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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

NIGHT

whispers in the dark blood red hands dripping blood drip drip drip amber colored blood colors, different colors, vibrant colors, sometimes blue and sometimes red, orange, pink, yellow and brown, dangles before my half-open half-close eyes, like those series of puppets I saw while in a fair with my Papa when I was about ten. They, the colors, suddenly, out of the void, primordial soup, assumes shape and form as they turn into full-fledged bodied-shadows of the ones I knew, loved and lost. I stir a little, moving my body to the right. It hurts to do so. In fact, it hurts to move my body anywhere. I’m completely oblivious of my surroundings, detached from reality, or perhaps, sweet reality has detached her from me. The colors begin to fade away, and I slowly open my eyes. The room around me is in a mess. Motherless clothes are lying around me. The door is slightly ajar, and so is the window. Bottles, empty and uncorked, embellish the table with three legs. What happened to the fourth leg I don’t know, or perhaps, I don’t remember. But it’s steady anyway, so I don’t care. Its other inhabitants are a couple of books, some with spines, while some without, some are half-open, while some are half-openly closed; a series of pens with no cap, a diary with just one word written on it: NOBODY; I don’t remember why I wrote it, though; a plate with half-burned cigarettes and a yellowed half-eaten apple. The shattering sound. Shards of glass and chinaware lying desolately. You don’t love me. The pink walls, in spite of the cold, are clammy. Two lizards are on it, with one on top of the other, caressing, fondling and canoodling each other her hair always in plaits shiny yellow plaits to go with the yellow sari you shouldn’t have bought this its too costly can’t I buy something for you I didn’t mean that completely oblivious of the world around them, and above all happy shards of broken glass everywhere careful don’t touch me why are you crying I said don’t touch me what do you care about my dreams its always been about you can’t i buy

I try to rise up, but it pains like hell to do so. A fresh waft of cold, wintry air gushes in from the open window, slowly lingering on my side bringing with it an imperceptible whisper:

“Why do you do this to yourself?”

I look all round. There is no one; just my lonely shadow in a dark room. whispers in the dark A faint and doleful ray of the fading sunlight filters through the translucent window shutters. The dark room. Whispers in the dark. Imperceptible

I slowly rise up from my cot and begin my long traverse to the bathroom. Gazing at the mirror I see myself. My eyes are pale and there are dark circles underneath. I step into the shower. Numerous water droplets impinge on my body like cold needles. The cold water slowly swathes me, drowning me in its coldness. I could hear imperceptible whispers coming up from the dark room. The room was dark. Silent trepidation low moan I step out of the shower shaking off my wet hair with a black towel. I walk towards the open cupboard; some wrinkled clothes are already lying on the ground. I pick a black suit and after putting it on I walk back to the living room.

Why do you always have to come late?

She was standing there in front of the door looking at me through her black eyes.

What do you care about my dreams; it has always been about you; what about the things that I want? I pick up the soiled tweed coat lying on the chair, put it on and slowly walk outside the front door.

Its dark now and the streets are all frozen. it has always been about you. A lonesome breeze gently blows through the miserable trees, lingering for a while and then suddenly melting away into nothingness. A husky voice. a lullaby I keep walking.Creatures pass by me one by one. A black cat mews somewhere and I see a couple walking hand in hand with a quicker pace trying to beat the cold. The traffic light change to green and the grimy cars gush past me. Above me the pale grayish clouds hover silently; almost numb and filled with an overpowering sense of foreboding. I increase my pace and cling closer to my tweed coat, taking refuge in its warmth. Pressing my little head closer to her bosom, she began in her husky voice a lullaby.

I take a left turn from the main street and land myself in a dark alley. A three-headed dog with a snake for a tail, perched on top of a decrepit wall, gazes at me for a while through its numerous glassy blood shot eyes, does nothing but only mewls slowly in the biting cold, its grim visage worn out with fatigue and boredom. A ragged man with one hundred eyes sleeps in one secluded corner, though three of his eyes are wide open, perhaps guarding his food that lies somewhere near his swollen legs, and his corroded heart perfectly visible through his holed attire. Yes you are my little boy. Your mother’s little boy. Mother loves you. Mother loves you a lot. Mother. Mother The ground is softer here and the air cold. Water dripping. Hair wet. A faint sound of someone screaming floats in the air from one of those nearly compressed shabby buildings. Water dripping from my wet hair. The dry, droning sound of the hair dryer blowing warm air over my wet hair. The clinking sound of bangles slowly pressed against my cheeks and the husky voice sounding so faint and careworn Shafts of green light from one of those unkempt buildings illuminate my path. An orphan waft of the wintry air blows against my face, and my bones turn ashen yellow with numbness. The yellow sari slowly floating in the darkness. The dark room. Whispers in the dark he is not here this is a mistake I can’t do it Nisha my dusky beauty gaping at me through her dark eyes lined with kajal drilling a hole in my soul. I increase my pace, a vain attempt to scuttle the cold, stifle it, but I know it cannot be done, the coldness gets on your nerves, strangulating you, and you die while still living. In the other side of the alley traffic is denser. Cars scamper hurriedly trying to reach home in this ever growing cold. Above me a pale-blue Honda City car floats silently in the thin air while a black unicorn brushes past me, her chaste black tail gently touching the fringe of my black tweed coat. Some paces from here a throng of children, some with tails of a horse while some with hooves of a goat are running around, half naked, playing hide-and-seek and a couple of gaudily dressed women, thin with small breasts and blood in their eyes, lean against the wall filled with lurid graffiti.

“Kyun bey chikne how about some good time for only fifty rupees?” Dirty pictures and dirty people. He is a good boy. Mother’s little boy husky I’ll be late today so don’t wait for me SANTOSH ELECTRONICS dressed in frozen letter dazzles in the blue colored neon. Its double storied building is replete with refrigerators, washing machines and television sets, some of them beaming an India-Australia cricket match while some showing a young Muslim doctor held captive in some Australian prison.

“Arey Bhai, what is all this hungama about”?

“Kya batain, these phirangs still feels that they rule us.”

“Then I suppose India will lose this match too.”

“Aur nahin toh kya…to win we need a good team.”

“I heard ke Tendulkar is retiring?”

“Kahan yaar, he still has a lot of cricket left in him.”

“Even after the World Cup debacle?”

“Arey Bhai, he is apna Sachin, apna Little Master, he’ll come up again.”

“But these phirangs sure play hard ball.”

“And hard bats too...hehehe…I bet even the bat under their pants are hard!”

“Kyun bey, did you take a sneak-peak at their bats?”

“Phir…I once screwed a gori and guess what she was a little tight neeche se.”

He laughs, a shrill sound much like a crow trying to sing, and smacks his lips, twitching them lewdly. Suddenly, he removes all his clothes and hat, revealing a pair of horns jutting out from his curly hair. The lower half of his body is goat-like with hooves, a tail resembling that of a mare and the long shriveled organ dangling from between his thighs, like a willow tree, though his torso is very much human and muscular, replete with black hair. He takes a long jump and lands himself on the other side of the street and begins chasing a nymph clad in jeans and t-shirt atop a Honda Activa; a desi Pan chasing a semi-desi Syrinx, One Hundred Percent Made in India. She squeals with an inexpressible agony trying with all her might to turn herself into reeds, but to no avail, oblivious, perhaps, of the fact that in this nameless town with nameless people, metamorphosis is next to impossible. Mother. This is a mistake i can’t do it. nisha my dusky beauty staring at me her black eyes black why do you always have to come late I can’t take this anymore i need my own space yellow sari floating in the air a dry moaning sound i think someone is here why did you do this to me? I’m sorry do you think it can change anything when there never was anything how could it possibly change? whispers in the dark coming up from the dark room mother mother mother darkness whispers I turn right and there before me stands a lonesome tree with naked branches, beneath a red moon-light, moaning silently nisha moaning with a painful pleasure while shedding blood red tears that falls on the ground only to form a small bleeding rivulet that flows upward to the grayish clouds. in his usual grey suit I saw him staring his eyes the color of his suit and his face like that of a grey fish get outta here you fucking bastard its okay calm down now He comes along, trying to cover his craggy face with his tattered hood. His hands, pale and slimy, jutting out from his decrepit black cloak, are clasped in a shape of a cup. Something is on it, though what I can’t make out. Its only when he comes near that I am able to perceive his broken heart beating in his lifeless cupped hands Go before i knock your head off listen i can explain go before I tear your fucking heart out

ME: Who are you?

HE: Nobody

ME: Then what do you want?

HE: My heart is broken

ME: I can see that

HE: Can you mend it for me?

ME: Can you mend mine?

He looks at me for what seemed like an eternity, without uttering a single syllable walks he away, his broken heart beating in his cupped hands not a single syllable she speaks looks at everything and nothing around bloody hands with blood dripping drowsily on the wrinkled dirt who’s he mother meet your The coldness soon infects my heart and I put my hands away into my coat pockets only to find the half-eaten apple yellowed by time stacked there snugly inside my left-pocket. It shines in the red moon-light, the redness, like a flame, lights up for a moment only to diminish an instant later. He stood there yellow valise in hand gazing hungrily meet your yellow valise this is for you child go ahead take it your new papa who’s he mother come on honey take the gift wrapped in torturous red tormenting the insides inscrutable boy I’ve the moral On his haunches sits he beside the right to correct you bleeding rivulet, the boy, not once budging from his favored position. Growing curious, walk I over to him in silent painful strolls. I could register in the growing cold in the growing coldness reeking from his hairy nostrils a sickening sound of strange coughing. my new papa what happened honey he is your new papa papa where did he go you will do as I say boy mother mother why nisha my dusky beauty bloody all over blood suffocates me yellow sari wrapped with blood turning the yellow into bloody red My hunch is confirmed when I near the boy. He indeed is coughing sickening smell of blood that drips from her ebony fingers the room whirling all around when did you ever care about my dreams Actually, he is retching. But no undigested food, interlarded with saliva, bile and other digestive juices to form a neat fluidic whole, emanates. It is hair, shining black hair packed in neat circles that comes out from his retching cadaverous mouth her yellow plaits wound over her black locks streaming all the way down to her waist the smallest in all the seven continents oh my darling child its ok he didn’t mean it i want you two to be friends now it’s a mistake she gaping at me seeing nothing her eyes black with the kajal streaming down to her dusky cheeks please stop it calm down now go you fucking bastard you never cared about my dreams I turn back tell me why did you and begin running. Trying with all my might to escape this nameless town. The coldness gnawing at my broken soul. The red moonlight. The naked tree. The bleeding rivulet. The old man with a broken heart in his hands. All wafted past me. Swiftly. Like quick mirages rapidly dissolving in the thin air. Why did you do this to me. You never cared about my dreams can’t i buy yellow sari floating in the darkness the redness slowly proliferating voice slowly black kajal streaming down her dusky cheeks and her eyes gaping at nothingness blood dripping down her ebony fingers don’t touch me can’t i buy don’t touch me I said coldness reeking from his go you fucking bastard meet your new papa she She stands there, clad in a yellow sari, thick-breasted ebony-bodied black kajal lining her black heavy eyes biting a yellowed apple with her pale-white teeth. Her hair is wound in yellow plaits with a loosely pinned black rose dangling carelessly down.

She: What you looking at?

Me: Nothing.

She: Then, what the hell are you doing here?

Me: I don’t know.

She: Want some?

Me: I’m not hungry.

She: You sure look so.

Me: I said I’m not hungry.

She moves her dusty feet in the reddish dust. Her black eyes, steely cold, perforate the innermost part of me, leaving me vulnerable, naked. Her pallid face now is closer to mine.

She: Why do you do this to yourself?

Me: I don’t know.

She touches my arm with her cold fingers and gently leads me into the darkness. She slowly brings her face close. Her hands are clammy and her breath cold. It reeks of lost yesterdays and forgotten tomorrows. Its dark but I can see her face. I touch her hair her black locks streaming down all the way to her waist and move my fingers up to the dangling black rose a rose is black is black is black and i touch her red lips red blood all over her sari turning the yellow into red bloody red I bring her closer to mine holding her ebony body tight, torturing her as she wails in the silence of the biting darkness. tell me why did you do this to me this is a mistake red blood all over her face smeared with blood blood is red is red is red yellow red sari floating go you fucking bastard or i’ll rip your heart out moan a slow painful moan i love you a lot nisha my dusky beauty moaning a painful moan why did you do this to me she isn’t moaning anymore nisha her eyes are wide open as she stares at everything and nothing around. Her black kajal-lined eyes glimmer for a while as it melts slowly away in the darkness.

*

Arnav was driving up to the entrance of the main building when his pager beamed a message: EMERGNCY IN 5. Hurriedly he parked his pale blue Honda City car in the parking-lot and went upstairs to the main building. He could hear faint voices coming up from the top floor.

“What happened? Is he at it again?” asked Arnav to the pale-faced receptionist.

“You bet he is”, she answered back. The voices were louder now, and Arnav had no option but to increase his pace and run up to Ward No: 5. No sooner had he reached than a familiar voice of someone moaning came up.

“What happened this time to him, Doctor?” Arnav asked.

“Well the same old thing,” the Doctor answered.

“Since when?”

“He is moaning since morning…I guess those photographs just turned him on”, the Doctor answered with a lewd grin. But the usual sexual connotation was lost to Arnav, who was staring fixedly at some series of photographs of a girl, not more than twenty year old, littered everywhere. The girl had a queer expression on her face. It was something Arnav couldn’t understand because the expression was more like a hologram: at times it exhibited happiness and at times that of profound grief. However, it was the girl’s long lustrous black hair that made that holographic expression appear sweet. He was soon shaken up from his daytime reverie by the same sound of low moan coming up from the extreme right corner of the room. Straightening his glasses, Arnav could see a man, who was more a bag of loose bones than flesh, staring at him with his hollow piercing eyes. This man had written “Nisha” all over his shirt and the walls with red ink that he procured from God knows where. Beside him was a dog-eared copy of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, with its cover smeared with the same red ink.

“Where did he get these pictures from?” Arnav asked as he bent down to pick the book up.

“Don’t take it to your heart, Arnie boy. These lunatics can be very smart sometimes”, the Doctor answered.

“But I never saw a loony read Ovid before”.

“I’m a doctor…been treating these loonies since twenty years now…always remember that the mind is an amazing thing…you can never truly know what’s going on in there”.

“Yea I guess…By the way you know he hallucinates whenever he comes across these photos?”

“Yea he does…Don’t worry I’ll have ‘em burned…That’ll solve the problem…The girl sure looks cute, though.”

“Yea maybe…I strongly wish to know what’s going on in his mind…”

“Never you mind that…tea or coffee?”

“I guess I’ll have coffee.”

***************

3 comments:

aparna nair said...

the man with the broken heart...what a thought. the best part about is that it is written very differently and every time you read it you are struck with a new realization. wonderful expression arnav! keep writing..

Janete Cabral said...

Great post once again... wonderful, emotive and heart warming

Thank you!

Janete Cabral said...

Great post once again... wonderful, emotive and heart warming

Thank you!