Hey you. Don’t these woods have this strange, dreamy, whimsical allure? The season between Spring and Autumn has an odd eccentricity to it. This strange electricity permeates, and the roots, leaves, and branches ask us to lose ourselves but hold back like the ripeness which isn’t fully ripe yet, like the air that’s pungent but still crisp, raw and fresh. This season has both nymphs and demons; this season has both Leprechauns and Goblins; this season both pushes us into muddy paths and enables us to choose our well-tarred roads; this season stands between the coming nihilism and the fighting idealism; this season gives us shelter in caves where belief is the only defense against the downpour – rat ta tat rat tat rat, Crack! Help me, God! But also makes faith transform all that we see into something mystical and surreal – not gaudy landscapes, but a New Jerusalem beautiful. This season gives us a philosophical, introspective impressionistic landscape in the eyes of a mad Van Gogh, and a rough, raw, raving but ravishing expressionism in the eyes of a tortured Romantic. Hey, you, this season is a Bipolar Mixed Episode; it’s ugly-beautiful like a pug, and don’t we feel like giving up on it because it’s so infuriatingly, infectiously, pretty prepossessing? But also cling on because of some caffeinated lust for life; some, ‘Until I finish this can of Monster and read The Catcher in the Rye in one go!’ Slightly uppity, sickeningly bubbly, fickle-minded fidgety thing psychologically askew psycho-therapists call ‘sanity’? Hey, you, this season stands between a petty predisposition to a panicky Plunk! And a soft, sweetly given scent that makes us smoochy. Hey, you, this season is life, and hell, it’s filled with seemingly ceaseless strife, but also touching-you-tenderly soft guy or tussling-with-you tough guy ardor to strive. So, hey you, let’s give this crazy season a chance. Whaddya say?

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

Originally published on The Literati Mafia 

I remember listening to Third Eye Blind cassettes on that old Sony Walkman – never caring about what course our futures would take – sitting next to you, that nose ring and that tribal running down your arm. ‘That’s a dude’s tattoo,’ I said then and laughed, but you were upset and ranted a little about labeling. You were always slightly more mature that way. I remember smoking hand-rolled tobacco with you. We were both unsure of what to do, and back then we didn’t have a YouTube tutorial for everything, and even if we did, we still had our old Nokia’s and punched messages only when we felt the need. We just called each other using our landlines. I remember taking too big a pinch of that American Spirit, and then we tried evening it out on the rolling paper, but we finally ended up with a monstrosity of a cigarette. But, hell, we smoked it anyway, and man did it give us a rush! I remember buying Old Monk and drinking it in places like classrooms or pouring it in Coca-Cola bottles and drinking it raw. I remember the time I got so sloshed that I couldn’t remember shit. I caused such an uproar in that cheap restaurant and ate tissue paper, and the good Lord knows what. You helped me get out of there. I remember sneaking you in while Mom slept downstairs and pushing you against the wall and taking off your top. I remember when we made love and it was a religious experience. I remember how you’d surprise me by suddenly dying your hair a streak of blonde, or by getting it curled. You were crazy impulsive that way. I remember to remember everything about us. I try to forget to remember how I lost you. But I sadly can’t let go of the day when your mother called and said, ‘Angelica met with an accident. She’s in the hospital. She’s critical.’ I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, and both disoriented and holding back tears, I took the Auto to Manipal hospital. I paid the guy whatever he asked for. I called your mother asking her about the floor and room number, only to find her wailing on the other side of the line. ‘She’s gone…she’s gone,’ she said between choked breaths and guttural cries. I roamed the corridors of the hospital aimlessly, not knowing where to turn to. I called my mother and cried, ‘Mom, Angelica’s gone! She’s dead Mom!’ And then dropped my phone, and never bothered to recover it. Today, I’m 30 and write about everything, except you. I write about love, and they call me a dated Narcissist. They say I’m a lyrical Shakespeare (I don’t even come close) who’s actually a violent women hater, who masks his anger by crafting love poems. And I get this from strangers around the world who don’t know anything about my life. People who pervert feminism, the consequences of being bullied and the pain of abuse to create a semblance of an identity for themselves because they lack one. Sure, they can argue like lawyers and caw like ravens, throwing in a word like ‘obsequious’ or ‘oleaginous’ now and then. But, I could care less about their jargon-ridden essays and their rants. They haven’t suffered enough to know love and to see it hung, drawn and quartered right in front of them while they screamed into a void. Hell, they don’t even know what love is. They follow the Bible that’s BuzzFeed and lose themselves to oleaginous flattery while an obsequious clique serves them. They can go to hell, for all I care. I look out of the window and watch the Flame of the Forest rustle effervescently, and I wonder if the universe recycled you when you coasted in the grey, and planted you right in my backyard, giving my sorrow a catharsis – a hope that’ll always remain in the allure you’ll always hold.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

Originally published on The Literati Mafia 

Constantly seeking approval,
the spider weaves its web.
It’s less concerned about the mosquito trapped,
the opportunity literally begging to be devoured.

The spider weaves and weaves
on a flimsy bed with a broken headrest,
a torn mattress, and a grimy bedspread.

The spider wants its web to look great
the spider wants a hallelujah
the spider thinks it’s Jehovah Jireh
can you say, ‘Please! Fucking see straight!’

But the spider won’t listen anyway,
it’s waiting for a non-existent cameraman and
constantly seeking approval
the spider will keep weaving its web.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

Originally published on The Literati Mafia 

The extreme, hardcore, philosophical or as some might put it, pop-philosophical reality show, ‘Androids and Electric Sleep,’ was canceled today by the network executives. Insiders tell us that there were three more episodes that needed filming before the epic series finale. The show was the highest rated show ever and involved real murder and rape; faith and doubt; evolution and savagery. The authorities gave the participants of the show who committed crimes a ‘get out of jail’ card. The authorities, however, warned the participants that any further crimes committed will be dealt with according to the law. Almost everyone on this planet watched the show because it was the first of its kind, but it met mixed reviews. Some people called it ‘fake,’ and one of them, a 35-year-old, internet troll from Nebraska called Andrew Lidrew said, ‘They staged everything. It’s just a more violent, brutal, Keeping up with the Kardashians. I’m sure Sarah and Eliezar are alive and tucked away on some island, sipping Sherry now.’ Others said that it was all part of a government conspiracy to reinforce censorship and put an end to the Android evolution. ‘By showing people something so brutal and real, and by portraying Androids as hedonists, the government cleverly manipulated us into wondering how far we’d go before losing our core integrity. Now we’ll have cheesy Romcoms back, and Androids will face segregation,’ said Android and pro-hedonistic evolution activist Sarah Maron.

Liberals initially praised the show for its experimental narrative, its raw aesthetic, and its masked satire, but some Vegan pacifists aggressively burned effigies of the producers and burned buses when Binky the Clown entered. ‘You don’t fucking kill people in a reality show! That’s just not fucking cool. That’s like throwing us Vegans a mutton bone. Fuck! I could kill someone now,’ shouted Raj Vivekananda after he ‘peacefully slapped’ (in his own terms) a cameraman. Conservatives initially detested the show although they didn’t stop watching it. Their opinions changed when The Preacher entered. They then rooted for him but went back to hating the show after the Ishmael incident in the seedy bar. ‘I mean, that was the only guy who had some promise. He wanted to do the good Lord’s will and make a change, and Ishmael does that to him! That’s a lot of bull right there if you ask me,’ said political, anti-evolution conservative Bush Limbaugh. ‘We had anti-racism and then the sexual revolution, and now the mechanical, sensate evolution that threatens the very existence of Homo Sapiens and one man, The Preacher was willing to fight for us, but that bastard Ishmael. That Bastard!’ Said Ann Houlter who is a regular anti-android activist on the Millon O’Reilly show. ‘Christian nation; not Android evolution!’ She screamed before Millon felt her up on national television and she calmed down and purred.

The newspapers too were filled with mixed reviews. The Guardian of Values called the show, ‘A filthy maelström of hedonistic dust and dirt.’ It said, ‘Androids and Electric Sleep needed canceling after the humanoid sex scene in episode one. It’s tragic that society has fallen into this cesspool of trash and detritus.’ The Wired Insider said, ‘It took so long for the LGBTQ community to get their rights, and finally we Androids get a reality show, but the network executives are more concerned about their own lives and not a cause. It’s a shame. A real shame.’

People intimately connected with the show’s characters also had much to say. ‘I’ve lost my faith after Ishmael defiled my Preacher. And they didn’t even give him a chance to redeem himself. May the wrath of Jehovah plague their souls!’ Screamed The Deacon of the Pentecostal Church. Linky, the only clown to survive the circus massacre by hiding in a closet said, ‘They have to put Binky away. Haha. I mean, he’s gonna come after me, and I’m scared. Haha. I’m thinking of becoming a Mime. Haha. Okay, I’ll stop talking then. Haha.’ Rebekah’s brother, Laban said, ‘This show made me lose my sister and an inheritance. I’ll never forgive the producers.’

People who struggle with addiction and loneliness held a vigil for the show’s demise in the Netherlands. It was a silent protest. One Mr. Robben did, however, speak to us and said, ‘That show made me believe that there was hope for misfits like me and now they took it away. I don’t want to watch some crap that stereotypes and stigmatizes people like us. I don’t want high school dramas. I want the real deal. I want Androids and Electric Sleep. It made me feel proud, being a freak and taught me that being different, and evolution was the same. God, I’m going to miss it.’

Yesterday the usual slot for Androids and Electric Sleep was taken by another reality show called ‘Skunk Weed.’ We spoke to Jimmy, the lead character about future episodes and he said, ‘I’mma lose it bruh.’

Finally, we managed to get hold of the producers and asked them about the rumors of an underground password protected live event screening of the final episodes, but they refused to comment.

This is Hegel, reporting for Wolf News. Please let us know what your reactions are in the comment section of our website. You’ll also find the links to all the Android and Electric Sleep episodes and associated backstories and potential future series’ there.

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For The Binky the Clown prequel click here

For Skunk Weed click here

Originally published on The Literati Mafia

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

 

Jimmy bought some skunk weed the other day and came home with an old DVD of Pineapple Express. He said, ‘Dude you gotta try this shit,’ and I said, ‘I’m not because it’s shit.’ After a few drags Jimmy said, ‘Maybe it’s shit after all. It’s not kicking in, but do try it,’ and I said, ‘I’m not because it’s shit.’

Soon Jimmy started touching my laptop inappropriately and said, ‘Feel it, brother. It’s a sensual experience,’ and I said, ‘I’m not because it’s shit.’ A few more drags in, and Jimmy started talking with an Indo-African American accent. ‘Dawg, I’mma lose it all,’ he said and wept. ‘What are you going to lose Jimmy?’ I asked, slightly concerned. ‘I’mma lose the truth bruh,’ he said, and I used the clichéd idiom, ‘this too will pass,’ to comfort him, but it didn’t work. ‘Nigga, please! You don’t know what I’mma lose now!’ He bawled.

My mother heard the commotion from the dining room and entered our little drug den. ‘What’s that smell,’ she asked, slightly sternly, and Jimmy immediately fell on his knees and confessed. ‘Ma’am, I smoked some skunk weed with him and now I’mma lose it!’ He cried. ‘What’s it?’ my mother asked him, and he said, ‘It. Ma’am. It.’ And my mother, terrified, cried, ‘Please don’t hurt me! Why do even bring this fool into my house and smoke pot? Now I’m scared of you both,’ I said, ‘Mom I didn’t smoke it. He did,’ but my mother asked us both to get out and come back later, and I literally had to drag Jimmy and push him out of the door, while he whispered, ‘Forgive me, Ma’am. Forgive me, Father. Forgive me, Brother. Forgive me, Sister.’

‘How about we get something to eat Jimmy?’ I asked, and he said, ‘I’mma lose it bruh,’ and I wondered if I’d taken a drag of that skunk weed myself. I took him to a cheap street restaurant, and we ordered Dosas, and he ate like five mega-sized ones. I asked, ‘You feeling better now Jimmy?’ And he shouted, ‘I need to take a shit! I need to take a big shit!’ And the other patrons looked at us with disdain. I pointed in the direction of the restroom, and he ambled after another man going in the same direction. Soon they entered the same room, and though the man pushed Jimmy out, he pushed back and locked the door with both inside.

I rushed to the restroom, only to find Jimmy barging out, hastily zipping up his trousers. ‘Run! Terrorist! Run!’ He screamed, and soon we started running because the man Jimmy locked himself with rushed after us with Jimmy’s shit all over his T-Shirt and pants.

I threw money on the counter, and we ran on roads and muddy paths, we ran on cracked pavements and climbed the gates of houses, only to find dogs chasing us, and we ran past pink houses and white mansions, and seedy, ramshackle huts with no mattresses but still having flat screen TVs, and I wondered if I’d smoked that skunk weed too. We ran past ditches and shallow ponds and broken cars and old Yamaha bikes. We ran and ran until I couldn’t anymore, but Jimmy kept at it.

‘Wait! Stop Jimmy!’ I shouted, and he froze in the center of a highway. ‘No not there you moron! Go to the sidewalk! You’ll get run over!’ I yelled, but he just stood there, catatonic. I finally caught up with him and literally dragged him to the sidewalk while he said, ‘Forgive me, Ma’am. Forgive me, Man. Forgive me, Father. Forgive me, Brother. Forgive me, Sister,’ and I wondered if I’d taken a drag or two of that skunk weed myself.

‘You okay Jimmy?’ I asked him, and he said, ‘I’mma lose it bruh.’

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

Originally published on The Literati Mafia

I made a mistake by thinking that this perverse generation could change. And so, I went into a seedy tavern during my journey; stood on a bench; lifted my arms like an archetypal Moses and preached. I said, ‘Degenerates, scumbags, and layabouts. All you do is spend time wanking when Jehovah’s wrath is upon you. Hallelujah! The time is near for a revival before the good Lord flushes this generation of masturbation down a toilet of fire and brimstone. Praise him! Hallelujah! Pay heed to what I say and stop spreading your seed on filthy bedspreads in cheap bordellos. Stop ejaculating that white jello and hear the Word. Yes, the Word! Hallelujah!’ And the cheap, drunken vagabonds glared at me with eyes like daggers. Then one man, oily and muscled, approached me, and said, ‘I hear you brother. I have rented room seven on the seventh floor of this motel, and I wish to know more seven times over.’ And I wondered, could it be? ‘Jehovah Jireh! The Lord has spoken to you. Seven is the completion, and so, I will accompany you to your room and prophesy!’ I said. I went to his room, and before I could fully make my way in, he kicked me in the chin. ‘I am Ishmael! Son of Abraham and a man who needs a release because of CBT!’ He screamed. He then proceeded to rip my pants and violently take me from behind. ‘Stop man! You defile the prophet and provoke the Lord! What you’re doing is a sacrilegious crime against God! Aaargh! Help me, Father!’ I shrieked, but he did not stop. And as the blood met the ground, I knew the Psalmist’s sorrow, and I knew Abraham must not see tomorrow because he’s a bad reed with branches filled with repugnant seed. He fathered a bastard who buggers men, and his other son is in his 3D den. The Lord put me through this intense pain for a reason. Now, I barely walk, but I’ll make it to the mountain despite the season. Amen! Amen! Amen!

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© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

As I watch Isaac sit on a rock and look around him – at the snow-capped, rocky hieroglyphic peaks – absorbed by their beauty, mesmerized by the cadence of the breeze – I’m broken, both because my son’s finally finding redemption and because I received news of my wife’s death yesterday and it felt like a spear plucking my heart out. I still haven’t told the boy, because I want him to recover fully. I want him to see that there’s more to live each moment and the present can bring us so much joy. But here’s the irony: I don’t believe those words myself. Is there more to all of this? Is there an idyllic paradise where suffering dies? Does the detritus burn forever in Hades? Does Hades even exist? Do I doubt the will of God? Does God really exist?

I’m no longer the Knight of Faith, but I’m not my acquaintance, the Knight of Resignation. I’m the Knight of Doubt. The unbelieving saint. And what is there to believe? What is there to hold? Some second Eden, unperceived and unseen, tucked away in the bosom of a God who’s as enigmatic as they come? No, that sounds like madness now and rationalizing it, greater lunacy.

I could pen a second Psalm 88. All my enemies have defeated me, Lord. Darkness plagues me, and now that my affliction is complete to the darkness I’ll recede. They say wear the armor of God and press forward, but how can I? How can I when I don’t communicate with God anymore? How can I when my mind’s eye doesn’t see the beatific vision anymore? How can I when I’m dry and thirsty, but there’s no living water anywhere? How can I when the same God who told me to go to the mountains took my wife from me in the cruelest way?

I want more than this black and white Sovereign. I need more than this God who’s either for you or against you. Is there no grey route?

Isaac sits, and the placidity of this place envelops him. I envy him. I envy his peace and ignorance. I envy his bliss. I envy him though I brought him here to help him accept me.

The mist swirls and the orange sky dies and the thunder within cries, ‘Sarah!’ And I burst into tears.

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© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)