Opium

I start noticing the patterns of the rag
As I inhale the second (long) drag
The patterns start to change
And it doesn’t feel strange
In fact, it feels good
Like the way it should
My vision starts to blur
And the speech starts to slur
By the time, the vice comes back
The dark room becomes more black
The ears ring, failing to pick a sound
The rib-cage hurts as the heart pound
It’s getting hot, I start to sweat
Memories fading, I begin to forget
It’s not Hash, It’s not weed
It’s more strong from some poppy seed
But I don’t care what I took
I never live by the book
As long as it eases the pain
And removes the dark stain
I would be thankful to thee
Suddenly, I start crying in glee
Flashes of her swaying from a fan
Fills my brain, in quick span
But at least I can’t see her face
As everything is filled with the smoke haze
This is the only thing which can truly take her away
Keeping all the pain, anxiety, at bay.
Someday, I’ll quit
I could hear the Opium smirk a bit
Till then, it will be a part of my kit
To keep her from haunting me
Every second, every minute.

Nostradamus

Provence, France. 1556

The images that flashed through his mind were horrific. How could the two not prevent it? They were so accomplished, yet they failed. Their failure would bring the world together, in grief. It would create a huge void in so many lives. Empty seats at dinner table, children  forced to grow up without the comfort of their parents, parents devoid of their child’s embrace. The losses would be intangible. He had to write about it. It would be a fitting quatrain in his 3rd Century. He took the pen in his hand and within few strokes etched the text on the parchment in fluent Latin.

 

Pres loing defaut de deux grands luminaires.
Qui suruiendra entre l’Auril & Mars:
O quel cherré! mais deux grands debonnaires
Par terre & mer secourront toutes pars.


Centuries later, eminent scholars were trying to find a rationale behind Century 3, quatrain 5 of Nostradamus.  Their job was to demystify every quatrain of Michel de Nostredame. They were looking at the translated esoteric text.

Near, far the failure of the two great luminaries
Which will occur between April and March.
Oh, what a loss! but two great good-natured ones
By land and sea will relieve all parts.

After hours of minute scrutiny, they were looking at a blank wall. Either the event had not happened or the great seer was wrong, they thought and called it a day. They will start the next quatrain, fresh in the morning.

But hiding in plain sight was the biggest tragedy of 2014. A mishap which tore apart many lives.

Near, far the failure of the two great luminaries– Zaharie Ahmad Shah and Fariq Abdul Ahmad, combined, have nearly 21,000 hours of flight time.

Which will occur between April and March– The ill-fated aircraft took flight on 8th March, 00:41 local time.

Oh, what a loss! but two great good-natured ones– 12 crew members, 227 passengers from 14 nations have disappeared from the face of this planet. A total of $53,000,000 has been spent so far to uncover the truth behind this catastrophe.

By land and sea will relieve all parts– relieve (verb): Bring military support for. 27 countries have joined hands and combined their military might to scourge lands and seas for any signs of hope.

The search for MH370 is still on. Nostradamus might have prophesied about its location, too. Hope takes us to places which might seem absurd. As they say, hope is a dangerous word. But hope is the only thing which the families of MH370 victims might have.

Möbius strip

The class was eerie quiet. If the human ear had the ability to listen a few notches down, it would easily have picked the sound of heartbeat in this quietness. This was how he liked his class to be. A mathematician by profession, this gave him a sense of power. Power was what he needed in this most important day of his life. He had never felt so alive before. Glancing at the inquisitive looks on the student’s face seated in front of him, he opened his lecture- “Today, we shall learn about the Möbius strip.”

Mundane. That’s what he thought about his job. As a forensic pathologist in a morgue, he dealt with dead bodies day in and day out. In his early days, he used to be panic-stricken seeing the disfigured bodies, with bones sticking out of all the wrong places. The foul stench used to do no good to allay his worries. But now, it was all just a routine. The body in front of him, had his face smashed beyond recognition. Male, mid-thirties, well-built, he started making a mental list as he examined the body. It was a case of a jumper. 10th floor, was written in the accompanying report. Cowardice, he thought. Bravery is going through the hard phase and not being submissive to life.

“A sphere has two sides. An outer one, and an inner one. The door of this classroom has two sides. One side brings you to this dreaded and boring lecturer while the other takes you out to the free world, where you can do anything without any repercussions. Even the books lying in front of you is comprised of pages which has two sides, and they are numbered for your convenience. But, a Möbius strip has only one side.”

Was it really a cowardly act? He replayed the incident back in his mind. He was at his usual hideout spot away from the world’s snooping eyes. Nobody came over here, and that’s why it was perfect. He removed the freshly rolled joint from his pocket and lit it. The first few hits were always the most cherished. Ohh marijuana! What would he do, without its support. His heightened sense of hearing alerted him of approaching footsteps. Who could it be? He dragged his weight, with much effort, behind a wooden box. He saw an elderly man taking gingerly steps towards the railing. Some guy in need of fresh air, he thought. But the guy had other plans. He stepped on the railing, and looked towards the sky. He was about to take his life! Should he do something? But how would he explain his stuttering speech, his red eyes, his… His thoughts was caught short by the man, who, unlike he, didn’t take much time to decide and surrendered his body to gravity. It was not cowardice, it was self defense, he thought. Taking the last few drags, he called Maria.

“A Möbius strip can easily be created by taking a strip of paper, and giving it a half twist. Then you need to join the two ends of the strip to form a loop. Now, this loop will have only one side. If an ant were to walk along the surface of this strip, it will traverse the entire length of the strip on both sides of the original paper and return to the starting point, without ever crossing an edge. Hence, we conclude that the Möbius strip is uni-dimensional with only one side. The start becomes the end, and the loop is completed.”

 Maria had just taken a shower, when he entered. He having an extra key to the house was key to their affair. He had a sombre look on his face. ‘Maria,’ he whispered, ‘I guess I saw  a man die today.’ That explains the look on his face, she thought. Even while the colour was drained off his face, he looked alluring. Better than her husband, she told herself. She lied to her husband everyday, and she used to lie down with her lover, while he was away. She embraced him and her passion made him forget about the man on the railing.

The lecture on Möbius strip  was over. Few of the students told him goodbye. This motivated him further. He had never felt more alive, he thought again. The professor walked up the stairs, and continued walking ignoring the ‘Do Not Enter’ sign. The door hardly provided any resistance, and he found himself on top of the terrace, mesmerized by the view. He heard some scuffling behind, but dismissed it thinking it of as mind tricks. He walked towards the railing and stepped on it. Looking upwards towards the sky he closed his eyes. Scenes of his wife’s body entwined with that of a stranger flooded his mind. That was the final nail in the coffin. Maria, was the last word he ever spoke as his body took a free fall.

The start becomes the end, and the loop is completed.

Line Of Control

He glanced nervously around. The shadows being cast by the street lights were doing a good job of startling him. But he had to remain focused, for the job he was entrusted with, was dangerously important. Countless lives depended upon his act of bravery, he repeated it to himself. Perils have their own thrills.

Reaching the house, he rechecked his GPS co-ordinate to assure himself that he was standing in front of the right door. The door was slightly ajar. He tiptoed inside.

He took a moment to adjust his eyes to the dark surrounding. Irregular shapes morphed into furniture as he dilated his pupils. It took him exactly 37 seconds to convince himself that the ground level was clear. The winding stairs beckoned him. On another day, he would have paused to marvel at the architecture and the intricacies of the stairwell. On another day, he murmured.

There was a door open to the right. Positioning his Glock, he swiftly entered the room. But he wasn’t exactly, prepared for the ‘enemy’ waiting inside.

The woman was none as he had ever seen before in his life. Draped around in a silk bed-sheet, every feature of her body was visibly unequivocal. The moon-light reflected in her eyes and it was beguiling. Transfixed, he glided to her, feeling no body-weight whatsoever. He wanted to be one with her. He was losing control of his body, and he was willing to cross any lines for her.

—————————————————————————————————————-

“Let us all remember Garinder Singh, for the bravery he showcased. Soldiers do get killed when they cross the Line of Control, but he died a martyr’s death,” said the Major wiping away any traces of tear, after seeing his bullet-ridden body.

 

Kiss

He was gazing into her eyes. Wave after wave of love crashed the shore, in his reflection. The world around him paused and waited in anticipation. Even the air around him lingered for a while to gaze at them. Love is in the air, they said. Well said.

This was the moment. The only one surer of moment-certainty of this magnitude in history, was perhaps Glenn McDuffie when he ran across the street to kiss the nurse, when the Second World War was declared over. Kiss her, now! He held her in his hand and brought her face close to his and…

BANG!

Straight into her nose, he hit.

The art of kissing the right way is like that back-heel you pull off in football. You won’t know how to do it unless you try. Though the number of consenting adults who will be willing to try with you would be less than that the number of times Israel and Palestine would have honoured the ceasefire, the eternal search continues. It’s always better to know a few rules, right from the outset, to practise a kiss. You certainly won’t want your first impression to be the final nail in the coffin of your long term hopes.

Everyone nose it.

Make the alignment of your face correct before you lean forward. C’mon, it’s not as difficult as the Earth’s alignment with the galactic center. It saves you from being embarrassed and your partner’s nose from looking like Rudolf.

alignment

It sucks.

You know how the vacuum cleaner works? Good. Chances of your partner knowing it, would be pretty decent as well. You are not doing her any good, by demonstrating her your sucking abilities after you latch onto her tongue. You are a human, not a dementor.

dementor

Mind your tongue.

The urge to force in the tongue is too enticing to ignore. However, don’t let it loose like a withering electric eel. It’s your partner’s mouth, not some 16 ft by 12 ft swimming pool. Do it the Buddhist way. The calmer, the fiercer.

Don’t let the feeling stink in. 

While your partner is passionately trying to devour you, he/she wouldn’t really like your mouth to remind them of their grandmother’s socks. The mouth fresheners were invented for a reason. This reason.

Chew-tiyapa.

It is a normal routine for many people to chew on things like gums, MnM’s, candies. But make sure you spit it out, before you make out. It is not cool to play Hide and Seek with your gum, by placing it under your tongue (or your partner’s).

Don’t say while the sun shines.

A kiss is like a wine. It is supposed to be enjoyed till the taste lasts in the mouth. You would be violating the 11th Commandment by asking her what is she feeling like, or what is the gross GDP of Mozambique, with your tongue still inside her. Thou shalt not hiss while you kiss.

A kiss is a simple trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous. It is a person’s signature. It is the framework on which the relationship is sewed upon. It makes a  person feel happy, pacifying his innermost worries. So the world would be a much happier place if we kiss. The right way, that is.

Jesus: A mortal’s story

He was a man like every other, but with strong beliefs. His principles never stooped like a Willow tree in the wind, but stood firm like an Oak. He was defiantly against the unjust laws of the Roman Church, and wanted his voice to matter for a better tomorrow. An unjust law is no law at all, and he echoed this thought. Hence he was called the ‘Messiah’, the anointed one, or the chosen one.

Centuries later, his sobriquet would be confused with that of the Son of God.

He moved to the east, when he was 12. Traveler and a keen learner, he reached the land of the Himalayas, where he was introduced to many medicinal herbs. The locals sung folklore in which one such herb, Selaginella Bryopteris or commonly known as Sanjeevani, had revived some dead prince of Ayodhya. He pocketed many such wonder herbs for his people back home., where he cured leprosy, blindness, etc.

Centuries later, the herbs would never be written about and he would be considered divine.

There was a small water body, to the east of Jerusalem. When he strolled near it, the breeze which filled his lungs, made him realize that there was something wrong with the water. He had walked by countless seas and rivers and, never, the air was so much saline. He tasted it, and any doubts he had harboured, were allayed. He dived into the water but did not drown in it, as the water was denser than him. He called out his followers to join him. They were too awestruck to follow.

Centuries later, no one would mention the Dead Sea, but only the Prophet who rose from the dead.

When those in power got fed up of his rising popularity, they rounded him off for crucifixion. His travels had taught him many ways to feign death. Losing pulse was the easiest. He knew of Rhododendron plants near the Black sea in Turkey, which when administered stopped the pulse, and the heart. He carefully administered himself the right dosage and fooled the world about his death. When he woke up in his tomb, all he had to do was get out of that shroud draped across his body. Every magic trick involved three stages- The Pledge, where you make your audience believe in something, The Turn, when the disappearance happen, and then The Prestige, when the reappearance takes place.

Centuries later, everyone will forget the trick but elevate him to the status of God.

 

All religions, that is, all mythologies … are merely man’s own invention—Christ as much as Loki.

 

 

 

Insomnia

His eyes were wide open. The pupils showed no signs of dilation. He lost count of when was the last time he even blinked. He had tried all possible ways of inviting sleep, but sleep was not paying heed to his enticing calls. Maybe he hadn’t tried enough.

He stared at the ceiling. Shapes started forming from the shadows. He enjoyed looking at the monkey which jumped from one tree to another. Bang. He chuckled at the cloud’s feeble attempts to bump each off other from the imaginary track. Bang. He marveled when a bridge was constructed between two edges on the wall. Bang. Gun. Bang. Definitely, staring at the ceiling was not helping.

He tried keeping his eyes closed for eons, but ultimately it used to defy his willpower and open at even the slightest distraction on cue. The poundings at his door wasn’t helping either.

He remembered some statement that counting backwards helps in this case.

100, 99, 98, 97, 96, …

He knocks on the door. Waiting to be greeted by his wife. After a tiring day of work, he always used to look forward to the kisses she showered upon him.

81, 80, 79, 78, 77, …

She wasn’t opening the door. Aaaah. She might have slept. He had told her, he wouldn’t be coming in the night as work would be keeping him occupied. He pushed in his key in the keyhole, and gave it a rotation.

63, 62, 61, 59, 58, …

He walked up the stairs. Light was coming in through the shaft of the door. He tiptoed in wanting to surprise her, but…

47, 46, 45, 44, 43, …

he was surprised. Seeing his wife’s body entwined with someone else’s, he tried hard to tip the dipping scales of his mood in the favour of serenity. But her  words had more weight and they provided the final push, “Steve, what the fuck are you doing here?”

30, 29, 28, 27, 26, …

Fueled by anger, out came his gun. BANG. BANG. Two shots was all it took, to ensure that when they breathed their last, they were naked.. Pressing the cold muzzle of the gun to his temple, he pulled the trigger again. BANG.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

Counting backwards wasn’t helping either. He stood up, glided across the room, passed unnoticed by the neighbours whose poundings on the door had finally managed to bring the frame down.

Even though he would remain asleep forever, in a different realm, he could never sleep again.

Friday the 13th

She didn’t want to be alone in the flat, today. The fact that she stayed on the 13th floor aggravated her fear. She had phoned Steve to come over.  She glanced a furtive look at the clock. 90 minutes to midnight.

Suddenly, there was loud banging from the cupboard. She tried to ignore the sound but it was persistent. She reached for the cupboard’s door. The banging stopped, but the mirror on the cupboard looked odd to her. She raised her hand to tuck back a strand of hair behind the ears. Her reflection in the mirror, didn’t.

Petrified, she ran across the hallway to the living room, where she bumped into Steve.

Thank you Steve for coming here quickly. This place is haunted. Please take me to your place, instead” she said, collapsing into his arms.

You sure?” She nodded in reply.

Her phone buzzed at that very moment. She had received a text. From Steve.

‘Hey. Caught in traffic. Dnt wrry. Will rch in 20.’

Her skin turned pale. She felt as if every muscle in her body had mysteriously knotted itself, rendering her unable to move. She felt cold hands grip her by the shoulder.

You still sure?” She collapsed hearing this cold, deep whisper.

She woke up the next day in her flat, feeling unharmed. Heaving a huge sigh of relief, she was glad to have survived the ordeal and she even thought of passing it of as a nightmare. She lit her cigarette and spread the morning  newspaper on the reading table. As her eyes jumped from one headline to another, she saw something familiar in a section on the left. The obituary column had her name in it.

She died a second time.

 

Freitag_der_13._im_Kalender

Eleventh hour samaritan

August 5, 1945, Rijo Dori Ave.

It was dark and Tsutomu Yamaguchi was walking down the streets after a busy day at work. He wanted to reach home early and gulp down his half empty bottle of Suntory. As he rounded the corner, he saw a shadow darting towards him. Before his cerebral matter prepared  the defense mechanism of his body, he felt cold steel pierce his side. The look on the guy’s face was menacing. Strong jawline, stitches above the eye, swollen lips and a glare which could frighten the living daylights out of anyone. His face was the last thing he saw before he blacked out. Ruptured kidney was what he was left with.

August 6, 1945.

Tsutomu was moved out of Hiroshima to Akitsu for the special surgery. He promised himself to never forget that face.

August 7, 1945.

Newspaper headlines across the world were as follows:

20120203140353690_en_3_original hiroshima images KN93A

Tsutomu was glad for the ruptured kidney because of which he moved out of the now-mushroom-clouded Hirsohima. He promised himself to never forget that face.

Disha

As a child, Disha used to like solving anagrams. Finding order from chaos, patterns in random, was what she loved. It was not just a mere rearrangement of letters. It was fighting the natural order and reaching esoteric heights.

When she saw the STATUE OF LIBERTY, she thought it was BUILT TO STAY FREE.

When she saw a DECIMAL POINT, she actually heard it say- ‘I’M A DOT IN PLACE.

She turned down a DEBIT CARD because she saw BAD CREDIT in it.

And for her, TWELVE PLUS ONE and ELEVEN PLUS TWO, were two directions leading to the same destination.

When her crush walked up to her and said, ‘O YOU EVIL“, she was devastated. She cursed her not-so-fancy demeanour for the incident. But she forgot that when love and pain are coupled, it hampered the normal functioning of the grey cells. She forgot to look beyond the normal order for the only time it mattered to her. She forgot to decipher what he actually meant to say. She forgot that the 3 words which she heard was, in reality when rearranged, the 3 words on which every relationship thrives and survives.

Simplicity, with its charm, is dangerously complicated.