I won’t give up on us, and I hope love doesn’t

I did create him after reading my pain and distrust
But all he did was spew fanaticism and used the rod
In wicked ways that torture weary minds and kill the soul.

But he was processed by red Calvinism and icy heart
His Cherry Blossom euphemism for biting words so harsh!
That spiteful torn design masked using a soft, milder hue.

Then studying him, I read words absent; and battered phrase
Those paradoxes and aporia that I couldn’t solve
And that calamitous voice frightened me and shook my core.

He held the gun and pointed; tricked me into mangy grunge
Lamenting profligacy using its depravity
In search of all the truth that’s lost, he said but never wept.

But when he said the honest might be dead, I had enough
I walked with him, exhausted, but resolved in mind and will
I plucked that gun from him in some uncanny, painful way.

And after, lay on grass and waited for that petrichor
And when it rained, I wept, went home, removed that stinging blog
And went to her and smiled when she embraced me in those arms.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

Journal Entry: On Meaning

Some people say, ‘You can be your absolute grounding,’ but I disagree. We’re finite, flawed and there’s nothing absolute about us. Sure, we may not all be heinous. You’ll find both the good and the bad in this fractured world but anchoring yourself in yourself seems ludicrous. So, what then? God? The Universe? The Universe is only expanding, and yeah, I get it, that’s a trite, crude argument, but I want to use my idiosyncratic sense of humor now and then because this is one of my pop-existential rants that everybody should disagree with! Yeah, I know you mean the metaphysical universe where the replicas of things found here are perfections, or perhaps one where we’re all connected by some synergy and collective consciousnesses, and we all have myriad selves and stuff, but unless you’re going with the former definition of an absolute metaphysical universe, then, there’s still no grounding, because things like synergy and collective consciousnesses are abstractions or hell, even obscurantisms. Let the psychologists debate that and Oedipal or Electra complexes. I’m more interested in meaning. Everybody needs meaning. Some of us don’t give the term much thought, and just drift or go with the flow, and I understand the need to not want some AK-wielding term like meaning confronting you. It’s both a thinker’s paradise, his purgatory or her redemption. Meaning. But to find meaning you need grounding in something, and it must be something more substantial than obscurantisms or a finite, flawed self or a fractured multitude of selves. So, I’m not engaging in diatribes against philosophies or theologies promising us meaning. I’m down with severe bronchitis and asthma, and my mom’s not well too. Yeah, I always write journal entries when I’m either emotionally or physically ill. So here are four songs. I’m writing a short passage underneath each. I’ll leave you to configure the meaning and purpose and responsibility and epiphany bit.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

Everybody talking to their pockets
Everybody wants a box of chocolates
And a long stem rose
Everybody knows

Must I say anything more?

Now, I know what the song is about. But there’s so much more going on here. Just listen.

I got a million excuses, as to why you died.
And other people got their own reasons for homicide.
Who’s to say it would’ve worked and who’s to say it wouldn’t have
I was young and struggling, but old enough to be a dad.
The fear of being my father has never disappeared,
I ponder it frequently while I’m sippin’ on my beer.
My vision of a family was artificial and fake
So when it came time to create, I made a mistake.

Here are a few lines that got me thinking

Now Switchfoot is known for their optimistic and yet realistic rock. And this song hits hard.

Yesterday is a wrinkle on your forehead
Yesterday is a promise that you’ve broken
Don’t close your eyes, don’t close your eyes,
This is your life

And today is all you’ve got now
And today is all you’ll ever have
Don’t close your eyes.

Raw expression telling you like it is.

This is a modern take on the classic Fanny Crosby Hymn. I listen to it sometimes when I’m just empty inside. 

The militant atheist

I’m pretty sure you’ve all met him: The Pharisaic, militant atheist. I mean the guy is more complex than I am. He’s full of aporias and contradictions, and that’s his blind spot. It’s crazy. He hates God with a vengeance that borders on worship. He’s obsessed with God. Each post or Facebook status revolves around the same nucleus: God. And you begin to wonder if this man is an atheist at all. It’s always God, God and God. God the genocidal tyrant, or God the vengeful Yahweh, or God the bloodthirsty civilisation wrecker. He knows his scriptures better than the religious or agnostic person, and just can’t leave the topic alone. He’ll quote verses and say, “See! What did I tell you. I’d rather drink booze in hell than worship a dictator,” and he’ll say there is no God, but strangely enough God is present in everything he writes out of anger or hurt or vengeance. It’s crazy. He just can’t get a grip. He’s obsessed with the deity. He’s like a man who stalks God. His anti-piety is so strong that it makes an apostle’s veneration seem weak. He breathes, eats and drinks God (albeit in a negative way). An anti-fundamentalist fundamentalist. He blasphemes, slanders and disregards God, cherry picks from postmodernism, and yet the singularity of truth or monotheism is imprinted in his DNA. What do you make of such a man? In his anti-salvation militant stance, he’s actually close to the real deal. The truth is that he worships using hate. But bring that up, and he’ll bark at you, and preach as powerfully as a prophet of wrath. He doesn’t succumb to nihilism, but an atheism that pries deeper and deeper into the mysteries of God, because he wishes to stand with his sword and shield and scream, saying, “You can’t touch me!” Even though he’s weak both physically and emotionally, and mortal. He hates absolute truth, and yet can’t get enough of the topic. He hates concepts like good and evil, and yet labels God as evil. He hates totalitarian notions, but thinks in black and white when it comes to God. He believes in science and fact, but talks more about religion. He doesn’t mind humanity living in a simulation, but disdains predestination and upholds free will. What on earth drives such a man? It’s mind blowing. He reads everything from the gnostic gospels to the apocrypha to the Bible and the Quran and the Vedas and eastern mysticism, and knows everything from early pagan beliefs to Buddha to Constantine to Luther to Calvin. He tunes into religious shows, and watches them intently for the sole purpose of dismissing them. In a twisted way, he seems to have more faith than any of us.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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Journal Entry: 2

Some people go through miserable circumstances in their lives, and if that hurt stems from childhood abuse or severe bullying, or some other terrible circumstances that make a person lose their innocence, then all that suppressed self-blaming erupts later in life, and results in the person either becoming dysfunctional, apathetic or predatory. Now the first two are far better than the third. Being dysfunctional or apathetic always is not healthy, but at least such people long for solitude, and if they’re gifted with abilities like writing, they just write out their emotion or lack of it, and slowly fix themselves with the help of medication and therapy. I’m Bipolar, and yes I’m dysfunctional. And I often feel nothing, but I write, and I’ve realized that it really helps. Yes I’m a nihilist. There was no Abrahamic Savior who intervened personally when I grew up, and even later when I was drawn to religion, it only caused terrible episodes of psychosis. I keep sane by writing about so many things. And yes, the medication also helps. So if you’re depressed, or have terrible mood swings, please seek professional help. I’ve tried to manage without medication, but I’ve often found myself quickly breaking down. These days I avoid any trigger, regardless of whether it’s online or in life. And I’m finally on a good combination, which keeps me going. So, don’t just think poetry or somebody else is going to fix you. No, you need professional help. And if it calls for medication, please take it properly, without skipping doses, or worrying about side effects. You can always consult a psychiatrist and change the combination. And if you feel like a relationship or friendship, or anything else is getting in the way of your mental health, break it off quickly. Yes, things often get ugly, but the key is to avoid triggers or provoke the other party. And if they provoke you, avoid them. It isn’t that hard to put people out of your mind. It takes time, but you can do it. For a short time hate ruled me, and I lashed out online, but then I realized that it isn’t worth it. It’s petty really. Now coming to the third set of people, well, they’re dangerous. These are people who want others to suffer, and they also need to seek help. They often take a sadistic delight in watching others in misery, and it isn’t hate that governs them, it’s the only thing that gives them momentary pleasure or catharsis. And no they aren’t always the clichéd hitchhikers; sometimes they’re male or female Bateman’s (virtual or real or both). Well, yeah, they can really get on a person’s nerves, because some righteous anger burns through most of us. But I’ve realized that instead of hating them, the best way is to ignore them, and not give them satisfaction. Now if there is a physical threat, then you’ll need to protect yourself by informing the authorities or using self-defense if it comes down to that. But if it’s a cyber thing, and you’re writing, and they seek you out, don’t confront them. It’s hard not to, but it’s not worth it. And the best way is to separate the art from the writer. Write sorrowed posts when you’re happy, so your replies won’t be depressing, thereby depriving them of satisfaction if they comment. Write horrific ones when you’re nonchalant, and people will think it’s directed at someone, but you’re really not doing that. The greater the distance between the person and his art, while maintaining the ability to convey emotion, the greater the artist. It has taken me five years of progressing from obscure verse, to imitation, to finding my voice, to confessionals, to parallelism to finally reaching this stage, and I still have lots to learn. And man, have I fallen short so many times, because of religious struggle, and other trying circumstances, and BPAD and OCD. But I can finally say that I love writing, and I’m comfortable here and now, and that’s all that matters really. The past is dead, and the future may not be mine, but I have today, and even if I’m a nihilist, and there is absolutely no meaning at all in life, and we’re all hypocrites and responsible for everything calamitous, and should become judge-penitents like Jean-Baptiste Clemence after much introspection and realization, and whoring ourselves (I don’t really believe that. I’ll come to that later!) I’m thankful for this huge kaleidoscope of so many experiences that I just call life.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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Journal Entry: 1

It has taken me a long time to get comfortable with what I write, and I’ve realized that writing to please somebody or even caring about what anybody thinks is not the solution. My life doesn’t parallel my writing, but perhaps few of my ideas do. And human nature is something that evolves each day, and often, stressful situations either make or break us. If you’re going to let suffering get the better of you, then it’s pointless really. You’ll remain resigned and sure it creates great art, but I’m honestly for separating the art from the writer. I don’t write for anybody, and yes, when I read something I judge. We all do, but I’ve realized that the best way to avoid negative energy is to not read, and so, I quit reading blogs I’m not fond of anymore. The blogosphere is full of all kinds of predators and people who need lives, or people who are leading broken lives, trying to get a hold. But the thing about transcending this is to write about what you want to without letting them get to you, and not bothering about followers or likes. They’re entitled to their judgments, but I honestly don’t care anymore. I just write man. I don’t detest myself, or my words anymore: Some of it is dark, some of it is sorrowed, some of it is horrific, and some of it is just nonchalant. But how can you possibly know me without meeting me in person? And I’m not here to write for any of you, or to counter what you say. I’m done with that. Hell, if I don’t like your style or content, I’ll find another blog, and trust me, WP has millions. Stressful situations often push me towards religion, even though I’m a nihilist, and I guess that’s an epic paradox. Is God dead? Well, he isn’t present in my life honestly, and I’m done with my struggle with Christianity. I’m irreligious and plan to stay that way. Like I said, you either rise above a situation or succumb to it, and it doesn’t need months of soul-searching. You just do it. Am I Bipolar? Sure. But I don’t want your empathy or sympathy. You cannot empathize with a life you’ve never led. It’s like saying, “Yeah I understand what being in a concentration camp is like because I envisioned it,” and it’s ludicrous. And yes, there are definitely some sick people who live out their twisted art, but to hell with them. You’re entitled to your beliefs, creeds and systems, but don’t expect me to walk your path. I write for me, and if you want to read, go ahead, and stay kind, and I’ll stay kind too. I’m in my space with my books, cigarettes and coffee when I write. And writing is not my religion. I have no religion. And yes, I can be emotional, but time has taught me to move from petty squabbles to direct my emotions into a story of sorts. And the writing process is not something that hypomania always induces. Sometimes I’m very nonchalant and write a sorrowed post. I feel no agony or misery at all. I just write. And sometimes I’m calm and write one about horror. And sometimes I’m angry and write a philosophical one. So writing in no sense parallels my life, and I’m finally comfortable, reading the greats and just writing for me.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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Strength in the nonchalant now

As I return home, from the library, the aura of knowledge replaced by the scent of nothingness, enveloping, engulfing and emancipating me from the unnecessary, unwarranted sorrow we fashion our lips to taste, I see a group of hooligans trying to hurt a man; maybe they want to scare him and instill in him a sense of, “Push us, and we’ll destroy you,” or perhaps his fate’s already sealed, and I wonder, ponder about the man’s anguish as they approach. He’s smoking a cigarette and smiling, but his hands shake. Does he think his feigned arrogance will save him from blows and kicks? Will his fear turn into a desperate need for mercy? I know he’ll do his best to endure, and then when it’s over, exclaim, “This too has passed!” Some of you might ask, “Why didn’t you do something?” Well, this happens regularly, and I’ve seen men shutting down coffee shops with vengeance as the police looked on. And one man cannot fight a system of depravity, corruption and injustice. But maybe I over imagined the scenario. I think they’ll leave him alone after a few slaps, unless he’s foolish enough to goad them. And that’s where freedom from neurosis, paranoia and delusion lies. All you need to do is predict. If a+b=c, and a is your irritability at a vicious circumstance biting you like a rabid dog, and b is the cause of the circumstance, then you adding both will only cause needless strife or c. And so, you change the equation completely: Sublimate your anger, avoid the root of the circumstance, find another cause, or something else to uphold, and soon you’ll also exclaim, “This too has passed!” And that’s life, and if you want to use a psychological term for it, go ahead. I walk on, and see the football field where I played when I was 22. Nobody plays there anymore, and I wonder why. A part of me just wants to wander into it, but nostalgia has no use, just like make-believe tomorrows or an imagined eternity. The only reality is that you’re an inconspicuous individual touching now, and you’re handed the arsenal of today, to destroy or create. I’ll admit there was a point when in anger, I destroyed, using art that’s only meant to create, but liberated from the chaos of yesterday, by the lucidity of the senselessness of anger, I burned and deleted artistic vengeance, and found hope. And it isn’t God, or a person, or beauty that pushes me forward. No, it’s just the now and the time I have. I walk on and nearing my apartment, I see a house in strife: Husband and wife, fighting, both playing the blame game, and I wish they would realize that life isn’t worth petty squabbles and arguments. It just is. And when you’re cornered, ask yourself, “What’s the worst a foe can do?” And sure, they can push you, break you, crush you, but once you know what triggers you or them, and walk away, they’ll hallucinate while you sleep soundly. And your will is yours, never subject to bondage, unless you let it, and once you reach that stage, you’ll welcome Death himself and dine with him, and kneel while he wields his sickle. I finally reach home, smoke a cigarette, pen down something, and sleep.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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Sorrowed narcissists and cyber-bullying

Metamorphosis by Kafka is an excellent portrayal of ostracism. I think anybody who’s faced bullying can relate to the concept of feeling like an insect with a fruit lodged in their backs. These days, bullying has obviously extended to cyber-bullying, and you have people posting vicious nonsense on Facebook or even here on WordPress. But apart from the moralists who spew vendetta and try to curb artistic freedom with their preachy jargon that revolves around a nucleus of ‘values’, ‘abstinence from sensuality’, and ‘virtues’, when they’re secretly watching porn and justifying their hypocrisy by reciting the Kama Sutra, or the haters who can’t help but say something as disgusting as the debris you’ll find on Indian roads, which the moralists, complain and complain about, but don’t take any initiative to clean up, you also have this new peculiar bunch of bullies, who operate in sociopathic ways. I’ll call them the ‘sorrowed narcissists’. They are often a bunch of women who have had their hearts broken and thrive on drama. They just cannot let go of rejection. They have no sense of individuality or existing as an independent entity. They need somebody else to endorse them. And they seek other men in difficult circumstances or idiots who are really children, and talk using a thousand emoticons and love praise. I have to take something from Kierkegaard who took something from Boileau and apply it to this context: ‘un sot trouve toujours an plus sot, qui l’admire’ which means that a fool can always find a greater fool who admires him. So basically these women appoint these man-children as their guardians of light and those heroes of maidens go around the blogosphere, contacting people and doing everything in their power to ostracize the men who rejected these women. These women also spread chaos by copying and pasting personal messages, and making what’s personal public by discussing their affairs with bloggers from all over the world who’re really strangers. They edit messages sent and play the victim card very well. It’s always about somebody using a sword and piercing their breasts with it and the usual, “Oh! Broken Heart! Oh Splintered Soul! Oh those cruel narcissists!” What they don’t realize is that they’re worse and keep their own Pandora’s box full of deceit and secrets, and have an over-inflated perception of art or who they are. I was in such a tragic situation recently, and still am, but if the sorrowed narcissists don’t stop their games, I’ll have to expose them for the charlatans they are. I do have their messages stored. The problem with these people is that they think they’re kind souls or good people, and are spreading the sweetest fragrance across the blogosphere. The truth is when you read them, you’ll find hate, vehemence, agenda and sickening filth. Hell, I’m not a good person. I’ve judged people, criticized them and even targeted people, but I never target a person by calling their name out publicly, or try to find support and seek to end someone’s career as an artist with half-truths and broken lies. If you can’t handle me, don’t read me is my philosophy. That old adage which says that misery loves company, must be elevated to drama loves company, when it comes to this group of fine folks. And they claim to write confessional poetry, but honestly there is no such thing as true confessional poetry. It’s confessional to a certain degree. I respect it, but if you really want to write a confessional write one about your jealousy, bitterness, possessiveness and the agendas that you hide under your absolute foolishness. Hell, why even use a poetic technique. Just jot down a few points, and say that you have nothing better to do with your life, or you won’t seek psychiatric help for your condition, or that you can’t live without misery, or that you wrecked relationships. Go ahead, and jot and jot and jot. Or stop your nonsense, and live and let live. If you want to tackle an idea or a person, my suggestion will be to not call them out, or try to ostracize them or stalk. The last is the worst of it all. The same women pressing the like button thinking that a man’s posts are intended for them. It’s easier to fall out of love, than it is to fall into it, and in many cases there was never love, just some phone-screen nonsense. So get over it. We don’t write lines for you. You don’t even enter our minds, and we’re focused on our careers and getting a life that you don’t have. And trust me, sorrowed narcissists think that the world revolves around them, but will never be there if a man really is down. So, for all the men who support them, think twice, before you decide to take your foolish quixotic stance, and protect the tree of life or whatever you call it, with your rose-cheeked emoticons and a flaming virtual sword. And these women don’t believe in symbiosis; they’re parasites that won’t let the man move on, if he finds another woman who’s actually stronger and deeper than they only dream they are. So these women can keep their little childish, ‘fuck yous’ and their silly quasi-inspirational posts, or poems that are full of aporias and misconstrued judgments, their sickening blame games, and their innately inane idiocy and get their fucking act together without romances with men they don’t know from Somalia to Romania, or they can keep at their absolute treacherous nonsense, but if it gets too personal, I’m not keeping quiet either. And while they decide, this song is for them, and anyone who supports them, since they do think they’re the female Elvises of this world. And before that branch of radical feminists who want to sever umbilical chords and change the dynamics of language so that the words, “I love you,” will become a paradoxical, stupid, “We hate us,” arrive here in all their seemingly alluring beauty, well, you lot can read and then listen too.

P.S. Don’t press the like button. You’re not all that precious.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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