Thursday, November 26, 2009

Periods of silence, that’s what I said earlier. This silence was not contemplated, it just happened. I guess it always just happens. There is no listlessness, no tremors: only an all pervading ISness. No sensations, no words, only me and myself.

A QUESTION OF CONSCIENCE

“How can I a living earn ?”
I hear the leper cry.
But I wait for him to pass me by.
The truth is he is right,
And I am aware of his plight:
But I stay still,
Unmoved ,
Silent and straight as that hill.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

OMINOUS PATTERNS


Ominous patterns,
A dreary grey smoke,
Weaves across a vacant sky,
While a stifled city groans
And struggles to stay alive.

Over crowded places,
On the road fast omnibuses,
People in flashy dresses
And dead faces,
A continuous hum of machinery
From a nearby factory,
Sets the rhythm of daily life.

On the pavement
Sits a weary old man
With a hungry look, a hungry stomach,
Tattered clothes, a shrivelled frame,
A raving mouth and outstretched hands,
Begging.
A few feet away,
Dogs and dirty naked children,
In keen competition stray,
For a morsel of forgotten food
From the foodstall nearby,
Where stand the affluent few,
Licking an ice cream cone,
Eating a cheese sandwich
And sipping a cup of hot brown coffee.

As the sky grows darker,
A rumble of thunder
Sends those homely people,
Scurrying back to their abodes,
To a warm food,
And a warm bed,
To lie back and enjoy
The rhythm of the raindrop patter
On the window panes.

The old man sits,
Hands no longer outstretched,
But held over his head,
In a vain attempt
To shelter himself from the rain.
There are no trees in this city,
No roof for this old man:
He waits for the rain to stop,
On the pave ment.

The rain stops,
The night grows cold,
Man and woman,
Lost in the warm depths,
Of a warm bed, a warm room:
Faces lit up by a smile of contentment.

The old man sleeps and shivers,
To the croaking of frogs,
And the howling of dogs:
Water in small rivulets,
Flows around his cold feet,
Weaving patterne on the earth below.

May be he will wake up,
To the heat of the coming day,
To the bustle of feet,
To the sound of omnibuses
Around him,
His hands outstretched,
Once more to wait.
May be he shall lie ,
Stiff and cold as a stone
On the roadside.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

METAPHYSICAL MONOLOGUES – continued - Nausea

Albert Camus while reviewing Sartre’s book ‘ Nausea’ states, “To live knowing that life is pointless is what gives rise to anguish. And if you live against the stream, the whole of your being is seized with disgust and revolt and this revolt of the body is what is called Nausea.

In Nausea, the diary of Antoine Roquentin starts with the following paragraph –
“ Something has happened to me : I can’t doubt that anymore. It came as an illness does, not like anything obvious. It installed itself cunningly, little by little; I felt a little strange, a little awkward, and that was all. Once it was established, it didn’t move anymore, it lay low and I was able to persuade myself that there was nothing wrong with me, that it was a false alarm. And now it has started blossoming.”

Nausea filled me with disgust. A man judges his life and by doing so judges himself – and what he finds at the bottom of the most elementary act is it fundamental absurdity. The very morbidity of the narration set me thinking. I cannot accept that life is absurd bu that this is not the end but only the beginning of a new realization. A man finds himself in a blind alley and cannot proceed further, what he does is to retrace and pick up a new path. Even Sartre is unable to accept this absurdity which he himself has painted so vividly. Deliverance is possible through creativity. That’s what Roquentin does at the end of the book, he decides to complete the book he had started and free himself from the shackles of absurdity and justify his existence.

Creation results as to fulfil the need for self expression. When a man creates, may be a book, a piece of art or music, he puts into it what is essentially himself. He tries to reach the depths of his being through the medium of his work.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

This nothingness has been the most dreadful thing that I have come face to face with. What is life if one has to ultimately fade into insignificance. “This encounter with non- existence, this fear of nothingness is an inner condition which provokes the sense of dread and starts the religious quest”, this is what my guide said “ deliverance from the illusions of this world is to be achieved only by facing nothingness and overcoming it”.

***********

I – REMAIN

I feel a weight,
My footsteps drag,
Slow down in their rhythm,
They stop.
My legs are tied,
I cannot move,
My eyes hurt,
I cannot see,
I feel tired, I sit
Crouched with my headdown;
My limbs feel heavy,
I stay still,
Now a static state,
Nothing but a stone,
But I live.

The fire inside, now
Grown smaller in size
Soon will go.

I hear footsteps in the distance,
They come towards me;
For a minute they stop:
Then move on.
Now all is still,
No more foot steps.

All is dark,
The fire has gone out,
And I feel cold.

Though cold,
In Nothingness I remain,
Waiting for a spark
To light the fire again.