint smile, raised the quilt to her chin then kissed her temple and replied coldly, “Oh! Yes, I am certain it happens all the time”. He wished the nephew a good night and turned then off the lights.

Mr. Floyd and a Cup of Coffee

The coffee was getting colder. The undulations inside the plastic cup seemed to make a mockery out of his situation. It isn’t coincidental, thought Mr. Floyd. The red brownish waves had engulfed his whole cognition while he started to feel short of breaths. He felt morbid of the vicinity. It was loathsome, he reflected. He bursts with rage and shouted, “I gave you my love but you want my soul”.

The corner of his eyes became narrower; his lower lip started trembling while his left leg twitched in an orderly fashion, up and down repeatedly. He was growing an anxious yet terrified self who was uncertain of the future and despicable of the present. His heart beat was pacing and was oddly uneven. He wanted to escape this reality but he was reluctant to leave. It was his determination to put an end to this misery. He wanted to face the melancholy of human relationships and its auxiliaries.

How much should I run? Every crisis was a sprint for him. A race. Away from the misery of the world and into a virtual world of television, books and movies and never ending musings into the mind of rich and famous people where the wretchedness of human association would not bother him. All humans were same to him. Senseless and unworthy of his love.  Attachments gave way to such abstractions which would later but always mould his mind into believing that it was a cruel world out there.  His mind strayed constantly.

Ah! Abstractions, he thought, “Why am I so judgmental every time? I need to change.” He was always ready for a change but pessimists and drunkards never change. His leg jerked incessantly and rapidly.

Floyd hears a sweet cracking voice followed by sobs which are suppressed in a way which deceives the listener to apprehend that the “sobs” were meant to be concealed. An art of deception to gain sympathy. He felt sympathetic. The voice was successful. He believed that it was the stammering of guilt.  The stuttering of guilt and determination combined.  It spoke, “Please consider my position. I want to marry you but it’s my mother.  You are broke and you feel naively that employment is a 21st century invention!”  The voice stops.

Mr. Floyd looks at the coffee again. The undulations have succumbed into a perfect still. He feels angry at this mockery. He resents the cold of the coffee. No warmth or desire. He thinks, even a cup of coffee ridicules me now. The voice and the sugar free coffee seemed to be in constant harmony.  This was no abstraction.

Ruminating at the plastic coffee cup to which he now asserted with his dry voice, “Women! You make highs higher and lows more lower”.

 

-Lord Sauron

A Day In Life of Mr. Floyd

On a glorious afternoon of June when the sun shone in all its grandeur, Mr. Floyd was treading in short steps with his big brown boots, down the steep of Chabel contemplating his lack of passion for everything. He considered that all was over for him. The will to live, to be amused by the trivialities of human deeds, the splendor of nature which induced paroxysm of joys in ordinary of circumstances, the ingeniousness of human beings along with their foolishness which incited innocent laughter among others were all getting trivial to him. He felt like a man thrown into an abyss of hopelessness from where even light couldn’t escape. The world didn’t make any sense at all.

With every step he took he began to ponder at the senselessness of the world. Not his world. The human world. The whole of human existence was getting in his nerve as he was unable to answer the question of our purpose in such an uncanny universe. Such constant flux of hopelessness was evident in his countenance and the passers-by could easily misjudge him for a neurotic patient. Such disturbed was his appearance.

Floyd’s sense of senselessness increased along with the dusty and mundane road which stretched across the Bagmati River bridge and into a small park. He muttered involuntarily, “ I cannot be an accident”. He was wondering the origin of the universe and what ensued after the Big Bang while considering all those scientific hypothesis which explained our existence. He thought it to be pathetic. If such were the truths then he reflected contemptuously, “my life is nothing but a product of an accident! This cannot happen”.

Mr. Floyd subconsciously felt that there was something divine in the origin of the universe and the creation of human life. He did not believe in God and refuted the very idea of such a bizarre creature, yet, he doubted science.  He didn’t suppose this to be contradictory ideas but an integration of his experience with surreal elements of the world.  He was one of those people who would spit into the face of “God” if it appeared out of thin air and proved its existence.

Upon reaching the park he made himself comfortable in a green wooden chair where he was suddenly taken with one of those desolate lassitude’s which are overwhelming in their attack upon soul and the body. He began to delve into the same abyss of hopelessness but now he went deeper and darker while the strings of hairs from his arms became erect and he shivered in this radiant summer’s day. He was clenched by such paroxysms of sadness and senselessness that he felt his heart being squelched by some invisible hand on the inside.

His eyes began to blur and dimmed gradually while his breaths grew slower and slower. He was now certain that these were his last breaths and for the last time he thought.

He thought about Earnest Hemingway. He thought about Dostoevsky and Paolo Maldini. He thought about  the red rose that had withered away in his study table and that he had forgotten to replace it. He wondered what his ugly and fat wife was doing at home. Probably cleansing the chinaware.  He imagined the grandeur of nature which he had beheld. The rivers and streams, hills and fields, the snows and the rains, “oh! Sweet rain”, he thought. Now he could smell the doughnuts that were made at the nearby shop and he longed for it. Alas!

Then, a child suddenly appeared and began to play with her Pug. She ran, giggled, fell down and laughed again while the Pug followed her everywhere in the park. And for the last time Mr. Floyd took a long breath and whispered, “Hark! The meaning of life”.

Good To Be Drunk

I always wanted to become a sober. It wasn’t influence of any kind but the feeling of being clean always attracted me. I had asserted it was appalling. But now, to my stupefaction I am high in the drinking league and now what I know is I love being drunk.

It started a year ago when my best buddy, Aditya came running towards me and asked how did he looked. “Handsome, as always”, I replied and questioned him, “Why? What’s big today?”. With a humble expression in his face he told that he had a date today and he was going to propose her. I wished him luck.

Priya wasn’t the most gorgeous  girl I had met but she was a beauty. Her fair, colorless skin had crimson colored cheeks which made her look no less than Snow White of the fairy tale and I thought Aditya could be her handsome prince. Her blue eyes were audacious to look at as if it were searching for something worthless. I didn’t thought it was sinister of her. Well! Her beauty had my admiration.

The next day Aditya elatedly   gestured me that the job was done and he had won her love.I was happy for him. Moreover, I was happy for them. They were a beautiful couple .And now, days passed and nights darkened, the sun rose and the sun set, the inconstant moon appeared happy and appeared gloomy, the stars twinkled and it faded away. Nothing seemed harmful and the word “beautiful” was before his life. Those were happy hours, certainly.

But, to the dismay of every mankind the wind doesn’t always blows in the same direction. So didn’t it in his case. I’ll never forget the day when Aditya came to my flat with Ruslan Vodka in one hand and a Surya cigarette in the other. He wasn’t a big fan of both drinking and smoking but it was one of those time in life that needs puffs and pegs .With a sinister smile in his face he said. ”It’s over”. Priya had dumped him and fallen for another guy. He told he was glad to have the break up with her. He justified it with uncanny reasons from his unconscious mind. The Snow White turned out to have a dark heart. She was no fair damsel.  I couldn’t help him and I couldn’t be sorry for him at the same time. I got drunk with him. I had to. He was my best friend.

Aditya wasn’t done yet. He wanted her back. I had always admired his stubborn nature.  He tried to sway away her heart but the fair damsel showed him indifference as she was busy romancing her new found love.  One should admit that the tone of the skin doesn’t determine anybody’s character. She wasn’t ready to acknowledge him again with her arms wide open. At last he gave up on her. But he never recovered from the sorrow of being left alone by his love. And now, I detested her. I thought of her as a red red rose but I had forgotten that rose do also have thorns. I began to ask myself, what immorality people have? What fake smile they act? What game they play? Of love? It was disgusting of her. But my friend never thought, he just drank and puffed and was strung out most of the time. Slowly he became uncontrollable of this habit as his emotions reached magnificent heights of insane fury over his lost love. He slowly began to puff joints and began to advance on to consume pills and at last he reached the league of inserting needles to his veins. He turned deaf ear on me and my warning advises. He was content on his new found world. He became an easy prey for drug traffickers.

Soon his parents found out about their sons misdoings and were compelled to put him in a rehabilitation center. There could be no other solution to the problem. But soon he ran out of the rehab and ended in the feet’s of his parents vowing never to return to doing drugs. Grief-stricken and perplexed at their son’s action they compassionately sympathized with him and accepted him again in their home. He proved them wrong and got himself into drugs again. It wasn’t long before he embarked on the same journey into the deep mist of drugs. The grim sorrow of being left by his love made him addicted to drugs. The fake love of a beautiful-by-appearance girl had made him lose his grip of his own life. Now he didn’t want  to return to the mundane world and was happy living in the virtual world of his. Really, once people are addicted to drugs its hard to get rid of the habit and once again my friend became a daily customer of the drugs business. Again I tried to convince him to try get rid of the addiction and yes, at one point of his life he realized that he had to stop and start a new life but, even a stick of marijuana a day concept of mine to make him less addictive day by day until he would be able to cope up with the chill on his veins couldn’t meet the requirements of his daily dose. I couldn’t make him  get low in drugs. I felt I had to act quickly so this time I complained to his parents that he had again fallen into drugs. They were shattered at the betrayal of their son and without judgment they put him in a rehabilitation center. He had menaced his life and as a friend I did what I had to. Every best friend ought to do that. Later, after a month I had gone to visit him and we had a dispute over this issue. He vowed never to look into my face again. I was grief-stricken at his assertion but I was glad that I was indeed a true friend.

And now, days went smoothly as it could. I had promised myself that I would devour upon that girl if I ever faced her again. But I refuted my promise when I suddenly faced the fair damsel as I was walking by the road in Asan. I was again perplexed by her beauty. What bright eyes she had. What red cheeks and what soft lips. She was a beauty. And instead of being annoyed at her I pitied her. The materialistic world had engulfed her soul as she had refuted the platonic love my friend, Aditya had given her. I felt that it was her bad luck that she hadn’t been able to distinguish between love and lust. I felt sad for her.

Aditya, by now had been able to sneak out of the rehab as if he had been accustomed to this habit. Nobody knew his whereabouts and when he was found he was lying dead under the ‘kalopul’ bridge as the insects were devouring his flesh. I hope he had a peaceful death.  I watched his cremation in the Pashupati ghat. I had only tears to offer to him.

And now, I commemorate him with Ruslan Vodka and I feel his presence deep inside by heart as I go warmer inside, pegs after pegs. It seems he never left the world. And I feel his voice in my ears as he whispers’ his silly jokes and we both smile with lips wide open. It feels good to be drunk. And now I assert, it wasn’t the beauty that killed the beast it was the cruel world.

-Lord Sauron