Tuesday, December 22, 2015


The illusion of climbing was indeed of the most terrible kind of pain there is. On careful thought, it is only too evident. Simply having fallen would have been simpler by any logical measure. The dark depths of the abyss that always seemed only so close, probably did really end somewhere. We had the strangest visions about that place. There was this idea that it could be the worst kind of hell. Perhaps it was a cold hard limitless span of a desert littered with the broken bones of all the fallen. Or maybe there was just seething fire, the kind that simply burnt every last bit of all the souls and spit out soulless ghosts that rose up as black smoke. Armies of lifeless souls forever pervaded and probably roamed disguised as the atmosphere of the valleys with no hope of redemption or even a little peace. Or maybe the bottom was only just boundless freezing water and there were countless bodies that neither drowned nor surfaced but only eternally suffocated there with bloated lungs for an endless duration of time. But how did one know? How could it be that the floor was a hell more cruel than life itself? Was it just not nothingness? Is it not that when we let ourselves fall, it all ended there? And wasn't there only nothing? And no pain? Not even time? Was there a sleep more peaceful? There were not even dreams. Is there conceivably any better remedy?

But somehow, to the self, falling was unacceptable. The undying spirit, unknown to itself, is its own curse, a victim of an infinitely recursive design. It tried climbing, unwilling to know which was more unforgiving, the wretched walls of the unending cliff or the floor of the abyss itself. Lessons for life would tell us that there was hope above and one had to survive. There were always better places to go to, from where one was today. One has to keep climbing. But is that not contradictory by definition? These are 'lessons of life'. What do lessons of death have to say though? Could they be more illuminating? Anyone thinking out of the box would get there, for sure. That moment of enlightenment when the rational few break out of the circularity that engulfs the spirit in an ignorance that was hardly even blissful.

Standing outside my own self, I witnessed the body (that was now practically indistinguishable from a corpse) make one more step. With bleeding nails, the fingers broke painfully into the treacherous rocks once more and with every last bit of energy left, the climb continued. Just as the body lifted itself up against the walls a little bit more, the mind mulled over the potential usefulness of all this. The marathon should have been long over now, but somehow there was no end in sight. Surely a hell lot goes in to all this and so is it even greedy to hope for a little something? How do we measure the worth of all this apparent ascent? Are we moving higher? Somewhere away from the darkness? Or is it that, no matter how much you climb, the gnawing claws of the darkness always stayed close like a shadow? It would play that little trick on you, only when you deceive yourself into believing in progress. When you just thought so, it would then prey upon your soul and feed on all happiness like a blindly unsympathetic demented unforgiving force of ruthless nature. And, what if the walls themselves were falling? Then, how were you even climbing in the first place? What if the whole process was just about inevitably reaching the lowest recesses of the abyss and the system had been simply programmed to continue crawling in the opposite direction? What if it was all one big sadistic joke at the expense of limitless agony?

Another day, another climb. Go on, you wretched fool! Yes indeed. Don't let go! Make the climb! There is light and laughter at the end of the tunnel. Haha. Yes indeed, you bloody masochistic maniac. Don't fall. It hurts like horrible hell, but yea, never let go. Let it keep hurting! As the wise say, isn't that just the way of life?

But would your peabrain just pause for a moment and ponder as to why on earth you'd choose the way of 'life'?

Oh god, the fingers hurt. The muscles and bones have long worn out now. The limbs were all torn. The bruised body ached everywhere with dull pain. The blood on the skin had long since dried now in dark patches all over the place. There was no breath left. The wind had long since left the rib cage and the insides were hollow and seething like a vacuum imploding inwards, perhaps only like the abyss itself was.

The soul always kept seeking the end of all pain constantly looking upwards towards an apparent mythical source of a healing light. The light and God were one and the same. All one heard about them were tales. Myths built to fool the spirit and seal it inside the blind walls of the circular trap of life. What was real was most obvious, the blood and the searing pain and the eternity of time but the body made another climb.

The body suffered, and kept trying impossibly hard to protect the soul that was carefully enclosed within, but it was always unclear as to which was more torn in the process - the body or the soul? Which died faster? Every tiniest source of strength inside had long been exhausted and somehow the body moved one step higher. This can never be attributed to any logical phenomenon other than foolishness. The magnificence of this effort can indeed only be matched by the extent of its absurdity.

So, heed this, oh weary one! The all pervading ether of the dead souls from the abyss looms all around you like a thick layer of fog, and if only you were willing to let your tired hands go, they'd take you in with an ever lasting embrace. In death, there was no loneliness. No pain or suffering. No wrong. No need for remorse and no meaning and purpose. No goals and no endless search. No ambiguity and no waiting. Could any life experience ever surpass the sweetness of that feeling? Could there be anything more profound than that permanence of un-being? Anything more pleasant than that magical liberation of the trapped soul?

And was there anything more deserving than that unending rest of the weary spirit?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Deep Down Dystopia

epend Devote,
Dazzle Delight.
Dare Discover,
Dandy Divine.

Drive Dance,
Dress Drape.
Dream Desire,
Delve Deep.

Deeper Deeper,
Damage Depose.
Deeper Deeper,
Desert, Divorce.

Dame Dude,
Doubt Deceit,
Diverge Delude,
Disgust Deride.


Doomed Disparaged
Draught Disease
Drunk Distraught.
Death Disgrace.

Deafen Decapitate,
Devour Dent.
Deter Degenerate,
Defeat Decimate.

Dip Drip,
Dagger Dart.
Drain Drown,
Danger Dark.

Dissent Descend,
Dismay Despair.
Destiny Direction,
Disarray Disdain.

Drive Distant,
Duly Denied.
Duty Dignity,
Deed Devoid.

Drivel Dim,
Drab Dull,
Dumb Dumber,
Dippy Dreary.

Dope Doze,
Drift Debt, 
Dibs Dirt,
Dot Dust.

Death Dearest.
Downfall Darkest.
Distress Direst.
Damage, Deepest.

Saturday, October 25, 2014





































Tuesday, October 21, 2014


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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Dial 'M'

-- Make My Mode Meta --














A profile of pain

Beyond the tipping point, pain, is really just physical. Emotional pain transforms into a different beast, and the pain physically beats the body around. The system with all its wholeness crumbling into pieces, twitches in agony as if beaten by a blunt object over and over again until every bit of it utterly cracks and dies. You'd think of the two as separate - emotions that tear the soul apart and rip the very spirit out of you, and bodily pain. You'd like to think about it all - sadness, hurt, anger, shock, guilt, loss, emptiness, betrayal and all that. In efforts to explain everything, you'd pull these elements out and try to feel them one by one, only to find that these would all cease to exist as individual entities. What follows would just be an indistinguishable confusing blob of a vague but a terribly intense emotion that, for lack of any way to express or articulate, can simply just be called as 'pain'. And when in this state that seems deceptively numb and unfeeling to oneself, the raging pain inside the body seeps through physically and takes control of the physique with monstrous strength. And then the entire body just gives away in one extreme act of submission to the sadistic force. And you'd just collapse and submit to the overpowering force, as if with knees on the floor, hands shackled behind the body, mouths stuffed and just silent tears flowing out of the bloodshot eyes with muffled suffocated painful breaths.

When pain sinks deeper, it hits the bare physique in all the bones and blood. One can try and imagine the body physically set on fire. Conceivably, every cell burns, and every nerve sends pain impulses to the brain until even they are utterly destroyed. Every tiniest part of the body screams 'pain' as the one thing in unison. Nothing else but pain could be felt, when the body itself burns away.

The most important thing you felt was probably the lump. It grows and grows in your chest. It really swells with a tremendous force and the ribs do not have any more space or strength to hold it in. The lump starts blowing up in size and then the chest starts aching like mad. It could be in the heart that the lump grows. Mushy as that may sound, it really can feel like that, in absolute physical terms. There is a chilling blood flow all through your body in moments when anxiety strikes and you can feel it gushing and filling all over the veins, and then the heart chillingly aches with the swelling. You'd think that it stopped beating for a second and your body was just blacking out into certain death. When fear strikes, the system goes for a complete toss.

Anxiety is a bad thing for sure. I have seen it on television and been dismissive of it as a psychological phenomenon that I reckoned was faked and exaggerated by the subject in question. In reality, it looks to be the worst physical symptom of emotional pain when it evolves into some sort of an uncontrollable monster. It makes the body jolt repeatedly, indistinguishable physically from being fired with acute electric shocks. The sound of the door bell, the vibrating cell phone, or just someone suddenly talking, anything could just send a systemic shock through the body and jolt it. When it adds up more and more, the body starts shivering. You lie in bed shivering, and can feel your body sink in to the earth little by little and you'd imagine that, you'd soon completely submerge into the fabric of the mattress, the pillow treacherously looms over the sides of your head to swallow and suffocate you, and as you submerged, you'd feel yourself receding from everyone and everything, as the body shivers and shivers, your lungs go breathlessly in a fit of unnatural breathing and chokes. The lump and the lungs, they interplay, as they expand and suck it in, making it difficult to breathe, to cry, to scream and all that you feel is just more and more sinking and shivering. There are moments when you break into a pulse of screaming so much that, you suffocate yourself into not breathing for quite a few seconds and then it suddenly breaks, as a gush of air gets into your body bombarding the pipes monstrously. It is hard to say when the chest hurts the most, when you held your breath or when it gave way eventually. I think it is the moment when the lump just breaks. The pain is acute. One could imagine that, that is how it could feel if the heart gets arrested.

There are times you'd want to escape, you run around and hide in corners and they are not enough. You push yourself more and more against the edges of the wall and you cannot go any further. Disappearing altogether is not easy. You lie down there, in a line along the edge of the walls, with your back away from the world, helplessly terrified still by the continued broad exposure to the world that you are unable to recede from. You hide yourself in closed rigid spaces to let yourself be not found and be shackled physically for a masochistic form of comfort. There is nothing that would hurt more than light. Light physically hurt. You'd stay there longing for light to be shut off and darkness to take over. Somehow, darkness meant, you were less exposed, and others were less exposed to you. When there was no cover around you for protection, darkness helped immensely. Light was very unsafe. Darkness was safe.

The nights pass by in utterly painful wakefulness characterized by shocks, chills, shivers and persistent thoughts of self-destruction. Every object you look around, feels like a weapon to inflict upon yourself some different sort of pain that is purely physical in nature and can possibly take your mind away from the other ones you felt, as being described in here - the blades of the fan makes you visualize your bleeding hands and broken fingers amidst them. The fused light bulb on the table, and your hands crave to reach it and crush it against your heaving bleeding chest. Any signs of blood will be a minor victory. Any solid object can be handy to bang your skull or fist against, to feel it all the way into your bones, past all the flesh and blood. We need not even talk about knives and actual sharp objects. And those who actually tried would know that cutting against your own arm or chest is really lots more difficult than they show in those movies. You'd cause a lot of thin scratches before you can do any worthwhile damage. These things are not even helpful.

There are numerous relatively tinier side effects. The head constantly hurts because of lack of sleep. Bottles and bottles of inhalers and vapor rubs are emptied and the head still hurts with a constant dull heavy weight of a fluid that moves around physically inside your head, hurting it everywhere as it moves.

And then there are the relatively infrequent blackouts. You stand up or move around and the world goes still and dark for moments. You are not yet majorly hit if you don't actually fall. The physique is extraordinarily sturdy and robust. You'd think, such pain would utterly destroy it, but even your pressure may stay stable during the worst possible inflictions of acute pain. It is a darn shame.

And, of course, the body goes feverish and weak for endless days. The blood boils with a constant dull heat that you feel all over the hands that feel frozen, as if kept in a freezer for endless hours. Frozen hands are a huge burden to carry around. You'd want to amputate them off to have a little comfort. If air moved around even very so slightly, it hurt the feverish skin. As you breathed out, the gushing hot air burnt the interiors of the nose with a dull acute pain. It would feel like the nose would bleed any minute. You suddenly realize that you cannot stand anymore as your feet cannot hold your body up any longer and you'd want to sit, only to find that you need to lie down and you can't sit anymore. Until the body assumes the comfortable position of a corpse, entirely letting itself to be borne by earth, every other source of strength innate to the body would cease to manifest.

Appetite shoots down so fast, food crawls into the body, every bit, oh so painfully and the jaws hurt to chew the pieces monotonously, and all of this would suddenly feel so pointless. Food would become the worst drudgery. And, oh, sleep! The minutes of the night ticking into painfully long hours can bring you chills to recall those moments any time later. These memories are best avoided consciously. With sleep cycles destroyed, possibly everything else in your body already starts taking a hit. The countless wakeful night hours would be followed by a mild sleep, characterized by jolts in the beginning until you disappear from this world of wakefulness and fear into something more comfortable, only to wake up a tad bit little later to find that time has not moved at all. Time is the worst kind of sadist. And then you'd try to sleep again. And as you'd wake up, your eyes would already be wet with tears, even before they got a chance to let a little light in. With what inspiration, the feet would opt to drag the body on to the advent of the oncoming day, you would never be able to explain.

If you cried a lot, you'd start coughing. If you coughed a lot, the throat would hurt. If you let the lump grow too much, you may start screaming. If you screamed a lot, the stomach would hurt. You cannot stop screaming and the stomach would feel like a thin balloon that may just burst with more and more stretching. It is a tradeoff. You need to scream to let the lump in your chest burst. You need to stop screaming to help your stomach stay alive. Depending on how far you go, you'd balance out the pain between the chest and the stomach. A lot of such insane crying activity would throw the system upside down and you'd just throw up. Point to note - Food is not a healthy thing to consume in fair quantity, if it is going to be followed by an episode of cries, shivers and screams. Especially, spicy food can burn through the throat and the nostrils. Food, also being an extreme source of drudgery, is best avoided unless absolutely imperative to sustenance.

In a rage, you'd have hit yourself here and there and you wouldn't even remember, until much later suddenly you would feel your feet hurt. And then you would realize you had probably stepped hard on something in frustration. The arms, head, feet, anything may suddenly hurt and you may find yourself wondering what had happened that caused the pain. Sometimes, you wouldn't know. When in rage and frustration, your adrenaline masks some pain for you to discover later.

Pain, is physical, in its worst forms. Perhaps, once the physique takes over, the mind is overpowered. Maybe that is why, it is an essential mechanism. You feed a man through his nostrils and he'd forget all the abuses he ever underwent in life in those overpowering moments of sheer physical pain and excruciating bodily discomfort. The gushing blood and its skyrocketing pressure can make you kneel before pain, in submission, fear and weakness.

Pain, pulses up and down, as a wave, from the dullest unceasing monotonous sense of a silent looming lonely helpless depression at its bottom most points, to its most intense expressive points at the top, where you find yourself screaming, cracking all the lumps and vigorously running around in a fit of rage like a mad animal.

Pain, overpowers and messes up with the mind, destroying all hopes of clarity and driving you to damaging, almost delusional, brain states, that make you question the very foundation of who and what you are, throwing away years of internal consistency and setting you up for permanent depression. And driven to its most fragile states, the body and the mind both, are just mad beasts that unwillingly went through torture, submitting to it at times, running away at times, but in the end, all that remains is just 'destruction' and 'death', of the soul that was in you. The someone inside you, died away. That 'person' was ruthlessly tore away out of your otherwise corpse of a body, in irregular hasty unshapely cracks to bleed bit by bit, and every happy feeling inside it was stripped off, as if pulling a physical body part from the body out rashly with sheer force. Drained of everything, what would be left inside was not just emptiness. The remnant would be a soul-less dead thing, you may call it a body, but there would be nothing left in it, of consequence. No life or a soul. But, that thing would not be empty. Once the soul was ripped off, the thing was just left with a bunch of physical entities of pain - chilling blood, lumps of seething pain, shocks and jolts, and when all bodily activity ceased, the thing would be lifeless as a corpse, only worse, because it was not even dead for real. And then, another day of life, would continue, with the dead thing walking around, everything else killed in it, only to be left with, sheer, physical, pain.

Friday, April 05, 2013

A selfish emotion

On yet another regular morning, we walked out on the roadside with our adorable little German shepherd, taking him out for his everyday morning stroll. A lot of strays on the large open ground nearby barked at him and my mother just shooed them away with a small cane. She loved the thing a lot. More than a lot of other things. She protected it, from all the unknowns outside. The shepherd was now very much a part of her world of giving.

The strays had all been out in a deadly night's cold and rain without a shelter, some of them wounded, some hungry and probably a few that were just living their last day. It just so happened that they did not happen to be a part of someone's world of love and giving, someone like my mom's, by virtue of just unfortunate coincidence.

Blocks away, lived the small girl who loved her collection of teddy bears, all so neatly arranged in her little cupboard. On a day when one of the dolls got messed up in water, and its eyes got damaged and fell out, it tore her heart a tad bit and she wept a little.

And then there were all of us regular folks. Those that loved our families, felt reassured with every word of love and care. We'd sway with joy and burn with pain with every motion that passed us through, in our very own circle of people. A lot would cherish every minute manifestation of intellectual progress of their regular unexceptional children, somehow wanting to be reassured that they are special and unique in their own ways, in a world of 6 billion confused folk, whose acts at the end of the day are nothing but tripe and blips in an infinite universe that yearn for existence with the excuse of an irrational sense of self-importance. Aided with the burden of an unexceptional speck of a mediocre existence, we'd all bust a hame about the people in our lives, because end of the day, that is all we had.

Meanwhile, there were the stray folk outside too. Those whose lives damn well would get a tad lot better with a little care that we had to offer outside our own little sphere. In fact, some could actually manage to survive.

And, so is the nature of love. An elaborate design in a box inhabited by people in our own worlds, those that have come together by accidents. With all its grand illusions of true 'giving' and 'care', there is a lot of energy that recirculates within the box, our sphere of people who we spend our lives for. The inhabitants were dependent on and attached to one another, expecting no great standards of performance, moral values or excellence. The biggest purpose it served is to basically make everyone's craving for social companionship and care, satiated to various degrees. A sense of reciprocation or a need for possession, with just either of these at play, the design would sustain. A prescription handed down by nature itself down the line, a remarkably successful survival technique, that helps one shut the box and focus on whatever is inside. A grand illusion, mutual give-and-take, and completely no damn to everything else.

And thus we lived in shut doors, locking our possessions, building securities, eliminating liabilities, all towards the apparent betterment of the inhabitants of our own boxes, because we 'sought' love. We 'gave' love too, but only apparently so because the basis of the emotion is just not unbiased giving. It is a survival mechanism. A family inside your own little cupboard box of teddy bears, and you can damn well spend your 80 years of life, without really having to think out-of-the-box.

We'd be humane, but only selectively so. We'd love, but only selectively so. Who became part of our own little boxes were often defined by a sequence of accidents, our own prejudices and tilted views of the world that appealed to our own selves. But strangely so, it reaches the threshold when we prepare ourselves to shut ourselves from the inconvenient strays out there. And then, it is all about the box.

None of this is intended to be a calling for charity. One cannot deny that love itself exists, no matter whatever shallow forms it exists in. And folk expend a lot of energy in its name. This is all merely yet another idle reflection on what truly is, a selfish emotion, that we all crave to whatever degree. 

For what it is worth, it does help a few survive, in their own little boxes. Only thing to perhaps know and understand, is to never exaggerate that emotion to an illusion of unconditional giving, for there exists no such thing.

Monday, March 04, 2013

My dad. My child.

A picture of the tiger burnt bright on to him from the nursery school book, one that we borrowed from a friend whose smart 2 year old had by now mastered it all. 

We asked him what it was. As he tried to recollect, certain sparks that fired in his internal circuitry traversed a billion nerve endings only to abruptly encounter a ball of dead cells and right there, they vanished into the void in a puff. He wore a lost look on his face for a couple of seconds. But then he quickly tried to hide that, out of some sense of shame. The admittance of the inability was more traumatizing than the handicap itself. Then, he mumbled from one end of his mouth, slowly and without much confidence - 'Lion. Of course, I know it is a lion'. His tongue twisted and jumped a bit as it struggled to spell it all out. And, he spoke in a voice much softer than he had ever did before the incident. His voice had fallen and receded into his depths. Perhaps out of some sort of fear. Or a sense of helpless submission to a complication that boggled him down. Only minutes ago, we had walked through the whole picture book once and identified this picture to him as a tiger. Only days ago, this was so effortless and basic a task that this would not even demand any sort of mention. The brain had always miraculously constructed the concepts in a whiff. The man, my father, used to know to drive a car, repair electrical components, reassemble machinery, compose emails and transact online, document family finances in splendidly detailed spreadsheets with convoluted formulae, sing an occasional song, tease neighbors playfully, organize weddings for friends and loved ones, bring groceries home and go to work in day or night shifts as an electrical engineer.

'The cycle of life', a friend had said. It all keeps coming back to me and keeps filling my thoughts almost all the time. Never did I think, the return to childhood could be as markedly and uncannily accurate in all its granular details.

The night that reduced my dad to a child had earlier looked as unsuspecting as any other. It is unclear when exactly the stroke hit him. He had struggled through a good part of the night on his bed, and in his confusion had only thought he dreamt that he couldn't move his arms. It was only in the morning that my mother had noticed. He had gotten up on his feet trying hard to overcome whatever was vehemently trying to put him down. He stood leaning against a wall with a coffee cup on his hand, and was spilling it all on the floor. His face and shoulders had drooped on one side and words came out of his mouth indistinctly. She instantly knew what it is. Then followed a hopelessly long chain of events until we got him admitted into a good medical facility located far from the remote town we lived in. Mother and our helpful neighbors took him out in the only ambulance available at that hour, as his pulse rate was dropping alarmingly low to the 30s. The ambulance was a mess. The driver was a kid and there was no professional there to administer any bit of reasonable aid. Couple hours later, he reached an intermediate facility with absolutely no glucose having dripped into his body, looking withered, sober and arms all stiffened. A bunch of waiting until scans could reveal the left ganglio-capsular infarct he had. We had to take him to Chennai again to get him treated. Yet another ambulance, some paperwork and another 3 hours of travel and another hospital hop due to lack of beds and finally he was admitted, at 12 midnight, pretty damn late. A week of treatment followed. More scans and tests, a hell lot of needles, blood, tablets, food pipes and few nights in the ICU. An MRI of the brain revealed an infarct the size of a large gooseberry. After the first night in the ICU, he woke up all confused and lost. For a brief while, he thought we were in September until his confusion became apparent to us from his mumbled speech. The days that followed had so many ups-and-downs. We realized, he was past the absolute danger zone. He lived. His pulse was still low in the bradycardia region, but he looked steady. What more, he was mobile. He had good action in his arms and fingers, despite the right side weakness. And he recognized us all and seemed to make sense of what we could say. This was all really good considering how bad strokes typically get. We felt glad and more relaxed. Then, when we finally got to talk to him better as he moved into a ward, we realized his difficulty in recollecting and speaking. He cried often and once he'd forget to recollect his own daughter's name. He jumbled up words and names all the time. He spent hours and days wondering why he was not able to recollect names of people and things. With a lot of difficulty he'd construct a sentence and then find himself unable to go further. We had folks visiting all the time, some crying, some that would idly sit around and recollect incidents of deaths and illnesses in people they knew and some who would suggest obscure medication from unknown places with no idea of what his medical condition even really was. After a while, the phone calls and visitors became very traumatizing to the family and at times we just put the device aside. Weeks later now, we have relocated him to the city away from his community and job, and are getting him treated here. A few months of therapies, diabetic diet and exercising to follow. 

The memory is fresh in me, all from the last few days, and still seems so surreal. I remember the hospital room where I fed him with my hands as he was silently watching a tv show of his favorite people whose names he could not recollect anymore. I remember showing him how to write straight lines and alphabets in a ruled notebook. I remember getting worried as he watched an advertisement showing sweets or a funny scene on television where someone smoked or had alcohol. The term 'parental control' popped onto my mind, only it seem to have the diametrically opposite meaning. I saw him burst into tears emotionally often, unlike the daring old man he once was. As I once stepped out for a half hour's errand, he had looked for me at home longingly. With the help of a cousin, he called me up on a phone and in his low worried voice, he called out my name asking me if everything was okay at my end and asked me yearningly when I'd return home. He had been thinking of me restlessly all that time. My heart broke instantly. I remember my dad speak to me. With the voice of a child. And with the innocence of one.

And so continue the ups-and-downs of this phase. Today, we are glad as we see him recollect an ATM pin and sad when he mixes up a cover and a charger. Glad as he could write the spelling of a word or improve his signature, and worried when he tells us he feels giddy. 

Dad, if you would some day be completely cured and I sure hope you do and if you would read all this then, hope you'd know and feel reassured that we will be around to take care of you.

And I don't think you'd know this, but... 

Dad, you are my child now.