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.