Sunday, April 27, 2008

Bumpy Road

Soon after the US Pizza, I and Anil decided to visit Rajneesh Krishna (RK), the Consumer Behavior faculty at MICA. I still felt I had some psychiatric disorder but its symptoms had become too complex for any inference to be made. The loss of individuality at US Pizza didn’t gel in with anything I had read or known. I told RK about my low mood and tried to relate it to my unrequited love for Priyanka. I don’t know why I mentioned Priyanka to him although she hadn’t figured in prominently in my thoughts which had an existential flavor. He showed interest in my thought-pattern and asked me not to regard it as pathological in nature. He told me about his experience in IIT-B when he had lost his father. In those days, he was mortally scared of crows and used to be afraid that a crow would come and bite him. When somebody told him about the strong association of crows with death in Indian culture (crows are associated with ancestral spirits and shraddhas (ceremonial month when ancestral spirits are offered funeral oblations) in Hinduism) and related his fear of crows with his refusal to accept the death of his father, he was cured of the fear. He felt I was depressed due to pent- up emotions which needed to be unveiled. He asked me to come again when Shubra Gaur, the Organizational behavior faculty would also be there. Gaur talked to me from a psychodynamic perspective and tried to gather information about my childhood and intimate relations. All that came through in that conversation was my neurotic obsession with the mountains where I had grown up and my pain at Priyanka’s rejection of my deep love for her. Gaur asked me to acknowledge fully that Priyanka never loved me. I told her I had accepted that the relation had ended. She said, “A relation has to exist to end. The truth that you must acknowledge is that you never had a relation with her.” This hurt like hell. It hurt because it was true. I had loved her and her alone yet we had no relation. Priyanka herself told me the same thing in almost the same words a few weeks later. Shubra told me I didn’t show any symptoms of bipolar or biological depression which even otherwise, couldn’t be confirmed without a bio-chemical analysis of brain. She asked me to consult a psychodynamic psychotherapist whom she knew. She also asked me if I would like to see PAT ( Professor Atul Tandon), the director of MICA. I was ok with it. I met PAT along with Gaur, RK and Anil. He asked me if I wanted to talk to him in private. He asked about the cause of my low mood and the strategy I had adopted to cope with it. Again I related it to my unrequited love for Priyanka. Priyanka had become a scapegoat for my archetypical fossils of id.
The doctor Gaur had recommended was Darshan Shah. Young and understanding, he was the best of this breed I have come across. I told him about my fear of going insane. He said it was unfounded and asked me not to leave the hostel for home but to continue the therapy with him. As a psychodynamic psychotherapist, his approach was, of course, radically different from the neuropsychiatrists I had consulted earlier. We discussed my past. I told him about my experiences at US Pizza and Desai’s clinic I also told him about a teenage incident when I had spoken to my father as some supernatural entity who had ‘occupied’ my biological body. He showed interest in it and asked me to describe the incident. It had happened in 1998 when I was studying in tenth standard. One night, I had told my father in chaste Hindi ( we always use Punjabi at home) that I was not his son but a yogabhrishta ( a fallen yogi/ spiritual seeker) who had entered the body of his son to fulfill his carnal desires. Besides I had asserted my superiority over him as an experienced yogi who was a master of the occult and the mystical with the ability to enter into the bodies of others. My father asked me if I remembered what I had told him in the night the next morning and I replied in the negative though my memory of the conversation was perfect. I had lied to avoid awkward questions for I had no idea why had I talked in that manner with him. I asked Shah if it was a psychotic episode. He said it wasn’t a psychotic episode. . He said psychotic episodes are characterized by amnesia which was clearly not the case with me. He felt it may have been disassociation. However, still the fact that I remembered it well was crucial. As I attended more of his sessions, I told him about my neurotic attachment with the mountains which he related to gigantic archetypes in my unconscious. he felt the peace I felt in the mountains or around an ocean was due to the physical reflection of my internal mountains of archetypes which such landscapes offered. He further felt I was unable to express aggression or hostility and its suppression was creating a knot in my mind. I found this insight relevant to my life-experiences.
Then I told him about my masochistic fantasies. Masochism is a term derived from the name of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch who authored ‘Venus In Furs’ in which he talked about being enslaved and humiliated by a woman. Some people relate physical violence along with vulgar and disgusting things with masochism. My fantasies were concerned with having to submit before an all-powerful female divinity who was endowed with awesome majesty and power. I had these fantasies form a very young age- at least from the age of five.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Purity Of Being

Towards the end of 2005, I had a profound experience. After the fit of incoherence at Desai’s clinic, I was apprehensive about staying in hostel and wanted the comfort of home. I told this to Anil, my roommate. He asked me to give him a treat before I left (he really loved his food!). We went to US Pizza, an eating point, one evening. I had come there for the sake of Anil and had no appetite myself.
As I was sitting there, I felt my consciousness rising as a powerful current up my body towards my skull. I felt immense lightness of being. Gradually my individual identity melted away. I was aware of profound peace and pure being- a lightness which was soothing and immensely relaxing – but there was no sense of individuated identity. It’s impossible to put it in words. Being was but I was nowhere. Consciousness was but there was nobody who was conscious. Awareness existed free of time, space, sex, age or any other encumbrance. It was profoundly peaceful. I was free from ‘myself’ – from my clutter of life-experiences, hopes and fears, thoughts and the usual psychological process. The body was extraordinarily light, almost non-existent and the mind was in abeyance. There was no sense of a self distinct from the environment and no ego. However awareness was profound. And freedom was immense. It was the defining moment of my life.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Beating The Retreat

My psychic forces had given up the patrol. The cannon had exploded in the castle of the primeval unconscious. ‘Beating the retreat’ ceremony was in progress. The battleground of the body was in internal turmoil. The gods of absurdity were howling. Forces of material consciousness were putting on their last defense. The call of the day was ‘back to the barracks’ after a final showdown.
A few days after Diwali, I went back to Desai, the previous doctor. I told him about my experience after taking the pill he had prescribed and the other doctor’s advice to change the diagnosis. He talked something about labels being meaningless and new psychiatric wisdom talking about a broad spectrum of mood disorders ranging from cyclothymia to bipolar. He said the only thing that mattered was coping with it and living a seemingly normal life. I was apprehensive about becoming a pill-dependent zombie but he felt it was the only way out.
“Whenever you feel low, call it depression and gulp a pill. When you feel high, call it mania and gulp a pill. When you feel normal, call it boring and gulp a pill. Three hurrahs for the pill!!!” As I was sitting and listening to his idiotic nonsense, I had a strange experience. How should I put it? I lost control over myself. My mind went blank for a while and then words came spontaneously and with conviction, “My problem has nothing to do with psychology. The thing is that I am absolutely alone in this vast world. I don’t have a single soul to truly call my own – not a single soul.” The ejaculation was accompanied by a strange state – I felt an alien in my body- and my consciousness seemed to have transcended the barrier of temporal identity. To put it simply, I was aware, but not of my usual identity. I was just aware of ‘being’ contaminated with a flavor of absurdity. I tried to speak but nothing came out of my lips. When I came back to myself a bit, I wanted to leave the clinic. The good doctor said, “You forgot the payment part.” I paid him quickly and left.
The experience was more than disconcerting. I was filled with a strange terror as I walked around on the highway. Had I lost my sense of coherence? Had I gone mad? I shuddered at contemplating life as a lunatic. I imagined myself roaming around aimlessly – living on scraps from some garbage-pit, alienated from my family, alienated form humanity, worse than an animal. I had forgotten myself for a while in that clinic! I had gone through blues earlier but had never lost my grip on ‘reality.’
I was apprehensive of another fit of incoherence and decided home was the only safe place in case of a remission. I feared I had some psychiatric disorder and was afraid of social stigma in the hostel. I felt against traveling alone in that state of mind. A family friend had been posted as a Colonel in Gandhinagar cantonment till a hew months back from then. He arranged for a JCO to accompany me on my journey back home. I had told about my condition to Anil, my roommate. I was in a very relaxed state, having admitted myself as somebody in the need of help. I watched light movies and enjoyed surrendering myself to the perceived infirmity. Some General visited the cantonment and the leave of the JCO was postponed for some days. Anil suggested that I talk to somebody from the faculty about my state of mind. We zeroed in on Rajneesh Krishna, the Consumer Behavior faculty.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Last Defence

The intellect had one last weapon in its arsenal and it used it the moment its reserves were finished. A part of me told me I was suffering from something close to clinical depression. I was missing lectures big time and a component of the grades were supposedly attached to them (you could never be sure of anything in MICA). I googled ‘Ahmedabad Psychiatrist’ and went to the first doctor that I found listed on the net. He was a neuro-psychiatrist, aloof in his detached professional attitude and lacking in basic humanity though glib in theorizing about the need of an understanding friend. He asked me to take pills for depression. I said I wanted to cope without them- through exercise or some breathing technique. He asked me to try such methods which he was sure were bound to fail and to come back to him when I realized my complete impotence before the goddamned pill. I tried to cope on my own by seeking the help of Anil, my roommate, to wake me up before the classes and by exercising physically. However I kept on missing lectures. I went to the doc again. He had a complacent smile as he prescribed me the pills.
It was in November 2005, during my second term at MICA. He told me he would be off for Diwali for the next few days.
I took the pills, expecting some minor relief. How badly I had miscalculated. A few hours after taking the pill, I was transported to pure heaven. I felt my entire body had evaporated. It was ineffably blessed and pleasant beyond measure. I lay in bliss for close to twenty hours. I thought I had been reborn and lost all memories of the past. When I took the next dose, I became recipient to awesome beauty everywhere around me. The campus seemed full of angels and gorgeous nymphs. Every face gleamed with heavenly beauty and joy. That night, the batch had arranged a terrace party for Garima Chugh who was soon to add Pai to her name. As I tried to ascend the stairs, I felt I had no body – it was all air. I felt I would fall down or fly away. I clung to the rods when I climbed the makeshift ladder to the roof. On the roof, I was lost in bliss. I wanted to wish Garima happiness but had no control over my arm’s movement. I couldn’t shake hands with her because I couldn’t locate her hand with mine! I dangled my arm and she shook it. In the party, as Roerick and Kanishk danced, I was transported to great joy. There dance and everything seemed surreal and ineffably beautiful. That night, I decided to discontinue those pills. I hadn’t taken more than three and they had nearly transported me out of this world. I discussed it with Anil and Mukul. The doc was away on Diwali vacations so I called another renowned psychiatrist through the reference of a friend. I told him the great bliss I felt and the name of the pills I had taken. He told me the pills were just normal antidepressants but according to him, I was misdiagnosed as suffering from depression when I had Bipolar- II. He asked if I had felt similar bliss earlier. I replied I had felt heavenly bliss for months in Chandigarh when Priyanka was responding to my decade long love for her for the first time. He said it was hypomania and I should get my diagnosis and medicine changed to suit Bipolar-II.

The Siege Of Palash

My mental forces were in retreat everywhere. The intellect was fighting a losing battle. Dispassion was triumphant in every engagement. However, there was a third player, the cunning ‘ally’ of dispassion- absurdity. As I grew more and more detached from waking existence and fell into the swoon of archetypical dreams, joy came in my sleep. I forgot myself and the world and was least bothered about studies marketing trash for waking dream delusions miscalled humans. I was more awake in my sleep than when my eyes were open. The only thing which interested me when awake was Mathew movies and his classes – and they had only one theme – the absurdity of the human condition. Racism, Genocide, Gender issues, the humanitarian crisis in Africa where humans were being butchered for being born into a particular race, the hidden racist messages in advertisement and mainstream cinema, Nazi inspired holocaust ( which had horrified me even earlier) – it seemed human existence was worse than futile- it was positively evil and filthy as urine. The vacuum created by retreat of the instinct of self-preservation on the bodily plane was filled by absurdity. It was in MICA that I became acutely aware of my identity as a Jat. I experienced a deep-seated archetypical Jat in a vision- a crude, simpleton, living in a primitive age- I was shocked and disgusted at this component of my identity. Soon I was disgusted with human existence in general and then any form of fragmented existence. I wanted either absolute and irreversible extinction or infinite inviolable pure existence free from any constraint – bodily, intellectual or egoistical.
The triumph of dispassion was sullied by absurdity. And the absurdity came in the form of racial and parochial consciousness. This absurdity was to play a pivotal role in the impending crisis of consciousness.

Rage! Rage! - Against The Body

It was rage against being just human – a mass of bones and flesh with random thoughts, some beautiful, rest mundane and ugly. What was I doing in that alien body? Why was existence fragmented? Why wasn’t I the entire universe rather than a mere lump of bones and flesh? What were money and political power, sex and love worth when my too mortal flesh was destined to crumble in dust? I was tormented by the fear of old-age and a meaningless existence lading to it- more than death. It became an obsession with me. What was my true nature? As I exhausted my brain by extreme and sustained probing, it grew still. I couldn’t bear waking existence – most of all I couldn’t bear human flesh. I grew disgusted when it struck me that I was encaged in a mortal cage full of feces, urine, phlegm and impending old-age. Soon my disgust spread to all human bodies. I couldn’t bear the site of human bodies. I felt I must transcend this mortal cage. I felt it from deep within. I felt I was the entire universe rather than just a mortal lump of flesh. I felt my being the universe was the reality and the bodily cage a nightmarish dream that I must wake up from.
I had contemplated suicide and zeroed in on two possible methods- drowning or pistol. However in spite of the deepest probe, I couldn’t assure myself that extinction of the biological process would necessarily lead to termination of consciousness. I tried very hard intellectually to assure myself that physical death would terminate psychological suffering. Finally my intellect admitted complete defeat and ceased bothering me. My mind ceased asking questions for no answers were forthcoming.
I went to classes without registering anything. My mind was in a near blank state. It registered nothing. However I was interested in Mathew movies and his classes. Mathew, the cultural studies/film studies faculty at MICA is one of the best teachers I have come across for he provoked the intellect by taking it out of its depth.

Dissolution of Individuality - I

“As I was sitting on the chair, I felt a strong current of consciousness rising upwards in my body. It was a physiological sensation; a profound wave was rising up my body. As it rose up towards my skull, I felt immense peace and unbelievable lightness. My body was ‘dissolved’. It was so light as if it didn’t exist at all. It was the first time I had experienced something of this sort. Initially I tried to prevent it from happening but I was myself ‘dissolved’. As I sat there, I lost all sense of distinction between myself and the surroundings. The consciousness which separates the individual from the surroundings was ‘dissolved.’ To make myself clear, awareness was there and profound but there was nobody who was aware. Consciousness existed but there was nobody who was conscious.”

This happened in December 2005, in my second term at MICA. It was the culmination of a long-drawn internal quest for the essence of life. During ragging, I had felt the need for something to grasp and had tried to imagine a divine friend like Buddha or Krishna who is internally present and constantly guides me. It was a method used in Bhakti (Indian devotional religion) and also a psychological exercise for coping with stress. However it had no lasting effect on me as it seemed too fabricated.
On the night of the freshers’ party, I got drunk for the first time in my life. I had touched liquor 6-7 times earlier but had never really got drunk. On that day, I drunk till I lost all shame and sense of physical balance. When inebriated, I started wandering seemingly aimlessly. But there was a method in my madness. I picked up all the seniors who had ragged me and pushed them around or in general got on their nerves. I asked Asad to recite Ghalib when he was dancing with his girl and pushed Jai around. Soon I started talking about God. As I recounted and Anshul told me later, I was talking about God being everywhere and being of the nature of pure, unconditional love. I was saying that God is in the glass, in whisky, in the bricks and everywhere else. The other thing I did was to sms Priyanka that I loved her and her alone and would marry her. She had told me about her boyfriend a few days back and had rejected my love. I had intended never to call her again though I had professed my love to her regardless of her lack of any emotion for me. That day, liquor broke my resolve and I messaged her about my love. Due to some fault in my cell, it was SMSed more than twenty times. I have recounted this incident only to highlight my deep-rooted desires. As it was the first time I had got drunk, the natural result was loss of all inhibitions and uncovering of my unconscious impulses. Three desires had manifested when I was drunk- the desire to retaliate against the seniors who had ragged me, which was time-specific, the desire to profess my love to Priyanka which was an unresolved knot and the desire to feel the immanent presence of God.
Soon I started falling into an ‘existential depression.’ Rather than thinking about my studies (which nobody thought about at MICA anyways except a few weird nuts!), I embarked upon a deep search for the essence of life, for something that gave life meaning and could never be violated by the caprice of time. Unfortunately the means I adopted for such a profound search were less than insufficient. They were absolutely useless and misplaced. I tried to ask my parents and teachers besides surfing the internet endlessly. I was already well-read on Indian mysticism and western psychology. Now I read whatever I could on practical forms of mysticism as taught my modern Gurus besides alternative views like communism, nihilism, drug-induced hedonism and even occult theories- usually western. They all filled me with disgust. Nobody seemed to know anything about the most important of all entities- human life and the best way to live it. All Gurus of past and present seemed either posers or deluded. Nothing satisfied me. Nothing could have because I was reading them while everything mystic is experienced. However since I had a solid empirical approach at that time, I thought all mystical experiences were within the ambit of psychology and had neurological causes. The internet had much against mysticism in the form of rationalist criticism and whatever was in its favor looked fanciful and the product of hallucinations. In a few weeks, I had exhausted my brain by stuffing it with theoretical philosophy, religions-western and eastern, mystics- traditional and maverick, psychologists- neurological and psychodynamic and lunatics- morose and insightful. I was absolutely fed up and dead-tired. I stopped searching on the intellectual plane.
My existential melancholy was not however casual. I was genuinely and deeply in search of meaning in human existence because life as I was living it seemed futile and worse, a curse that was imposed upon me. I thought it was my individual viewpoint but as I read about gifted thinkers ranging from Buddha to Tolstoy, they all agreed that human life, as ordinarily lived, is a vale of absurd sorrow.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Rite Of Initiation

All specific communities have distinct initiation rites – difficult and seemingly pointless. The purpose is always to raise the investment in being a member of that group and hence to refrain the novice from quitting.“I suffered so much to get here. How can I quit now?” This is the formulaic thought that must be produced in the novice if the initiatory rites have been successful. Like all academic hostels, MICA had a tradition of ragging (which I hear was broken in 2006). Besides initiation into the cult and ‘breaking the ice’, and even more important than them is mass sadism. Those placed in the senior batch can let go of their suppressed sadism on the hapless juniors. Somebody kicked their ass when they were neophytes. And they want to pass on the pain.Dress codes, assignments, porn- plays, engineer’s (or should I say truck driver’s) song- PGP ragging had all the ingredients. Those were also the days when the sky kissed the earth through monsoon rains. We kept on bearing, rebelling from, getting bored with and ignoring the ragging and the rain depending on our proclivities and whims. I had only one expectation from ragging which couldn’t be fulfilled. I wanted to be ragged by a beautiful senior girl. But that was not to be. The senior batch had hardly one reasonably beautiful damsel and she never ragged me (or anybody else as far as I remember). I never did those weird assignments and was individually ragged by a stupid senior whose voice was womanish and behavior clumsy. However the ragging did have its effect of making MICA unbearable.It ended in a week or so. On the last night, entire PGP-1 was transformed into transvestites with the men wearing lipsticks and dupattas. It reached its nadir and then dunking and friendly hugs signaled the end of the absurdity.

The Class

From Anil, the sleeping Tantrik masquerading as the cynical Telugu to Shiti, the ambitious lover of Ash pics unsure of the path God had chosen for her ; from Roerick, the lone Aryan to Shayan, the dreamer; from the understated Anshul to the exuberant Shagun- all became the variegated hues of the kaleidoscope that was PGPCM-07. These fallen angels were the chosen few that were stifled out of the herds of confused applicants, many of whom filled MICA as an afterthought, unsure of where it stood in the spectrum of institutes projected as the quickest route to mammon and fame.Palash and Kacchnar, two of the eight hostels named after evergreen flower bearing trees, became the cells of these IMC monks for the first year of their initiation into the intricacies of sophisticated faffing. Palash was the cave for the denizens of Mars and Kacchnar the nest of damsels from Venus. It began with 77 students- 40 from the fairer sex. A girl who was a married model left soon after ragging; Arvind and LS Rohit left in the first term. I was the seal of the backsliders- the last to quit. Nobody left the hallowed lands after me. My time came towards the end of third trimester.


I can think of MICA in numerous ways - as a dream of psychedelic mysticism, a playground of deep-rooted archetypes, a collage of anceint memories, a drama of absurdity; in short everything except an institute of Integrated Marketing Communications. I don't feel much emotions now but her enigma remains. To write about her is not however an act of catharsis. Whatever I describe here is true to the best of my subjective knowledge, distorted by time and robbed of many naive illusions. Opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may not agree with other times, other perceptions.The first thing that arrested my attention in Ahmedabad on that rainy day of June 2005 were a couple of Muslim boys with skull-caps running around jovially. I was pleased at the contrast between their innocent faces and the image of riot-torn Gujarat that had lingered in my mind.I reached MICA more dead than alive. But there was a rhythmic beauty in my gloom. Nine days ago, the woman I wanted to spend my life with had told me about her boyfriend. However my dispassion had much deeper roots. Ever since I entered adolescence, aloofness with a touch of proud sorrow had been my constant companion. However currents of great joy kept the ship sailing.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Ashish Pandey's Testimonial

Since he didn't accept it on orkut, here it is :-

Of course, he is selectively well read and genrally well behaved. That doesn't mean he can't be vicious. Though he keeps it within limts, the limits can be pretty all encompassing. The 'khaanabadosh' from Hindi heartland is a testimony to the joy of depression and the passion of mania. He can sleep well and wake up pretty tired even after hibernation. Wears traditional kurta-pyjama on republic day and looks like the brand ambassador of swadeshi. History is in his blood, and it's bloody history which he likes. Had he been in the India of early 1900s , he would have destroyed the moderation of the moderates. Had he been a Britisher in the India of 1930s, he would have created another Bhagat Singh to assassinate him. Unfortunately, his time came in the democratic chaos of 1980s and he buried himself in books when he learnt to distinguish the alphabet from ants on paper. He once wanted to join the IAS. The UPSC asked him to swear by the constitution. He said he would make a new constitution and make them swear by it . Well, the last incident may not have really happened but does indicate what happens when the vision exceeds the limits of the body. Then Pandey ji sleeps and sleeps. And dreams. And makes the life of those who are on his work-group a little more interesting and a little less pleasant. Laugh at him and he would laugh back at you. Cry and you would have his sneer to accompany you. Now that I have got even, let me say he is intelligent, artistic and good company for a nice long walk with plenty of discussion. Let him know what he really wants and he would excel in it. Let him knock the doors of intuition and they would eb opened for him. Let him build on a dream and it would be transformed into smiling reality. He is the quintessential lost idealist who would lose nothing by working on his idealism and letting the constraints of reality mould it into a shape more suited to the waking-dream. Walk with confidence and stand with strength. Use the darkness to make the light more visible. And make the light your own.

Mystic Institute Of Consciousness And Absurdity

What can I stay about an institute where I had the blessed vision of Lord Krishna, where my roommate told me about a previous incarnation when we were fellow-initiates of a mystic order in the upper Himalayas? Where I had visions of angels and ascetics of awesome majesty? Where I thought myself to be the most powerful man in India for a while. Where I enjoyed the choicest of women and the heights of glory. Where I suffered from deep delusions and bizarre fears. Where I hallucinated about a genocide. If I was hallucinating, I would trade millions of mundane human lives for a night of such hallucinations. The Mica I know is "Mystic Institute Of Consciousness and Absurdity". Others know it as 'Mudra Institute Of Communications, Ahmedabad.'


Anahata nada is the infinite ocean of consciousness
of which human consciousness is a minor wave
in psychology dey talk of brain waves
brain waves are electrical in nature with low charge
consciousness too has wave-like character
expansion of consciousness is the purpose of all genuine religions
to get in touch with anahata nada
means to begin the journey of expansion of consciousness
when concentration becomes intense on an inner target
say breath
or an inner mantram
or love
or sometimes due to other reasons
an inner sound is perceived
like the buzzing of bees,
like high tension electric wires
or at advanced stages
like flute, gong-bell, cymbals
and roar of ocean
that is OM
anahata means unstruck
i.e. a sound not produced by any physical means
nada means 'audible vibration'
ven its heard
heard and concentrated upon
it creates tingling sensation in the skull and at the point
between d eyebrows
the sensation soon creates pores
and great pleasure
gr8r than sex, drugs or anything in d wrld
: know that pleasure and all the joys of d world vud look like beggars bowls:
dispassion alone is d weapon
it can happen even vidout meditation/mantra/pranayama
ven a certain amount of dispassion is achieved
anahata manifests its d beginning of yoga
anahata is big and profound and is for strong people
vat do u think made kabir and ramakrishna what dey wer?
what makes mystics what dey r?
remember how we felt ven we were 12-13 and suddenly discovered sex
initialy we doubted ven sb told us about sex
now its commonplace
similarly anahata happens at a particular stage of soul's evolution
for a while imagine urself to be an embryo in a womb
d embryo thinks d womb is d whole universe
but ven d time is ripeit leaves d womb and enters what we call the world
we human beings are like unripe embryos
and this earth with sky covering it is d womb
anahata liberates us from this womb
itz d culmination of human existence
dose who fail to meet anahata while alive die again and again
anahata is the eternal spring of pleasure
it is love in action
it is God in motion
and it is our

Dramatis Personae-II

Arjun S Ravi – Palash 5

Guitarist, Cool and suave, had a unique gait, pan-Indian. Nice and friendly.

Arvind – Palash 5

Tried to behave younger than his age, had pluck, depth of thought and could be jovial and mean at the same time, had good perception, was caring without being demonstrative.

Venkat – Palash 5

From veteran communist to novice mystic, tallest in the class, DCP, compassionate towards all, had an aura about him, seeds of greatness.

Pandey – Palash 6

Rare depth, novice psychonaut of the peripheral darkness, from the Hindi heartland,
Inclined towards hindutva nationalism, well-read

Mukul “Doggy” – Palash 6

Gentle and charming, disciplined, analytical, had a softer side, a friend to cherish for a lifetime

Dramatis Personae I

Aakash – Palash 1

Looked like a no-nonsense smuggler or a dogged police chief of a provincial town ; was soft at heart and charmingly traditional with solid family values, a whiz-kid for hunting information on the net, was one of the redeeming three.

Abhishek “Bhatta”- Palash 1

Chotu wisely evaded ragging by coming on the night of freshers. Full of Bengali pride, he was a devotee of Durga and very responsive to the low moods of his friends. Panda called him “Bechu – the seller”. His faffing was crude but effective.

Aman “ Shayar” – Palash 2

Unsure of himself in the beginning and lost in an alien land, his capacity for fantasizing was enormous. With deep emotions that he couldn’t channelize, his fall was poetic with a tinge of absurdity. With an open astral window, he is the protagonist of this story.

Anil “ Gunty” – Palash 2

Deep in his mystic visions, he was a master at deception demanded by mundane concerns. His inner reserves of strength were enormous though the surface betrayed nothing. He went through two emotional journeys of which the second redeemed the first.

Anand “ Bhai” – Palash 3

The wise old man of the batch, he was a soulful singer. Life had tired him a bit though he looked for light in the holes.

Aditya “Adi” – Palash 3

Fond of bihari songs, he hid behind a veneer of casual gestures. Could appreciate hard work. Didn’t reveal much though easy to like.

Anshul – Palash 4

Happy in his masochistic acceptance of life, he was a gifted guitarist. Kept the gospel which he guarded against casual reading. Had learnt the lessons of melancholy. Could be ironical and aloof. Had great depth and hidden beauty.

Anirudh Chaturvedi – Palash 4

Handsome, proud of his lineage and circumspect, loved hindi songs and football. Could be hard-hitting in professionalism. Was searching something without knowing it.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Lord of death

She moves with me
yet remains hidden in the mists of desires
Her red eyes of wrath are softened with running tears of compassion
All devouring, all- transcending
eternal annihilator of waking-dreams
Her tongue is the flame of time
She roves in funeral grounds
and sleeps with corpses in war-ravaged climes
She dances when earthquakes flatten the earth
and bombs mingle humanity with primeval dusts
she kisses the old sick man on his lonely hospital-bed
or enters the chest of the young soldier with bullets of fury
she conquers all
kings tremble as cringing insects before her
and gods lie supine in their naked shame when she roars
only before the yogin does she bow
and lower her eyes with shame
as he transcends her
not looking back at her cruel charm
He enters the infinite bliss
and death longs for her lord