The Cigarette and the Brothel
I sit in the balcony, numb. I could also be sitting amidst the bustle of a cold lounge of a busy airport, waiting for another flight. It wouldn't have been any different.
Cold and distant, I look like I am invincible. I want to look that way. I want to be that way, undefeated by touch, sound, voice, sight or taste. There is peace in feeling that I am in control, completely.
But feelings? A thought quips inside. I slaughter the thought instantly.
Deep inside I am scared, lest my belief gives in to the feelings that I ignore with so much ruthlessness. Feelings should never be under-estimated.
Not long ago, some words had helped me look beyond the mere apparent, at the intricate design that lies behind all. The gurgling rivers and the mighty mountains had pacified my broken heart.
And I had marveled innocently and then believed.
The same words today team up to shake the foundations of my belief. I struggle to re-affirm that in faith lays the salvation of mankind. I fight to convince myself that all the strife and the pain has a reason and will culminate to a single purpose.
Words are bloody whores! They dance to anybody's tunes, anybody who cares to spare the time to play a tune. A tune in resonance with their thoughts. A billion thoughts of a single person.
Pain, not the physical one but the one inside, almost has this physical nature too. It resides somewhere in the region between the throat and the heart, like this big thorn dug right through deep inside. Every breath you take fans the fire, makes the burning embers glow hotter. You can't stop breathing all of a sudden now, can you? No matter what you do, this remains in the background like a reminder, a testimony to the fact that you have caused pain.
There may be a thousand correct reasons which justify what you have done. But that one hurt, bewildered look of the other contender, caught unawares, can never be ignored.
I have lived in denial. I am ready to accept now that when a person spews venom around and is brutal, he may not be motivated by sadistic pleasure or trivial whims and fancies. He may not also be avenging himself. Maybe, inflicting pain and misery is inevitable to bring about certain kinds of change. And believe me, in this case, it hurts to raise the weapon as much as it does to bear the blow.
It is far easier to conform to oddities, adjust with complex challenges, remain mum even if you don't like certain things around you and smile as if you didn't have a care in the world. Those are the expectations that everybody sets for everybody else in the world. What is tough is to have the audacity to defy these expectations. What is tough is to raise a voice and demand your right. What is tough is to see disappointment when you say that you didn't get what you deserved. This requires real strength, real courage. After a long time today, I need a smoke.
Reality lives everywhere: in the subways, on blogs, in your filthy mind, on the pages of your favorite book, in the news channels, inside your mom's hopes, even on MTV. In India, you can't escape it.Sometimes, this reality is hard to swallow.
You may be living inside your own comfortable cocoon, with your can't-be-bothered-more attitude, but that doesn't stop destiny from throwing a towel, dripping with grime on your face, sometimes.
At these times, you don't even know whom you can ask, 'Why me? What did I ever do to you?’
You have to wipe the shit clean from your face. (As fast as you can. You can't let your friends know, can you?)
A piece of paper, in essence, like life itself, you can't help thinking. The fire burning within ironically being put out, by one burning outside. The smoke engulfing you albeit for a few seconds, in that anonymity you covet so much. The burnt bitter taste that it leaves deep down into your throat, analogous to the ugly, gory chunk of truth that you just swallowed. And as you stub out the embers, in the end, the realization that you have grown. Some experience, you can bet on!
As a note to the smokers reading this: This blog is not to be used as a writ condoning your compulsion (read addiction!) The statutory warning bit does not apply to me as I am not addicted.