Besharam bevakoof badtameeZ

Some words – Honest like a honey bee's, pure like a butterfly's and dumb like G.W.Bush's when I run out of stupid similes.

Month: July, 2013

INK

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The rain lashed against the windows. A mild aroma rose from the fine wet mud path leading to her house. Darkness engulfed the village, despite the hour of noon. Apollo must well have ridden his chariot home, beneath the eastern sky- there wasn’t a ray of light to see. The brave God, she chuckled, afraid of a few drops of cold?

I shall not be, afraid.

No. Not after today.

Today. It needs to happen today. I need to. I do.

The apprehension was maddening, but expected. It felt the same, every single time. Every couple of years, on her name day- ever since that wretched evening, a decade ago.

She sat back on the couch, sighed and closed her eyes. Memories drifted back in- rugged, yet vivid.

♦♦♦

It wasn’t a remarkable building. No novelties, no decorations, no elaborate art work to adorn the walls- nothing. Lack of it all, on the contrary made it magnetic. The dark dirty front, a barely legible name plate, a gate that creaked loudly when swung open. Weirdly captivating.

She walked into the store, as brave as she felt- a girl of 16, with a thirst for the unknown.

“Hello? Anybody here?” An empty room beheld her. It was surprisingly small from the inside. A row of old books, dusty toys and a few plastic ornaments hung from the wall. The rest was all boxes. Thousands of them. Sealed shut, and wrapped in white paper. But It wasn’t scary- at all. Disappointed she frowned, thinking of her cousin. So like Mia to cook up stories. She had almost died of fear, it seems. Pshaw! Silly girl.

“I was expecting you”. She nearly jumped off her skins. A short man, climbed down beside her, from a ladder in a dark corner. “Are you alone?” he enquired, peering outside. The cracked voice, felt out of place coming from such a little fellow. Seemingly satisfied, he walked behind the counter and jumped onto the stool. “So…?” A raised eye brow and the question hung in the air, inviting her to answer nonetheless.

“I… I need … I need THE book” she told him.

“THE book? You don’t mean…?”

Inexplicable fear. Yes, THE book. She wanted to say it out loud. But her throat was dry, as coarse as stone. Beads of sweat ran down her bosom. She nodded.

He sighed.  “It’ll cost you a mere thousand dollars now. But it may cost you more than a signed paper, later. It is unwise. Take anything else, can’t you?” He waved towards nothing in particular. Staring deep into those doe eyes, he was desperately searching for denial. He couldn’t find it. Sighing again, he jumped down and strolled past a curtain at the far end of the room.

She breathed a sigh of relief. She had found it. The Devil’s Script was her’s. Finally.

♦♦♦

The Devil’s ScriptFamed across the world, like any other object of sorcery it has its own tale of horror and despair. A book of mere ten pages, considered priceless by aficionados and connoisseurs of magic. Each page- barring the first and last- hold the mysteries of tomorrow. The leaf on the left- would tell the reader of sins committed the year before and the one on the right- punishments for them, dealt fairly in the year ahead. Seen differently by different mortals; it is believed to be visible even to the blind. However, eight blank pages is rumoured to mean a pure soul, destined to become an angel. Unless- the last leaf has a Crown of Thorn printed across it. Only a scarred demon shall lay eyes on the cursed crown and thus herald the Eternal Doom- for all mankind.

She reads those words for the umpteenth time & rolled up the old parchment she had bequeathed from her ancestors; and stared at THE book, lying open on her table. Ages had passed since that day- the day she had decided to acquire it. Foolish acts of bravado from a fiery teen. Unaware of life and the hopes pinned on her. The discovery of something so exquisite and precious, albeit evil- thrilled her beyond comprehension. She had opened it as soon as she came home, expecting a page filled to the edges with her crimes and retributions. The thousand dollars she stole for the book, at least- must be listed surely. To covet is a sin. The Bible had taught her that.

The first two pages were blank.

♦♦♦

The 8th page too, had turned out unblemished. That was exactly, two years ago, on her birthday. By then she had lost all hope. A shadow of her former self, pale and frail- she was barely alive. Today, withered and desperate, she almost welcomed death. It wasn’t a scary prospect. After all, she was never scared of it in the first place.

But to set off destruction and death to all? Be the harbinger of the end?

Why was I chosen? To be slaughtered first?

Like a raven, cursed and destined to sing no melody, but a dirge. She was tired. Blaming the Lord, was never soothing. A scarred soul, she was. Inevitable, it will be. She couldn’t help them anymore. She wept uncontrollably, but shed no tears. Those were long gone, dried up with her dreams and desires.

Today. It shall be today. The pain has been too much to bear. Let’s end it all on my name day. The 21st of December. The page, the last page.

She took a deep breath, and opened THE book to the eighth.

The crisp yellowish paper felt so heavy.

She closed her eyes,

and turned the page.

Silence. Deafening silence.

In miniscule black letters, near the bottom right corner of an otherwise blank page was written:-

M.R.P 5 $

♦♦♦

-Sr Ja

Inspired by a story told to me by Joel James, a dear friend of mine 🙂 

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Godspeed!

Atheists. Agnostics. Theists.

So like you all, I do know the meaning of all these multi-syllable words. In the literal sense, at the very least. I am no expert to glorify or reproach their claims or ideals. Bring to mind an amused kid – walking around gaping at the nude sculptures, kicking the sand, and howling out loud- gleaming in delight on how deep the echoes sound.

Padmanabhaswamy temple, Thiruvananthapuram – has been in news recently for – I am no judge – a lot of reasons – but nevertheless, I was ushered in for an early morning Darshan by my parents- to pray to the almighty to stay with their son, in times of mirth & peril. Clad in Saree and the ceremonial Kasavamundus, the party of three went inside to glimpse the lord in gold- the protector of our *city and the treasurer of our riches. I can almost hear him smirking when I type these words out.(*Thiruvananthapuram is named after Ananthan a.k.a Lord Vishnu)

My staunch intentions of ending this piece of mind within a couple of pages, restrain my runaway mind from reporting an array of amusing incidents that I got to see inside (and partly outside) the temple. However, the gem of the day was when an adorable girl – of about two feet (I am bad at guessing ages, but my eyes are fair enough to gauge height)- ran free from her mother’s grasp to explore the big wide world. A small temple (within the main one, attributed to Lord Ganesha) caught her attention. Kids – rightly admired for their unbridled curiosity – seem to have a fascination for the elephant-headed-mouse-riding God of means. She ran straight up the small steps of the Sreekovil housing the Prathishta(idol of the deity). But there were too many steps and her father, presumably- prevented her from taking a peek inside. Unceremoniously, amidst much hue and cry, our pretty heroine was lead off, with- “You shouldn’t have gone up there, aren’t you afraid? That is the Lord, how dare you…”, and similar words of rebuke in the native tongue.

Fear. Fear is a captivating emotion. Much like lust, anger and jealousy – it’s pure and instantaneous at best. It inspires, encourages, motivates and checks us. The ‘look’ part before the ‘leap’ adage- is strictly attributed to fear. Fear of failure, embarrassment, emotions, betrayals, pain….yada yada yada. Who needs an account on fear? It has been programmed into our neurons and all of us have felt it umpteen times. But if progress and growth is only to be attained when we stop to face and overcome fear- I am trusting the philosophers on this one- should we be afraid of the unknown? Stop, if your thoughts ran away to banishing the prophets or burning the Holy Gita. I am not suggesting anything. I am not manipulating your thoughts or trying to, either- but asking a hard question. I am honestly looking for an answer. Believe me.

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If we are asked to fear something much before we attain a basic knowledge level of accumulating rational thoughts- isn’t that notion wrong? I think so. However, it seemingly has its own unique purposes. If Magellan (Ferdinand) wasn’t braving the fear of falling off an ‘un-spherical’ earth, back in the 1520s- he wouldn’t have been hailed a hero when he set off to sail around the world. We would no longer be fascinated by snake charmers or lion tamers or trapeze artists. They all play with fire. And fire kills – not always – but it can – and has – and therein lies the thrill it inspires. If fear of breaking open my skull, can keep me away from perilous roof tops, thus saving my life – fear might be good. More than good, I admit.

But I am not too sure of that in the religious front, though. With constant references to the almight(y/ies) and devil forms in popular culture; beliefs – mine and I guess most of ours- is really messed up. Again, there is no one to blame. It would be amazing to have a Morgan Freeman-ish God for sure, but I am no big fan of the ‘destroyer’ tendencies. Even Gods have anger management issues it seems.*Chuckle*.The debates of God-fearing Vs God-loving has sure got a lot of interesting aspects. But then, so do the atheist-theist wars. And who can forget the annoying agnostics- c’mon! Take a stand guys! Excuse my sour jape, but the tone was getting too grave.

So if God does not exist – God forbid 😛 – then none of us are at fault. If he/she/it does – Ric Dawkins forbid 😛 – even then, none of us are at fault. As it is, “….if he (God) doesn’t have a problem with ‘em atheists, what in the devil’s name, is Your problem? Goddammit!”

But so long as we aren’t quite sure of either- we can believe in whatsoever we whatsoever want, and sleep in peace. So simple, so profound.

You are welcome. 🙂

-SrJa   [01/07/2013]