The Path of Paradox

“Carry on, my wayward son
There’ll be peace when you are done
Lay your weary head to rest
Don’t you cry no more” (Livgren & Kansas)

In the crowd with a mouthful of stories, have you ever felt lonely?
With a charade of emotions have you ever felt, nothing is True?
In a momentary exchange of words, have you ever found that familiarity?
In a room with machinery heat, have you felt that cold silence?
In those age-old pages, have you ever had the warmest embrace?
Have you felt that sanity in isolation? Aloof, away, unshackled and emancipated,
Have you ever wanted to live with your head held high, and having answers to all those finger wielding questions, yet to remain silent with pride,
Because you don’t owe them a single word? To live with honesty and clean satisfaction.
The familiar faces can hardly get you with your clearest response…
But you are understood, here and Everywhere.
Have you ever followed those signs? Seen the playful irony and smiled on your own?
They will say, the path is too perilous to walk, they may say, it’s too linear. But it’s your path, only you are to assess. You may hit the impasse, you will break through. The struggle is the ultimate meaning, that’s how it goes.
We, who feel our disjointed belongings, are understood by our prime elements. You have to see. You are seen. You will see. That’s the meaning of it.

Photo: ©Moulina Bhattacharya

The Everlasting ‘Nothing’

What is a man, devoid of his emotions? Does a human being exist beyond his/her feelings? Human emotions are the fundamental constitution of our being. Life is a conglomerate of countless events, a composite of cause and effects, numerous possibilities, creating probable parallels and planes of existence. Many mistakes have been done in the human history, are caused by those feelings— that many good deeds have happened out of some sheer ‘gut feeling’ or petite hunches. Human emotion— a complex brain chemistry, integrated actions of amygdala— reaction of which is experienced as feelings— is abstract but our actions (or behaviour) are the expressive manifestations of it. Life parades on the world. Every one of us contribute our part on this greater dynamic— an individual life, consisting of family, career, personal and shared spaces and many more goes on and on with different effective factors, from birth to death, thinking the intermediary our own anxiety, we handle it in our ways. Have you ever thought, what if this world itself is the concrete existence and we are the minions of it, the net worth of human contributions depositing decades after decades since the beginning, what is the world really preparing for? The ultimate destruction? Yes! Probably the final saturation is the other name of destruction. But is it the End? No! As they say, with the desolation of one universe, another is born somewhere, some other minions will spring there too, contribute their parts to prepare another finality. Probably…

Coming back to us, human emotion is a trailing silhouette, tagged along with every single one of our thoughts and actions. The basic binary, sadness/happiness— are the black and white in the clusters of intricate human emotions. With the gravest shock, we feel ‘sad’— we purge— then we come to the inevitable ‘acceptance’, no choice otherwise: process of grieving. It calms down, with the healing power of Time, but our memory records several lacerations, one or more wounds might as well get open with the jab of Time. But that too eventually cauterises with other turns of events as time proceeds our life. The strength of the feeling fades, like energy transforms, it only changes, perhaps there is a repository somewhere!

Likewise, you want something, something you aspire for, you work hard for it, your motivation loses, you win it back, you drown in doubts, doubts of your own capabilities, you swim through it and emerge with doubled enthusiasm, you become restless until you reach that ‘destination’ you have marked yourself for… You are sored, sored with words and missteps and frights— emotional turbulences nearly capsize your ship… A ‘journey’ you take and… You have ‘it’. Current of blood rushes through your body. You should be ‘happy’. You have made it, you have reached your ‘goal’. But you retrospect and ponder, you praise the path, the journey that kept you going… A transition from hyperactivity (the preparatory phase and the execution) to the stasis (the apparent completion and anticipation for the outcome) leaves you perplexed. Now that you have reached your assigned mark, you feel that ‘void’, may be momentarily, as again, life sets you for another mark.

Like emotion is the permanent shadow of our being, each emotion is fleeting towards the Nothing. The Nothingness prevails over every preceding emotion/ feeling, in the name of ‘acceptance’ or ‘void’ or that feeling of ‘pit in the stomach’. There is no ‘concrete’ feeling, we just name them upon some discrete traits they carry, like the ‘concrete’ reality is questionable beyond human perceptions, each emotion is a tributary of that Nothingness. At the optimum point we only feel that ‘void’. The Nothing is not the existential nihilism but it is that saturated place, that repository of ‘everything’— the all-receptive conundrum. The epitome is always the Nothing. The Nothing is the only ‘everlasting’.

Cover image: Internet

©Moulina Bhattacharya

So who wins?

The one who is angry, despair of life, she writes,

‘Life is a mistake, it is filled with mistakes and errors, you are haunted by your past mistakes, leads you to make a bunch of new mistakes! It is horrible! All I do is wrong, I take wrong decisions, chase wrong paths, and say wrong words! I am done. I hate everything. Please cut me a slack!’

Heat cools down, attention passes on to other things, for a while, she thinks again, she sees again, she starts writing again,

‘It is like writing, you make mistakes, you write again, you learn from past mistakes, you do not repeat it in the new, because you know now, but there comes another mistake, you learn another one. It’s a process, it’s a flux, and hence it’s not a straight line. You make mistake, you learn, you may repeat it again, because it’s a long run. Who keeps the score? If anyone, it’s you. What is your existence beyond life? If you are discussed, when you are gone, if you are remembered, when you are dead, it is by life, by another lived ones. A world devoid of life, might remember you with your elements and matters: carbons and oxygens, to its atomic level, but that’s not you, that’s all, all lives possess some or the same elements, every other life possesses those atoms as in you. Life celebrates life, life of the lived, life of the dead. You do not exist beyond life. Life does not exist beyond life.’

So really, who wins?

Header-image source: IMDB, Room, 2015 movie

©Moulina Bhattacharya

Another Earth

[A short story]

Where am I? Aah! My head hurts—
Whoa! Watch out. What! How am I on the road?!
What was I doing?
Why’s all blank?!
Wait, do not panic. Let’s count. What is the last thing I remember?
Well, I probably fell asleep. Yes! I came home, I was tired and then, then I think I passed out. Where is everybody? What is this place?
What’s happening?!
Let’s move— Why does it feel I have been here before?! Oh I know, there’s the sign, “Regnarts lane”. Which means two blocks to the rail gate. Keep walking M—

Huh— What!!!!!
There used to be a rail gate here, where is it?
The roads are awfully empty today—
There’s someone, finally!
Hi! Excuse me! What happened to the rail road here?
What? But… Probably my mistake—
Could you— show me the way to Edoba bakery? Seems I took the wrong lane—
What do you mean you’ve never heard of it? Everyone here knows it. Ok, sorry—

What is wrong? It is all of a sudden like a whole other dimension! Except it is the same place—
Wait! There used to be that Namon statue, where is it?
And the old lamp post? The post box? The toffy store? OK, Ninth street, the bank? The bookstore? I have been coming here ever since!
They all had been here for last twenty four years, now what? All vanished?
Something is terribly wrong here or with my memory!
Am I dreaming? Is it again a lucid dream or something?
What’s the time? Oh yes— my phone! Yes that’s it— it should be in my pocket. There it is. Quarter to six! Isn’t it too bright for the time— light usually goes down by now—
Whatever, but what am I doing here and why? Was I abducted? No. Can’t remember any such thing. But how?!

Man! What am I, mad? I have my phone. Let’s call mamma, I guess it’ll be clear. But…
If she too does not know— and— I am really lost?! Again! I am detouring— Will see, let’s call first— then figure out. Does it have signal? Now’s not the time, please be there, please. Yes! there is—
Oh thank god! Please pick up please…

Hello! Maa? Wh… What’s up? Where are you?
Whoa! Calm down—
Why are you yelling at me?
What do you mean past two days?
So you are telling me that you have not heard from me since Saturday?! (But— we talked, just before…)
Yes I am quite alright— The matter of fact is, I am
I am coming home. Yes I am…
Don’t worry. I’ll be there soon—

Except I don’t know my way back HOME…

Cover and footer images: Snapshots taken from Another Earth, 2011 movie.

©Moulina Bhattacharya

Matrix or what should it be called?

Piercing through the inanimate

Original could be faked,
Uniqueness can not.
Real becomes unreal,
Fact does not.
Lies parade the hall of fame,
Truth takes her walk of shame.
Power hoists
Its rigorous chest.
Time turns malleable,
Conscience behests.
Inanimate witnesses
Numb and still
Woes its deprivation
When life springs
Those who can speak,
The living beings.
Be it fear or greed,
Cloisters this breed.
They tether their tongue.
Reasons meander,
Let silence be sung.