Now that the sea retreats, the sand has a doubt…maybe you’re just a thought that I thought…
I was beginning to learn that your life is a story told about you, not one that you tell.
-John Green, Turtles All the Way Down.
Chicken Biryani @ Rs. 80 – I read from the giant menu board with a picturesque background printed right out of Laura Vitale’s YouTube thumbnails, and me being in a state of starvation, the doormat at the entrance seemed no less than God’s own flying carpet. My brain felt like a centrifuge – and I don’t even know that word properly – it just felt moving round and round and round – as if my mind was Jupiter and my thoughts were cyclones. If I fell unconscious at the door, I’d lose my phone, my wallet and my key, and so I did not have that luxury, I reminded myself.
I trudged in and walked up to the counter. The receptionist was a lanky man. There was nothing attractive about him. I know as a writer I’m supposed to give you descriptions but when my great immortal love story is written, I am pretty sure we won’t need this guy. So stick with the adjective lanky for a while because that’s all I remember.
” Chicken Biryani. “I said. He looked at me, registered my voice, had them transferred to his basilar membrane where tiny hairs did a little piano show before transferring the message through electric pulses which hit his auditory cortex where the brain decoded it and then his primary motor cortex told him to get his hand out of his pocket through a really long chain of nerves sparkling with electricity and so he moved it out, took out his pen, took out another hand to pull out the cap, kept the cap on the table, then flipped the register on his desk, after which he put his pen on a blank space and made really slow loops.
Yeah that’s how long it went.
“That’d be 80 rupees. “He said. He didn’t like his job. I keep meeting all those people who don’t like their jobs. And then I wonder why there’s so much negative energy all around me. I took a seat and let my mind do a little free fall into the cyclone.
The world may seem quiet and everything, but if you flip every human being inside out, you’ll know what Dante Alighieri meant by hell when he wrote Inferno 700 years ago.
This is a sick place and a sick millennium. And that’s how it’s always been in every millennium and in every place. The utopias exist only in our imaginations. So here’s a little thought –
our utopia is almost perfect. The contrasts of it are limited to diverse shades of a butterfly, or diverse shapes of a snowflake, which do not, for example, produce energy equivalent to 50 megatons of TNT up somebody’s ass. So the ideal world that we create are free of our own concepts of sin, and are attempts towards a little more organised and beautiful landscape.
Now suppose you are the creation of an other worldly being. All your physical realities are the result of somebody’s overdose of philosophy. Just like your Utopian puppets don’t realise the fakeness of their existence, you don’t have the tools to realise the fakeness of yours. Just like you are making up a world of your own, sitting in a random chair at Bhagalpur Junction, maybe you too are a made up thought. Maybe somebody’s in a 4 dimensional sofa, munching 4 dimensional pop corns and thinking of a character at a railway station which is you. Maybe you are a part of his Utopia.
Having established that, I delve further into the world of higher beings. Previous versions characterise them as omnipotent, omnipresent noble beings – people with long sparkling white beards who’d make it rain bullion with a click of their fingers, for example.
But here’s a contrast – if we are a part of their utopia, we are, by their definition, at an ideal state. The horrible sins of our world is just a contrast of shades to them, a diversity of shapes, a difference that’s not really harmful. I wonder at what levels do the criminals operate there. Like, what sort of badassry is a bailable offence in a higher dimension district court. And like how do you divorce somebody?
It gives me deep chills. I dart my eyes around in nervousness and tell myself that I’m not a made up thought. My heart beats frantically. This demon of inside is hard to kill.
I am not a made up thought.
That’s what she thinks, too.
Shut up. She is real.
Yes. I’ve seen her. We’ve chatted. We fuckin went to the same school. I’ve known her for half my life. She is real. Doctor is real. I’ve got her pictures.
Is she, though?
In Memento, Lenny creates the memories that drive his life. Without them, he’s just a working human body. At some far horizons, the difference between real and unreal vanishes. The solid land beneath your feet floods every full moon, but when the beautiful night is over, all you’re left with is a tide retreating back to the sea – a reality touched by an unreality. The imprints left on the wet sand is what you refer to as life.
“Here it is. “Said the waiter as he plonked the food at my table. My stomach started live drum ceremonies, so I ate like it was my last meal, the image of a retreating tide ebbing away in the back of my mind.
to be continued….