If God had not given us the sense of touch


We would have not known goosebumps by a child’s touch.

We would have beaten up a child and he wouldn’t have cried much.

We would have kissed without our hearts managing a flutter.

We would have sought new forms of tortures that served us better.

We would have held hands and not felt sensations.

We would have sprayed bullets and death would have danced sans afflictions.

We would have lost stirring of love and the warmth of passion.

We would have thrown acid on a sleeping woman and turned her painlessly ashen.

We would have not known the tenderness of an embrace

We would have not known a stinging slap on our face.

We would have not felt our feet going numb in snow

We would have not known the blinding Sun’s burning grow.

We would have not smiled at the wetness of the rain.

We would have been stung by bees without the pain.

We would have not known a tear sliding silently down with a dream.

We would have burnt a bride and she would have died without a scream.

We would have not known when winds had gathered around.

We would have bled to death without knowing the searing pain of a wound.

We would have feared death and not the pain that comes before it.

We would have welcomed life sans the fear of pain that bore it.

We would have been equals as endurance would have no gender.

We would have lived in a different world where touch had no splendor.

[image from here]

The Liquefied Indian

Sometimes when the doors of the Delhi Metro swoosh open and you get out, you get this beautiful sight of people standing on either side of the door, waiting patiently for you to get down. You feel like Moses, who has just parted the Red sea. Unfortunately, it’s not the long lost virtue of patience making a comeback but a guard with a whistle on each of the door, who is responsible for the shockingly sensible behavior. You have to be the first one to descend the coach to live in this utopia. If you have the misfortune of being the last one, then the red sea will rush towards you like a broken dam and you will wish for a wooden staff to hit each of the droplets on their head. It looks like osmosis and reverse osmosis happening simultaneously. Liquid rushes in and liquid rushes out. We don’t walk. We flow.

Living in India sometimes feels like being a liquid in a cistern. When someone upturns the vessel, we all rush in to take the shape of whatever we are upturned into.

When we form long queues outside counters, the lines start multiplying. It is as if the empty spaces between the lines are too much to bear and suddenly the main branch of the river sprout out distributaries which then continue their journey towards the ocean counters. There is a ladies distributary, sometimes a senior citizens distributary while the main male river watches impatiently.

When we drive on roads, nothing can come close to the miracle of creating 8 lanes on a 4 lane road other than the creation of the universe. The cars squeezed so close that if there is an Autobot war in the middle of the road, no one would stand a chance of opening their doors and running. Everyone will die sitting in their cars watching as a huge Autobot feet crush them or complicated weapons turn them into a sandwich (But wait! That happens only in America, right?). And did I mention motorbikes? They are like those ocean currents flowing inside large oceans. They twist and turn and have a life of their own, spilling on footpaths and broken terrains.

When a lift opens in your office, you see the desperation in the eyes of the people trying to get in. There is no guard with a whistle because they thought software engineers were sensible. The dam is broken and floods the door. You look at the tsunami and feel like parting it with a scream but you stand and stare at it. It parts under your gaze. The feet of a few defiant waves are crushed under the sole of your shoe. Ooh! Aah! Ouch! Am I supposed to fly over you?

Go to the canteen in your office and the tea counter is brimming with humans, buzzing randomly without any queue. As the tea is poured in cups, you witness acts of bravery where people scoop away cups with the dexterity of jewel thieves, sometimes burning their hands by the falling tea. You witness acts of treachery where software engineers plot like mother-in-laws to break through the crowd and position themselves at the correct angles to reach the cup at the right time. It is in our blood, you remind yourself and laugh. Education has nothing to do with it.

Go to a popular temple and you will be pushed and pulled alongside the crowd. You do not have to walk. Just go with the flow and soon you will feel like water flowing through an intricate labyrinth of canals. You will not even realize that the deity that you have come to see with such devotion has whirled past you as you churn in the whirlpool.

And where else would you find people hanging out of trains, buses and shared auto-rikshaws? People try to take the shape of any available vacant space. They are allowed to sit on top of the trains and buses. I too have traveled in a bus numerous times looking like the alphabet S. Those times are over but for how long?

We have lost our patience. There are so many of us cramped in so little that it is suffocating at times. We want to rush out of it, like ants rushing out of their nest if you flood it with water. Our numbers have turned us aqueous. We have stopped balancing moralities. When I hear honks blaring, I hear despondency, I hear death of composure, I hear a silent human cry like that of a bat. We all want to get home quickly because there is so less time to share with our family. There is so less time that we start defying logic. Cars don’t fly. You have to let the people come out of a lift before you get in. Multiple lines will not make it faster. Devotion needs perseverance.

How did we come to this? Why did we multiply like spiders with such lassitude towards the future? Why did we create this monster for our children to bear? It is a terrible feeling to imagine the time when we will overtake China in population. When we think about the future, we imagine order, calmness. But we all know that will not be our future and it is an uneasy, terribly terrifying thought.

The dam is broken and we are rushing forward with all the power of destruction we could muster.

Tell me your dreams

While reading Xylene’s post on dreams, I started to ponder over the dreams which my brain cooks up while I am fast asleep. Earlier, I used to remember quite a lot of them but now a days, the memories just fade away too soon to grasp as soon as I wake up. Guess, I am getting old. My dreams are very vivid and colorful and yes, weird by all means.

So, here are my top four personal favourites from my kitty of dreams which I remember with all the minute details because of various reasons, one of them being that they scared the shit out of me. Here goes –

  • I am sitting on the top stair of a stairway and someone is climbing the stairs and coming towards me. I can see the feet, the dangling palms and my own terrified face. He catch hold of my hand and drags me down the stairs, very much like the vamp dragging the heroine out of her husband’s house. I am crying and pleading and its hurting like hell and there is blood all over my legs as I reach the bottom of the stairs. [ The dream ends here and I wake up completely terrified. This was a recurring dream for a long time and I could never understand the significance. ]
  • I am in a deep sleep when a whisper wakes me up. Its my mother calling me, slowly in a very soft whisper. I get up and see her standing next to my bed. Its very dark but I can still make her our. There is something terribly wrong with her. Her face is twisted and her hair are all over her face. Her hands are lurching forward towards my neck and the nails are longer than usual. Her feet are not on the ground but twisted backwards from the knee and she is floating in air, inches above the ground. She floats towards me and I scream in horror and run towards my sister’s room. I open the door and call her name and there she is, floating towards me and hands stretched out. I run towards the master bedroom where I am confident of hearing my father’s glass shattering snores, but before I reach there I wake up. [ I was drenched in sweat when this one finished and was constantly looking at the female population in the house with suspicion for a few days. ]
  • I wake up and look outside the window of my bedroom. Our house now stands in the middle of the ocean. I get up hurriedly and look out of each and every window but all I can see is water all around. Suddenly Pirate ships appear and start attacking each other with cannons, with our house standing in the middle of this attack [ This dream came much before “Pirates of the Caribbean” was released. Gore Verbinski must not have even thought about the concept when I encountered this dream ]. Anyways, the fight intensifies and soon many of the pirates were flooding our house to save themselves. I and my family were the innocent victims who happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. We try to help and save as many pirates as possible and our house is hit by the cannon balls too. Soon the fight is over and we are left with a half broken house in the middle of the ocean and a few sinking ships around the house. One thing which I very distinctly remember is the glittering water in sunlight when I looked out of the bedroom window. That scene was spectacular.
  • I am with my sister at the terrace and we are playing with the stars. We are arranging them in the sky in various patterns with the motion of our fingers and they move according to our command. I motion a group of stars to fly like birds across the sky while my sister commands a few of them to fall like shooting stars. Suddenly the sky is covered with very dark clouds and all the stars vanish. My mother comes and tell us to stop playing with the stars and get inside as she is having a very bad feeling about this. We move inside the house and suddenly the sky is filled with alien ships. We stare at them in horror as the aliens start descending and start marching on the road in front of our house. We can see a lot of our neighbours who are being pulled out of their houses are killed. One of the alien turn and see me and my sister watching them through a half opened door on the terrace. He breaks away from the formation and plunge towards us and enters our house as we run away screaming. [ This is where I wake up ]

I could never understand what those dreams meant. They might be my mind’s reaction to various facts and incidences collected by my subconsciousness. They might be a lot of Neurons overworking. Till date, there is no concrete theory on the occurrence of dreams. The only thing known is that most of the dreams occur during the REM(Random Eye movement) sleep, when the eyes flutter beneath the closed eyelids. That is why we always remember the dream if we wake up suddenly during this period. And maybe that’s why I remembered those dreams.

Anyways, I am moving back to Delhi tomorrow. My friends here are sad, I am sad, my mom is reacting the way a spider would react who has just spotted an entrapped fly in his web and I think all this is a dream. But more on it later. 🙂