Saturday, September 21, 2013

He died on a Saturday, nameless

It was one of those sunny mornings that turn into an annoyingly gloomy and rainy one as you step outside for work. I was running for the train. Rush hour. Merciless bustling crowd. Jabbing, pushing, skipping my way through the swarm of fierce people I ran for the train, holding on to my bag, my resolve and remains of the fleeting sanity. The train whistled. The green Mucalinda[1]  of my stealthy hope started to move out of my reach slowly. Run run run. I jumped over a corpse. At first my clueless mind, chasing the Mucalinda, didn’t realize it was a corpse. I jumped past it and hopped on the train. I was triumphant, one step closer to my destiny - my destiny to be examined, to be approved by the institution and get recognition for my acquired knowledge. I was on my way there, to succeed, to establish myself, in their world. They say you have to do it, they say it’s important, they say it validates you worth if you have any. But it validates whatever you want if you have money and power. But there are people like me, like us, around the world, on every street, every lane, in every bunch of matchbox apartments, every reeking ghetto, with no substantial amount of money or no money at all and of course no power; like bunch of asthma patients in an industrial complex, waiting in endless quest, living lives of machines without any inkling of the meaning of existence, at the bottom of the panopticon, trampled, and kept alive by a facade of hopes...hopes of reaching the apex of the panopticon, or somewhere near it. Hope of a betterment promised by the big bosses, like the promises them deodorant companies make to people. So I jumped over a corpse of some unknown old beggar, lying in the middle of public disgust and deliberate ignorance, cold and nameless, on platform number 3. As I stood at the door of the moving train my eyes fell directly on his face, wrinkled and twitched in frozen time, but serene... and utterly dead! My nerves became aware of an unfamiliar odour, a fleshy odour. A late sensation. Nauseating, inflaming revelation. An unexpected moment of being. The stench was in the air, and though I moved away on my Mucalinda, it stayed with me, somewhere in my head. A crow’s feather, sent by the wind fell at ease near my feet, and twirled away outside again on the wings of the wind. Moloch[2]. Moloch entered my mind, "Moloch whose eyes are a thousand blind windows" came to devour my belligerent mind. I shivered in the wind; it had all the power to blow me away. But I clutched on to my Mucalinda. I had to go somewhere, anywhere but not to my destiny – the one that I had set out for. My destiny was no more. My destiny had ceased to bear a meaning; it had gone down Moloch’s stomach by then, I have had shoved it, to save my slipping mind - the only thing left of my own.

1. Mucalinda: A snake like being who protected Buddha from earthly elements after his enlightenment.
2. Moloch: An ancient god. Moloch had associations with a particular kind of propitiatory child sacrifice by parents. In Allen Ginsberg's poem "Howl" (1955), Moloch is used as a metaphor for capitalism and industrial civilization. Both senses of Moloch are valid here, choose as you may like.