I find the road ahead stained with crimson, tattered parkas, blurry and Kafkaesque. Maybe it’s the blood of martyrs – brothers and sisters who lived for art alone; smashing the mirror though the shards stung and the ooze throbbed – who wandered like vagabonds and died having taken up the pen, or maybe it’s the false inner opulence of alcohol or antihistamines – a carpeted antechamber with a plastic chandelier and a stony candelabrum with ugly, blotched masses of wax and polaroids instead of Gogh and Rembrandt; basically a burlesque scene where a thrift store stands in for Gucci, and gives you raw, ribald low-brow that is only lacquered – making me glorify the obscure and venerate the underground. It’s like making love to a woman you don’t love anymore, without passion, the rough arpeggio relieving stress. In the end a few questions stem from the heart of all frustration, giving the reader(s) withered parchments of poetry – unlike the parrot green published work – and prose that doesn’t bloom because it’s not nurtured by engagement: Do I still do this though I rely on someone else’s monetary support? Do I still love this? Do I need to create? And despite the mass production of tomes, teaching you how to ‘write,’ asking Kafka to move over to a surreal corner with hazy light – where an apple lies crushed – in the corner of the bookstore, despite the post-novel filled with multimedia and embracing fanatical postmodernism, like Night Film by Marisha Pessl (which I’m not saying isn’t good, so don’t get me wrong), give me my books, a dictionary, a thesaurus and a pen and paper, and I will create, or at least I think so.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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I live in a country where right-wing Nazis justify raping and murdering an 8-year-old in a temple, and call us ‘sickulars’ because we support secularism, and stand for tolerance, love and justice. If you think Donald Trump is ushering in Fascism, think again, because he’s just a fat, bob-head with a trophy wife who barks. It’s Narendra Modi with his cult of personality and pro-Hindutva bloodlust who bites. I’ve often felt like a coward for not standing up, but I think it’s time. I’m just an obscure writer who’s been published once, but if I didn’t speak up, or stand for love and justice, then my art, irrespective of how poignant, moving or beautiful it is, is just ashes in an urn, that you should rightly smash and sweep away.

They lynch people here for herding cows because they’re Muslim and eat beef. The value of an individual means nothing compared to an animal that is considered ‘sacred’, and the international media has more guts than the local news network when it comes to reporting atrocities because journalists are either frightened or are jingoistic, one-dimensional charlatans like that idiot on The Republic who doesn’t give a person a chance to speak.

Fools lit candles and stood, in a protest against the Congress years ago, and look who they’ve brought into power: A crude, mass murderer who has made yoga compulsory in schools, saying that it has no religious connotations or denotations – even though it requires the missionary position while you look up to the sun – and turns a blind eye when they strip Christians naked, and force other minorities to convert, and dance to his sickening Saffron Parade.

You have bloggers who’re outwardly postmodern but inwardly fundamentalist, saying, ‘Modi, Modi, all the way,’ who keep ranting about corruption. These bastards don’t understand that corruption exists at a micro-level and no party can eliminate it completely.

India is corrupt. Deal with it. Hell, I had to pay the policeman a thousand bucks to get my passport, and before you babble, pouring your raw, militant angst out, saying that it’s the Indian National Congress’s fault, because I live in a state where they’re in power, remember that the last time your precious Hindutva reigned here, we had three chief ministers over a period of five years, and we had ministers thrown in jail for making crores illegally.

The ‘problem’ with Muslims like the Nazis call it is not the lack of education. The problem with the entire country is a peculiar species called the ‘Hindu educated moron.’ He wears a saffron robe, and dances to the rhythm of casteism, violence and intolerance. He’s a clusterfuck of both ‘evolution’ and horoscopes, of both ‘tolerance’ and imposing yoga in schools, of both ‘utilitarianism’ and superstitious mantras, of both ‘modernism’ and strict Vegan Brahmanism, of both ‘post-modernism’ and radical one-dimensional Hindu ‘science.’ I’m sure he gets his enema done regularly and I wish the tube went deeper, all the way to his consciousness, and purged him of his duplicity and idiocy.

You bastard of a man, with your wishy-washy, forever chasing the will-o’-the-wisp, thinking things will change notions. You’re romantic and you need to take a stand motherfucker. You’re either against the saffron mob or for it, and it’s time your ‘dark night of the political soul’ ended. Remember that it’s democracy that brought Hitler in, and your hero worshiping of the man in charge is no different. India cannot make that leap into capitalism like our current prime minister wants it to. There’s a huge divide between the literate and illiterate, the man with the sedan and the man who works in the field in the scorching heat of noon. And this new so-called ‘financial reform’ we call Aadhaar, where you link everything to the government that you faithfully support is just a means of monitoring people. If you’re so obsessed with it, you might as well tattoo it on your forearm, arse and head like the number of the beast.

You lot are a bunch of cowards and scoundrels, praying in a temple, and then endorsing a violent theocracy. The state and religion exist in two separate realms, and I’d rather back the Indian National Congress even if it’s corrupt, than watch my brothers and sisters get tortured. And if you think I’m protesting too much, go back to your caviar, because that’s all you talk about, and go fuck yourself.

P.S. This isn’t a post against Hinduism. It’s a post against how the BJP (the ruling party) has drilled in idiots a sense of false religious pride and nationalism which makes them go to extremes.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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Artists with incredibly high emotional intelligence will quit writing sooner or later. Trust me, it’s a fact. Now, let’s say that hypothetically speaking an ’empath’ did exist. What would he be like? Well, first, you won’t be able to lie to him, and he’ll know if you’re keeping secrets the moment he encounters you. And he’s hardwired to feel that way, he doesn’t need some horrifying deity or sacrifice. He just knows. Second, he won’t call himself an ‘empath’, because something like that is a curse, not a blessing. Imagine soaking up everybody’s emotion and coping. Third he’ll probably resort to alcoholism or addiction to find release. Fourth, he’ll love solitude and hate the annoying crowd, and fifth he’ll absolutely despise predators or emotional vampires and do anything to protect vulnerable people, including self-sacrifice or in a certain terrible scenario force. Why? Well, he senses far deeper than ordinary people do. He feels for the poor, the broken-hearted and the despairing because he’s seen much trial in his own life. And he’ll come across as naïve but there’s another side to him: a side which wants to forsake the other peculiar species called the ‘feeder’. Because for each soul who absorbs and reciprocates love, there’s probably some occultist bastard or bitch who thrives on other people’s misery. And don’t get me wrong, the empath feels anger too, but it’s a righteous anger, a ball of fury that will consume a sick, twisted, sociopathic mind. And he’ll laugh with you when you’re kind, but rub him the wrong way, and he’ll fade from your existence. Rub him some more, and you’ll provoke him. He’ll also look to the light, and fiercely love a few, even if he’s trapped in the darkness, and his tragic optimism will sicken people. Finally, I see so many come along seeking out the broken and miserable, and calling themselves ‘empaths’. Trust me, avoid them. I’d hack a narcissistic, psychopath who feeds off torturing people and wanting them to stay depressed with a machete, if I was god. So, remember that all white-robed prophets come straight from the abyss, and a flurry of emoticons must be deconstructed. And also remember that predators will never face you man to man, without some conniving trick up their sleeve because then they’ll be bitch slapped and weep like Ronda Rousey did. And please don’t forget that I do not believe in a metahuman called an ‘empath’, because we’re as flawed as they come, and I just believe in love and justice.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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I think any contemplative reader will wonder if stream of consciousness writing is pure and unadulterated, or if there are gaps and minuscule writer’s blocks during the process, or if it really exists? My answer from personal experience is that it only partially exists. At the end of the day, you’re human and though I’ve reiterated this point so many times, I’ll say it again: You can strive for perfection, but you’re bound to fall short, and even if you end up becoming a visionary or revolutionary, you’ve still only come close to perfection. When Barcelona thrashed Madrid 5-0, a few years ago, José Mourinho called them, ‘the finished article,’ but he was wrong. Yes, back then, they played football which was an absolute treat for the viewer, and it was like a spiritual experience of sorts, but they still weren’t perfect. To call anything man-made or shaped by clay – if you prefer the use of the figurative – perfect is foolish. We’re in a state of continual cognitive and collective evolution as individuals and as a species, and even millennia from now, if we still exist, and have made conditions better, the world will still be an almost utopia. So, coming back, what then is stream of consciousness writing? The answer is simple: It’s tapping into the subconscious and writing without inhibition to the best possible extent. Sometimes the writer can tap and mask what he finds with imagery, which takes effort and causes strain in a few cases, but the very fact that the writer taps makes them distinct and gives their word a unique pitch and tone. Now my theory is Lacanian only in the sense that the subconscious is structured like a language, because the writer is engaging in a simultaneous thought-write and not thinking first and then writing. So, how to you gain access to the subconscious mind? Now, this is a valid question because you’ll find writers who deploy this technique very different from the folk you meet every day. I’m talking from personal observation and introspection. As a matter of fact, you’ll find many gifted writers, possessing idiosyncrasies and oddities and being distinct from the pack. So, not everyone taps into the subconscious and whether we like to admit it or not, innate talent exists. And hence the question. Well, there are five ways, I can see this happening from observation and personal experience. The first is insanity. Insanity comes with a blessing and a curse, and people who are mentally ill exist in a different realm from people who are just like everyone else, or want to become everyone else, or someone else. The second, is prescription medication to treat insanity. It alters a person’s personality completely and gives them access to an otherwise restricted inner Area 51. How they use it depends on their insight. The third is mind altering substances – most of which governments ban, and hence, unless you’re willing to take the risk with the possibility of it going wrong, like Huxley did, your door of perception will sadly remain closed. You could try marijuana though, and it’s legal in many places. The fourth is an intense religious experience which usually culminates in a vision or a set of visions. These experiences are extremely emotional and involve terror, peace, joy, sorrow, repentance, awe or love in intense forms, and eventually the person may get a vision, but regardless of if they do or not, they’ll have a better perception, and a deeper insight into the world and metaphysical questions. The last is a dangerous road. It’s occultism, and here’s the biggest problem it poses – now you want access to your subconscious for liberation and loss of inhibition when you write but seeking the dark will only give you a façade of it, because you’re basically a puppet in the hands of some supernatural horror, and all your writing will have that strain running through it. You won’t be able to achieve self-transcendence or be able to write about a hundred different things. You’ll have some esoteric knowledge, but you’ll never be eclectic. And so, I’ll end with this – What about me? Well, I am Bipolar, I am on prescription for it, I have tried mind altering substances and I have had intense religious experiences with every emotion I’ve mentioned, culminating in a terrifying vision, and yes, they all shaped my writing. The occult part I don’t want. I’d rather pop a downer! And I don’t know why they even call it that. I guess it depends on the music you’re listening to once you’re ‘in the zone’. If it’s Alice in Chains, well, it’s Hell inside and Heaven outside alright, but if it’s jazz, you’ll have a maelström of ideas flooding your mind, and you’ll find yourself in this hypnotic, hypomanic, pro-improvisation state, and it’s fucking amazing!

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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In this postmodern digital, post-millennial age filled with 16-year-olds going through drastic, dramatic identity crises and writhing in angst like a person who’s smoked too much bad weed that hits the lungs hard, you have these adolescents blogging about catastrophic relationship failures – the size of a 8.0 scale earthquake – and making the entire universe revolve around them. It’s such a despicable quest for identity and validation from strangers across the globe. The smiley (with its numerous devious forms) has replaced the hug, the like has replaced the warmth of a handshake – flesh meeting flesh, and browsing through blog after blog, hunting down followers is now a walk in Eden. Even the paperback or hardcover finds annihilation, because of the e-reader or iPad, which only makes you skip lines and not even visualize properly. And don’t get me wrong, it’s not just the young, it’s also time-traveling oldies which this post-apocalyptic wasteland called the ‘internet for acceptance’ has ensnared. And I’ve been there myself, trapped, crying for solace, watching the like button on Facebook or WordPress light up with the attention of a guard at the gate on duty during war, and fuck, I wasted time – years honestly, because if you put the hours together, you’ll get a clusterfuck of ages, which will stab you right in the stomach because you’re fucking responsible. But suffering shapes you, and it made me stop caring about likes or followers. I often unfollow and re-follow blogs, because of content reasons. Often their content appeals, and sometimes I’m disturbed. But hell, I can’t keep doing that too. I don’t want that to become my next cyber-heroin. I think too much time on the internet leads to a disassociation and a completely fragmented identity that can’t root itself on solid ground anymore, and soon you’ll find yourself talking in lols in the real world. You’ll become bat shit crazy and not in a good way. These days writing is about marketing too. Your content doesn’t have to be great, or hell, even good, if you know how to promote yourself. I find blogs about how to blog better, and I wonder if these people are writers or marketing professionals – zero imagery, zero analogy usage, zero storytelling, and just points like moles on parched skin: Do this, do this and do this. And then there are posts on blogging etiquette. Oh, for fucks sake! We aren’t at dinner at a Three Michelin Star restaurant. Now, here’s my perspective on guys flirting with women on blogs. Firstly, if you’re writing about sex, you aren’t going to get guys saying, “Lovely. Cheerio.” Well you’ll get some ‘gentlemen’ bloggers saying that, but here’s the irony: We’re not jacking off to your post with our light teasing. They are, because when you go to their blogs, you’ll find them in suits with impeccable manners, but re-blogging stuff only by women writers they literally venerate. And a lot of men can write better than those women about the same topic, but you won’t find a single re-blog of a post by a man, and these bastards who’re secret Batemans call us degenerates. Now sure, if a guy sends you something vulgar and downright disgusting, then he’s a creep. But if it’s an inside joke, or he’s just mildly teasing, you can ignore or delete, if you don’t like it, and he’ll get the point, but don’t rally up the women militia and scream ‘sexism’ because he’s probably laughing and sent you something while he chugged his beer down. And tomorrow you’re not in his head anymore. You are not the center of the universe and definitely not the center of the universe of every man who visits your blog, which isn’t even that good to begin with. Going back to content. Just write man. Write your heart out or let ideas float like bright images once the doors of perception are opened. I hope you get the allusion. And I’m talking about ideas that go against the grain of the overdone blog marketing: Fluent prose, sonnets, villanelles, satire, or nonfiction with imagery. Something different and out there, and why do you care so much about a like or a re-blog? Just let your consciousness soak your page, the syllables touching it lightly like a soft snare tap, or louder like a guitar smash. And then there’s this whole notion of staying true to yourself when you write – see, here’s the deal, your identity isn’t fixed; it’s subject to change by will or circumstances and as you evolve cognitively and emotionally, you’ll find yourself drawn away from cliché and tending to embrace the abstract or a richer, spicier storytelling, and you’ll want to experiment, to separate the artist from the artistry, or write about something alien, anticipating the trend or going against it, instead of embracing it. So, sort yourself out. Find peace in solitude if you’re lonely. Read books. Or socialize and make new friends and also write. Don’t become a social media junkie. Trust me you’re fucking with your neurotransmitters and I think getting stoned is a better, healthier way to do that!

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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Sometimes life tries you with fire, and you either come out burnt, singed or refined. You’re either made of some cleaning compound, and pretty soon you’re moaning and moping in infectious self-pity, and you’re like a forest fire of whines setting ablaze like-minded fucked up, unable to handle a jab sorrowed, melancholic dry leaves: used up, and crushed; or you’re made of water – a quiet grit that endures before overwhelming, engulfing the fire, and you’re made of tragic optimism that won’t quit until the withered forest grows green again, and you inhale the smell of the earth, dirtying your fingers with it, and saying, “It was excruciating, but meant to be, and I wouldn’t stand anywhere else now,” but patience takes years of precisely honing it, anger takes years before you master it, self-pity takes years before you let it all soak in a sponge of realism and then toss the sponge away, and I guess that’s why providence dishes out trials. Hell, you find terminally ill cancer patients making the healthiest people laugh. They know they’re going to die, but they’re for going down the right way, with a Marvin Hagler chin. Sure, you’ll fall, slip, or break bones, but looking towards the next moment makes the journey worth it. And loving people during the process just enhances the beauty of it all. You can’t love everybody, and some people are best avoided or ignored, but there are a few in each life. So, don’t fuck up an opportunity to foster something special with a person willing to love you.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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If you said that you were a man of peace, and didn’t have any violent tendencies at all, I’ll doubt both your core and authenticity. I will be forced to judge. Sure, you can speak eloquently and show impeccable manners, and flaunt a highbrow sense of elitist humor. You can disdain anarchy, political upheavals, and bloody revolutions; or murder and torture, but you know your pretensions, my friend. A man of high moral values indeed! A joke! Either naïvety masks your rage, or you sublimate, or you’re an absolute hypocrite. Examine yourself, and you’ll know where you lie. I listen to old men prattle about ‘double standards’, and scumbags, without any lucidity of who they are. It’s either that, or they’re wife beaters feigning ‘class’. The anger isn’t always active though; it’s often passive. It’s bottled up, and hence the rant about how some people are degenerates or drug addicts without a cause. Or it’s racist hate that the man secretly keeps, while he preaches to the choir. Or it’s so hidden, that the man comes across as the ideal ‘gentleman’, obedient to his wife’s demands, while he secretly loathes her, and that’s a disgusting cycle, hard to break from. It’s better to have an overtly debauched vulgarity, than an overtly passive one. Now, I’m not endorsing crime, but I’m saying that an angry man who knows his situation can change, while one who keeps it inside and denies it will never possess the necessary insight that’s the first step to rehabilitation. So, sublimate, write fictional violent pieces, but just don’t act it out. It’s not worth it. But does violence solve anything? In extreme cases, it does. How else to put down a dictatorial, authoritarian, totalitarian regime except through a violent revolution? Peace doesn’t always work, and even peaceful protests (which are only a collective form of passive aggression) unnerve the ruling party, because they sense the masses gathering, and think, “What’s to prevent them from arms and war next?” You don’t have to agree with this. And yes, I believe in just war. If your country is unnecessarily invaded for no fault of its own, then it’s the duty of the ruling party to defend it at all costs. I also believe in another kind of just war, which helps emancipate a completely subdued people under the rule of a lunatic who thinks he’s God. But this needs a subtle approach. Drone strikes, or innocent people butchered only defeats the cause itself. Finally, we come to self-defense. Yes in cases where a life or a life of a loved one is threatened, I believe you should defend yourself or them. But I definitely don’t believe in teachers carrying guns, or preachers with weapons.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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