Sunday, April 24, 2005

The Island of Incomplete Lives

In the Island of Incomplete Lives, I live my life like no one else does. I eat fish, drink wine and sing to the stars.

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I materialized in the Island at a time when the universe, as you know it, just began to become the universe that you don’t yet know. Do you understand? I mean many things by that. Again I apologize for the unintended hurt to your ego, but soon you will see why it is important for me make a disclaimer that any sentences that you come across subsequently which you may find weird, grotesque, unbelievable or plain nonsense are on account of a deficient understanding of my world on your part and not for any lack of coherence on my part. I have attempted to describe my world in your words being as fair as a stranger can be to an alien world, which is an effort I have undertaken with the hope that someday, my world will be understood by certain inhabitants of your world. Back to the instant where you were about to make a call on whether you now know what you don’t yet know or you do not know what you now know. Make the call. Too late? It never really is.

Did you know that your life is made of infinite such moments - if only you take time to make the call?

Anyway, at one such instant I materialized in this Island when the sun shone brightly upon me from a window and I woke up from a slumber. It came to me that I no longer felt needed, yet I was happy and content. Evidently, I was fairly mature and well educated by then, because my cognitive powers afforded me the luxury to think about my condition and make appropriate mental remarks. And suddenly, I was sobbing, sitting up.

I could not understand why. Oh, and then a dog was beside me. He looked sick, though he was of the finest breed of Alsatians, and he sat there by my side for a long time. He gazed at my eyes – his eyes fixed at mine as though he were a statue. Soon after, he was not there any more. I called out his name, repeatedly, but he did not come back.

I stood up now and walked, limping slightly, past the huge cabinet and the mirror on my left and a small table to my right. The door was wide open now, almost inviting. I walked out and looked beyond. There was a corridor that opened on to a street, bustling with the shouts of the hawkers and the high-pitched voice of a singer blaring out of nowhere. I looked at the skies above, as if in prayer. I did not say anything, although I felt I wanted to say a lot.

Then I was on the main road walking against the strong current of people in a hurry to get somewhere – mostly in a direction away from my home. I do not know if people in your world are as much in a hurry to get in front of the person ahead, who in turn is in a hurry to get ahead, but such is the situation here. I saw a short balding man lifting up another short balding man from the road. He had evidently fallen down. Humanity exists in my world. Going further down the road I came to know that he had tried to jump into a moving bus, after a brief chase necessitated by the twin factors of love and poverty. Love exists in my world. It’s a nice world; I don’t want to leave this. When I talked to him, he spoke about taking his son out to buy him a cricket bat and how he had to hurry home in a bus because he could not afford to spend money to rush home in an auto if he was to buy his son a bat. In your world too, I presume, fathers routinely fall off buses in their hurry to rush home to make their children happy.

I walked a few minutes for eternity. Thoughtful. Alone.

Later, I was in a dark hellish room, where glasses were emptied as pockets were, legs were shaken as spirits were; music was forgotten for noise as people forgot themselves. I appeared to be enchanted by the sophisticated gibberish expostulated by a man who seemed to be in a very conversational mood. And when he said, “Too young to die, there?” I knew I had had enough. I made my way out of there.

I emptied the bottle. Do it now, it will be all over in ten minutes. Yes. Make the call. Here is the point of no return. I was tired; too much now! Why does the world not need me? Or why does it? And I thought I knew too much about myself to trust anything good would happen to me?

I am now walking out of a pharmacy store with a bottle full of tablets; then arguing with the chemist who wanted to know my age. Will he give it to me? Oh, come on ask him, be a man!………

* * * * * * *

That - then - is my story; from the time I woke up from my slumber (my birth) until the moment I crossed the point of no return. I am cursed and condemned to a life without choice, devoid of the power to change a thing, only to remain a witness to my own life – helplessly. It is something I have never experienced – living my life according to my thoughts, my volition, and my will.

Can you experience it in your world?