Today !

I have been living in the dark too long, so long that I started believing there is nothing more out there. As I stepped forward to embrace the darkness, a tiny flash of light stole away all grace from the black. A hushed whisper took away the calm I had created for myself. An artificial injection of life and the ever detested burden of survival, brought me back to where I have always hated being.

Some alien force has lighted a candle within me. As the flame burns it uncovers all that I refuse to accept. The gusts intended to threaten this self indulgent passion only expose the hidden unpleasant more and more, making reality as unacceptable as all fantasy. Even when I try to give in to my outbursts, the persistent wavering of this stubborn flame brings me back to the pointless persistence of being and futile self justification.

And now I stand here again. Reluctant to give in to the dark and yet ambivalent to believe in the new found light. May be I cannot fight over this flame or the black alone. I need to see a reflection of the within to know. I have started carving again. This time I am carving a new face; a face I am yet to know. I try to rub some life into the stone in front of me. Can the slow movements of my nimble fingers bring an idol to life? Can my life permeate into cold hard matter? But as I sculpt with my bare fingers the face keeps changing. I cannot seem to focus on any one dimension. Will it help if I force myself to choose a direction? How can I decide without knowing where the road might lead? How can I decide when I do not know what tomorrow might bring. How can I decide the fate of a life I never even wanted?

(4:30 pm, 25th Dec 2004)



Someday I will climb up the mountain and see what really fascinates me about getting to the other side. I will look at the valley below and try realizing all that has made me hold on to my pursuit so long. For a while now I have been thinking of getting up there. For a while now I have been trying to get up there. One of these days. Just one of these days I will.


The land I come from...

(in response to http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/4055723.stm)

The land I come from is the land of the pure. Over the years the concept of purity has become so refined that no degree of adulteration is to be tolerated. We link our purity to religion. The reason for it being so is simple. We care about our religion and we are very sensitive about it. Try us and we will do anything for our religion. Although some say historical evidence reveals our land to be founded on economic rather than religious motives. We still insist upon elevating the stature of our country to that of the land of Divine purity. The secular ideals of the lawyer who advocated the case of our land of the pure were not pure enough for us. So we let the purists step in. Good at heart and strong in their will, the purists figured that they must have their share of the purity. No hesitations stemmed from the fact that these very purists opposed the idea of the creation of this land of the pure. Once the purity is to be shared why leave the purists behind?

Hence the purists set out to purify the land of the ‘not so pure’. Their approach was simple. Purity is rooted in religion and pislaam is the purest religions of all. If you are a good pislum you may live in this land. If not then you are not pure enough and all impurities must be eradicated. The purists put their foreheads against the floor and toiled till their prayer mats were soaked in blood. These purists were determined people. They realized that while pislaam was the purest religions of all, not everyone’s pislaam was pure. Thus they took upon themselves the task to define the pure pislaam. This certainly was a difficult task. But did the purists err? No. Never did the purists make a mistake. With changing times their criterion of the pure pislaam kept changing. They were all learned guardians of the pure faith and much aware of the demands of the world they lived in.

Once certain about the pure pislaam, upon which all the purists agreed, they decided to put it to test. What better test for checking the might of a pure religion than manipulation. And the test worked. Voila! Pislaam, the religion of intolerance, had been mastered to perfection. It was ready for use now. The purists savored their success as pislaam achieved for them exploitation of the masses for the pure benefit of the pislums.

Now while all pislums live and die happily in our land of the pure I hear this strange story from this other land. I hear of protests against an impure man getting a life sentence. I hear this man blasphemed. How intolerable? Death at once is what our purists would demand. But unlike our pislums, the masses protest. Why such impiety? Why allow such impurities to survive? I hear this other land was also founded to be the land of the pure. I hear there are also purists in this land. They strive hard to make their land of the pure purer. But the masses, the ignorant masses, protest. They protest against a life sentence for this impure man from this impure minority community. I hear this man believes in a prophet after the one held to be the last by the people of this other land. They say he imitates the religion of the pure. They say he does so despite being disallowed to do so by law. I say wajib-ul-qatal, this impure man is wajib-ul-qatal, his entire community is wajib-ul-qatal.

If ever such an impurity was to be found in our land of the pure, we would crush it without hesitation. All pure and pious pislums would stone him to death. These people in this other land protest over just life sentence and I fail to grasp why he is not to be put to death. I hope the purists triumph. I hope this other land becomes truly pure too. So pure that no impurity from even within is to be tolerated ever. So pure that when the purists hit their foreheads against the ground, the prayer mats become stained with blood. All impurities must be cleansed. No matter what it takes: prayer or blood, all impurities must be cleansed.