Mind

Ugliness

William Blake’s Ghost of a Flea

All thoughts are like spoiled children. Some of them are illegitimate as well. They are conceived and are born as a result of one’s reactions to events in his or her everyday life. We turn out to become bad parents for most of them. The prematurely born, neglected thoughts grow up on their own and decide their own course of life and action without caring for anyone. As a matter of justification, they harp on the condescending attitudes received at the hands of their parents and an absence of all nurturing and disciplining efforts which they consider to be due to them. Our step fatherly behavior continuously produces a junk of a community of off springs which continues occupying spaces in our ever-expanding minds. We think of and treat these spaces in the same ways in which our governments think of the slums of our cities. We also dread them. The world becomes the dignitary which comes visiting our selves and we quickly and unhesitatingly hush the slums from its view. What is presented to the visitor is a selected scene which depicts a rich élite culture of our mind that we feel proud of putting up for display at exhibitions we arrange each day of our lives.

This step fatherly behavior is the most clearly visible in all those biased attitudes we show to another group of advantaged sons and daughters residing the same city. This branch dwells in the posh localities of our minds and selves. We value them so much. We snuggle with them in our private moments and keep discussing them again and again. As a source of warmth and relief, this population continues to amuse us. These thoughts are considered worthy of preservation and are written down on either paper or canvas. We speak about them in an eloquent way. All public expression favors these wealthy ones to the less privileged ones. We are promised a better audience if we talk of our positive and energy filled thoughts. Thinking of what to think before going off to sleep, we think of them and them alone.

The grotesque, undernourished bodies of the underdogs tease us all our lives. They seem eternally persistent. Haunting us while we travel through the joyous paths in our lives they keep reminding us of the degree of criminality they are capable of bursting out with, if left unattended for long. The share in the intellectual property that they demand is often not given away willingly. They always fight for it.

In writing of prose and poetry, painting, music and other pleasure-seeking activities we carry out, we play the role of the villain. Most often the irritable brats are ignored. They are brutally gagged. Some of us do walk the extra mile,display benevolence and try to do justice. In doing so, these brats are ‘ungagged’, cleaned and decorated and presented to the world. The artificial process of beautification uglifies them further and the world appreciates such exposure. The sense of justice that the artist possesses is lauded. Once these kids have performed well (under pressure), they go to the changing rooms, tear off their cheap gaudy clothes and come back to the father. They shout at him in the face and ask “You asshole! could you not talk about us and present us in the same state that you always force us to dwell in. Why do we need to borrow the left over costumes and cosmetics from those stupid siblings to whom you have willed all your wealth and heritage. We will kill you. We will kill you one day. And you will die. This is going to happen soon, you see”.

Knowing that we can not stand up to their genuine assaults, we gag them again. These path breaking works of art by the pioneers are declared by the world as exemplary and daring. Accolades are showered on them for aestheticising the violent, dark and ugly slums of their minds. The brats loathe such depiction. Aesthetics and the depiction of the ugly as beautiful are two things that cannot go hand in hand if one is to give the ugly a fair chance. The grotesque needs to be presented as it is, if at all one has the guts to present it.

However, the world rejoices and exclaims at whatever is presented to it. So the artist can relax and heave a sigh of relief. Injustice may continue. It is the age of the right to privacy!

Heart

Red

You paint all those sights which are worthy of being called a feast for the senses of a thrill deprived joy gatherer. Center staged and firmly seated on the throne of the universe, you rule all romance and reason. The whites, the blues, the greens and the blacks connive and plot and fume and never succeed. King you were and that will you be.

Characterizing all epiphany, love and contempt, joy and energy, your chariot keeps passing through the minds and hearts of the fragile and the wicked. Trails left on the damaged tissues blacken only later. The way angry faces succumb to your domination and the way joyful veins willingly carry you to the limbs of the two-year old…wow! What of flora and fauna should I say? You have been a miser with flowers, birds and beasts. Red marigolds, red cranes and red peacocks would have been wonderful. Do think about it. The mischief of blue worked and it got the skies. Nothing to worry about. No one looks at the sky anymore. The greenery that once challenged your rule is now only a matter of the dining table and the white and black remain restricted to the wise and the refined. Do not rob these little ones further of their hard-earned misfortunes. Your influence remains as pervasive as ever.

Be wary of your kin though. The maroons and the pinks for instance! Keep such contamination in check. They have been for sometime now standing up in your name and representing you. You are at your best only in a state of purity. The state when the eyes can no more look at you, the mind can no more think of you and the heart can no more pump of you. You have been seen, thought and pumped only because you allowed for a mingling with the dark and the dull. Keep them at bay. It will be a boon for men if not the others who are no more intense. Your contamination has made them so. Make a note that the dull and the dark are beginning to achieve the status of a celebrity.

One more thing. You are being misrepresented in the world. Try painting all flags red. Those who have done so already seem to present you to me in a very nauseating way. Get up and take the world by storm once more. Fill it with beauty, joy, pleasure and bloodshed. Leave nothing untouched. I will rejoice. Hail to thee!

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Threads

I am tied to so many people and so many things. These ties seldom break. I consider a thread to have broken only when I can say that I have forgotten about a particular connection.

These linkages pull me in all possible directions. When one pulls hard, the others coöperate and aid it so loyally. Take for instance the moment when I am happy. I am just so happy that the threads pulling me to an ocean of despair just loosen and it seems to me as if they have disappeared. The universe seems bright and the corners of my room get filled up with beautiful fragrances. The objects which act as the source of all worry and confusion let their threads loose and I wander free. In case of such a relaxation, I forget the other side of my story. When I roam around in the open grassland, the other connections of my being matter to me no more. Like an animal tethered to a variety of poles dug deep in the ground, I graze. When I am glad, some of the ropes take rest and the envious poles laugh incessantly at my illusions. “Go wherever you want, I will pull you soon” they say to themselves.

Very soon a wave of anxiety strikes. The hitherto silent people and objects tighten and stand straight. The aesthetic of the expressions on their faces worsens and they set out to teach me a lesson for my offence of forgetting them. I try hard to graze further and yet get pulled back to where I belong. Belonging in this sense is a temporary and an extremely momentary feeling. I belong to the territory carved out by a team of mood controllers and I am forced to be loyal every time.

And I miss the opportunity always. Every time I fail to look down upon the other team. When sad, I am just sad and when happy, I am just happy. While being so, I have never been able to laugh at the others and made them realize the weakness of the momentary influences they are capable of forcing on me. I do not emerge victorious ever. I emerge out of my mood a loser who could not teach his opponents a lesson. Grief wins every time I forget myself and smile and sing with the sunshine. It laughs at my foolishness. Happiness wins every time I shed a drop of tear and curse the dark. It too laughs at my foolishness.A child I am in all circumstances.

Taken with gratitude from csuri.com

To be sad and to love being as such is the real triumph and vice-versa. Is that so? I cannot say that. I think I can defeat my opponents in only one circumstance. And that is to surrender with all my heart and soul to whatever joys and miseries they have in store for me. I cannot go very far trying to stand up to their might. The threads are many. Not all of them are silky. There are the others which have a sharp cutting surface. Some are steely and there are still others which are irritable to touch because they have a coating of broken, grounded pieces of glass.

Pull me and take me wherever you want. Do whatever you want. I will like a loyal slave comply with your directions. I refuse to learn from my mistakes and will continue doing so. When delighted I will forgo all grief and when depressed, I will never think of the happy moments of my life. I am happy to see you victorious once and forever. I need to have a great laugh now at you. Don’t mind it. My life! you are supremely and most annoyingly mighty. I surrender!

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Three Love Stories

She had looked at his picture on the i-pad forever. In the snap he was bungee jumping. Curiously she asked “I love asking this to you every time we meet. I will always want to ask you this. Please tell me what attracted you to me? What did you notice in me?” She smiled and said “Did I do something that turned you on?”.She almost blushed finishing her question. Sipping the hot cuppa at the Coffee counter, he said “Well I can’t somehow recall exactly. Let me think. I remember seeing you at the multiplex. You got the tickets and sat waiting for the show to start. Oh yeah…I think it was the bright pink elastic strap of your underwear peeping out of the fabulous pair of jeans you wore. I kept staring and decided to talk to you…Yeah that is how it began, I think.”

This other one sat near the street tea stall and ordered for bun butter. The day had been a busy one. The rally had been a huge success. Wiping the sweat off her face she said “I truly love you. I do not care for anything that makes being your companion difficult. I am ready to hold your hand and walk with you through all the highs and lows. We will do our best to bring about a change in the world. I am so interested in knowing how all this began for us. What made you talk to me in the first place? Do you even remember the first time we met?” Managing the red sling bag he said “Oh I do remember all that. You had not eaten anything for those three whole days and you had fainted. It was me who lifted you and someone arranged for a rickshaw. The Doctor was called soon thereafter. You smelled of jasmine. I think it was the hair oil. Moreover your views on patriarchy were so engaging. That was it.”

The boy had finished eating the fried rice she had cooked and brought for him in the red plastic lunch box. She wanted to have a plate of Maggi. On the way she looked at him with roses blooming in her eyes. “It has been lovely knowing you. These seven days have been the best of my life. I never thought about myself as someone you would ever talk to. Tell me what made you take the first step. It was so funny when you came to me and began fumbling for words. My friends make fun of you. The tie you wore that day was strange”. He cared not to look at her and walked robustly. She repeated her question. “I don’t like talking about all this. I don’t even remember. Are all these things worth for being remembered? Something must have happened. And had it not happened with you it would have happened with someone else. Big deal!”

 

 

 

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To Tonight

I want you to thank the sun. It kept you nourished and nurtured all day long and you could dawn over the world. I wonder if anyone waited for your arrival. An obeisance to those people, if you can find them, would do you no harm. You would seem humble and responsible. It’s possible you could be the vogue again. Go and hunt for whoever he is.

Evening was when as a baby you were born. The world was unfair to you. Everyone dreaded and you took that as if your reincarnation was being celebrated. The woodcutters left the trees alone and went home. Prostitutes sat in front of the mirror. Children in the park thought of their angry mothers. The sparrow hid itself and the monkey felt dizzy. The poet that warmly hugged you and wrote about you is no more. Seems no one took notice of you. Weariness in the jungle, hustle bustle in the house and music on the floors. All to themselves. Nothing for you.

You were mistaken. None of the lamps were lit to amuse and entertain you. You were a challenge no one cared to warmly welcome. The stars and the moon you thought would make you look pretty did not help. Hope you know all this. I think you do. Why otherwise would you be so angry and cruel now that you have grown to your fullest? I am sorry. I will not call you a Nubile. Do not take revenge on me. I have never welcomed anyone. I am the same with you as I was with the day. You don’t matter. Go away. Leave me alone.

I told you, the poet is dead and gone. The woodcutter and the child must have slept by now. Go see if there is a slot in the child’s dreams that you could occupy. If you succeed, do ask him. Why did he not care to feel how pretty as a kid you were and why didn’t he wait for you to join the merry-go-round. This will at least make sure that he asks his mother about you.

Again! Please do not pester me. I can say nothing. I am too old, incapable of reinvigorating any interest and adulation in you. As a child I did that and you never cared. Dejected you left me every time to hover around the well-lit palace. You know best about how much those toys entertained you? It is my turn to see you longing for admiration. Believe me…you will have to seethe…Don’t stop here..just gently pass!