Confessions: Lost chances( Short fiction)

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‘ Is it your fault.., or was it mine..? Whom do I blame for this sorrow..?’
– Translated from a tamil song

The basketball court grew translucently vacant after eleven in September… September made you feel different in the city.., as a watcher of people I pick up on a lot, all cities have the same traffic.., the same zone defense of public roads.., the same feisty cops pulling up bikers with helmets…, but God has different layers to each month.., the trees lose more leaves.., there are a lot more winds.., the waves of marina are are more lustful of the shore.., loneliness is much deeper in the underground caves.., and the antisocial appears every now and then when things grow still after the din grows low… A man who knew loneliness sat here often hoping to absorb the energy of sane souls, I knew him as well although he and I don’t really talk much.. I get the sense that the world that he occupies does not allow entry of people who talked.., he was a sad soul.., lost to a world that was indifferent to his plight.., unkind to his homelessness and harsh to his presence.., can’t really blame him.., but I wanted him to pour his soul into mine and feel my warming fire.., I was not exactly normal either.., I was a misfit myself.., a loner who preferred a ball and an empty court to people… Friends in my life were people whom I knew but who never knew me.., I was too deep to be understood, I was too distracted by the world to conform to their demands and expectations which seemed silly and childish in my eyes.., I was a man who knew things before they happened and who saw things before they were perceived.., I was whatever place I absorbed and I was whoever people wished me to be. The Park drew in folks.., the park did not catch your attention immediately, you would pass it by and it would not invoke any sensation.., it was bare, plain and possessed no juicy vibe.., like a plain woman you passed her by.., and then you encounter them and you begin to know them and you get the sense that you were guilty of perhaps discrimination but you’re safe since it happened in the secretive layers of your mind…. but this park was where I in all of Madras city found myself drawn to.. Perhaps this would be my own dream theater of performance.., where I can be the heroic motif that I pick in my day dreams.., where I create a legacy for my own knowledge but unseen and unrealized by those who frequent this same place as me.

There was always a buzz on the basketball court.., the eager to flaunt players held hostage by their domineering coach.., the visitors who sat on the stone galleries to ponder life’s mysteries.., the middle aged uncles who rested their vertebrae after a back breaking walk around the park to burn off calories.., shady cats whose eyes glinted with the spirit of marijuana and who scowled and mocked everybody that their eyes could see.., homeless drunks who argued loudly and later slept soundly in the top stair of the stone gallery.., local flower men who sold threaded jasmine buds to middle class city bred ‘Iyer’ ladies who slept on the hard stone floor.., Fatigued auto-rickshaw men resting after a tiring day…The court was my kingdom.., and I imagined myself to be the king of my court.., and it was my job to realize with the eyes of the heart the souls that walked through the court.. I would attempt stories from what I felt when my heart touched upon their souls.. I would also try to place each person with a song that I would spend hours searching for.., or perhaps crystallize them with a poem..By nature I am distant since I could care less about the formality of mere connectivity.. I could not understand why people had to spend so much time getting acquainted.., I know the bad ones.., they always try to make you love them and they always try to puff you up.., the rest are a mystery that requires patient chopping .., my mind is always afar since I alienate myself from the usual.., but there is a music to each soul that one can listen if one listens closely.., a hidden tale buried within each layer.., and I was determined to discern and navigate through the darkness of being.

He was one of those middle aged men who enjoyed mere banter. He had a charming and disarming way of engaging you.., He and I shared the same lonely space for quite a period of months, I wanted him to find it in himself to dare break the invisible walls that people erected around themselves.., He approached me with praise, a great conversation starter.., he wanted to understand why anybody would choose a public park to practice after 11.30.., a place well known for antisocial scum, insane marauding hooligans on bikes and bloodthirsty wanderers… I responded by saying that I could say the same about him to a certain extent.., A spark glowed in the darkness of that court which was a well-known magnet for unfinished tales.., broken hearts and restless souls… He would generally do his circular walks around the park with a distracted look, he found the practice difficult but he still kept at it.., he was from a small town deep in the south.., his language contained the soul of the town that he was from. The people there probably spoke from their heart.., lacked cunning and were delightful of people.., maybe they lacked the sophistication of deeper understanding.., for a brief while we clicked. Our souls are thirsty for as much of earth that we can find.., for in eternity our souls will suffer uncertain fates depending on our choices. I knew that a soul’s relation to the revelation of Jesus would decide one’s eternity.., but in the here and the now all souls starved and hungered for love and want.. They had a funny way of expressing it since immaterial realities kept pressing against their conscious shores…, but it was there and you had to learn to handle the bitter reality of people and their incapability of knowing their presence and their actions on another soul.

I am a chamber full of secrets.., many souls speak what besets their soul into my depths.., they share their hurts which are often painful realities that still torment their inmost minds..,I seem to inspire their openness.., and I seem to inspire them to enter into my inner stillness to phrase in fleeting lucidity their inmost torments which always found a way to confound their lingual capabilities.., for the moment they could find the perfect, most honest, most soulful and most heartfelt way of narrating their lives in his presence.., it would finally lift off and decrease in its intensity.

He remembered the first time he saw her.., he had known since he was 8…, it was not her eyes, her appearance or her behavior that he noticed…, he noticed instead how his heart fluttered when she walked past him oblivious to the nuclear damage that she was wreaking on his simple soul. Over a period of time the feelings became mutual…, he was 14 by then.., and she 13.., they held hands on the long mud paths surrounded by rice fields and sugar cane fields that led to their homes when nobody was watching.., he climbed trees to pluck mangoes for her and.., wrote her I love you hundred times… their love blossomed over the years.., he came from a conservative system.., multiple social walls stood in his way.., she was from another caste.., he belonged to another.., religion spoke about how he belonged higher.., but his heart could see no such reality.., his heart wanted her more intensely as the years progressed.., they promised each other multiple times that they would find each other no matter how far they got.., that the other would wait if something were to happen.., but as fate would have it education brought him to the chaotic city of Madras.., he would call her many times.., but there were no mobile phones back then.., the timing had to be perfect.., her Father owned a goods store and he would be out by 7 in the morning.., her mother was always at home.., but went at 2 pm to the temple for half an hour.., that would be their time.., even if her mother returned.., she would act as though the phone call was between her friends.., but one time her mother stayed back and long story short got wind of what was happening.., they beat her so bad that she swore to never contact him again.., but she was lying.., how can emotions such as love end in the face of adversity.., it is the very soil that it blooms and flourishes in.., he promised her that he would come back for her the moment he got a job.., but her parents got her married before he could make good on his promise.., marrying her off to some businessman…, heartbroken he wept, cried and wandered in sorrow and despair.., the years passed, he tried to forget her but to no avail.., how could someone forget someone who had inhabited his inmost being..? Who had loved him with a love all her own..? How could he overcome that which only made him linger.., stay and wander in a world of inner hurt..? He grieved like a man who knew not how to survive in a world devoid of his sweetheart.., he could not bear the thought of her in the arms of another man.., he could not bear another possessing her…, love was never meant to be shared by a third party.., Never.., His parents sensing his woe married him off to a proper Madras girl.., he hid his sorrow and began to live for his future.., family.., responsibility.., he had become so possessed by this intense hurt in his heart that he struggled to love his wife fully.., even though he had gotten over the deadly blow.., he could never forget his first love.., he shared this to me over a period of time and I listened as I always did like my life depended on it.., funny how strangers heal wounds that one’s own efforts seldom seem to. I know that the good Lord placed me on this planet to heal people, He did the healing.., I just had to reach out to the souls.., and I always could find them no matter how they hid their wounds.

I did my best to console him.., I spoke nothing .. there was nothing that I could say that would reach the inmost depths of him and pull him away from what he felt, I only listened and allowed my silence to do the healing.., I allowed my warmth to speak what I couldn’t.., what could I say..? I only felt myself grow sad.., there was a certain amount of sadness that this court seemed to attract…, I was a lost soul myself.., but I knew that Jesus healed.., you just had a sense for these things that was more than reason oriented.., I understood his moral reality.., He was married.., had kids in school and was a normal functioning member of society now.., but he would forever remember the lost chance.., and what could you do about it in this wild jungle..? Love more deeply..? Take more chances..? Marry for love..? I didn’t have a clue.., all I knew was that life moved on.., I had more souls to meet and more stories to glean. But what I encounter and see will always bleed within me.

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The Artist within – A few thoughts

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I’m an artist… I repeat that word to myself constantly because I often feel the other way about it. You know , like maybe.. ‘I am not all that I proclaim myself to be’… type, My shyness like the striped butterflies that I obsessively chronicle and observe is self content and blissfully oblivious of the outside world… But as endearing as it is to feel that way it can get in the way of my assertiveness or lack thereof in plenty of social circumstances… , Password – Humble.. Code word accepted… Beast Mode activated.

I have this syndrome where I have multiple notepad documents open whenever I am typing out some grandiose though of mine that craves my artistic emotions. I write multiple stories sometimes, I get crazy and write off of instincts… I would be in a desperate infatuation oriented romedy in one place, and in the other I would be ranting about how Godfather’s director did no justice to the characters in the novel…, Except of course for the Characters of Vito Corleone, Sonny Corleone and Tom Hagen, now their acting and character inhabitation was tight… not to mention grand, delightful, imitation worthy and memorable. I wonder how they can act as people so different from their real life characters, actors do all kinds of things on stage and I often create a complex understanding of how they can go about doing such things and feats. Maybe there is a method to the madness, maybe it’s something that they learnt in acting school or maybe it is just the expression of a God given talent… Which creates my next fabulous question.., Why does my Favorite Supernatural Being gift individuals with talents to entertain that seems to attract them to the great Sodom and Babylon of this Millenium…? How come they tend to land up in Satanic worshipping, Glamor oozing, Free spirit engaging leading straight upto Hell’s finest Mansions – Hollyweird.. I’m sorry I meant Hollywood is something I will never now.. Welcome folks to Hollywood- The Greatest Entertainment show on Earth, Payment Needed.. Pay with your soul and please deposit your former and current moral ethics at the entrance please.. Now feel free to sell your soul to the Devil as he uses you to perform things that you promised you would never do, and do roles that you thought you would never enroll yourself in…! You still got hope.. , Yeah.. I know you routinely mock and scorn at Him and use Him as a cuss word in your glorious works of lies.. But His name is Jesus.. just call Him won’t ya.. when you’re not mimicking grand dialogues about self expression and discovering your hidden self.. Call Him when your ex who promised you that he would love you forever dumped you for somebody younger.., Call Him when your addicted to those shiny pills that made you forget the madness of Show business… You still got hope.

Great talents only create a more fonder love and affection within me for their Creator…, What a maddening, mystical and inscrutable Supernatural being my Heavenly Father is most of the times. I still have no earthly measure for the complex creativity prowess of the Universe’s Absolutely Greatest Artist… Yes, I mean God. What possessed the heart of the Universe to Create terrifying, tummy crawling Pythons who inspire only horror and terror.. and also create beautiful, winding rivers that cascade off as they plunge below hundreds of metres into an underlying pool of fresh water… It’s funny how water seems to always flow, seeking paths always…, Nature is so profoundly artistic and deep that I find myself always joyful and upbeat that there are still things that don’t destroy hope, sanity and mental wellbeing. I am thankful for it everyday and that’s why I try to sneak to my Garden or to the lonely Garden behind my Old Office and spend a few moments in solitude and get my deepest, inner nature into silence.. I drop a drop of prayer into the still lake and feel the ripples, the pages of my soul opened.. My true animal awakens and strolls outside of the cave.. Far away from my Masks, My Hectic life and My Restlessness… I need it desperately and deeply.

I have an intense urge to create, I often create complex stories from a single reaction. It’s like the words, the characters and the dialogues were in there all along, and all that it needed was this tiny, tender little spark and wala, out pours this magnificent piece of literary imagining that gives me the impression that it really, truly happened. I can’t still grasp much of the fine sensations of the human mind… , I find the human mind, the soul, the spirit and the heart fascinating topics and resources of study… I am always poking myself, trying to gain new insights about my inner philosophies and trying to plunge into the depths of my psyche…, The inner world, and the way in which it rearranges and deals with specific inputs is like a torch in the deepest caverns, I enjoy reliving my competitive moments where I bled, sweat and played with ferocity are replayed with narcissistic joy and I enjoy my own heroic glory… I promise to create more of such moments… I want to test myself more, challenge myself more… To see if I am capable of doing what seems so confidence draining, fear inducing and terror inspiring. I am an artist because I find art in life, I find art in relationships, I find art in the tragedies that happen to me.. Be it an unreturned affection from someone that I may have pined away for centuries, or be it a grumpy, bitter and intense conflict over something as stupid as a loose comment… I am alive in the deepest parts of me, I may not always recognize what I see in my heart or in my mind, or put a word to certain feelings that defy my vocabulary… but I am in love with the beauty of my life.. With my thoughts, with my faith and how it soars in the spiritual dimensions opened by God’s willing joy… I find more ground in being an artist now chiefly because of who I am in Christ… Alive by being soaked in the rivers of Jesus and having the joy to unravel what that means in my current life and geographical location- I am a citizen of the world in Christ – I am one of His Ambassadors, Free from who I always feared I could never be.., I am fine with who I am, of where I have ended up, and fine with what I have been given and asked to take care of.. I am not afraid anymore of getting people to accept, love or want me…I am cool with whatever they choose to give.. If it is blunt, rude, angry and bitter, misguided rage… I am okay with it.. I am here to listen.. to understand.. or if it tends to wound my spirit.. change, adapt, evolve and use it to guide me to a higher level of consciousness…, If it is not feeling the same intense way that I tend to feel when I impulsively jump into something that I may have the pleasure of encountering for a few fractions of a second…, I have come to accept that.. It is okay..It has helped me in my growth as an Artist who writes.., who observes, enjoys and delights in whatever God has allowed for that day… I try to find contentment with whatever little I have. The Simple life, with my love for gardens, lonely abandoned places lush with trees and understanding with Patience the words of the Bible… and Praying into levels, depths and dimensions that I have never experienced are more than I can ask for… This is me right now.. Dear Future me.. This temporary contentment will change in a minute, the world of the mind does not thrive on order, but on chaos and in creating an artifical reflection of the senselessness and hopelessness of this world in one’s soul, heart, mind and thoughts… But, I am a Fighter… A Warrior who kneels and a Watchman of my flock… I am alive and well.. Until Next Time.