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Archive for April, 2008

Monkey

                                     

                                                                 

There is no light nor sound, which can reach this space, this 8 x 4 ft cell in which I have locked myself in. It is pitch dark and except for that one opening at the top of the cell, which allows air to enter, there are no windows or skylight.

 

I stretch my arms, but there is nothing I can see. I close my eyes and there is darkness. Even when I open them there is darkness. It is silent as a tomb inside, like the silence of the dead.


I am looking within, inside myself, my mind, my eyes closed. Volumes of sounds, conversations, pictures, flow out of my memory like reels of films I have put away somewhere, in the backburner. Ream upon ream of written matter, tapes of sounds and conversations….unending and on and on. If I open my eyes the thoughts cease only for a second. However, when I close my eyes, I am distanced from these flowing thoughts and can go on watching as each follows the other.

 

Until, the monkey takes hold of me.

 

The grey coat that covered your shoulders hung like a flowering shrub on a cliff, the colour perfectly matching your salt and pepper hair. Contrasting sharply with the hues of the soft pink shirt, the collar of which could just about be a little loose, but for your burgundy tie. I could feel my fingers tie a noose around your neck, so tight, that your lips pouted. Pearl-like teeth exposed between lustrous full lips like that of a woman’s.

 

My lips! You are wearing my lips.

 

We were at the conference of minds, great minds, great thoughts and great imagination. But I wanted a different diet.

 

The heat is on. It is summer, although, the air conditioning froze us.  My eyes have traveled to the cuff-links on your shirt. The diamond threw cutting glares at me.

 

I smiled.

 

Only a fool thinks that they can scare away the intent in a woman’s mind. A diamond’s sparkle, are no match to my ruby lips, my sapphire eyes, my garnet studded breasts.

 

With one dart of my eyes, the cuff-links can open to reveal the arm – the arm that will be around me in no more than a few seconds. And the buttons on the shirt will snap out, revealing a thick growth of darkness on your chest.

 

We are close together, just a few seats away. The tip of my shoe centimeters away from you. I can feel your growth of passion. I am wet too.

 

And then you rise, grabbing the coat around you, buttoning it, just a bit too late. I have seen the size and length of the whole summer.

It did rain heavily that night. There were puddles of water everywhere. We rained passion, we bathed in love. Not once, not twice, many times over.

 

The overwhelming thought is but one – you, your passion for me. I can feel it now, my limbs are limp….you are all over me, inside me, outside me, the throbbing reality of a mind gone astray, uncontrolled in your arms I am experiencing the union of powerful energies, wild animal desires and I can feel the throbbing at the base while I rise to the occasion in my heart, my breasts thrust and plastered against your chest. I can see your face, contorted by the agony of  the last minute tension just before the release of peace…I can see the last straw before you let go.

 

Forbidden fruits of labour hammer in the last nail on the coffin, the death of Self and the birth of Cosmic Orgasm.

 

I am still sitting in the same pose, lost in the finale of the act, far away from the world I am here to discover. Monkeys. Demons of the past. Another hour lost to the conniving devices of the mind. Far, too far, from where I wish to be.

 

I am sitting in the Buddha pose. Silence is around me. Stillness so unmoving, it is like death. My mouth is shut and there is no energy that is moving outward and feeding the mind further. Thus, the thoughts are slowly receding and I settle in Silence….. The Silence of the Lamps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NB: Art by Smriti Vohra 

 

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                                                        One-Handed Basket Weaving

 

There was a dervish who lived alone in the mountains,

who made a vow never to pick fruit from the trees,

or to shake them down,

or to ask anyone to pick fruit from him.

 

“Only what the wind makes fall.”

This was his way

of giving in to God’s will.

 

There is a traditional saying from the Prophet

that a human being is like a feather in the desert

being blown about wherever the wind takes it.

 

So for a while in the joy of this surrender

he woke each dawn with a new direction to follow.

 

But then came five days with no wind,

and no pears fell.

 

He patiently restrained himself,

until a breeze blew just strong enough

to lower a bough full of ripe pears

close to his hand, but not strong enough

to detach the pears.

 

He reached out and picked one.

 

Nearby, a band of thieves were dividing

what they had stolen.

 

The authorities surprised them and immediately

began the punishments: the severing

of right hands and left feet.

 

The hermit was seized by mistake

and his hand cut off,

But before his foot could be severed also,

he was recognised.

 

The prefect came. “Forgive these men.

They did not know. Forgive us all!”

 

The sheikh said, “This is not your fault.

I broke my vow, and the Beloved

has punished me.”

 

He became known as Sheikh Aqta,

which means, ‘the teacher

whose hand has been cut off’.

 

One day a visitor entered his hut without knocking

and saw him weaving palm-leaf baskets.

It takes two hands to weave!

 

“Why have you entered without warning?”

 

“Out of love for you.”

 

“Then keep this secret which you see

has been given to me.”

 

But others began to know about this,

and many came to the hut to watch.

 

The hand that helped

when he was weaving palm leaves

came because he no longer had any fear

of dismemberment or death.

 

When those anxious, self-protecting

imaginations leave, the real,

cooperative work begins.

 

        Jalaluddin Rumi, Mathnawi, III

 

 

At last, the walls that were full of stories written of you and me have left their hold on me. They have just dropped away. For years I held in the crevices of my mind, indeed all the empty spaces inside, words, thoughts, acts, memories…

 

Suddenly, the walls are no more. They have vanished. Not even whitewashed! They have no colour; not even the absence of colour. The stories have just vanished. There is no rubble to retrieve the stories from, even if I wanted to. Just nothing! All is gone!

Chor aaye hum, woh galiya…..said Gulzar. He was right. I too have left the gallis and the roads. Even, those rooms in my mind full of your fragrance. I know I held on to them as long as I needed them. These stories had their purpose. They took me on a journey to my Self. They broke my resistance and they brought the flood to my eyes. They seasoned me, molded me, twisted me like you turn an iron rod in the furnace to make it steel…and when that is done, neither the iron knows itself, nor is the furnace any more needed.

 

Suddenly the walls that were full of stories of you and me are no more. They have disappeared. As long as I was insecure without them, they were with me.

 

When those anxious, self-protecting

imaginations leave, the real,

cooperative work begins.

 

Goodbye Devashish! Our work together is over. I must be on my Way…..

 

 

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