Well, if you’re really into unrequited love

This is an image of a person trying to escape confinement. My post is a darkly humorous satirical one about unrequited love and hence the image.

His writing possesses no soul, is neither incandescent or luminescent; it is not a fiery stream of emotion that radicalizes you, that makes inspiration within burn brightly like quark-gluon soup, melting away that writer’s block, and filling you with an enraged muse, a thermal weapon of ideas, rhyme and scalding imagery, nor is it cold radiation that makes you introspect, connects you with all metaphysical verse, and slowly and steadily helps you construct that tour de force, that poetic igloo of frosty beauty. You still idolize it though, and that wounds me. I’ve given you everything: made you my muse, poured out my love for you in the form of sonnets, quatrains, or just pure uninhibited free verse. My affection for you borders on manic delusion, and yet it remains unrequited. I said, “I love you,” the other day, and you responded with an “I know,” and I still haven’t managed to decipher whether this is some sort of trial you’re putting me through, some darkness before light that will finally lead to catharsis in the form of grazes, caresses and kisses. Post tenebras lux is my motto now. I hope and wait and drool like some starved mongrel hoping for a morsel, a piece of meat. I meditate upon Gibran’s words of love, but even then, my thoughts only focus on the wounding, the shattering of dreams and the crucifying he talked about, and not on the crowning, the caressing of my tenderest branches, and the ecstasy. The pursuit of happiness, the bettering of self: both spiritually and physically—these things I’ve rendered useless in my struggle to woo you. Why him? I often ask, and ask even now while I write this. He lives his life in a closet: that same wardrobe of mainstreamness that society confines itself too. He hasn’t experienced the ache of being a pariah, an outcast like Gregor Samsa (after his metamorphosis). He has no apple embedded in his back while he scuttles around, and has not reached towards anything outside of a so-called ‘identity’: the same traditional waltz that most people embody. I have lived outside the gates of ‘paradise’—like a beggar—and yet have seen the light of the sun. It blinded me, but in my pain I learnt how to feel, love and carry burdens. How long? How long will you torment me this way? Your affection for him—as beautiful as it might look—is not lucid. I can see that, and that gives me hope, but your indecisiveness, your teetering between us only creates a darkened psalm in my soul: 88 that ends on that tragic, atonal, anticlimactic note. Perhaps I’ve willingly gone and blinded myself; gouged out my eyes so that I may not perceive reality: a cruel one in which you’re a monster who loves this game. Perhaps I’m just a pawn, and I’m about to be sacrificed because your thoughts and ambitions are of some other fabric I’ve never felt. If that is true, and you’re about to play a gambit, let me know; save me the misery of longing, of hoping for a beautiful union of our souls.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2019)

The knight of infinite resignation – Nitin Lalit Murali

My latest SD post

Sudden Denouement Literary Collective

The knight of infinite resignation

I’m the knight of infinite resignation. The puppet on a string that never grasped the abstract like Abraham, the champion of faith did. I came close and perhaps almost touched faith, but vultures of guilt swooped down and plucked my flesh, leaving me screaming in pain and angst. Now, a walking cadaver, one of the undead, I’m lost to apathy with an occasional paroxysm of acute melancholia gripping me. Waves and waves of ditch-water green sorrow crash against the surface of my calloused heart, softening it for a moment, before receding, leaving me mute again like a forgotten chipped-off bar stool in the corner of a discotheque.

I’m a fatalist, the puppet soft and humanoid, but not free. I dance to the whims of a vengeful sovereign when a fantasia of dour, dolorous and despondent notes play. My dance is awkward, clumsy and slow like a virgin attempting to make…

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November

This is a picture of Autumn. I've chosen it because my piece revolves around the season and the colors grey and orange. My piece is symbolic and erotic.

I wake up at six, walk out of the faint orange apartment complex, breathing in the fragrance of the grey mist, letting it empower me, not comminatory, but swirling and swirling like a breathtaking vortex of tranquility, while I walk, without an edge, but an ease to my gait, my grey sweatshirt and skullcap complementing both the day and the season. I walk outside the gate, and the tone of the climate, which once felt nostalgic or lonely, now caresses me with the sweet anxiousness of anticipation. I hail a cab, and as I sit in the backseat and drift past grey road after road, occasionally looking at the Flame of the forest dancing vivaciously to the rhythm of the weather, I think of a better allure, a deeper spell that she possesses. I let the window slide down half way, not only to let my senses dance to the cadence of the morning, the sun slowly skimming over the horizon like anticipation rising to excitement. I reach the Airport, and though a part of me wants to smoke, I settle for Grey Tea, embracing the slow chill that still resides. I watch as the sky turns fiery, and watch as a throng of people arrive, a grey mass, indistinguishable, and look for her. My eyes meet hers, an orange whirlpool of depth beneath all that complements the greyish-orange twilight. She walks up to me, throws herself into my arms, and at that moment we’re one with the morning, the season, and separate from it all: our scent, our peace, our caress, our end to excitement, our beginning to something more surreal than this season of exhilarating, intriguing, beguiling beauty. We spend the day walking each grey-tinged street, looking at the dancing wild foliage juxtaposing the chipped off buildings like a city of mirrors reflecting all our intricacies, nonchalance, excitement, abstractness. We settle for lunch in this beige café, somewhere in middle of this city, the color giving us a balance, and after, we visit a lounge bar, the waiter bringing us a flaming martini and placing it on the grey table, while we gaze at the flames: darting, skipping, speculating, knowing, seeing, and the music has this slightly offbeat, cool vibe to it, the rhythm distracting us and then bringing us back to each other. We light our cigarettes, the smoke quickly cascading upwards, the grey ash speckling the tray, the orange glow, spellbinding, mysterious, and enticing. We leave to the hotel, the orange light drifting over the pale grey water of the heated swimming pool, and open the mute orange door of our room, and shut it behind us, the velvety gray aura of what’s unsaid, enveloping, covering, teasing and taunting us, as I plant kisses on her neck, and she tilts her neck up, her eyes betraying both orange and grey, and excitement turns to something deeper, profound, not just titillating and tantalizing, but both totalizing and unraveling sense and color; tender and revitalizing, smooth and energizing, as each mote of passion melts skin and hue, and there is no win or blue, but a mutual infatuation beyond just adoration, and this is a song of whispers and sighs, or more fervent, and she rests her head on my shoulder, while the curtains turn grey, and then a misty orange, and we kiss, and I drop her off at the airport, still stuck in November, and dreaming and waiting for another season while she does the same.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2019)

Retreating into myself

This is an image of an introspective man. I've used it because my post talks about the Aurelian notion of retreating into oneself. I feel this image captures that.

I toy with the Aurelian notion of retreating into myself, and find it works. I’m by no means a master, and resolve is something that takes years to forge in the fires of an unbending aim with an unbreakable hammer, but I’ve found it changing the little things. And if I can bottle petty fireflies of distracting thought, until their false glow diminishes and then cleanse the jar, then who is to say that bigger emotion cannot be caught too? Anger throbs, irritability pulsates, guilt swirls, and sadness echoes, but it’s ephemeral, and impulse makes a man a beast, but transcending it by withdrawal into oneself despite the situation, scenario, place or time begets a joy or satisfaction which is more than mere catharsis or a transient solution. Going a bit off tangent here, I’ll say that existentialism stripped off its clothing regardless of the positive or negative spectrum that a person who believes in it adheres to, gives us two nude reflections: responsibility and meaning. And losing sight of the first is more catastrophic than the latter. I’m not responsible for the lives of others or the problems of this world, because I don’t adhere to a collective responsibility at an individual level like some nihilism suggests. But yes, I’m responsible for me, my faults, the hurt I’ve caused, the happiness I’ve given, the love I’ve shared, and the person I am: both good and bad. And for me the question of God is now irrelevant. But that’s not saying that my life has no purpose. My meaning changes each day or each hour, and I can either lose it or accomplish it. And when I’m losing it, because of emotion or resignation or circumstance, I retreat into myself, and acknowledge my responsibility, and will my drive. And yes, fate exists, because sometimes unwarranted and unnecessary circumstances place obstacles, but I’ve realized that the key is the present, and looking at those obstacles as challenges I must savor and not burdens I carry, and here again retreating, irrespective of if I’m in a bar, or in my bedroom, or smoking on the balcony, or in a park, or somewhere idyllic helps. And trust me, it isn’t easy, because I often fail. But if I just lay there and didn’t ultimately gain the mastery I need, then I’ve lost both responsibility and meaning.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2019)

Being and not-being

This is an image of a grey background. I've chosen it because it symbolizes apathy which is central theme around which my post revolves.

He wakes up at one in the afternoon these days, walks to the dinner table, pops his prescription, nonchalantly, not caring anymore about bubblegum skin, sawed off hair, or bloodshot eyes that itch. Having said that, he does look perfectly fine. His gait is a little knock-kneed, perhaps it’s another side effect or it’s just this self-imposed malnutrition. He picks up his iPod and plays an EP called Re-Traced by Cynic. They’re this progressive rock band with eclectic influences, a little jazzy, a little groovy, with passages that are a little metal sounding and others that are a little mellow. He prefers them to Dream Theater though most will win an argument about which band is better. He doesn’t care about petty squabbles or disputes anymore though. I’m not sure he cares about anything anymore. They say everyone worships something, and it’s often either something materialistic or another person, or themselves, but he begs to differ. Perhaps he worships solitude, or apathy, but then again he stopped giving that thought any room a long time ago. Thoughts often turn into equations that need balancing, or puzzles that need solving, and so he just lets a non-linear sequence of ideas or the lack of them place themselves in those alleys of his mind, now neglected. He walks to the kitchen and uses a sharp knife to cut open a packet of milk. He can’t be bothered about finding the scissors anymore. A bit spills on the floor, which he can’t be bothered cleaning up. He pours the milk into a large glass, pours some coffee into it, mixes it, and goes to his balcony and drinks it while he puffs on a cigarette. Once he’s done, he grabs whichever book he can find and reads at a stretch, losing his identity and sense of self, and then some inner clock makes him go to the shower, strip and let the lukewarm water wash away yesterday’s grime. He does this without concentrating, and then brushes his teeth, which are slightly ashen now. He wears a shirt and a jean and it’s already seven in the evening. He goes to a pub, and dances with a girl who’s very attractive and alluring: her slightly cascading hair, her somewhat lean frame and her top and jean entices him. She gives him his number after a few drinks and he tells her that he’ll call her tomorrow. He keeps his promise and she arrives at his apartment the next day and they make love. She’s great in bed and it’s a treat, and there is a part of her that is attracted to him. Perhaps she wants more than an evening spent together, but he’s too jaded for a relationship or even a fling. He politely shifts the conversation to something else until she leaves a little frustrated. A lot of women are attracted to him, and he doesn’t know why, and can’t really spend time reasoning and figuring out the solution. In this millennial age, they’d probably call it no game-game, but he doesn’t give dating that much thought. He moves from woman to woman, each possessing their unique charm, their unique vibe that he senses, though not thoroughly, and perhaps his disregard for existence makes him an enigma to them. But in the end, he prefers the wall of his bathroom, his cigarette, and his own space and time, which exists both within and outside the clock. Some might call this sort of thing nihilism with a slight bent to degeneracy, but labels don’t define him, and that’s the freedom that divides him from the romance that spills from a screen into life. Even the books he loses himself in don’t really shape him, and that’s the emancipation from syllables, vowels or nouns: the stream of thought that does not run parallel to lines of poetry with meter. He rests now at three in the night, and as he shuts his eye, a sense of closure unlike love, belief or the need to work envelops him. He does work and often changes jobs, but he distances himself from the grit and yet functions just fine. I guess this is a different transcendence without the need for self-actualization. And I don’t judge the man or his lifestyle.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2019)

The gravedigger’s son

This is an eerie image of a grave. My post is about a gravedigger who loses his sense of self because of the stress of his job, and I thought this image perfectly captures that.

I’m a gravedigger’s son,
the shovel and spade, nick
-snick-flick, earth as raw as putrid flesh,
movements and sequences, nick-
snick-flick, instinct, impulse, rationale, reason,
combining, conglomerating with each nick-
snick-flick, making my father weary,
and the eulogies for sons lost in
accidents, daughters dying of cancer,
got to him, and the fire and brimstone
spewed, unnerved, unsettled him, and
so, he drank and drank, and came home,
never abusive, but neglecting everything
and everyone, his surroundings a chorus
of the dullest beige, his song softer than
the mildest blue, his eyes red, his cheeks
crimson, giving no one, even a semblance of
green, and when he died, I took the spade
and shovel, not out of want but need, nick-
snick-flick, a slow monotonous cadence
settling in, standing in a corner, averting glances,
and then fine-tuned to them, the buzz and flow
of the traffic, the cacophony of horns
making no difference, nick-
snick-flick, coming home
to an aging mother, and a wife without
the alcohol and yet failing…falling short, nick-
snick-flick, each picture slowly turning
sepia and then a blurred black and white,
while everyone I knew or cared about,
or loved still breathes,
but is sadly dead to me.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2019)

Crossing Lines

Such a delicate piece

Copper Cranes

Photographer — William Albert Allard

 

Crossing Lines
100 Words

There it is, I feel it again, something extraordinary, otherworldly caught within the movement of air, a silent hullabaloo. Sometimes it arrives riding the scented tide of sandalwood and musk, other times it arrives drenched in that of sweet ambrosia, this is life. During these moments, I’m at the mercy of the unknown, an invisible breeze that’s magical and mystical, much like the rush of my lover’s breath against my skin. The flutter, beauty in motion, sheets to the wind, the ebb and flow of the here and now. When the spirit’s gone, the music stops, until you’re home again.

 

“Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.”
― Kahlil Gibran


Mazzy Star – “
Fade Into You”                        …

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