Monday, July 7, 2014


There have been often, in my life, moments when a greater truth was revealed in a way entirely unexpected. There i'd be, ruminating away and suddenly ,in a flash, a vision would shake me to the very roots of my being. And that day, which i recall vividly, sitting in the garden, i had one such epiphany.

But epiphanies are suspect, aren't they? Often, a completely commonplace reality, something out there but undiscerned by us ,moves us with the urgency of its discovery, of being one of the rarefied few who actually discovered it. And then, the belated, retrospective realization that the thing whose luminosity irradiated was a quotidian fact. While the pleasure of discovery such epiphanies have suffused me with is memorable it it, in hindsight, even in the moment of its being experienced, rather valedictory.

So i was sitting in the garden seat that day and i saw an ant carrying a grain of food ponderously on its back. The breeze lifted the leaves and swayed them to and fro. The sun glinted on and off refractions of variegated colors in the garden. The flowers were animated, their petals dazzling incandescently. Earthworms zigzagged across the turf, severing the sand with their oleaginous bodies. The day was agreeable, the moment perfect for deliberations on nebulous subject matter.

Is there a moment for deliberations though? Is not the moment unbidden. It catches us by surprise because it is unanticipated. Is it altogether unanticipated? A residuum of substratum of awareness is immanent ,though not brought to the conscious forefront. There is both an inevitability and the incredulity a vision contains. And the two are not necessarily contradictory. What is observable though is the sense of abandonment and freedom as though years of attrition into non being were suddenly dislodged and sheer joy of being inveigled in, like a lover ,in a fit of recklessness, demolishes all the mnemonics of the one who betrayed her and symbolically obliterates the unutterable grief the experience had given her.

In the garden i was, then, cogitating. Crumbs of sand were falling off the old bark of the tree, dislodged as the ant ascending the tree traversed that sediment. The birds hopped on the branches and chirruped joyously, their carillons of joy sounding delicious in the open air. The vast canopy of the sky seemed boundless. It stretched infinitely. I thought of the newspaper i left behind in the deckchair where i had read distressing news about the proliferation of mental illnesses.

And a mental illness is what? an indescribable distress that is unutterably painful and traumatizing? a realization that the coordinates of what we take for granted in the world isn't incontrovertible but provisional? It seems that,given the fragmented culture we live in, the permeation of neurosis is unavoidable. Young people are so unhappy these days. And this fragmentation which necessitates a need for unification will be what novelists will talk about. The crises of our day and age will be subject matter for our artists who will, through the medium of their work, pave the way forward.

And what was i, sitting in the garden, watching nature unravel its beauty ,thinking of. I was thinking, yet again, of moments. How a moment cannot be withheld, is experienced infinitesimally, inhabited in the very momentousness of its momentary temporality and there, like quicksilver, it is gone, as whole landscapes pass one by fast and furious as one travels by the metro. Such is the perpetual rush of life. And amid these wavering leaves, singing birds and undulating flowers what i most wanted was to capture the momentous moment and embalm it so that this segment of time, uncapturable, could, through the aegis of the experiencing consciousness, be captured and held.

The moment when i sat and thought through these phenomena was my mind at work. It was an endeavor to crystallize an ephemeral time present. And with this time present, which has become time past,i set this narrative for time future.

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