We are the mashup of all the things we let into our life.

We are the mashup of all the things we let into our life.
The music in my heart I bore, Long after it was heard no more ---William Wordsworth

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Confessions of an aged Mannequin

The evening sun which was slowly dipping into the horizon with a bell-tolling sequence was shining on the remote heights of snow that enclosed the valley like eternal clouds. Range upon range of craggy, steep, grey rocks, bright ice and smooth pastures were gradually blending with the enveloping snow.
   Dotted here and there on the mountain side, each tiny dot a home, were lonely, wooden cottages, so dwarfed by the towering heights that they appeared too small for toys. Among these cottages in the clustered  village was a small shop of an old man that sold home-made clothes. Its location in the village, and the same old stock of clothes worn by rusted, expressionless mannequins did not attract many people. But the old man was content with what he had and sat outside his shop the whole day. One of his joys was to listen to the nearby stream roaring away among the trees and tumbling over the broken rocks, but today, the profoundest of silence reigned around him. Sitting on his chair with a calm and quiet repose with his legs folded upon each other, and with a deep frown, one could not help but associate him with of the old mannequins in the glass. Not only was his hair long and ragged, but his face was burnt dark by the sun. He was grayer, the lines in his face and forehead were deeper, and he had every appearance of having wandered through all varieties of weather. A tear glistens in his eye and trickles down his cheeks. He wipes the tears off his sleeves of his shirt and sobs with great heaves of his chest. 'The die is cast--all is over', says the old man aloud. 'Oh Sophie. How i adored her, i was not merely over head and ears in love with her, but i was saturated through and through her. The mere passing of her before me with her lovely perfume reaching my nostrils, made me blush and poisoned me with her charm. She was my guiding star in the night, the light in my darkness and the evening wind on my brow. Sometimes, i wished that a fire would burst in her room, that the assembled crowd would stand appalled, that i, dashing through them with a ladder, might put it against her window, save her in my arms, go back for something she had left behind, and perish in the flames. Or, that i would float around her like a wandering zephyr my whole life.

Life without Sophie's love was not a thing to have on any terms. I couldn't bear it, and i would not have bore it. But she was not mine--she was never to be mine again. She might have been mine but that was past.'

The incessant throbbing in his temples broke his reverie and he stood up and walked to and fro indefatigably before his shop. People eyed him suspiciously but he paid no heed to them.

'Why am i musing over the past? Because what i reaped, i had sown. She was taken from me and revenge was not my forte.'

In the quiet air there was a sound of distant singing--Shepherd voices, but as the evening cloud floated along the mountain side, he could almost have believed it came from there and was some heavenly music. A tear rolled down his cheeks as he watched the sun go down in the fading twilight. 

Friday, 9 November 2012

Spectres in the fog

Darkness had descended on Richmond, Virginia, as i trudged along the snow carpeted path that led to the old Cemetery. All the animals were scurrying back to their homes, feeling unsafe and dangerous to be out in the gloom that was now enveloping the place. They would sometimes crawl among the bushes and eye me suspiciously, as if i had done wrong in trespassing on their territory.        

            Startled birds fluttered out of their black reacesses; crows awoke in the trees and cawed their alarms, and then, as if calmed by some passing thought, kept silent. The icy blasts of wind had made my body numb by now and i thrust my hands deep into the pockets of my coat and kept walking. Reaching the desired grave i stopped, sat down on one knee and procuring a flashlight from inside the coat, flashed it on the epitaph.  Rivulets of tears streamed down my face as i read and re-read the inscription, memorable times, moments spent together started replaying in my mind. I now understood why the sweet, sensitive lips smiled so rarely and so restrainedly then, and why the clear blue eyes looked at me, sometimes with the pity of an angel, sometimes with the innocent perplexity of a child. But the change meant more than this. There was a coldness in her hand, an unnatural mobility in her face, there was in all movements the mute expression of constant fear and clinging self-reproach. "She didn't die. No, no she's..she is still alive", i kept babbling like this in my mind, oblivious to the sounds around me, when the crackle of twigs jolted me from my reverie and rooted me to the spot. With an alacrity i had acquired in my old profession, i divulged the Glock from the coat pocket and listened intently. 

"Its funny how one simple sound can divert your thoughts of the past from the depths of your brain to the present", said someone with a raspy voice. 

The adrenaline of rush flowing through my body had almost paralyzed my limbs and I reeled around to find the owner of that voice but the dim light emanating from the old lampposts rendered it futile. Footsteps resounded behind me and the sound of a gun cocking behind me made me fire the gun in all directions in fear and anger.

"What do you want?!", i screamed on the top of my lungs but the sound of laughing and talking and sneezing behind me vexed me even more. 

Deja vu. 'God, has this happened before? Damn!' 

I fell on the ground and rubbed my face with snow but to no avail. I hit the butt of the gun on my head but, noting. I could feel nothing except a faint sound of ringing, the ringing of a bell. The ringing of a bell in an office with blue carpet and caramel coloured walls. 

"What? what..no. HELENA!", I shouted with all my strength but my mouth was sore and i felt like choking.

"No need to shout, Victor. Its past bedtime, come to sleep". That voice, that sweet voice, those raspberry lips. Helena? NO. I craned my head to the left and discerned in the dim light her elegant figure, holding an umbrella and smiling that beautiful smile of her's. I smiled too and wiped my eyes. 

"Paradox, Victor, none of this is true. Paradox is a statement that seems self-contradictory but in reality expresses a possible truth", said the nurse.

A bell rang  three times and then stopped. 

"Mr. Victor, please step forward and enter the room to be passed for examination in the transorbital lobotomy", said someone with a sweet voice.

My stomach was hurting from laughing so much, i wiped the tears off my eyes and opened them. The guys sitting beside me started laughing too. I stood up from my seat and walked haughtily towards the nurse sitting on a chair, smiling from ear to ear. Sitting down on a chair facing her, i smoothed my shirt and bent forward, eager to listen to her and still smiling.

"You are a patient, okay? Paradox, Victor, none of this is true. Paradox is a statement that seems self contradictory but in reality expresses a possible truth. Paradox is  rubbish. Memories help no one, they only furthar derange a person. 

Deja Vu. Memories are mere spectres in the fog. The more you visit them, the more they exceed your grasp. An unfinished puzzle with its pieces scattered about. 

My smile now turend into a deep frown, and i closed my eyes.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Reign of Dilemma

A beaten up phone in the entrance hall was ringing. It could have been just a junkie in need of a fix, but it turned out to be something more sinister than that. Its incessant ringing created painful vibrations in the depths of my brain and what happened next was a blur. Flames and violent shapes appeared from every direction of the hall and slowly engulfed the whole restaurant  the laughter of Hades becoming prominent one moment and then fading away in the next. The sequence never changed, and the scenes kept repeating themselves like a reel stuck in the cassette player.

The nightmare was always the same. Violent shapes moving in darkness, old and ugly. The killer's mad laughter was a riddle filled with wicked innuendo. Somewhere the baby was crying.

"Hades's restaurant" had seen better days. The night groaned with cold, the garden lights flickering nervously. In their light the falling snow was dead white before the darkness ate it up. The numbing cold of the broken night followed me in, the pistol was now a frozen lump in my hand, piercing the skin, gnawing at my hand. The door slammed shut behind me like a prison gate rattling on it's rusted hinges, shutting me inside. The air inside had a sickly, sweet smell, like that of incense. Silence reigned in the room and amidst my confusion, i saw some tarot cards strewn on the floor. Perhaps i had come to the wrong place, this wasn't the place where Alex wanted to disclose the details of the case. Definitely not. I gripped the pistol firmly and coughed loudly to announce the inmates of my presence...if there were any inmates there. Something really is demented here, i  thought, and took a step forward but the muffled ringing of a phone in the hall rooted me to my spot. The incessant ringing of the phone slowly increased in its volume and broke the silence. The lights grew dim and i recoiled in horror. "Oh God, not again", i thought, and tried at the door handle. Beads of sweat accumulated on my forehead, my arms and legs became powerless in the frenzy of fear and with no other alternative, i raised the gun to my temple and pressed the trigger. The gun coughed once and i sank to the floor, eyes staring into oblivion.

The orange ball of fire slowly rose in a bell-tolling sequence and heralded its advent by shooting its rays in multiple directions. 

"All's well that ends well, my friend. Ha-ha-ha". 

This was the only sentence he heard before being dragged into the abyss..again.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Tears of green-eyed angels

They were all dead. Love kills. Did i love her? Was there a choice? The past is a gaping hole. You try to run from it, but the more you run, the deeper, more terrible it grows behind you, its edges yawning at your heels. Your only chance is to turn around and face it. 

Entrails of burnt omelets and fried eggs in the fry pan, broken crockery and bottles of beer and cigarette butts strewn on the floor, altogether completed the picture of a house without a woman. Her laughter and inaudible mutterings came, like a distant hoot of a train, then died away and ceased. Like a cricket's trumpet dwindling swiftly into silence. He sighed explosively and stared into his beer as he sulked in his sofa with his shoulders hunched, his eyes inward. It is time, he thought with a smirk, and drained his beer in one big gulp. The cops arrived, sirens singing in the off-key harmony of a manic-depressive choir. The rain was still drumming on his roof with a mob-like ferocity and the growling of clouds and thunder heralded the coming of another storm. Zeus was angry on him alright. Taking all the necessary stuff he needed, he plunged into the darkness of the night. Freezing wind and rain was tearing at his face, like sandpaper and razors, he thrust his hands deep into his coat and kept walking, every sense of his alert and vigilant. Bloodshot eyes, unkempt hair, a frown that now became a part of his normal expression, and a scar that ran from the corner of his eye to the bridge of this nose completed the picture of a man on the run. Running from his life. Was it past midnight? He had been walking for almost 3 hours...or so he thought. Footfalls in the darkness, a glint of a knife, echoes, screams of pain. Schizoprehnia almost became his next sense. A  cold, hard, stabbing pain at the small of his back roused him from his stupor, he reeled around and found himself in a dead-end street. His temple throbbed, his heart hammered like wild beast in a cage, and staggering a few steps he hit a wall and fell on the floor, lying unconcious.

"Why are vampire movies always set in L.A or New Mexico? They cant even get a tan! If i were a blood sucker, i'd move to the North pole. Winter's one looong night"

"What would you do for food? Suck blood from penguins?"

"Naw. Eskimos, man. Eskimos."

The cold, frosty air whispering in his ears woke him up with  a start. He felt the earth vibrating beneath him and saw to his surprise, places flashing by him in a second. He was on a train. Craning his head back he discerned two people clad in an overcoat and jacket, holiding a .32 Smith and Wesson revolver. His blood ran cold and a rush of  adrenaline flowed through his veins. Regaining his former position he listened intently. 

"God, you're sick, man. I'd rather go for the flesh of fallen angels, ha-ha-ha. That would be more fun."

'The flesh of fallen angels'. Something clicked in his brain and disordered images of people, places and talks started revolving in his head without any bearing. Unclenching his fist he saw in his hand a long, shiny, syringe with a green liquid in it and a picture of a green letter 'V' with a syringe in it's between. He dropped the syringe which fell down with a loud thud. He kept replaying the sound of that thud in his mind.  A sound he had heard many times.

He wasn't out in the wilderness, no freezing wind tearing at his face, like sandpaper and razors, no wail of sirens or the city howling after him anymore. 

He was safe.

A menacing smirk danced on his lips and lifting his head, he laughed loudly, oblivious to the clicking sound of boots and shoutings behind his back. Rivulets of tears streamed down his face. Tears of mirth. The Tears of green-eyed angels.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Routing my Synapses

The storm was a screeching duet with the approaching prowl car sirens. I leaned over the parapet of the rooftop and discerned in the blinding snow the sea of revolving red and blue lights. The final gunshot was an exclamation mark to everything that had led to this point, i released my hand from the trigger, and then it was over.
 Every story has a turning point, the climax before the credits roll. And that's where the fun starts. Pulling the trigger is a binary choice, you either pull it or you die. The light, when it came, was blinding. Blinding as snow. I leaped at the crouched figure and felt myself falling down. Down into the shadows of my past. Echoes, memories, time, all flashed by. To wake up was to die...indefinitely.


In the backseat of the moving car, i am cut loose from the city, as it watches me pass with neon eyes. The night has turned the skyscrapers into silver hands groping into the sky, and every brick-wall covered with graffiti are like a thousand menacing eyes watching my every move. Its funny how everything, living and non- living, seems to cower in its shell when you are forced to step into the darkness of your own pain. The life outside seems to be dead-still. The trees stand lifeless with their arms folded, the myriad of eyes cast a furtive glance at you and then crawl back into their homes. Life is cruel, i thought, but then every rose has its thorns.

The car stops in the traffic lights. Outside, the light paints snow red, like the whole city was in flames. But inside, the shadows of the car, its all done in blues. I know i'm lying to myself, no amount of medicine can keep this ache away. No lie can hide it. I'm not really in the backseat of this car, and i haven't left my room since. The killer dead at my feet on the ground.

Especially now as the city presses close the windows the car, it's monstrous heartbeat under the tires. My squinted eyes in the rear-view mirror. My hands numb and held awkwardly behind my back, everything that happened next was a kaleidoscopic, chaotic swirl, rising nausea that tastes like rust in my mouth.
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