Look. Do you see?

There’s a dull ache somewhere inside. Hard to quite put your finger on when it started. Or where it’s coming from. Or what it is, really. But it makes it’s presence felt all too often.


Maybe when you’re walking down the street and see a scruffy stray sitting smack dab in the middle of rush hour traffic. A statuesque, kitschy sphinx seemingly oblivious to mortal danger, looking like it commands the flow of metal flying past it’s ears. You see a strange shade of green.


Your eyes trace the enchanting lines of a blue-grey plume of cigarette smoke as it languidly spirals upward and melts into a midnight sky busy with stars. He trails his fingers over your skin, reading a special kind of braille as he goes along. The goodbye in the offing’s inching it’s way up your spine. Unforgiving. Urgent. You hold on tighter and shut your eyes to the cold. Maybe then.


You see a flock of bats glide through torrential rain and you’re all the way down here willing your wings to work. But they’re just dandelion seeds you stitched together. Perhaps then you’ll know and you’ll throw an angry red-veined pebble at the sky, wishing the clouds would ripple just this once.


Remember when the setting sun was just barely kissing the tops of the trees flanking the highway and you sped toward that fabulously shiny destination? Whatsitsname. Oh yes, you were a chuckling magpie, right up till the tumbleweed hit you and you saw the broken swingset beyond the crossroads. Oh I’m sure you knew then.


You’d know if you heard the incessant clinking and the affected laughter of the swish set. But then a familiar voice chimes in. It’s yours. The unravelling of the latest whatchamacallit has you rapturous. You lick your chapped lips and can’t quite explain why the taste of stale chewing gum is stuck to the roof of your mouth.


That time, not so long ago, when naked tree branches reached skyward outside your window, like lightening that had been unearthed – did you get it then? Are you shaken by the uncanny feeling that you’re being strung along through a particularly macabre noir film by some celestial puppet master? You’re sure to know if you’ve danced the dance.


What I imagine was the first time around, that Molotov cocktail of uncertainty set me ablaze. And as I surfaced through my feverish daydream, gingerly pulling out the shards, I was rather disappointed by the lack of a symphonic crescendo. Instead, there it was; that now-all-too-familiar ache – dull yet gnawing and remarkably inexplicable.  I think I’ve seen most things in bokeh ever since.


I still don’t quite know what it is, or where it’s from or what precipitated it. But put ink to paper and write me a letter. I’ll show you my mosaic as best I can.


I’ll read. You look. Maybe you’ll See what I don’t.


Because terror strikes again and again


Another terror attack in the valley of dreams! Whoa man, we must surely be up for a new record: THE MOST NUMBER OF TERROR STRIKES IN A COUNTRY.  India has become a place where the hiked petrol price is breaking news and the topic of loads of furious discussions. But when it comes to terrorists blowing up our country, the news is taken in by a mere shrug. I was appalled today at how desensitized we’ve become. I was on the phone when the newsflash came and narrated it to my friend; her instant response was “accha! Aaj kitne mare?” (Oh! How many died today?). Apathy you call it? No sir, this is just how we Indians adjust to everything around us. When we get electricity for only a few hours a day, we are contented with rescheduling our days around it and after sometime it stops bothering us. Similarly, we are so used to people coming into our land every other day and torpedoing our people that it doesn’t even ruffle our hair anymore.

A few days ago, while watching ‘The Attacks of 26/11’, I heard people crying their hearts out in the movie hall. It has been termed as a hard hitting and gripping movie. Realistic is what they call it. Oh yeah, so you’re telling me the movie was more realistic than the actual events? More people saw the movie than the ones who sat through watching the live coverage on T.V. when a few armed men declared war upon our country.  What can be a sadder state of affairs than this?

I’ll tell you. What’s sadder is that our Prime Minister chooses to speak a whole week after a girl has been brutally gang raped in our capital city and thousands were battling the police on street in protest demanding action. However, what’s even sadder is that no one has a clue as to what he said. Not even a single word. I consider myself really lucky to have been able to make out an entire sentence of his speech from the news today. I proudly think I deserve a pat on my back for it.

So, till the time high alerts and functioning security at airports and stations remain only till a week after every attack, we’d only be asking the same question as my friend as more and more precious lives are lost with no sleep lost by the government or us.


what’s real and what’s not (when in doubt)

Lying in bed and dreaming every night leads to blurring of the distinction between what happened for real and what is just a figment of your imagination at times. Having an overactive one greatly adds to the confusion. I have vivid recollections of waking up in panic only to realize that the text message I regret sending wasn’t actually sent after all. However, there still exists a tiny continuous nagging at the back of your mind forcing you to keep on questioning what if it’s true. And then begins the mad rush of checking and rechecking every means of messaging conceivable. Believe me you; the thought never stops haunting you no matter how thoroughly you convince yourself. So, not only does the line fade, but the dream ends up becoming a very real part of your day and an uncomfortable one at that!
It is said, by the wise Dumbledore, that in dreams you enter a world entirely of your own. You spin beautiful webs around yourself. Dreams are a utopian place where you are blissfully happy and the sole master of your life and destiny. What you want so desperately to happen happens. You are God. There’s a girl you despise? Bam! She’s deleted from your life. There’s a person you miss? Whoosh! He re-enters your life. Of course, you can control your dreams only to a certain extent up till when you’re partially awake. It is only in pockets of deep slumber where it spirals beyond your control. Those are the parts that eerily seep into your day as well. However, coming to think of it, what exactly is the difference between dreams and reality? In the dream world, what’s happening there is your reality. You feel and go through the very same emotions as if they were real. So what gives anyone the right to term their dreams as unreal or surreal? In an Avatar-like situation, when you sleep here, you wake up to a different reality altogether.
Another line of thinking brings me to the conclusion that dreams, or at least the parts of them under our control, are manifestations of our deepest desires. They are our own way of coping with the have-nots of our real, sometimes lousy, existence. So, the next time you’re about to hit the panic button regarding a text message, pause and think. In all probability, you actually wanted to send it. That is, of course, if it wasn’t a nightmare. That would surely mess things up a tad. Thus, reality, dreams, a dream within a dream, can all be dealt with together without having a clean, clear line of demarcation. “of course its happening inside your head Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”, and dear old Dumbledore has spoken again.