Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Flann O’Brien wrote a novel ‘The Third Policeman’ which was published some thirty years later after it was written because no publisher would entertain it earlier. The novel is a kind of dark comedy; some say it is a post death narrative whatever, it is a celebrated novel. Flann has a way of taking comedy to absurd without sounding gross. You can find more about it in Wikipedia. However, I have mentioned it here to point out that someone has accused me of lifting its entire passage pertaining to De Selby’s ‘mirror extension principle’ verbatim in my piece Aarasii  V.  Briefly De Selby’s theory is … the image we see in a mirror is actually an image from past. The reason being the light takes time to bounce off the mirror and impinge on our eyes to cast the image so no matter how short the duration, the image is still from past. Extending the argument De Selby continues that when two mirrors are placed in parallel, they cast infinite images with each receding image going further back in time so much so that the image he saw at the far off edge was that of a beardless face of a young man. De Selby says that if wasn’t for the limitation of his telescope and earth’s curvature he could have seen himself in a cradle. .. I hope you get the drift.

 My grouse against his accusation is that De Selby’s conclusions are utterly false therefore I couldn’t have copied any passage from Flann’s book willy-nilly. You see De Selby offers right argument but draws wrong conclusion. My point is that when you are able to see the image at the horizon it is your image ‘hu ba hu’ but you will  not be able to recognize the fellow with wrinkled face who walks with the help of a stick, in short one leg dangling in grave, sitting in front of the mirror. ….

Friday, November 25, 2011

A A R A S S I - V

When two mirrors are place opposite each other they produce countless images. But viewing these images is not possible; your body obstructs the viewing. The remedy for this is easy, turn one of the mirrors a wee bit and you will see the series of images turning away in an arc. But the point is not of viewing the image that you can do with just one mirror. It is the quality of mirrors to produce mountain of images. We were witness to this characteristic of mirror in our social milieu today with some cracking effect.

When some reporter informed Anna Hazare that someone slapped Sharad Pawar in full public view he immediately responded with, ‘bas aik hi…?’ If you have high stature in society, a tight leash on tongue is desirable else…………. The mirror knows what to do!   

Friday, November 18, 2011


Soon he realized this qaafila didn’t have a starting point or a destination. His joining it was usual, a few were indifferent, some cranked up nose and some tried to be friendly. It was moving in changing circles often overlapping so stations would repeat albeit irregularly. In a few days he became aware of the working of qaafila. The travelers knew where to buy merchandize cheap and where to dispose them at profit. But it wasn’t always a profitable business. Sometimes too many of them would collect same merchandize creating a glut at disposing station resulting in a loss. The only fellow always making money was the leader of qaafila charging a fee from every one of them for joining the circus.

He too began to make some money and then started acquiring assets at a station he liked in the loop with the purpose of eventually settling down. The thought of settling down to a life of easy drift, of leisure without worries excited him. The problem was he didn’t know what would be a comfortable corpus that would sustain a life style he coveted. While he was still debating the right sum to retire with, he bet high, suffered a crippling loss. So he had to mortgage assets he built up to raise working capital to run his business. Back to where he began he reassessed his goals and objectives. That is when existential questions began to bother him.  

A dervish in the qaafila was like the leader of the qaafila, did nothing yet led a cozy life. The fellow appeared sedate not prone to exhibition of excitement, spoke in impressive halting deep voice full of aphorisms. The queer thing about him was he never seemed to be short of cash. Close scrutiny revealed, he served an abstract need of travelers, resolved their spiritual predicament. He spoke about life advised fellow travelers on spiritual matters, some abstract blah blah on life impressed travelers, gave them a quick spiritual high. Recharged, they would part with some cash in token of their gratitude. The glib talk of dervish did not make sense to his hard rationalism. He confronted dervish one day,
‘What do I seek from life, dervish?’
‘That’s very easy son, you seek pleasure, you seek meaning but important thing is what we get?'
'What do we get dervish?'
'We get death!’
‘Really! You don’t tell anything that we already don’t know?'
‘Yes, indeed! But I add spirituality to it? A little complicated. Let us see, suppose you get a bright idea and confide it to someone important. Now this important person ratifies your idea, what do you get? You get a high from his approval. I do the same. I don’t tell anything new just dress the thing differently, my stature with folks adds aura to it.’
'So all the spirituality comes from your stature with the people; how folks rate you?'
'I get the picture. Thank you.'

Saturday, November 5, 2011


It is an old building in gothic style reminiscent of colonial times. The passage to main entrance shows no sign of trampled grass clearly no one has walked up to the house in a long time. Who knows when the last guest walked away from this house or is the guest still trapped there? Why does neglected building evoke a sense horror even in day while at night come alive, truly acquire a persona of staggering malevolence. I guess it is in the mind.

Does a person born blind has the same sense of heightened fear at night? He wouldn’t tell the difference between day and night! But dark isn’t about not seeing, its other attribute are as disturbing; loneliness and silence. A blind fellow would most certainly be affected by loneliness and silence. There is a story here. A blind fellow walked in the hope of free shelter. Soon a thunder storm disturbed the eerie silence. The rattle of things moving in storm and the knowledge of being lonely wasn’t comforting. He heard voices whispering in alien language and felt an unfriendly feminine shove, sound of bangles clinking. Then they were playing with him. Voices pushing him up the stairs and eventually a fall through the window. He was caught in the branches of large Imli stayed there and starved to death. Nobody goes to this house anymore. There is an angry blind fellow patrolling the premises. Tangle branches of old Imli tree in front of the house leave a cryptic message.  It says in Latin,

Nunc hinc, aliud mori!  

(Stay away else die)


Thursday, November 3, 2011

YAKSH PRASHN Kim Aashcharyam!

Yaksh:  Yudhishthir, son of Yama; what is deeper than ocean?
Yudhishthir: Yaksh, deep is merely a concept of relative space for us. There cannot be an absolute answer to this question. Water level in a dark well may be deep for us but a frog in that well would consider bottom of the well under water to be the deepest. The question therefore becomes ambiguous so needs to be answered in ambiguous way. Thought, Yaksh! Thought can be stretched, there is no limit to its profound depth therefore is deeper than ocean.

Yaksh:  What is faster than wind?
Yudhishthir: Fast again is relative concept. We seem to be standing stationery on earth but the fact is we are moving along with the spin of earth. Earth itself is orbiting around Sun and Sun along with all the stars are in a whirl around a massive black hole deep inside of our galaxy. There is no straight answer to your question, Yaksh!  Imagination, flight of imagination has no boundary. And it can move faster than lightening or anything all you need is a man with imagination.

Yaksh: Kim aascharyam?
Yudhishthir: Now you have me stumped. Guess you expect the same answer I gave five thousand years back. Sorry Yaksh, our desire for immortality is no laughing matter. It is the crux of our existence. Remember what Buddha said? 'Being born is the cause of our misery.', so why would anyone want to live if there is no irresistible desire to live? 

Our faith is God is the most amazing thing. There is no interference from Him, events appear to be occurring in random fashion. A building crashes; all save an infant perish. Is this a miracle? No Yaksh, an infant occupies least space, has the maximum chance to occupy cavities formed in crashed debris. This is probability not miracle. Miracle will be when a building crashes and everyone survives. God is our remedy for unexplained, a peg to take support from when dice falls the wrong way. God is byproduct of our ability to think. I guess concept of God is the most amazing thing.