Friday, July 18, 2014

The Owner

The old clock started it's song at exactly six thirty. Champaben woke up at six thirty one, and her day began. Quickly getting ready, she woke up her dependents one by one, dealing with each of them in turn. They were all like her children, and she was responsible for their day beginning properly. Years of practice had set her schedule just right. She started the stove, and put the cut vegetables on the pan. Simultaneously, she started preparing breakfast. Her hand moved of its own accord, accustomed by years of the same action, and pretty soon the simmering sound of vegetables in oil filled the house. She took her husband's clothes out of the almirah and laid them on the bed, shouting at him to take a bath quicker. Going into her daughter's room, she combed her daughter's hair, finishing just in time to the vegetables getting ready. In one swoop, she took the vegetable bowl off the gas, and put the roti tawa on it. With practised determination, she rolled the rotis into an almost perfect circle before heating them on the tawa. Skillfully fluffing the rotis to perfection, she put them all in a bundle; each of them almost exactly alike. Filling up the respective tiffins, she brought them out and put them in the bags. Laying the breakfast, she beckoned both her husband and her daughter. She didn't need to look at the clock to know that it was seven six.

Having finished breakfast with her family, she said goodbye to them, and finally took a long breath. The time was seven thirty two, but it didn't matter for a long while now. She had shifted into a more leisurely pace. Clearing the table, she put the dishes in the sink for the maid to clean. She prepared a cup of tea, and sat down with the newspaper. To an outsider, it would look like she was just idling away the time, but that was not the case. In a while, the doorbell rung, and she let the maid in. She could now perform the most essential task of the entire day, her puja. She washed the flowers gently, applying just enough force that the petals didn't break off. She sat in front of the mandir, and decorated every god. It always seemed like each one of them was her friend. She spent time with them everyday, no matter what. After cleaning them all, she prayed to them. She went outside, carrying a single flower, and some puja water. She went outside to the small patch in front of her house, and turning towards the house, she bowed down, and prayed to it.

She took a siesta everyday after lunch, which broke when her daughter came back at around four in the evening. She prepared some warm milk while her daughter freshened up. After talking about what was taught in school today, she took her daugher's dabba and cleaned it, letting it dry. She then took a look at the teaching, and sat down with her daughter to revise what was taught. It grew tougher for her each year that her daughter grew, but she persevered with a mother's will. This continued till the time her husband came home, at around seven. She greeted him with a smile, and taking his suitcase and coat in hand, asked him about work. She knew this always helped him relax, and brought a smile to his face. As her husband finished, she moved to the kitchen to begin dinner preparations. Dinner was always a good time, where all three sat down together to finally end the long day. Her cooking, flawless as always, ensured a good night's sleep for her family. Or maybe it was the feeling of security the house gave them.

It was, after all, a family home, built in the midst of the booming city. Her husband had inherited it from his father, and he, in turn, from his father. It looked dilapidated when seen from outside, with its thatched roof, and old walls, and the paint crumbling from them; but gave a warm sense of homeliness inside. It seemed like it would fall down any second, but she knew that it was built, and cared for in a time when things were made to last; and she trusted that her home would not give up on her so easily. They had received many offers for that particular piece of land, but she would not hear of them. To her, this was the family home; the only place for her to raise a family. Her husband had almost given in to an offer once, but she had flatly refused to move out of the house, and that was that. She shared a special connection with the house. She made it a home, and in turn, the house never failed her. She had an extraordinary sense regarding the house. She knew which tile would be loose; she knew when the water pipe was going to clog; she knew when a bulb was about to burn out; nothing escaped her notice at home. And her home did not escape her care. All of it was under her protection. It was another member of her family.

Times change; people do not. Many years passed by seeing her follow the same routine. It was a good life. It was a simple life. And she lived it as she had always known life to be. But contentment breeds stagnation, and in turn, decay. Her daughter had grown up. Champa could no longer teach her for school. The day came when her daughter moved to college. Times were hard, and with their daughter's fees and other expenses, the only option left to the couple was to move to a cheaper house. The day they moved, the house was put on the market. It was also the day she cried as she hadn't in a long time, for she had lost family. She touched the walls one last time, and whispered her sweet nothings to the house. The farewell wrenched her heart out, but there was no reply. As she turned away, never to set sight at her beloved home again, she felt some part of her being lost forever. That night, the water tank developed a leak, and flooded the garden.

The house was in a very prime spot, and was soon bought by a young, working couple who were just getting comfortable to a married life. He was a technology consultant. She was a banker. They hardly had the time to eat food, let alone eat it together. They woke up at their respective schedules, got ready and left for their jobs. The house sat silent all day till the time they returned in the evening. For a few weeks, everything was hale and hearty, and the young couple's life went without incident. Unnoticed by them though, cracks began to appear in the beams and pillars. They day the couple noticed that something was wrong was the day the air was filled with the stench of the septic tank. It had cracked on top, releasing the noxious fumes in the entire house. A mason was called to fix the leak, and he did, but he highly recommended that they repair the entire house, for it was a surprise that it was still standing. The couple did not have time, and forgot the advice. A few days later, all of the paint which barely clung to the walls, fell down in the afternoon. That evening saw a look of disbelief in the couple's eyes when they came home. They called a contractor to know what was going on. The contractor couldn't say why the paint fell off, but advised the couple to move out, as it seemed the house was old, and dying.

The house was put on sale again, but rumors spread that it was haunted, and none would touch it, even with a ten foot pole. The state of disrepair that the house was in gave it an even more sinister look. Weeds grew in the courtyard. The bare cement and rods which were visible now that the paint had fallen off, gave an eerie feeling of looking at a skeleton. Scales from the roof fell down, leaving no defense to the interiors against the elements. Only a shadow of the former house was left, deprived of any care and tending. Locals avoided it at all costs. No workers would even demolish it. It stood there against the urban landscape, a ruin of a house, the spectre of a home. The house detoriated, till one night, it crumbled quietly. Neighbours did not hear it fall. But a lone figure standing beside it, clad in a black robe, heard its final sigh.

The next day, an obituary was published in the newspaper. "We regret to inform you of the demise of Mrs. Champaben Patel, who was a mother, a wife, and a homemaker. She had won many battles in her lifetime, but she lost her final one to cancer."

END

For my grandmother, who understood me.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The man who flew


I

 

There was once a man,
a thirsty man to boot.
He had always, in his head, a plan,
one you could never uproot.

A man who laughed at others,
for their unthinking conformity.
One untouched by their flutters,
Ironclad in his solidarity.

For he believed in himself,
the one who didn't deceive.
And on a plan for oneself,
sneers are greatly received.

He began as one among millions,
just a face lost amongst others.
But twas' not his wont to be a pillion,
and slowly he rose from the gutters.

Calmly but surely, step by step,
he crawled and caught many eyes.
Struggling alone, without any help,
he became the lotus among flies.

For the truly creative cannot be hid,
It will always shine on through.
The river cannot be stemmed by a lid,
No matter how much you hew.

He shocked all with his promises,
Improbable as they seemed.
He asked for trust in his offices,
And he would fulfill all they'd dreamed.

For the world was not white, black and gray,
It was bursting with colours to him.
And their monochrome minds could not allay,
How he bent the world to his whim.

He won in the end when the victors were crowned,
For few were as deft as him.
With his win, around him they thronged,
And by her was he seen.

II

 

A woman of mesmerising beauty,
She instantly became his muse.
Enchanted, he swore fealty,
With the only one who could enthuse.

Her smile entrapped him,
and he forgot the world.
After winning in his work,
he chose to win over this girl.

He spent his time with her,
both locked away together.
In this world their soft murmurs,
washed away other flavours.

His conquestin' nature enfeebled,
for his attentions were now spread.
And his vast energies trembled,
for to this enchanting beauty twere' fed.

Such romance was never felt,
as he harked in his bosom now.
He felt his strong heart melt,
and a smile upon his brow.

Together they did many a start,
fulfilling all their whims;
For he could never get enough of her heart,
and she could never get enough of him.

Their wedding was much talked about,
a grand occasion, and gay.
Many an attendee did exclain,
"They look happy now, don't they?"

With a new emotion his heart burnt,
Ignoring all his known laws.
For the first time in his life he learnt,
what happiness truly was.

III

 

We leave our couple here Reader,
For bliss while good is tiring.
Cut to plenty of years later,
In their house what was this rising?

A married man, paled by age,
The struggling intensity lost.
A wife who had lost her entourage,
As against the years she fought.

Routine had mechanized them,
Boredom never gave up it's onslaught.
Slowly losing its sheen did this gem,
Mark the present as a blot.

Turning towards those he had ignored,
He begged for resuscitation.
And because he was bored,
He drifted away to self-brought isolation.

There she came to him upon a waking dream,
Carrying him away on her wings.
Her form, all which he could glean,
Perfection greater than all things.

An angel or some vision,
He couldn't discern.
All he felt was an interest arisen,
And so his sense he adjourned.

A land far away was he taken to,
Where time held no meaning.
Space had restrictions few,
And he felt as if he was dreaming.

Wonders were heaped upon wonders,
Creatures unseen by any.
He played with magnificient thunder,
While riding a griffin with Marc Antony.

Jumping off his ride,
What did he see?
Off far to his side,
A river full of memory?

A river twas' of the waters of time,
And so he swam upstream.
Through the history of the world he climbed,
Unravelling all twisted schemes.

Right upto the source he swam,
And came to the final prize;
A place entered with a slam!
Nothingness of unbeknowst size.

And it was in a very, very long time;
That he had felt this.
This was a known clime;
The calm before battle's bliss.

IV

 

He floated around in the perfect silence,
A babe in his mother's womb.
Till it seems he ran out of license;
And reality crept in like his doom.

His eyes opened wide,
Bloodshot to the view;
The world at large,
Was thrown askew.

He glanced around,
to an empty house.
Familiar environs,
But a deserted browse.

For he had lost his love;
his life in this haze.
As he prayed to gods above,
He realized his own caused blaze.

He thought back to,
his empty dream.
What sight he construed,
a hollow sheen.

And He realised as he came alive,
Sorrow is a more genuine emotion than happiness.
And homeless in his house he cried,
A broken man at final close.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Why don't you have a purpose?

So today, I got my first Quora A2A :D.

While it was for an unexpected question, I sure did want to answer it.
Here's the answer on the original question: http://qr.ae/vrIoa

Here's a transcript.
Q: God made me, gave me my family, gave me life that I may enjoy all things, but why didn't he give me a purpose?
A: Let's imagine this from the viewpoint of God.

He creates the world. He creates the flora and fauna. They are sentient, but it's not really exciting. He knows that this bird is going to eat that worm, that bird is going to be eaten by this animal, that animal is going to die, and then the worms are going to eat him again. He does this for ages and ages. But he's bored. He stirs up his creative juices, and creates dinosaurs. This is gonna be interesting, he thinks. And for a while, he is entertained. Those humungous beasts, with razor sharp claws and scythes for teeth, all of them fighting for survival. The special effects are amazing. But like all games with graphics and no game-play, it is only interesting for a while. He's bored again. Though the dance of the dinosaurs is so much cooler, they're essentially doing the same thing as before. They just eat, sleep, and reproduce.

In a fit of brilliance, he injects some of his consciousness and intelligence and creates man. He makes them puny as compared to the dinosaurs, but he makes them social animals. He gives the handful men that exist a purpose, and then watches them. And likes it at first. The new ones are interesting. They walk on only two legs, and their use of the hands is so much fun! They make tools. They make weapons. They discover fire, and how to make it on their own. God is surprised at the speed of their machinations. They invent a way to properly express ideas amongst each other without ambiguity! They have invented a language! God wonders whether these new players aren't too strong. They know their purpose, and are advancing in the game too fast! To balance it out, he yanks out their purpose-programming, leaving a void where it used to stay.

Man feels this sudden void inside of him when he awakens the next day. Man is stumped at feeling so incomplete, where once he knew what needed to be done, and could advance down a definite path, he now has to think for himself about his future. He does not have that stern, unbending voice inside him guiding him to God's purpose. Instead, Man is confused. God loves this. It's a twist in the tale. It's something new. He now waits with bated breath to see what Man will do.

Man, meanwhile, turns inwards. The intelligent ones understand what is missing. They study their thoughts. They study life. They know that they don't have a divine purpose anymore. They tell the rest of the Men that you are now free to do what you want to do. Your chains have been cut off, and you can be the creators of magic. But Men didn't understand. They are used to knowing what exactly to do, and are left in disarray. Some of them, see an opportunity. They rise up to the mantle of the leaders, and give the rest a purpose. They create nations. They wage wars. They promote philosophy and science. They create goals, and sell them to the rest of the Men. And Men become slaves again. For the rest of the story, read history.

God meanwhile, has invented popcorn. He sits and watches from his pedestal about the variety which he has brought about by this one change. He congratulates himself. And he relaxes after this long hard day to reap the harvest of his efforts. His popcorn has just the right amount of salt, and his humans are just hungry enough that he doesn't need to make changes. And he lives happily ever after.

P.S. Because you don't have an ingrained purpose, you have the power to choose! You can become an artist, a scientist, a gamer, a humanitarian. All avenues lie open at your feet. Can you imagine how dull life would be if you knew what you had to do in life? You'd just be grinding away all day, everyday at the same thing. You can do whatever you want. Whatever pleases you.
You are god's final creation, and have the freedom to become something which you will like and respect.
 
But please, make it interesting. Don't let God get bored.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Aghoris

http://qr.ae/nWOQ4

Upon reading this answer, someone asked me: Your heroes?
My answer: No. But I understand their quest. I understand the lusting for knowing the unknown that they do. I know the clarity of mind which is brought about. The absolute brilliance with which your mind rises above the mediocre and revels with the gods. Where it rises above time and space into the infinite, and you see yourself for the nothingness that you truly are. You see your decisions having no effect; you see the futility of conciousness. You see that nature's greatest gift to man is also their greatest curse.

People? Bah! Animals are better in most respects than those who profess to be better than them. Do you see what humans do? They destroy their mother. They kill each other. They kill other creatures (human arrogance). Why? So that they can feel like they have achieved something. And for what? Nought will come out of it all. The ultimate answer to the perennial human void is to become one with nature. Because from dust have we risen, and to dust shall we return.

But we don't get that. And so we wander on, closing ourselves off to our true nature, to our true selves. The selfish pursuit of our narrow goals will lead to the ultimate downfall of humanity. To our death as a species. Do you get it?

The tale of the manager



This is the tale of a manager,
Most perfect as can be found.
Her name spread around far and wide,
as the one who did not grind.

And employees came,
but they never left,
for her charisma,
Kept them all bound.

She made a world,
where you were all friends,
and office was a breeze;
all bonded together as one whole group,
and achieved your goals with ease.

There were no secrets in her team,
No silences to be found.
They laughed together,
and worked together,
to get significant results.

And employees came,
but they never left,
for her presence,
Kept them all bound.

Even if they came with a pot full of luck,
and an empty pot of skill;
she guided and prodded them on and on,
till by knowledge they were filled.

She told them their little mistakes,
and they in turn told her hers.
And the hobbits that joined her team,
Were now stalwarts in their field.

And employees came,
but they never left,
for her management,
Kept them all in bound.

Her results were exceptional,
She enabled them to succeed.
And her trust in all of them;
was just that which they need.

Her voice was clear,
as were her thoughts;
there was never any doubt.
And even if there were changes,
it was quietly done without flout.

And employees came,
but they never left,
for her trust,
Kept them all bound.

Freedom they were all given,
to excel and create.
Even wacky ideas still,
got a hearing till their fate.

After office, she let you free,
for she did know to let go.
After 6 after all,
you are under your home manager’s rule.

And employees came,
but they never left,
for her freedom,
Kept them all bound.

Monday, March 3, 2014

The crow's call

There came a sound of loud proportions,
A carrion cry of the uncounted legions;
Which sitting atop his high throne,
The dealmaker could not make undone.

He sat burdened by these thoughts of his,
Alive now in a reality shrouded by mist;
And peering out his window did he see,
A solitary crow perched upon a tree.

And the crow cawed in hoarse abandon,
Of the deeds to be done, under that sun.

The battlefield lay empty and bare,
Of all life there was none to care.
For corpses lay littered where lillies had been,
And scavengers roamed where once there was green.

Hyenas and vultures did share in the loot;
Their appetite did it splendid suit.
And amongst these was a single speck,
Of the darkest black, a raven sat.

And the crow cried in hoarse abandon,
Of deeds that were done, under that sun.

It started a spark,
Grew into a blaze.
The perpertuators gaze,
Smiled at the brown haze.

Untold lives were destroyed that day;
Such upon which human eyes never lay.
For their greed did blind to all but the sheen,
Of gold, solely worthy they deemed.

Barren land was all that was left,
Under the war machines handled so deft.
And the black spectre was present that day,
Mourning the loss of its home; its lay.

And the crow cawed in hoarse abandon,
For deeds that were done, under that sun.

The mother's answer came at last,
Her final cry was felt as a blast.
All in her quiver were called to bear,
The judgement for all from her ire.

Enough had she suffered the vagaries of creations,
The uncaring destruction by her children.
This was her last answer,
The cure to her own cancer.

The seas rose at her beckoning,
Slowly they crawled, ever consuming;
The ground shattered, swallowing,
For the clean slate she was making.

Up in the air, the realm of the tempests,
One as never seen before tested;
Gobbling up all it finds,
All-pervasive it shall grind.

Till the time when mother quiets,
And looks at the aftermath of her riots;
For guilt at seeing all being barren,
For they were bad, but were her children.

And no crow would caw in hoarse abandon,
For the deeds that were done, under that sun.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

This is romantic!

She was beautiful, but not like those girls in magazines. She was beautiful for the way she thought. She was beautiful for the sparkle in her eyes when she talked about something she loved. No, she wasn't beautiful for something as temporary for her looks. She was beautiful, deep down to her soul. And that is why I fell for her. Because even if I burn out, she will take care of me. I know that is incredibly selfish, but she makes up for all of it by just being there.