Elegance often loses her charm

I can’t say that I don’t feel like stringing these pills they’ve prescribed me, without alliteration or metaphor, and gulping it down with Old Monk, but something ticks, and it isn’t some lackadaisical inner clock, or some predilection for sorrow or conscience, or some throttling self-hatred or quarrel with the world anymore; it’s a mystery, similar to the thread that connects fate and free-will, but at a micro-level. I write this today because I read somewhere about a person not helping a woman who had an accident, and asking his child whose very innocence is being raped at school to fend for himself. I mean, those people are fucking pariahs to this existence we try to make sense of. They’re the very vulgar conservatives who’ll have no problem shooting people, displacing them, and smiling when they’re thrown in prison. I guess our parents weren’t that bad, huh. Despite their abuse, hysterical need to live their dreams through us, and our rebellion and eventual breakdowns, they came for me; but I guess you just couldn’t believe in them. And so, you tried fighting things with a steroid grit, acknowledging your faults, but not acknowledging that it will kill you off if you suddenly tried running twenty laps around a football field after a ten-year gap. And Prozac ridden, you pushed and pushed, married that woman who demanded more than she should have, but knows nothing about a bipolar reality, and just screamed aphorisms that are full of crap. Well, she’s moved on anyway, two months after they buried you in that foreign country, to some rich, older man who probably uses her for the sex, while she toys with his money. She’ll say that what you did was cowardice, but there are others, who’ll say that it takes some serious cojones to write those last few poems, lock yourself in your room and hang. I don’t take both sides. I’ll just say that I understand. And I need you to know that mother has still not recovered, and that’s probably why she still attends a church full of zealots who refute the existence of mental illness, and father can’t control his weeping anymore. I guess your quest for independence and love made you see only the bad in this broken home. You fiercely loved a hard woman, and I wish you’d realized that earlier because there are other causes to fight for other than love. I mourn you everyday, but I’ve learnt that I can’t suddenly run into the field and try step-overs or Cryuff turns. Children will school me. So, I take it slowly. I’m not religious anymore, but I often wonder how I must go about warning the world that a secret holocaust has already begun in this place, and it’s just a matter of time before a full-blown rage against the minority or the liberal takes place. I’m an obscure writer, and I will never write for jingoistic newsmen. And so, I’ll take it slow, and wait and see. There may not be hope for me at a spiritual or physical level, but the least I can do is give hope for the culturally atonal musician who plays her distortion, or the disassociated cowherd whose blood begs for justice, or the disengaged true prophet who preaches with love in his heart.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2017)

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