Train to Vellore

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There was something relatively calm about the fellow whose auto I was currently on, it was an otherwise ordinary January afternoon, the trees were still except when sudden gusts of wind woke them up and made them wave and dance.. The sun was lodged somewhere near the centre of the skies, the process had begun, she would slowly slip continually into the deeper abyss of the heavens… My sling bag was filled with all sorts of books on various topics, ranging from the Philosophy of Life to leading a life with the Holy Spirit, I had another swamp green air bag that I carried in my hands filled with another assortment of books, these were literature books… I was still covertly operating as a writer, I often imagined myself as someone who observed the dynamics of life at work that one encountered as he himself was subjected to its often times stifling contents. I was taking a trip back to my home town, I had another part time job where I worked as a scriptwriter that needed attending to for a couple of days before I traveled back to the city to work to create my own personal dreams, to play basketball like a crazed lunatic during the long hours of the night and to further study the spiritual content of the city which for the moment was my central muse, I imagined the city to be a woman that I felt undeniably pulled into, and the longer I was separated from her the more my heart longed for her… My destination was the infuriating, messy, chaotic Railway stop.. Chennai Central…  I needed to catch the Lalbagh express at 3.35 pm, as the auto sped across the sun drenched roads where perennial motor growls and neurotic horns engaged in a pitiful war of importance and mindlessness, I attempted to spend a few moments of silence, to gather the dissociated fragments of my spirit that was fractured by its contact with the very world that threatened its existence, perhaps I am the only one who asks too many questions… I do not know, nor do I pretend to understand how day after day people can live a life of neglect, mere conformity and abstract and unconscious cruelty… I had prayed in a rush, yesterday at the Church that I attended, the sermon had been spectacular, full of deeply scriptural fireworks that had brought my deadened spirit into a renewed life with the object of its faith, its hope and hunger… It excites and at times troubles me how vast the personal being of God can be, I feel like a tiny speck encountering the comforting yet perplexing presence of someone whose Holiness exposes my own vulgar carnality.., in my own inner sanctum I constantly grapple and wrestle with questions of observed human behavior for they seem to fill me with more and more uncertainty, I attempt often times to connect the invisible dots, to penetrate the thickened haze of lost time and scattered points of causality, and the process remains as elusive as a wet bar of soap.

In my own attempts to write I am often confused as to whom I am meant to chronicle… This sudden thought captured me in its web, I wonder if it is my own personal path with its continual darkness heading towards the light that I seek to write about or to become the silent observer in the hurried corridor’s of others lives… The side gate of the Railway building had been reached, in the distance one could make out the brick red clock tower, standing tall and lone.. Its pointed ends reaching out to the skies, … Its arms were at three pm… I rushed towards the ticket counter… Surprisingly there were only a few people around, I was tempted to break out into one of my mental dance performances to celebrate this ordinary yet profound event, as the odds beat the everyday statistic and ushered in a brief moment of transcendence.. I bought my ticket and hurried on to the next building past dirty men with bags whose eyes always appeared to be neurotically attached to the ticket counters… The main structure that hosted all the trains and carriages along with train timings loomed beyond a check post, the ancient terminal that I had known since forever, this structure often appeared in my nightmares, my most uneasy memories and in some of my spontaneous romantic musings… It had existed when Chennai had been Madras, when Madras was known for the Marina Beach and the outrageously confounding inner city madness, the station was a busy hub spread within tall and spacious rooms with high ceilings,  the grand stable with lengthy metal serpents and adjoining rolling tracks and the phenomena of wide screen digital LCD’s with train timings and PSA’s about train robberies and dire messages of caution…old building intermingled with newly painted ones as I left the outer periphery and entered the large station with its perplexing inward movement, large rows of stationary metal chairs were fixed to the ground   to my far right… On them sat passengers with dead eyes and bored hearts, irritable and invisible.. The air felt dinghy and there was a foul smell around, I had to make my way on to platform number 6… That was where my train was…, faces with bodies swarmed and moved around me, at times I felt like they moved into me and through me,  the very rush of human matter flowed through and around me in unstoppable flows, there was movement everywhere and an air of busy dwelling, the din and chatter around touched one’s ears like noisy repetitive footsteps that felt like the fall of slipping gravel, a thousand different words and conversations carried on, like many colored fishes swimming in opposite directions, twisting and turning the currents with their pace and movements… I made my way further, past the other crowded platforms, past moving book stores with pleasing and attention hungry faces with appeal and smiles with costly prices next to them, they stared at me through the covers of popular magazines, I moved past politically charged weeklies announcing intriguing headlines meant to sell copies, past fictional books with lovers entangled in the other’s arms staring into each other’s eyes completely oblivious that the world around was in disarray and filled with decay , past government sponsored snack stores with stacks of bottled water and attractively colored biscuit packets, lifeless and still, unaware that you passed them by. Past marauding stares attached to intrusive beings that made you nervous as you exchanged a brief and frivolous glance in their direction and past faces steeped with cultural touches that you forgot even as you stared right into them, the more you saw what was around you..the more it seemed to seep into the inner man’s feelings, the more I took in the outer world the more I was thrown about and invaded, tiny cracks soon plunged into my inner calm, that had been achieved through a state of awareness, the more I viewed the outer world, a sudden unexplicable emotion seemed to conquer me, filling me with brief pushes and sudden weariness of heart… The outer life appeared devoid of interesting phenomena, it made one lose hope, it made you feel separated and lost… You felt alone as you saw the grand drama of human life, only apathy and indifference was your response, only guardedness and paranoia was your answer, I walked hurriedly on.

The sixth platform was broad and huge, it extended to many hundred meters in length, the unreserved compartment would be in the front, usually this train had about 6 or 7 unreserved compartments, but on this day it didn’t appear to be that way… Here I was rushing on to what was sure to be two and a half hours of confirmed standing time, I grew irate with every one that I saw, couldn’t they find some other day to travel…? I passed the reserved compartments with the paper lists stuck near doors, past blue green bars with staring human faces, the sun had briefly gone behind a cloud.. , I wondered where my life was headed..? I wondered if I would make it to Heaven…? I walked cautiously, what if I ran into someone from my past..? Would I smile or choke and appear threatened even though I had rehearsed that scene like a couple million times…? I needed more jeans and more books, my worst yet known fears were confirmed, the general compartment was full, I was not surprised.. I had prayed for a seat when I had been on the auto with the divided soul of meekness and indifference, I felt frustrated for a little while and ground my teeth, I had come half an hour before and yet such was my fate… Incredible India had overtaken me yet again… Who on earth were all these people..? 

I calmed myself down, this was nothing new.. I had to be used to this by now, I closed my eyes, I wished to pray…I’d need the strength and the spiritual clarity.. But I still felt the rage burn in my soul… I wished I could be on a basketball court or behind my bike or behind my laptop… It was much easier to express my rage and channel it in those streams of ,  I had been using the train for the better part of my Adult life, that amounted to about 6 years… 6 whole years of standing on overcrowded trains… Seeing the same sights.. Hearing the same neuroses and psychoses of complete strangers…, but my usual rebellious self still rebelled against the merciless sights, against the fate of overcrowded cities and obscure towns and their dire spiritual calamity and blindness to the gospel, against the dull flat, desolate plains that made me feel like life was meaningless and insufficient of becoming more.. I did not want anything to dictate the inner workings of my mind.. That was my private property , I was going to make something worthy with my life, I was not going to drown in the tides of conformity or disappear into becoming lesser than what I dreamt of becoming, I did not want to waste my life being mediocre or small.. , I did not know where my life was headed nor did I pretend to be an expert about it, but I was not giving up, despite what a great many cruel voices had cursed me about in the past,  despite their intimidating and torturous opinions about my own life.. I trusted my Lord above all.

It became 3:35 , the train slowly moved away from the station… I stood near the door leaning my back to the wall, in the final minute, three college girls had boarded as though they were celebrities.. Divas with terrible attitudes,  and were now attempting to encroach my standing spot with enthusiastic small talk exchanged amongst themselves with seemingly  total absorption that appeared fake and pretentious,  whilst coyly pushing me little by little to the main path that would be subjected to the onslaught of hawkers and chai walas, I hardly cared nor bothered, I was knee deep in my new book, titled ‘ A Philosophy of Life’ by Jules Evans, they allowed themselves to settle down and politely asked me to move aside as though I had stood in their shadow and was now guilty of treason and contempt, they directly sat down and bought some hot coffee to go along with their raucous gossip and noisy talk, all the eyes of the men standing nearby were upon them.. , I felt a brief mood of protectiveness enter me, but these girls were not my sister and there was this guy who had been wandering about between this carriage and the next, probably a classmate of theirs… And probably someone who had a terrible crush on one of them but recreated it to appear like great camaraderie… Of course I could be wrong, I could sense that the three sirens had not used trains that much in their lives, maybe it was better for them to not know all of the morsels of impersonal information that one got used to, like how to conduct oneself, how to never entertain certain intrusive types.. How to pick spots etc… the train made a brief stop just fifteen minutes away from its start, and usually there would be a rowdy crowd there awaiting that just entered in through that very door with pathetic desperation often times breaking through like a malicious wave intent on causing harm, I wondered if I should warn them for they were directly near that very spot… ,  they were really young and I sort of saw past the facade, and I felt sorry for them.., it was difficult being a girl in confused India…but I sort of lost track.. The Book had been sweeeeet, and Aristotle was being mentioned, I had a huge fascination with the thought processes of men from the past.. And I was a huge fan of the Sophists, the first Philosophers, you couldn’t blame a guy for his love of Books… And that was when it happened.. my dire prophetic vision came to pass, as Perambur station came in, angry and irate boarders screamed all sorts of prejudiced epithets and neurotic curses at them as they realized that their path into a crowded general compartment was blocked by these three, one spilt her coffee on her pants, another curled into a ball as the crowd indignantly passed her by, the other somehow got up and was subjected to the rushing wave. Despite my empathy I could not help but smile, inwardly ie. Maybe I was wrong to do so, but it was comical.. Both the incoming passengers with their peculiar knack and style of anger and the princesses whose shrill gossip lessened for a brief moment as their self importance was subjected to the restless push of irritable travelers ….Both of the parties would feel justified in their anger later on, but the girls and their talk would continue no doubt, but for now it had halted, subsided as they shared it with the emotions equivalent to a sheer holocaust.

The journey took a while, I meanwhile plugged in my earphones.. Audio Adrenaline sang the parable of the lost sheep from a fold of a hundred, in a modern rendition with haunting guitar strums and other carefully crafted verses that strangely made the train and its form of life fade away, and the music played on, clear and echoing in my heart as I listened without the interruption of outer life.. , I felt my lost inner balance return, and my heart became a cliff, one where one stood at its edges and saw the extent of all past mistakes and bad choices, and felt the love that had broken past his own past and its unbearable sorrow, and had claimed him for a different life. I felt my eyes begin to water, despite the busy meaninglessness of life, the Lord was there with me.. His friendship was still there for me to take a hold of, He was there to listen to my own feelings.. I was such a loser, I completely forgot these simple yet profound things from time to time instead losing myself to grand talks with my own self.. I guess He was reminding me using the power of that beautiful song of the more important things in this life, things that He promised to lead me into and cajoling me to take my eyes away from the world and to rest in Him. I felt guilty about not warning the girls.

  The push and size of the crowd had grown exponentially, pretty soon the emotional rush would subside and everyone, at least the ones who were standing would spend time balancing their feet, shifting weight from one leg to another, move within the distance of their standing spot to let pass the announcing sellers of coffee and tea, the train sped past still towns and covered villages near sloping hills not distracted by the hoots and the speeds of the passing train. The more liberal our views become the lesser we appear to be convicted of our sins, the more I sought to embrace the world… The more Christ became smaller in me, I had to say ‘Yes’ to one and ‘No’ to the other.

I could see the ancient hills in the distance, bathed in the fading glow of the departing sun, the skies were turning into a whitish cement gray…the silhouettes of those distant hills appeared clear and mystical, strangely resonating deeply within me and offering some strange and unbroken hope, like the promise of some carefully guarded dream within my heart. Home was only a few miles away, and the train rushed towards it..  the crowds had reduced, many stations had passed, some public school teachers had boarded on and they too had played a game of space with me, but they too had gotten off after huffing and puffing about the state of the nation in indignance, even the socially oblivious damsels had gotten off at the previous station after a long stretch of indignant haught, for the first time I could stand near the door and feel the breath of the wind, I could withold the dance of the pink milk flowers against sparse grass and defeated homes gathered together like clutter with withering paint with leisure stricken unease and mooing cows, I had nothing to look forward to as the end neared.. This was the closest I got to peace, to loneliness, my home had loud television watched by aging elders with persistent commands and immediate counsel regarding life, family and the importance of a million things that they wished to drill in me, my part time work was busy with the noise of the future, with the disturbance of egos keen on importance, even the tender glow of the stars would be disturbed by the sterile illumination of the self important and unnecessary yellowish street lights … The train slithered like the wind with controlled ease, blinding fast even though the large grounds around it moved by slow, tethered to the heart of the earth.. As if they refused to co-operate with the funky movement of the brisk train.. Indignant to the progress of time, .. It appeared to me that acquaintances that stood the test of time, who remain unchanged and true, and constantly flicker with genuine warmth and kindness whenever one encountered them appeared to me like lamps radiant against the onset of a thick darkness, refusing to be put out by the hopelessness of the dark times. I closed my eyes again, I would be an outsider in my own hometown, in my own home and in the days that followed, I clutched my books real tight and prayed as the train slowly glided into the familiar railway station.. I would need them to survive.

The Prayer Chronicles

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As I stared out of the window that lay beyond the creamy thick wall that hosted the fading lights of the sun, I could see a portion of the skies above trees lit with gulps and sprays of gold, it appeared white as though to denote the descent of the sun into the sky’s bottomless below, a white that glared with mellow golden hues that appeared to dissolve in preparation for the formless guise of night…. As I looked beyond the window I could see the fading blue along with dissipating bits and elements of clouds , in the city that lay beyond the border of the apartment buildings there was a slight change in pace, or perhaps it was the same.. One never knew, there was always the mood of a meaningless frenetic pace, the perplexing rushing about, the acts of self indulgent importance, the endless and hopeless divisions, the uncomfortable indifference, it was always there if one knew where to look … The evening was slow in its arrival and it felt glorious, it affected the moods of the otherwise innocuous surroundings, but One was far away from it all, far from the mind’s inner chamber of confusion, far from the reaches of the heart’s restless emotions, wants and desires, as always one was questioning things, pondering the end of all life or even the meaning of life as it was observed, attempting to gain an insight beyond what had happened, contemplating questions relating to Faith..seeking a scriptural passage, slightly touched by his dreams, attempting to understand inward conviction which felt as complex as a rubik’s cube, resolving to stand strong against the cold winds of the world as he wished to make a stand for a Scorned Savior and King, the big tree nearest to the window appeared to relax and expend whiffs of fresh air as the wind flowed through it, one’s mind was cast into a state of meditation as he observed the graceful movements of the leaves, I closed my eyes and sought to pray, for I was weak and I needed strength.

One had been talking with the Lord, there had been a sacred silence as one had closed his eyes, as one approached the inner sanctuary, there was a deep peace that engulfed the distance between his flesh and his spirit, for a brief moment he felt united and connected to the great mystery underlying the Universe, His spirit was home… No longer could the confusions of the world maim and wound him, no longer could the actions of men cripple and paralyze his inner being, He was in his one true refuge… He was in the arms of his Shepherd, merely feeling the presence of His Holy Lord had embraced his parched spirit… rejuvenated his thirsty faith, refreshing it with a tender and invisible love that gave one all sorts of inner strength and resolve, one immediately fell back in fear, Had he been obedient..? Had he loved his fellow man enough..? Did he speak about the gospel and its power unto Salvation to blinded men and women…? Was he wasting his life..? Did he treat his parents with respect…? Was He using his abilities to bring glory to His Maker…? And immediately these very doubts became tenacious burdens that wrestled with his soul, they took on voices, voices laced with memories of his past, his failures, his moments of deep despair and anguish, his endless bouts with affliction and discouragement, one shrank back, but he remembered that coming into the Lord’s presence exposed everything in his heart, he could not hide anything from the Lord, perhaps to the world he could portray a character, but when one encountered and met the Lord, his deeper things were as clear as the day, his secrets were as perceptible as the sun’s light… but something still held him back, Maybe, the God he served, Maybe.. He only loved the perfect, the flawless, the honorable, the obedient, the beautiful, Maybe the Lord had saved Him because he had been desperate… But then He realized that his Lord was not like the World and its cunning prejudices and standards, But he still felt undeserving and unloved, Was he even worthy of the Lord’s love…? For in his own life he had run away constantly and had done many terrible mistakes that still brought terrors to his soul, but then he realized that it was he who had always been running from his Lord, the Lord had never abandoned him it was he who had abandoned the Lord, sometimes in fear and other times to better enjoy the world’s companionship, The Lord had always pursued him and had made it abundantly clear of His undying and eternal love for Him, it was indeed a miracle that his life had been spared and he remembered the loving mercies and compassion of his Lord every single day after he had renewed his commitment. For now the problem was solved, he was still in the presence of his Savior, talking, expressing, asking the Lord for help, … The Lord was his closest friend.. and in many ways his only friend, after experiencing the Lord’s love his mind had changed, he no longer sought love from the world, from its people, He wanted more to love it with the help of his own Savior, whenever he talked with the Holy One, with the One who deserved all the Praise, the Glory and Worship, He felt invincible which was bizarre since he knew how vulnerable he was owing to his own peculiar nature, he felt the gifts that were stirred with an encounter within his own bosom, gifts that he was eager to share with the world, Gifts that he hoped would open the eyes of the world blinded by its own confusions and despair.

One did a mental survey of his own life, there were so many knots, problems that had resulted from choices made under confusion, and they loomed and hunted him like prey, merciless in their chase, unresolved conflicts, existential problems, social confusions, familial burdens, it appeared like all men were concerned with the direction and appearance of their lives, the mind never seemed to be still, like the vast activity of outward life, like the occupation of a city by a million dissatisfied souls, the mind seemed perennially absorbed in the traffic of thoughts, all its highways were swamped with all sorts of nosy and noisy sounds, one realized the immense gift that his Lord had been pleased to offer to him for Free, a gift so revolutionary and powerful that it could change the world, but man had scorned this free gift always through the centuries, associating this gift with the oppression of religious dramas often times serving the cunning power hungry appetites of godless men, limiting God’s unconditional love to fables, limiting God to political manipulations, wrongly accusing God of wickedness and malice, and reducing the undeniable beauty of Christ to man-made stories, reducing the ultimate sacrifice to fiction… But truth prevails despite the heresies, the accusations, the deviations and the obscuring, God’s gift of His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ was still available for free to anyone and everyone that believeth in His Holy name… Saving men from the wrath of brimstone and unquenchable fires that have doomed many an arrogant man to his own fate, For all the might and power of God, man still possessed his own freedom, his will to choose and he rarely chose GOD, but there was no peace without Christ, there was no satisfaction without Jesus and there was no meaning to life without the Lord, one felt bold enough to proclaim it from the highest rooftops or perhaps Hills, but his journey was not one of external displays, or one of brash arguments, but of actions, of compassion, of reflection and of firm discipline. The Christian walk was one of faith, endurance, patience and perseverance he remembered, of trust, of diligence and dedication and unwavering passion, the Lord would lead him, he had never left him or abandoned him thus far, there had been tests and moments of silence, but His presence had always been there and would no doubt lead him on.

In his own Christian path, the journey towards Paradise seemed too great a cross to bear at times, for Faith despite its momentous power often times did not protect one from his own doubts, from the cruelty of a world going in the opposite direction, from the insults thrown like sharp edged rocks on apostles determined to reflect Christ, one seriously wondered if he should give up, for the temptations of the world seemed too great to give up, but then he remembered how they promised all sorts of joy but offered instead a stale, fleeting contentment that only gave rise to a hunger for more, and then a descent into unhealthy addictions, dark urges, wicked
impulses and eternal separation. One could never escape the truth of the Bible, for it was absolutely true when it said that the wages of sin were death, he realized that despite his failings as a Christian, God was more interested in the nature of his heart, of his intentions, of determination, of steady, unwavering progression… in the distance, the high pitched prayers of a man rose above the upper most reaches of resting trees in my own compound and into the heart of a rushing city unconcerned with God, down below the recorded voice played along with obnoxious music as the doors of the lift opened below, there was the flight of many birds across the
darkening screen of dusk, the city was as self absorbed as usual, one opened his eyes and stared into the darkness of his own room as the wind blew across the trees and the hardened houses without sight as life went on, like the eternal motions of the sea.

A measured rant – from one of my facebook posts

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A measured Rant :

Funny how day after day the newspapers scream about the undeniable evil, the oppression and the hopelessness of human tendencies and the human race and still some people be like, ‘We’re about to abolish all evil and hatred inherent in the human heart by loving each other’… Eh…?? Really…? Despite the advent of Psychology and its deeply probing tools, despite the growth of Psychiatry, Medicine, good living, Socio cultural openness, Greater Educational Opportunities, and so many other unfathomable variables has any of it ever brought about more love…? Perhaps there is a greater deal of understanding with all of suave lingo’s out there, but they still appear shallow and barely breach the inner most sanctum of its desperate plea for something deeper and far more satisfying than the mere distractions and entertainments of the current age.

I ain’t a cynic, but some of these preachers and gurus who are out there guiding many spiritually hungry people, talking often about open love and approaching the very epoch that would usher in the utopia that humanity has been needlessly dreaming about for centuries…., when their words stress with a form of carefully constructed humility the need for lesser possessions and more of a joy towards our fellow beings, the ratio of mansions and cars appears to outweigh some of their mystical words of wisdom… How can one blind man lead another…? No man has been given the keys to the book of life, when will we all learn…? Why do we limit God to Churches and Temples and Holy Places…?

Individual stories despite their deeply inspiring effects on the masses seldom seem to usher in the discipline that fosters personal transformation and a deep faith in something much greater than ourselves, and I deeply respect the committed beautiful souls out there desperately fighting against the very demons that have plagued our civilization and our realm of life for generations on end for all their hardwork and dedication, my own parents have taught me that it is of the utmost importance that I respect the feelings of another person and that I treat them with respect no matter their status or race and that has always resonated very deeply within me, and I have had the great opportunity to often times come across rare souls so deeply connected to bringing about improvement in the lives of other people that they often times forget their own… These people range from ordinary everyday people so loyal and submissive to the people that they care for to people owning orphanages and ministries, but why isn’t it all of this bringing about the greater change that everyone constantly yaps and screams all hoarse about…? Especially the secularists and the modernists ….? Could it be that we are too proud to admit that we are chasing a needless passive fantasy while our own lives are empty of whatever it is that we boast and proudly claim to possess…?? That the pursuit of Happiness is meant to be just that, a mere pursuit….?

There was a time in my life when the creed that possessed and drove my heart was to achieve and to transcend the adversities that I had been subjected to at a young and naive age, to make the most of what God had blessed me with, and when had I reached a certain spot, a spot rather coveted and hoped for by many millions, possibly billions, I would give back.. I would teach, I would inspire fellow aspirants, dreamers and lost souls all in the pursuit of the imaginary happiness that we are all chasing about in achievements, awards, status, fame, beauty, riches, amongst other things… I was completely ignorant of God’s will and was more interested in having my own will in life, despite continuous setbacks and crippling failures, I moved forward, believing in humanity, philosophy and spirituality… , that somehow all of these would transcend the mundane and create this model society where citizens cared for their fellow beings and crime and violence slowly ebbed out, but I realized soon that such doctrines despite their soothing, rarely healed the wound… they diverted your attention into parts of your life that were accessible to your control, and it was beautiful for a while, when I followed Zen, I called myself a monk, I memorized the seven sutras, I halted the speeding train and jumble of thought at will, I often times retreated to forgotten places in the city that were full of trees and tranquility and meditated, sometimes when I closed my eyes, I was able to actively imagine great works of art, move across vast and deeply sophisticated imagery and at times even come towards startling psychic revelations, but despite this high… It felt incomplete, like I was married to this person but wished for somebody else who could perhaps make me come to life, forgive me for that ridiculous parallel, but that was the whole process that I was sadly not able to tap into while I was going through a season that I termed as the ‘Journey to my Soul’

I write this with a certain level of controlled rage and mirth, all the times that I was able to express my deep angst at how society was entirely apathetic and self centered people looked at me like I was some sort of a mad man, like I was some sort of fool who did not understand anything about life , like I did not know how to adjust with things and that in many ways I was still a child, and that I needed some maturity and discipline in my own life if I were to survive… , and since I have always found madness a fascinating topic I read Khalil Gibran’s work of the same name and Nietzsche’s Thus spake Zarathustra to cope with that ignorant cacophony and outward noise… Both of those characters in those books and poems have this quality about their personalities that could be called Prophetic, they were men that people considered as outcasts, but they were able to acutely predict the future with their deep intuitive senses, they were able to grasp at loose ends and construct a complex whole that only terrified them and contributed to their madness, I wonder how many of us would be sane if we were able to peek into the spiritual realms that separate us and often times whose mysterious nature only serve to madden or make us live lives like there was nothing to worry about after death, I wonder if we would live the same life if we realized that there was a Hell, that there was a place of divine retribution and eternal separation from God, that this place that has been debunked or has been attempted to refer to metaphorical mind states has been shown to be real, I wonder if we would still walk around and be lukewarm in our Faith in Christ or with the pace of our life if we found out that those who did not accept God’s precious son would be judged for their contempt…? Would we still be as egomaniacal if we were one day standing before a Judge who accuses of not being generous with our love towards our fellow beings who are many times often left untended to…? Would we still harbor jealousy and hold decade long grudges in our heart if we were standing before the righteous judge who would judge us for every act that we were pretty sure that we had all but covered up…? Would we still yap about whatever knowledge that we encountered or acquired, that we often times pass of as a link to a really complex character and worldly acceptance, and which tended to contradict with our faith of younger years, and we thoroughly discouraged and continuously attacked yielded to those very forces that have the very force of lifelessness within them…Would we? Without any further investigation or an endurance of our beliefs and Faith we simply gave away into the deceptions of the modern age…?And lost the link to life in its purest forms…, How would it be if one day a person stood before God the almighty Judge and God banishes that person to Hell for never knowing Christ or ever attempting to know more about that being who holds the keys to one’s personal Salvation …?

I am sick and tired of the so called ‘scientific’ generation whose sole intention is to question everything that man has ever been taught… in their efforts to disarm the armor of the past and to enlighten and equip the mind state with the present most of them appear overtly emotional and splendidly narrow in their perspectives… often childishly clinging to some statement of realism that is more pseudo intellectual than in the boundaries of seeking knowledge with an open mind, most of them seem to use that as a side show to carry out their own personal vengeance of years of studying in pathetic institutions where the Grace of God was a sentence in the Bible and not a witnessing circumstance. It is true that many evils have been eliminated by identifying our common human need and issues, often times uniting together had helped mankind make impeccable strides, but I wonder if progress can cure the deep hunger and thirst that exists within all of these extravagant outer shows.

Owing to the great enquiries of psychologists and philosophers, the mental state of man has become lesser of a challenge than it was in the past, complex states of mind have been identified along with their symptoms, difficult mental processes have been reduced to manias, neuroses, psychoses, hallucinations, delusions, fantasies etc… , but what purpose do these serve besides treating those who are mentally imbalanced, hormonally challenged or perhaps a little distorted in their processes of thought…? Despite the glorious progress of each age, there seems to be a steady descent into darkness that always seems to blot out everything else, in the past year, numerous tragedies occurred in Syria, Egypt, Sudan, other parts of Africa, Iran, Iraq, in the Philippines, and other parts of the world… , so many of them victims to genocide, racial hatred, religulous lust for power and authority, to bomb attacks, religious extremism… One wonders if the mantras of love and the steps towards loving human beings could benefit the slain and the perennially afflicted…? And why are these Spiritualists targeting only wealthy countries with excessive interest in the supernatural and the shallowly spiritual…?

In the Bible I am drawn to the books and the verses of Great Prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel and John, their books are filled with dark visions into the future, terrible warnings towards backslidden countries, heartsick cries towards repentance from a clearly Sad God, Strange glimpses into the terrible judgment that all humanity will one day encounter … but what I can see as a common thread in all their lives was that the people of their time were in a way similar to that of ours… , Their hearts were hardened, and they were in the least bit bothered about some fool with a loud voice, and they chose to rebel against their Maker and Deliverer, they had abandoned the Master who had saved them from the Aristocratic Egyptians and their fury, they chose to desert the One who had given them the strength to destroy some Freakishly tall Canaanites and inherit a land flowing with Milk and Honey, they had chosen a way of life that suited their own, a form of life tailored to engage in sin that had been concealed, decorated and presented, very similar to our age and as always completely ignorant of the divine laws that continue to govern all of life, whether we choose to accept them or not, sometimes when our conscience feels burdened by some unbearable weight, we rationalize it to justify our own actions or simply totally disregard it as something meaningful, we are in such a rush towards dismissing other people and their feelings, whereas when somebody does even the most mediocre act of cruelty we stress about it for days on end. But thanks to the Free thinkers and the hedonists and the psychologists, the Conscience has been reduced to an act of nurture and not nature, reinforced as presumed by certain geniuses by childhood habits, the conscience the greatest witness to a personal God has been reduced into something meaningless, and we are allowed the greatest freedom to do as we please, and we rightfully do so. And truth is broken into a million pieces and each picks up one piece and clings on to it like he has found the whole.

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Just where does this so called ‘love’ that all of these pumped up people who are always carrying a slogan, or a banner of some sort, and who are always crying hoarse about come from ….? Is it some sort of manufactured, thoughtless name sake love…? The type that fizzles off after every well intentioned revolution or movement…? Or is it the real thing…? The type that heals and uplifts…? The type that moves one to treat his neighbor better than himself.., Because the latter one that I mentioned, its sort of a limited version only, limited in public awareness, limited in usage, but unlimited and infinite in its application and wealth ( Thought bubble..hmm) Just ‘ another major question for all the intellectuals and revolution shakers out there’ Just when exactly is this unconditional love that y’all have been stomping and kicking up a storm about supposed to kick in…? I mean, now would be a good time as any, for despite all of the great progresses that we as a race united have made, the amount of mind boggling acts of depravity seem to increase by the day… Just the other day I saw this parade of men who identified themselves as Paedophiles and who were rather concerned and agitated that their ‘natural’ feelings had no constitutional rights, does not our own constitution justify all acts of personal habit…? I could go on and on, but I must end, before I end up writing a large volume… Love, or the ability to do so, comes from God, He put that ability there, and when we fight off against overwhelming odds and cruel obstacles and narrow minded belief systems we radiate and share His love, but to truly experience what love is one needs to have a proper relationship with Christ in his/her heart. Before I conclude my epic rant, mostly to my own self, I conclude with a few verses from the Bible that define Love, the real thing, not the type that we all engage in wishful fantasies about… But first a brief extract from Richard Deem’s article about the Love that can be experienced through Christ Jesus the Lord, worthy of all honor and praise.

“The gift of God’s son as a provision for sin was given to all humans, regardless of who we are. God’s love is unconditional.7
In contrast, our love is usually conditional and based upon how other people behave toward us. This kind of love is based upon familiarity and direct interaction. The Greek word “phileo” defines this kind of love, often translated “brotherly love.” Phileo is a soulish (connected through our emotions) kind of love – something that can be experienced by both believers and non-believers. This is in contrast to agape, which is love extended through the spirit. Agape love requires a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, since the non-regenerated soul is unable to love unconditionally. Agape love gives and sacrifices expecting nothing back in return.”

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:1-13)

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:8)

– Finne
The Anonymous Philosopher slash Road side Theologian.

Letters to Jesus – 2

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Dear Lord Jesus, 

Its about one in the night, the air outside is cold, and that immediately gives me a vision of poor, homeless people sleeping alongside the pavement with spread over papers and thin clothes, I want you to take care of them Lord, I sometimes wish I could trade places with them maybe for one night, just to ensure that their troubles and problems are taken care of for like a single day..! All my intentions don’t matter if I don’t follow them up with actions, I am a firm believer in actions myself Lord, I feel like they speak more volumes that uttered words and such. Like I was saying, its cold outside, but inside mosquitoes are falling over themselves to kiss me and taste my blood. I really wish that you had not made those sick creatures that live through our blood, I know that you have access to everything that there is to know about me, but I wonder if you remember this brief conversation that I had with my university professor about 3 years or so ago. You know how silly I was thinking all sorts of intriguing ideas and dogmas, well .. He told me that dead people sometimes passed over into mosquitoes, why is there so little truth out there Lord…? Why don’t people have this hunger for you…? I remember when I was lost, I know it was you who never gave up on me, but if I am allowed a moment of pride, I hungered for you with everything that there was to me, I rarely was interested in material things, in money, or anything else for that matter… This one time I was hanging out at the beach and you know how I used to seek strange experiences, this palmist walks up to me and tells me that I was ‘spiritual’, that people with my inner quality will face tough challenges in this life because I was wired differently inside. I didn’t know what to think of that, since most of these people tell you stuff that you’d like to hear anyway… I am drifting off subject, I apologize Father, I know that over the past year I had many ups and downs, but my trust in You always helped me get through it all, for all I know, last year was the most life that I have ever lived, and i’m getting real old Lord… But i’d perhaps like to ask you for a little more Grace this year, because I feel like I fail you often times. Sometimes things feel so vast, and I feel so little Lord, like the whole world rushes past me and its like I am not even there…,  I sometimes wish for a book of psychological insights into the vast realm of human emotions and feelings, but I know that You work in a way quite different and unique than mere superficial diagnoses. I know that you seek to put out all fear, and that you heal wounds … Conventional psychology seeks to identify them and tries to make its user to move on and perhaps seek new life in other directions, to channel their inner strength… I really wish that there was a truth metre for these sorts of feel good philosophies, just so that people would realize how little these things truly impact our lives despite dramatic effects at times. But who am I to get agitated over these issues lord, I myself work sometimes as a counselor, I wish that I could use your title during that time, that of a friend, I remember how great a friend you were to me when I was nursing a broken heart, you really stuck by me Father, and practically carried me all through that terrible ordeal… I want to be that kind of a friend to the broken and lost souls that you send my way Lord, but you have to help me Father, I sometimes realize that I need help myself. I want you more in my life Lord, wanting that means that I must be willing to sacrifice more, I really really want to be like how you were Lord… which is next to impossible, since you were the epitomization of compassion and kindness and every other value system defined through human language. I sometimes purposefully shut myself off from people who are in need of help, I associate all sorts of trickery with their condition, when you have blessed me with a good home and great parents, I sometimes forget that people out there don’t exactly share the perfect world… My conscience reminds me that I am selfish, but I am confused Father, I don’t know what I can do to help them out, do I give them money..? Or my kindness..? If I had a little money, I would maybe buy food for them and give it to them on a regular basis, or talk to them everyday… but I feel naked when the world stares at me when I do such things, you know how self conscious I am…?? But I know that beyond that I have a real purpose to serve the hurt and the broken, fill me with your spirit, help me see them as you would. 

I know that I have many ambitions, dreams and visions, but more than them all I want to serve you, loyally and faithfully… and I know that that is near next to impossible if I live it with my ‘self’ and with my ‘flesh’, Lord, I am waiting on you Lord… to lead me and to open the door that leads me to that option.. perhaps until then ill praise you in the hallway while I wait… the other week I visited a city about 300kms away, and I remember feeling a little nervous since it was my first time there, I did not know the language or the people, and I remember talking to you right before I got off the train, and I felt your presence there with me the whole time, gently leading me on, delivering me from all my fears and my own mortality, but I remember seeing scores and scores of people, most of them affluent, modern and without a care in the world, and perhaps not a single one of them knew you, or knew the sacrifice that you accepted on the cross, and I wanted to pray for that city, and pray for my own salvation… How could they just be deceived in masses Lord…? I know that your return is imminent, and that before you come the gospel has to be preached in all the four corners of the world, and I know that I hardly deserve this sort of question, for I know how big of a sinner I was before I met you, but … How can they not know Lord..? How can they not know…? It eats me up inside knowing that millions die every month, hundreds every day… and most of them never know you in person, or as a Savior… How do you expect me to be at peace when all around people remain indifferent to you Lord…? 

I really wish that I could talk for a lot more time, but as it is, my eyes keep getting heavier and I need to sleep, I know that this letter to you is unfinished and perhaps written in a hurry, but I just wanted you to know about what was going through in my heart, thank you for listening to me Father 

I love you 

Gn , The Prodigal son 

Meditating in the Hills

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To penetrate into the essence of all being and significance, and to release the fragrance of that inner attainment for the guidance of others, by expressing in the world of forms- truth, love, purity and beauty – this is the sole game which has any intrinsic and absolute worth. All other happenings, incidents and attainments can, in themselves, have no lasting importance. 
-Meher Baba

 The open mind is a perplexing state to inhabit, for it is seldom subjective to one’s pathology and pathos, but seeks instead to inhabit instead life as it happens, as it is in itself, to be an observer using the lyrical solitude of meditation to grasp the strange mysteries of life,  perhaps in a conversation it can be easier to be open minded and take in what people express, but in the medium of art it is a complex process, for one has to step aside and be true instead to the soul of the entire observed process and forget his own problems and inhibitions with society’s many hypocrisies … The greatest problem arises when one desires to be true to the life that is observed as he passes through the lively corridors of life filled to the brim with all sorts of commotion, when one desires to unearth the often times perplexing and underlying human emotions and intentions, to comprehend the vast themes so rampant yet distorted in their manifestations, that at times they slip confirmation, to the characteristics of the character so subtle in the face of sheer mundane normality that it strips one of his rightful theatricality, but one perseveres on, for unto his soul art is the highest call, for generations need a story teller and not a man of intellect or science for that matter to narrate the pathway towards the future, the scientist seems too preoccupied with the future than with the here and now, the moral defying talker seems too caught up in justifying some archaic rules that he claims lessens the present generation, it is the story teller with his penchant for uncovering truth that the people wish to hear. 

When one attempts to narrate or write about a certain experience through the usage of objectiveness, one has to suffuse his tale with ample doses of the fertile richness of life itself, not the life that contains charades and dramas bound by routine and rituals, but capturing brief portraits so buried underneath masks and disguises, towards the revelation of the being of who a person was, to capturing lasting moments, present sharp insights into the very psyche of man himself, powerful states that transcend the mundane and allowing one’s soul to remain un-bothered by the experience of sight and sound and the senses.  

Nowadays everyone understands conventional wisdom and seems to possess it in some varying degrees, once upon a time difficult experiences led towards the fullness of wisdom and towards maturity, but these days wisdom has become a lot more careless and easier to achieve, television shows invade other expressions and styles of life and often present useless information. Everyone knows how to live and to laugh, to wonder and to think, but one has to wonder if a conscience works underneath all of those intricate layers, every man has some ambition and enterprise in his mind, but one wonders if there is such a clarity as towards purpose and service. Life has become terribly dull and inescapable in its controversy, as a result many escape routes are opened, some lead towards drugs, some towards pleasure, and some towards rejecting the established norms and perhaps opposing it and finding a new manner of life, as the spiritualists claim.. a new awakening and finding that the universe throbs around with such balance and richness of life. 

The car slowly ate up the miles and deeply entered the isolated hills and their wealth of life, the driver was a man who was well versed in the arts of mechanics and the fixing of broken things drove the car as though he was crossing the chasm of time and life, there was something about the man that implied a deep well of knowledge in regard to the town that had been passed by,  One tried to observe the man and perhaps gain some sort of insight into the nature of the man. The man had been asked to fix up a broken motor deep in the fields many miles away, the fields belonged to our family and that was where one was headed. But to reach the destination deep in these rocky hills, one had to drive past narrow winding roads, past steep climbs filled with thick vegetation through which the path courageously and resiliently cut through, past tiny villages trapped in their sobriety and filled with silent staring souls, past staring Goddesses with forking tongues, past slumbering hills with powerful dignity and strength, one was deeply troubled in his spirit. One was philosophically inclined to gain some sort of perspective and meaning from perhaps even the most random dull regular affair, plus one felt separated from God in his spirit. One had not shut himself away into that secret chamber to worship that being worthy of all Praise and Glory early on in the morning, and had failed to bow down in humility and deep hunger to that Being who completed his soul, his life and his heart. And the further away one felt distant from God, ravenous corrupt forces seemed intent on seducing his weak ‘self’ into giving up the walk towards Paradise, the cunning demons crept up into his thoughts and spoke of the thorns that a Christian routinely had to pull out from his heel, the weight of the cross on his shoulder, the broken cord that separated him from the world and its acceptance… One was certainly a rather lonely yet resilient man, resilient for his Faith routinely lifted him up from the nails and thorns of discouragement… a brave soldier who was a social outcast… a lonesome rebel thoroughly determined to make a stand for Jesus, often walking past the slow flow of the hours and the tedious burden of encountering a day on the terms of civilization… One could not bear being separated from his Lord and Savior, for it did not bother him if his fellow companions fell away and found their own lives, it was cruel torment to willingly separate oneself from the fount of truth, of life and compassion. But one had drifted away, like a plank, like a man fooled into paddling further to catch an elusive catch that will sink him to his death,one felt that this trip was to serve as a bridge into the cool realm of evergreen springs and plush green valleys enriched with the love of the divine. 

 The hills, the life and the deep still punctuated the outer plains with a serene calm. Rocky hills , bare and sparsely vegetated stood aside like formless pillars in a sublime maze of the unconscious as the car motored on into the cutting roads with tenacity and sprint, the driver drove as though he had transcended the very fear of death and mortality with his expert plunge and galloping into the deeper portion of the Hills , one felt fearful of crashing into rustic innocent souls and meek bleating goats, The Man seemed intent on connecting the rolling experience with insights into his various connections around the town, which he recounted with joy and delight, even in the midst of this isolated agricultural community he boasted of relatives who dressed like paupers but had possessions amounting to many hundred thousands, whose cow sheds had long fibrous ropes attached to noble mooing cows that stretched for many meters that appeared like miles… But one felt distant, like the space between two burning stars suspended in the highest heavens, one seldom understood another soul at first contact, words seldom did justice to add meaning to a character, more often than not they seem only to build an image in order for others to peek into the sum of what the other person wished to be known for, to present a constructed view into the many complex inroads past impressive structures built from the stuff of their most intense longings and dreams and years upon years of hard labor, perhaps when one has successfully confronted the ugly demon of insecurity in his own personal life a certain number of times through his progression into roles and through the different ages, one gets to feel the essence of strength inwardly without the conflict of doubt.

The Man had a certain type of activeness that impressed one, for it exuded experience and depth, he seemed ready to engage in work, one certainly felt at ease at his level of relating to people, to things and to life. It was as simple yet possessed of a deep strength as his own character, unfortunately despite all of his heady energy.. He rarely seemed interested in connecting with other people except in dialogues that interested his own soul. The car was about to reach its destination, a turn inward into a tar road that rose and dove into fields surrounded by the indomitable presence of the hills and high rising trees appeared, a small hillock covered up nosy intruders and beside it and near it lay the field with all its agricultural preoccupations, the slanting surface of the hills were filled with small youthful trees that waved with the air, a small bird knocked on flower’s doors as it bounced on the air’s imaginary ground, brown colored butterflies with stars in their wings wove imaginary words in the air as greetings to you,.. content with their five senses… all of nature seemed to communicate a warm embrace with your very soul, and it asked you to dissolve the cunning fabric of self with all its cumbersome schemes.  

The trees watched one as he separated himself from the group to meditate for a few minutes with verses from the Bible, one felt wild impulses, to untie his chains to the society and throw them into the cobalt blue sky, to renounce the ties that he lived amongst, to roam free as a wanderer with a backpack stacked with books and books, the people here despite the nagging presence of human depravity appeared more empty than their nosy colleagues down in the rowdy town. More genuine, and deeply connected to their land, to the redness of the open soil that they toiled with reverence in, to the refuge of the green trees with their splendid fellowship, and between the lonesome pathways between villages, One wondered why friendship has become such a complicated thing in the current world…? It remains impossible to genuinely connect to another soul without appearances and qualifications these days, evil has corrupted the soil of human minds, for perversions and cunning abound more, One was not surprised , for man has remained intent on separating himself fro His maker, and the more man entered himself and sought to reinvent whatever history has been a silent observer to, the more it seemed that history repeated itself. One wished to perhaps pray and connect with His Maker, it has been long since one saw the enthralling and unexpected sight of a falling star, it has been long since one sat on the branches of a tree, it has been long since one walked a lonely road beside wooded green, One felt torn, on one side the depths of solitude beckoned his soul, to fast and beg for wisdom and providence, to ask the good Lord for storehouses of strength and Faith to last the inevitable adversity that awaited all of life, to pray and ask for His blessings in matters of the spiritual, to open doors to preach, to share the gospel and provide words when intentions fail…on the other side the silence begged him to utilize this moment in time to deeper commit himself to his ambitions, to his goals in life, and to make something of himself by one’s own efforts. One shrugged away the latter’s voice, the voice of one crucified echoed much deeper and more passionately than his own, one opened his Bible to the book of Psalms, such a glorious time to commit one’s mind to the loving guidance of the divine shepherd, I prayed in my heart… Lead me to the rock that is higher than I , dear Shepherd, Lead me to the rock that is higher than I….! 

People often times seem to view God as some sort of a concept that has failed to keep up with the changing times, and they argue with their noisy opinions as if their opinion sealed the matter once and for all, all the sophistication’s of secularization, of excessive materialism and modernization despite their glorious beauty have only left man more and more empty and discontent, lonesome as the needlessly busy pace of civilization hurries on leaving him behind , and in many ways more miserable than any other time in history.., they seldom seemed to feed the deep intense hunger of the spirit that reached out into the world and its clever indifference for something that filled the deep void within. People, in tune with the world see God as someone totally contained within a faith or a belief with no real application to the direct experience of life with all its vicissitudes and paradoxes, and it often times serves to only exhaust their acquired knowledge with its limits, for they seem content to circumnavigate within their own perceptions and perspectives. People seem to lack an interest in the deeper things of this life which infuriates one for its shallowness and idiocy, and the real answers, the ones worth living with have continued to remain as mysteries ever since the beginning of time,  but continue to offer themselves up when one seeks them with his whole heart. I am drawn to the name that the prophet Daniel attributes to the Lord, he calls Him, ‘ The ancient of days…’ , the great prophet who had visions and dreams of four great world empires who rose to great power and prominence, only to eventually fall and crumble into insignificance used that term to refer to God’s eternalness. Unlike humans and world events, the Ancient of days is not limited by time. Everything around us changes, but He remains the same. The only real real security that we have in this world is to place our trust in the Ancient of Days.   

Journey by train

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The train halts to a stop, and then the horn blares off towards the front and the tug almost imperceptible follows, it slowly gathers speed and glides smoothly on metal rails, I had been nervous for no apparent reason for quite a while now, but it had settled now for the time being… I did not like surprises, they made me feel nervous and disoriented. It felt like I was inhabiting a moving room that sped past standing scapes of human dwelling and settlement. Rocky hillocks, steep and high with resting rocks hovered around as the persistent collection of linear metal moved in limber speed into the distance that was eternal and open, it felt like a horizontal slippery fall that dug deep into the open debris or soil of life as it was lived. I began to wonder about the terrain, human life drilled into me whilst the life that silent and invisible filled me with all sorts of subconscious questions, the soil was a deep brown, it appeared sculpted into semi hollow ridges and there was the occasional rise of fertile land and one desired to stand or perhaps sit on their edge and watch the passing train with its speed and its peculiar glimpse into life, healthy coconut trees waved in the wind as the train picked up speed, with wide open leafy branches, one was moving into the dream of time itself and its mysterious passage as the train chugged along these landscapes of self absorbed towns draped in cultural impersonations and their barren desolate outer plains filled with lonely open roads tiny and small leading nowhere fast.

One began to feel rootless and further alienated as he left the land of his birth, as he departed from the noisy, chaotic town with cranky steely temperaments and underfed egos with their lusts for power where he had so far lived had been forgotten, the land where agriculture met the untidy mood of the present with all its excruciating demands united in the town of his birth and had thus far not laid any sort of mark on his own dreamy heart… He belonged to his dreams, his visions and his mind, and began to journey into a land of a strange language, into a land by the fertile rivers of the Kaveri, a city of many tongues, many identities and perplexing tastes, a land of terrifying madness, whenever one enters a city, a new one, he feels insignificant and absent in his own heart. For his dreams and thoughts begin to turn into fear and insecurities and they lord over as the the soul’s balance is lost and attacked with a viciousness that reduces one’s inner resources, one got a peek into the nature of madness, how frightening it was to lose oneself in a foreign land, unaware of their language, unable to connect to them as people and separated and reduced to being perhaps dumb and forced to live in the land of confusing speech, a speech that seems to arrive smooth and with an announcing sort of presence, perhaps all strange tongues feel this way.

My Travel companion was a lively young man dressed in comfortable clothes.. A wide screened phone in his hand.. earphones , staring leisurely into the speeding sights and contemplating many faraway feelings and emotions and perhaps sinking into some contemporary music that made him feel like his dream girl awaited at every nook and corner of this meagre, parched life, awaiting to be swept of their feet.. unlocking his lifelong quest for love in an instant. A dashing man of twenty and then some, he seemed eager to express affection, eager to be nice and proper, well mannered and eager to enjoy companionship like it was some ordinary feeling that was genuine and pure… how blinded are you o innocent soul…? He was learned in the ways of the people that I was about to encounter,he rarely demanded perfection but seemed content in not letting the bizarre perverted wickedness of the world reduce his own intentions.. a rare mix of humility and humanity seemed to have found some sort of quarters in his soul, I needed him as a guide on this journey towards my destination.

Perhaps all cities breathe the same life, the scenes all appear the same…, the Malls, the Cineplexes, the giddy teenagers embracing their urban identity as some form of religion, the cool and sophisticated appearing young adults still drinking the fading colors of youth, the more sober and solemn elders who view life as a series of prepared actions… Then there was the other side of society, the poor, the wanderers, the street urchins, the pavement dwellers, the lost, the insane… the type that I felt more comfortable around and with, the middle class citizens would grate on my nerves with their shows and acts of either indifference or the quality of their lives, there was such a vastness to the indigenous people and their types that one felt more and more unsure and uncertain. 

 I am not a firm believer in the generalized lie that all cities are the same… perhaps they really are, but that statement seems to  contain all the easy romanticism of ideology and lacks the solidness of realism that I believe paralyzes the unprepared man for the raw force of life itself in a new place or a city, and which meant experiencing the untamed and the unpredictable, yes all life does contain many striking similarities and one can choose to be unprepared for them by treating them as some sort of picnic, but things seldom go according to plan , and surroundings seem to shape so many peculiar traits and extrinsic actions that it is impossible to overlook them all,  and at the same time expect it to leave the alien man unblemished without exacting some sort of mental toll or fee ….there was always the newness of some new trait that has been shaped by direct contact with a portion of that civilization’s fast progress into the future and all its illusory hopes… that the new comer is most sensitive and perceptive of, peculiar to that part of the world, but to the alien man they momentarily confuse him when he encounters them for the first time for to him all things appear new and unusual.

Sure there is the territorial nature inherent in every man to treat any threat as hostile and exaggerate it to some sort of emotional territory oriented patriotism, and can create intense feelings of dislike…  then there is the other more intimidating emotion, that of indifference, the kind that makes you feel like you don’t belong there,… The kind of feeling that a new place evokes like some mystical spell or curse,  like many eyes bore into the entire sum of whatever you have made of yourself in this life, and treat that sum as something unimportant and unlovable, like there was some invisible law that you were subject to and it would be wise for you to know your place. I contemplated the place even as the train moved alongside the flight of the clouds and under the ocean blue sky, my destination was arriving fast , and along with it came the insatiable thirst to rejoice in the feelings that preceded experience.

But I have perfected a certain set of strange attitudes that help me adjust relatively with ease no matter what the language or type… even though I have trouble finding them initially since my entire being seems possessed by the emotional reaction connected to a new experience.. I gradually find my way to whatever it was that I wished to enact, my first trick is to assume a form of insensitivity.. a state mirroring in certain regards meditative enquiry, except that my inward state turns off its tools of comprehension and recognition and emotional reactivity, I say to the world that I have ceased to react to the outer world and its overpowering stimuli with their sheer intensity of raw volume and force, and reside instead in an inner room that is dark and silent and where I seat myself temporarily like brooding socrates pondering the deeper questions of life and existence, the other attitude is that of presenting a smile, devoid of any motives, used only when one encounters people thoroughly engrossed in their mundane existence, who perhaps seek to achieve a cheap thrill by unloading their venomous anger on the foreigner, to engage in some sort of power play intended to make them feel important, and I like the laughing buddha freed and liberated from the insidious baggage of comprehension and the inner craving for meaning instead smiled and choose wisely to not feel more than what I observe, these two attitudes are about the extent of my inner mechanisms, but I felt like I was suppressing my usual manner of ordinariness, I felt unable to, I was not home, I was not alone… and the loneliness that one feels in a group is something different, it is rather cruel at times.. Perhaps, there is a mask to the whole scheme of things that will melt and stay that way one day, but for now maybe over a period of time I could get used to all of the acts and intentions, to all the necessary facts and the urban fictions, and proceed perhaps to become aloof and detached to them in a sense of solitariness, but right now I feel too raw and invested in my reactions towards what unfolds around me, the immediate imagery seems so profound despite its dull presentation and too near and beckons my impulsivity to reach and touch it to understand it with the limited knowledge of the self and the ego, though the whole drama and act of human life is something that is so ordinary and layered in all sorts and forms of rejections, suppressions and repressions, dramas and theatrics… for a moment everything seems to be erased in the inner needle, and a brand new canvas although shaky is erected for the images to find a darkness to play on in.

Irritation, that obnoxious feeling seems to sum up the reaction between states divided in ethos and pathos, it subtly creeps up between people and between genders, in the nation of India with all its claims to mysticism and super-heroic sages who allege life in the realms hidden to the self and time , two states seem almost like two different countries.. Like two different worlds with nothing in common… but the drama of chaos and the perplexing saga of crowds, like exoduses to faraway lands and their bizarre chemistry seems rather comforting and pleasing to endure in this state far away from my home. Life has found so many beliefs that it is hard to trace it back to the original source, perhaps that’s why so many spiritual seekers arise, for land and mere forms of life seldom seem to offer the sort of deep answers that one wishes to possess and enjoy. And the mere nature of being busy with the hurriedness of life conceals the truly deeper thirsts and hungers, and we end up agitated and restless within our spirit.

The train seemed to halt, and then there was the usual push and shove as one attempted to get down, after a few angry stares and delusional speeches of grandeur and unnecessary demonstrations of power were exchanged, one got down … The station seemed empty save for a few passengers, ordinary and used to their routine… The sun had her rays all over the small stretch of concrete, but there was a chill to the air… Silence had departed, though one could retreat inward and seek its presence, one felt his soul being pulled away to wrestle with the masks and disguises of man. The outer world had all sorts of regularized commotion, all of them contained and pressed down like a mixture of echoes and wails, and distant conversations and solid sounds of bikes and autos… My companion suggested an auto and one agreed with a slight nod, there was first the descent through the stairs, gentle shadows rested on those sand deposited stairs, there was the presence of trees that thrilled one immensely but that slowed as one stared at the narrow road with tightly packed shops, Man was alive and had claimed his undying need to pursue money, and one saw all the assorted relics and vessels constructed to assist in that very fact. There was a departure from everything spiritual, and only the manic pursuit of all the illusions that man busied his life with visible, and it made me feel more and more uneasy, One felt the need to perhaps pray… an entire city awaited… One did not have all that strength.. One longed for strength and heart, one longed for fellowship with God, one felt like a tiny atom in a large universe of blocks and giants.. like a speck of dust that the wind carries away, like a rushing wave that breaks down, like a lonesome bird on a large banyan tree, one retreated inward into the secret chamber, and spent a few moments of silence with the Lord, asking Him for strength and sanity of mind before the next journey began.

Meditations in the city ( an Old post, written about a year or so ago) – Semi Fiction

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I heard the melancholic resounding thud of the night man’s cane hit the concrete of the ground that filled the silence of the night, what a lonely, dissatisfied man he was, forced to sit by night in a tiny booth awaiting signs of transgression and danger… What a poor little sad man he was, I allowed my heart a moment of sympathy… I heard a preacher preach that Christ possessed compassion… Sympathy is a man made condition… Well meaning and rather probing in its own right… But it ends where the walls of self rise…. the wind blew and the trees cooed, it was a cool and pleasant night… It was the last day of June…. June was a damsel who wore brightly colored clothes… June was the month of rich gladness…. I looked on into the horizon that gleamed with an unspoken, yet timid pink that dissolved into the velvety black claws of the night….A few stars appeared on in the free and open spaces of the skies… Their presence delicious and tender… and for some unspeakable reason my heart grew heavier as the night grew on in size… Why was I so lonely…? Why did I feel so neglected during the eroding hours of the night when the wind grew intimate with the trees and the leaves…? Was there any man in this world who was lonelier than I…?

The man living next door in the apartment where I was in had recently lost his wife, he was a man whose face appeared slightly slanted and who always religiously opened the doors of his dingy apartment filled with all sorts of religious effects right at 5..on the dot, he was old and perhaps filled with all sorts of urban fears, he lived with his aged obese daughter who perennially carried a plate of some sort in her hands, they were excessively worried, fearful and cautious in their eye movements, trapped eternally in their apartment, living below the grand smeared potrait of a local godman whose palms had some sort of cosmic starting point, I saw often into their living room which contained chairs as old as their own lives, empty often with the lights turned off… or in the evenings they sat around in the chairs, the aging Father whose stare you often took for granted, and the plump daughter who seemed intent on letting you know that she was more sociable even though both of them never said a darn thing, they sat staring, staring at each other even their looks hardly sketched the other’s resemblance, they stared at the contents of their life, staring with all the righteous fears of their own lives… And I felt sad… So sad… Back home my mother considers me as some crowning achievement in her life, she considers me as a gift from God… My poor mother, unhappy with all of my life choices yet always possessing a sagely compassion nonetheless, never for once in my life had I made her proud, made her head rise high, or make her think that I had my life all in order … I needed this life here, all trapped and alone set against the indifferent yet personal city, in order to feel distant and far from the sum of my family’s thoughts to me… I love them with my heart, my soul and my mind and especially with my spirit… But I was not worth their love, their affection and their pride and that’s why I ran away and needed to be with myself.

In another way I realized that I had not used my mind at all, this past week or so I had been entirely passive and rather evasive, something within me had changed and I believed that my loss of memory was a symptom of what my heart was feeling in its dark depths….My mind and my heart lay deadened and rather lifeless like a street corner used to the vanities and the medoicrities of life, passive and severely oppressed and forgetful of the voice that lay deep in their hearts … In the afternoon as a help to a friend I had read over some of his transcripts, determined to help him get his work published and out into the public eye…. the work was rather raw, incomplete and filled with all forms of grammatical complications…. Which I believe is the accurate state of any unpublished and dreamy writer… I respected him dearly and I believed that I had to wade through the layers of words that cast spills into the clarity of meaning, thickening the vision of life, and redeem the document of its value and possibly align it to its rightful place… As a dedicated attempt to probe into the complex state of Faith… But the more I waded in, the more I was caught up in a memory that pulled me into its life and took me away to a different time…And I being the helpless drifter got pulled into its emotions….The chaotic meeting point of memories, wishes, feelings and thoughts …..often at the same time… I wondered why despite my passions in the arena of writing, I often stumbled and became vague to the point of appearing ignorant and dubious about the nature of my own skill…?

The word of God is a democracy… Meaning to say that we are all a part of the kingdom… And we play roles… God’s word is above and beyond Human intelligence… And as I use the word intelligence an image of a man who being well educated appears…, and he challenges my opinion… I have these images often, contradictions created by some rebellious portion of my nature… Challenges by imaginary men who deeply dissolve the certainty of my beliefs…. The life of the believer is marked by one great sign… That of overcoming… The soul is the wheel… The soul is the shadow of the self… Only more complete and less fragmented… The spirit rejuvenated and powered by Faith in Christ, the Driver… I realize that in order to truly be grounded I have to in a way kill all my dreamy wishes and forget too the grim nature of reality and instead live as the day dictated… In the present moment… To me in this world where the eyes and opinions of the masses invade all territories, dreams have always remained to me a great and lasting comfort, and time and time again I run into their presence to forget.

To me pain is personal… Its something that has its life only in the heart, you can’t explain it to people, sure you can talk about it and people can connect, and even nod like they got it.. Perhaps they nod because they too have felt that pain, but pain was strictly personal to me… I wanted to be alone when the seasons of my life offered only pain and punishment… I would face it alone….And not make it an aspect to be intruded into…. and as the intensity increases, and the gloom thickens and the moods sour and the heart crumbles and breaks… I become alone… very … very alone..drifting aimlessly through the paths of life, yet caught inwardly in a state of anticlimactic proportions… Forgotten… Isolated and even though life felt cold and rather ordinary to me, I exaggerated it a times ten, in my mind a life without passion was as spectacular as mindlessly switching channels bored with the very nature of everything and anything.

I had never lived life with a plan, I had dreams… I had too many of them …. But to me life was the canvas and what happened to me did not dictate my script but rather what I felt, learned and held on to through the seasons of my life dictated who I was …. And right now it felt like the walls were crumbling down… All the carefully erected walls came crashing down and I stared at the ruins and felt the dissolution and the despair that had always carried the sorrow of life’s greatest defeats to my shores, like great foamy waves crashing on the shore on a rainy evening … I felt the gloom sink in…. And my mind took it all in… I opened my heart to the truth of life…. I no longer saw one side, I saw life for what it was… And the funny part about the whole process was that words… Words on a page … They were my only connection to the world, whatever I felt … I wrote… and they brimmed with all my heart’s feelings and thoughts… and in many ways they happened to be the true link into who I was as a person…!

Despite my severe lack of confidence, writing stuck by me whilst age and time ran away, robbing me of my youth, pushing me to a side…. No wonder I stood still on busy traffic streets and no wonder the mirror no longer led me to me, I often feel like someone else stares at me when I stare into the mirror, I have long since forgotten what I look like… I was drifting once again in my life and it worried me without the severity. People had plans… They talked about it, they uttered it in a religious sense as they brought it up in conversations, one tended to forget that life was personal… In a strange way one loses his connection to life by living amongst others, catering to them in a habitual and dogmatic manner… They allow themselves to be buried beneath layers of consisten and unwavering demands, I on the other hand was completely blind to life and it was my creed that even an ordinary staircase with its complete lifelessness would by means of a connection, or rather a moment open up and become a lingering structure in the outer realms of my life.

I remember the first time that we got into the house opposite to the evangelist who lived a little down the road on the right hand side, I was thrilled by how clear the view was to my old school that lay in the distance, I could see all the way to it from there, from the roof… and for some strange reason my mind would become bewitched, as though staring at the very institution where I suffered mindless embarrassments and the often times awkward transition into something that helps you deal with the severities that the world and life offered in abundance, as though staring at them freed me from the difficult rigidity of normality … Through the worn open fields and the flailing arms of tall thorny plants, through the eerie wooded stretches to the side and past the broken football posts… I was equally thrilled to have the high walls that I would spend climbing and walking over, my mind full of the magic of a tight rope act whenever I performed it, I was such a natural performer, who wished never to be seen, Dreamy child.. intoxicated by the manna of the soul… I was drawn to performances, but I did not realize that I was enacting a character… in my mind I was all alone… And this was in close concordance to my earliest and most persistent thought… That I was all really alone in this world… I never knew felt in anyway that what I felt or thought was strange or different from anything else, in my own way I was alone in what mattered most.

And houses these days echo more with the the cheery superficial dialogues of stale loud movies and epic, riveting, dull and emotionally excavating dramas. There is no laughter, the resounding noise is that of a deafening silence… The privacy of each man’s dreams, realms and wishes was lived close amidst each other, and the most deeply disturbing character of my own family was that beyond its warm embraces, the stand offs of intolerable emotional nausea, beyond the connected conversations and love… It was the presence of fear… The fear that death probably cast with a much more destructive force, but on the outskirts of our small family was the feeling that a dark fear cast a spell, that it would never be enough… That we could be destroyed without remedy at any given moment and lose all feelings of commonality was felt everyday… I was a drifter who wrote and at times acted, my loving mother worked two jobs, my warm and anxious father traveled constantly in search of work, my cheerful and caring sister worried that she was wasting her time away… But this was the blues, my blues …. The saga that all town folks harbored deep in their chests… In their hearts… They were a wounded clan, a forgotten tribe and an ill treated brand and they all worked through life’s blows , undefeated, refusing to get beat down, resilient and stressed out.