Friday, May 02, 2008

That Which We Don't See

People notice certain things after particular intervals, like the alternating seasons. It might be a way of injecting spice into a monotonous life; it might be habit, or it might be a fundamental property of human consciousness. Whatever it is, it gives variety to the human experience, which, when we look at it from a distance (this is a dangling statement in itself) isn't much varied at all. (Human beings are born, they live and they die: whatever can be said can be said in three words.)

So, this particular person, having built an impressive collection of movies, is now contemplating (now that a salary hike is around the corner) purchasing a recliner from a reputed manufacturer. He wants to wallow in comfort while enjoying the fruit of his labour (which is, sitting cross-legged in a pose resembling the praying mantis or the posing stork and adjusting the parameters of the leeching/seeding cycle, letting the heart flutter with each dropping down of the TCP/IP transmission ramp, and gleefully celebrating the rising edge of the ramp). And suddenly he remembers that one cannot watch movies per se, ad nauseaum, but one watches one or at the most two a day, with the undesirable effect that the first film is washed away, or gets drowned, in the second. So, for the best viewing experience, one film per day seems enough. And he becomes conscious of the so-called movie-watching cycle, or the movie cycle.

Suddenly, like a newly sprouted mushroom opening its eyes to find dolmen-like fellow-creatures all around him in silent contemplation of tranquillity, he is aware of so many of the cycles which ward off dour routine. Cycles, by an almost spontaneous flareup of the imagination and a consequent benumbing of the reality, make us forget, for varying durations of time for different persons, that we are all clogged in our own pigeonholes all the time, never able to extend our tentacles more than a few arm lengths from our rotting bodies. Cycles...make us forget the status quo, which is the stationary state, or stagnation. More importantly, cycles takes away that one bean of awareness which is fundamental to the experience of surprise: cycles take away our awareness of, and preparedness for, cycles. Cycles are omniscient, in that it knows why it exists and what it must not let happen for it to exist. It is self-perpetuating by the stratagem of make-forget. To occasionally become aware of cycles, and each time have the same thoughts about cycles without feeling remorseful or wasted, was to experience god. It is a simple communion that we allow ourselves in the age of tactile implosion where even the privacy of death is open to investigation, and the event itself commemorated in the potfuls (pintfuls?). Surprises take the role of God in an age devoid of goodness.


The plant had overgrown the shrub stage and was on the road to becoming a tree. Water spouted in the general direction of the dead leaves, and he observed two small black dragonflies, silky gossamer wings wetted in black and girded by sheer, luculent white, flap on to a branch in an almost casual sweep. Their cloaca were joined in a dreamy forgetfulness, and he looked away. Water spouted, and his left arm was tickled by the insolent spray. Alas! He now saw it: both the dragonflies were dead, but one of them seemed to have a little bit of life left. No, he was mistaken. He felt oddly disturbed. It was a cool morning, cool for that part of the year, but the heat arose in him inexplicable, but he knew: did he frighten the creatures, did they suffer a heart-attack and give it up just then...? Oh! It was quite possible, he was aware of it; and he helplessly wished it were otherwise. But there was no one around, he was alone, there was no consolation of judgement. From a distance, he flung his eyes for a fleck of dirt on the dead leaves.

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