“A Life of Pretense” 

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I laugh a lot. People take me for a jolly person. it is rather sad that 90% of my giggles are to please my fellows only. I do not restrict my insincere show of emotions to laughing. I have cried for others too. Some of my tears were genuine, others? not so much! If I ever disclosed which was which, I would risk my credibility as a human being.

Heck! I have even pretended faith. Not a long time ago, I had been into madrasas and Majalis. I had been a part of congregational prayers more often than I would like to admit; it was all action-no feeling. The one emotion, however, that I truly felt is agitation. When anxiety hit me, I was alive.

I have pretended to be alive for several years. One day, I decided I should be able to feign death. Thus, knowing it would end up in a failure, I ventured forward. I went to bed and slept. 16 hours later, I was disturbed and forced out of my bed. I couldn’t tell them I was dead for that would kill the purpose. I persuaded a doctor to admit me to a hospital, but they didn’t declare me dead either. I knew in my heart I was more dead than alive but it was easier to pose life than the demise.

Descartes said, “I think; therefore I am” so I stopped thinking, and that robbed me of my anxiety. Now, no part of me was alive, and they continued to believe in my existence!

My final thought, which is a proof I had lived once; why is the world so apt at calling your bluff of dying but not of living?

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The Demise of the Fittest

‘Super’ is what they called me
‘Magical’ was how I was described
when all failed, I was the one who survived.
I saw my fellows wither,
For they could not compete
against the changing times.
‘Unfavourable conditions,’
they cried
Then said the world ‘Goodbye!’

I endured it all,
season after season.
I grew stronger,
With every passing obstacle.
The harsh weather didn’t cut me through
And the head wind lifted me high!

It was the loneliness
that has stung the worst.
But since I had suffered a lot
and adapted according to my fate,
the nature gave me a mate.
We reproduced and multiplied!
Best of the genes, we passed on,
for my counterpart too was
a breed quite high!

Sooner than I’d liked it to be
The time to depart arrived
‘What was the point of toiling through
if at the end of it all,
I had to die?’
I philosophized.
The Reaper,however, yawned
Disnterested in my thoughts.
It had a job and I had to oblige.

My only solace after my demise:
‘I had done well in life’
There was a progeny
most likely to succeed
In the world I had left by
‘In my future generations,
I will live forever’
The consoling thought
made me smile .

In the Afterlife, I met my old colleagues
It bemused me to see them so satisfied.
I spent time watching over my kith and kin.
While those losers sat and enjoyed.
‘It is because they have no one,’
I smirked day and night.

Then it happened that shook me through.
The word for which I lived and died,
with a bang, it was destroyed.
What were my troubles for?
The extreme pains I had gotten by.
The world for which,
I had planned and strategised
Blew away
Like a puff of smoke in the skies.

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Fiction Friday-Remembering Camus!

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My son had brought me here. It was quite a long time ago. My joints didn’t know what arthritis was back then. Lately, the pain defined them. It was around this time of the year, though which year and on what date, are the details that had escaped me. The one thought that I could focus on was ‘I made him and he is throwing me to some nursing home.’ Initially, I used to miss his selfish form, the rascal I had birthed.

“You kept me inside you for like 9 months and you want me to feed, clothe, and shelter you indefinitely in exchange ?” That had been his reply to my motherly remonstrations. “Besides, it was your decision. You had your fun and decided to make a big deal out of it”, my son had always been a strange one, “Why would you cherish the unpleasant side effects of a drug, Ma? Bad move!”

It was several years ago, this and many such conversations were exchanged between us. He was not married. We had no one other than each other. He did not have any major financial troubles. I could never fathom why he turned me away. It could be mere indifference. He never visited me except once but it was too late then… To be honest, I cannot really recall his features clearly. Maybe its because of my bad memory or maybe he was right… you do get used to anything after awhile. I got used to this nursing house. I got used to death too. Mine! I will get used to his too. My Meursault, my stranger son!

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Tea Strength, Birthdays, and other Depressions

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When I was a kid, my dear mother ensured I stayed away from tea. I guess, feeding milk to their children is an inherent trait in mammalian mothers, which does not go away even when the child’s suckling days are over. Like any other good mom, she force fed me a glass of milk. Being a thankless turd, what I had on my plate never satisfied me. I made faces. “It smells,” I used to complain.

Besides worrying about my health, my poor Mama cared for my happiness. Thus, she added flavor to my essential dose of lactose. Terms such as Ovaltine, Cocoa Milk, Milo, Chocolate and Vanilla Milk entered my vocabulary and the ingredients holding these names, my body. I surrendered to my dairy-laden fate but still coveted my mother’s chai.

Then I grew up a little, and she allowed me a few drops- the ones I got for dunking my rusks in her precious tea. These scarce droplets transformed into a Doodh Patti, which after passing through various dilutions turned into my first cup of a strong tea. I was 14.

It only got worse after that. With every passing birthday, the tea granules increased while the whitening agent decreased. The concentration was according to my energy requirements.

It continued that way until I hit the quarter-century plateau. After that all went downhill — three cups of strong tea a day reduced to two moderate ones. I was growing soft!

Tea, my magical potion, gave me strength. I needed the strength to fight off the obstacles that came in the way of my dreams but at 25, I found out I had none! When you lose your aspirations, the extra stimulation doesn’t do you much good. It only fuels your depression.

There was no point in consuming an exuberant amount of tea, only to lay awake at night, resting against a pillow made from the wool of anxiety, under the blanket of melancholy. As a kid, I watched a lot of Popeye-The Sailor Man. It made me wonder had Olive died, would he still eat his Spinach to defeat Brutus. I don’t think he would and I am Popeye with no Olive in my life. Brutus hit me and I couldn’t care less.

Today is May 8th, my birthday. A long time ago, this day used to awaken dancing butterflies in my stomach. Now, the butterflies are dying so silently that I don’t even feel the urge to mourn for them. I’d rather drink my diluted tea. It won’t stimulate; just sustain. Indifference has prevailed!

On Imagining Sisyphus Happy =D

Too brave to die;

Too coward to be alive,

I am Sisyphus, with my stone.

Can’t despair; can’t hope.

Not knowing, not aware,

Still conscious of the flavors

I devour.

One thing I tell you; Once and for all.

My decisions- all two of them,

Do not concern me

or my soul.

Sisyphus (the stone feller as I am called down here in the underworld) is at your service. I know you know me. I am often discussed among the intellectuals. This reminds me of an existential joke I had heard somewhere:

What does one drunken philosopher say to another?

Am I, who I am?

And

Who am I? If I am!

That was not really a joke and by the expressions on your face, I can tell my ramblings are not having any impact on you. I promise that these were so eloquent in my head, this morning when the demons were talking to me. We had a nice chat but there was no coffee or tea and they were talking so fast. I had nothing with me to note down the wisdom they were bestowing on me except my lousy brain. How much one can rely on an organ, though?

This reminds me of another important point. You all have spent enough time on the earth to know how fragile the organs are. You do not need Sisyphus to break this one for you.

Do I see any acknowledgement on your faces? Very little! Let me explain. By the way, I do like the sound of my own voice so I will just ignore those hands rising and those faces shining with new found intelligence. I tend to have that effect on people.

Not really though I am a loser and this is the first time anyone is even listening to me. They adore that handsome French philosopher too much to hear me out. Being a philosopher, he must be insane too. Handsome and insane! The generous atrocities of God sometimes do baffle me.

Forgive the intrusion of my hooligans of thoughts. Let me continue my explanation:

You think you are special………that you are not a machine. You are a person with feelings and desires and all sorts of shit. Fascinating, right? Not really!

Here is a case for you:

Recall that friend of yours-the girl who was always brimming with energy. Just suppose a persona if you never had the experience of meeting someone like that. Anyways, lately she had not been feeling well and one day she discussed her ulcers with you. Trusting you enough to tell you that one of her organs was not functioning properly and a part of the ulcer in that organ had been cut and sent to a lab for a biopsy. Admit that underneath the several layers of sympathy, you will find yourself pondering over a new thought; are we humans or just a sample to be tested?

The answer is simple you are nothing but a set of mechanisms! You are part of a system and you shall be destroyed with its destruction.

Meanwhile, you are, too coward to live…………too brave to die!

“Roll the bloody stone, Sis!”

Shit! That’s him — my tormentor!

You see the sole purpose of his existence is to torture me. “Do this, do that”, is all he has ever said. In fact, there is never ‘that’. It is always this — rolling stone from one side and then from the other.

I will let you on my secret though. Sometimes, I decorate the stone with the color of my choice. It brings me as close to happiness as is ever possible in my case. Sometimes, I challenge myself and roll the stone fast enough to break my own previous record and the adrenaline rush accounts for some satisfaction in my stone rolling life. There are other times, when I just take delight in working at one push at a time. I cover my journey in a leisurely manner enjoying the uniqueness of my task without missing a thing from my surrounding. I have that much control at least, I think. That is exactly when my tormentor comes again with his shouts of, “Roll it baby and roll it fast.”

That does not make me happy at all!

And yet, there had been situations in my life, when I was allowed to continue shoving the stone as per my desires, without any interruption. You wouldn’t believe how terribly bored I was!

That was when I would look for him because I missed the troubles he gave me. I had no idea what pain he would throw my way next but as long as there was some unpredictability around me, I knew I could live.

This is how my monotonous task is driven.

You ask me if I am happy?

I say, “Yes and no.”

You ask next,

“What do I want?”

But I do not know.

Chaos, my friend is the natural course and way,

The desire to classify is yours yet age old.

It had travelled from one single chromosome.

I swear it was all straight,

And made sense,

but only in my head.

Now that it’s on paper,

It’s worthless and dead!

But

You must know,

I am Sisyphus,

And so are you.

Together,

we roll the stone.

Too brave to die;

Too coward to live.

Too tired to enjoy;

Too alive to give up.

Originally published on Medium 

I think, therefore I am—Week 3, WRINGO-2017

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Hello again,
The week is about to end, and our philosophical ramblings have ended too. Yep! you have guessed right! This week’s genre was philosophy!!!

Big word, right?

That was what we thought when the dice rolled and forced us all to exercise our neurons a bit. Without further ado, I would like to present the literary accomplishments of this week.

Story 1: Seeing the Stone through the Eyes of Sisyphus

This writer certainly decided to go all absurd on us with this narrative. This is an attempt to tell the story from Sisyphus’ perspective, building on, refuting some, and accepting other ideas of the handsome Mr Camus (fan girling). Must we assume Sisyphus happy? Read on and decide for yourself!

Story 2: From Afar Watching Closely

Would you rather spend your life as a blind believer or would you like to question everything (sometimes just for the sake of it)? Choose your approach because someone is watching you closely, even from afar!

Story 3: The Failed Pursuit

What happens when two different stories with same philosophies intertwine? A tragic end or a happy beginning? Read on to find out!!!

Story 4: In The Midst Of The Forest…

Accept… reject.. accept… and the cycle goes on. A deep tale of finding one’s identity right in the midst of a forest of depression.

Story 5: A Lesson via Wraith

So you think it is gone? That hooligan… monster… your fear… your reality! It never leaves, you know? The only way out is to let it get inside you!

Yes, that is some amazing 5 stories!!!! You think we are done? We thought so too! But no!!! There was a 6th story, which was a pleasant surprise because we had no idea who the writer was. One thing was clear, though—it was none of the original 5!

The 6th Mysterious Writer:

I am obliged to give you a short background here. While there are 5 writers and one secret keeper, we also have 3 amazing readers.

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The hierarchy of Wringo

So as the theory goes,

“There is a writer in every reader”

we found a gem of an author among our readers! The 6th story was from the readers’ lot and it was AH-MAZING!!!

Read and enjoy this philosophical story of faith, spirituality, and sin!

For now, I will leave you with these beautifully crafted philosophical tales (since I need to brainstorm for the next week’s challenge—yes the dice has been rolled!).

See you next week with some more breathtaking stories!
Till then, happy reading =D