Friday, November 21, 2008

Free Falling

I hold on to nothing. And, I fall.

It should have been some kind of a wild convulsion that should have catapulted me onto this not-so-cozy habitat. I should have sensed it, right on the day I was born - the massive black hole beneath us all, sucking and feeding on all things and souls like an eternally hungry merciless beast. One day, it would consume my soul too and feed on it, till I become inseparably entangled with the singularity, reduce to nothing, and become an indistinguishable part of the treacherous beast myself. And now, as I dizzily race through space, gaining momentum rapidly with every tiniest slice of time passing by, I dread the long wily claws stretching over light years of space like a cold infinite rubber arm clutching my feet and dragging me towards the hole that I am helplessly sliding into.

I fail to understand when and how exactly it happened, but 'it' snapped. As the mind cleared one fine day and woke up from the long dream of a life, the string that I was holding on to for dear life, vanished right before my eyes and it was then that the fall began. And now, as I race towards the beast, I remember the beautiful sight of innumerable strings dancing all around in the infinity of space, like countless strands of Medusa's hair, sprouting in all directions away from the huge hole beneath. I remember that sight as a happy distant memory from a past that I now know is permanently lost. The strings had hosted fantastic whole new worlds in themselves that felt so very real, almost as real as the long dream of a life that I woke up from. Like most men who had convulsed into this space, I too had found some strings of my own to cling to, and to sheathe myself from the hungry animal beneath. I had lived many dreams on the surface of the strings and even at times, lost myself in all the many wonderful worlds in there, so much that I had almost forgotten the beast beneath. The soul was intact and securely bound on a slender string that decidedly looked away from the hungry hole as if it was hoping that, if it did not look below, the beast would not exist.

And suddenly, I woke up, and the string vanished in a puff. I peered into the dark infinite emptiness, looking for a single thin white string and I failed to find any. There was only the darkness around, the beast below and my spaghettified feet stretching into a thin string of molecules dissolving seamlessly into the claws that ruthlessly dragged them. It was then that I realized that the strings were not in the space outside, but were really inside me - happy creations of my hopeful brain in a dream that I had been trapped in. We all found strings to hold on to, but only so because we created them as and when we needed, in wild journeys that we had in powerful dreams of ours. And then, as I fell, I tried hard to conjure a string magically out of space, but in vain, for I knew they were not real, and as long as that realization rested deep inside me, the strings only vanished even as they were being created, like flashes of lightning that you might fail to catch sight of, if you only blinked. It was a clever trick. You need to believe the strings were real, to be able to create them, but you knew they only existed in your mind.

And now, it amazes me as to how very painfully often and how very hard, but only in vain, I have tried to close my eyes and fall into another of those dreams where I could cleverly create one of Medusa's slippery snakes out of thin air, and happily cling on to it. Alas, to my misfortune, there was no such dream. There was just the fall, the dreaded beast sucking ever more on my feet and the cold wind sickeningly blazing through my feverish skin as I gravitate dizzily into the darkness beneath. I hold on to nothing. And, I fall.