Day #16

This is a part of a mini-series of independent posts, starting here

Grainy. White noise. The radio cackled and spat in sequence as they tried to get any reception. It was a lonely day at sea, not much to write home about. Of course, that phrase had become a mere fossil, its meaning lost with the first trigger pulled.

Life for the men in the boat had never been the same, but it seldom ever is. But what holds true for an individual, gets lost in the aggregate. As history ruled supreme, the victims struck back with whatever they had. And it fell just short of what was required. The scraps that got left over were just enough to be gorged upon by those few humans who should have died, if humanity were to live.

And so it was that in a remote corner of the globe, after what felt like centuries after The End, the men in question gathered around a radio, listening intently. Nothing, but static.

To be continued.

Day #10

This is a part of a mini-series of independent posts, starting here

Shun the privilege
Unearned; Not mine
Passed through my blood
Not through my sweat

Shun the heritage
Not my creation
Nor the prize
From my journey

Burn it all down
Let the the smoke rise
Suffocate and choke
As the fossils fuel the fire

Nothing shall rise
The weight is too much
At first all will be bleak
The ashes, tombstones

Stripped down, Naked and bare
The legacy feeding on itself
Soon all is quiet
Light as a feather…

Silent winds carry away
These ashes
All in the noisy head
Of a silent islander

Lonely and stranded
No cry for help
Safer to watch
Than to be

The Autumn Leaves

‘All say, “How hard it is that we have to die” — a strange complaint to come from the mouths of people who have had to live’

~Mark Twain

 

As we stepped out of the airport at night, tiny rain drops hit upon us; a gloomy backdrop to go with a dreary mood. A relative came along to pick us up. Not a word was spoken for a few minutes, everyone a little uneasy, some sad, some teary, some awkwardly unaware of the etiquette that the situation warranted. Something hung in the air, something spread the sadness around. Finally, the topic was broached…

On arriving at the home of my deceased uncle, we were met with a small gathering of men, related and distant, sitting quietly, discussing in hushed tones the funeral arrangements and guest lists. Their manner elicited a tense calm that betrayed the pain emanating from my aunt’s intermittent wails in the background. In another room, the women waited, crying and sitting around the makeshift casket that… held….

They invited me in, sitting me down next to his younger son, my elder cousin. I dared not to look anyone in their teary eyes, even though none of those pairs were strangers to me. My elder sisters, aunts, sisters-in-law were quietly discussing in between the infrequent bouts of cries, the why’s, the how’s, the he-was-in-pain’s. The atmosphere was one that I had had the fortune of avoiding till date. What seemed, quite contrastingly, calm, was the body next to me, lying in a peaceful slumber not to be awakened from, voluntarily or otherwise. Covered in a white sheet, it held what used to be my uncle, my mother’s senior-most living brother; a man with a once-lively demeanor reduced to mere skin and bones devoid of life, health, energy, personality, voice, hearing, and all the little things that make us who we are. I looked and I looked at the calm dead in the room, trying as hard to avoid the looks and the sounds from the living…

I stepped out for a few moments, to catch my breath. Something suffocated me inside, if not the death, then the way the living reacted to it. Death seemed fine; what it left in its wake, quite the opposite. The sights and the sounds and the vibes left me grappling; mildly aware of the happenings around me, unsure how to react, uneasy about how I felt.

The night outside provided a quiet refuge from the goings-on inside. On my way out, I noticed a change. I realized how nothing inside the home spelled anything other than the gloominess it was rightly supposed to – the quiet tones, the wailing, the awkward, nonchalant ignoring of the cries to discuss the funeral arrangements, the photos of the deceased plus family, the low-hanging faces, the dim lighting, the slow revolutions of the fan and its quiet, mournful, repetitive symphony. Nothing spoke of any light or ray of hope. The night on the other hand, woefully unaware of the happenstances within, quietly went on. The moon shone, the cool winds blew, the silence reigned. Passers-by smoked to dispel the cold, people shut shop to go home and take a well-deserved rest for the day. Cars went about lazily, no one stopping (why would they?) to pay their respects to the man who lay dead inside; just another house on just another street; on just another night…

Yet, as if reading a thought, to pay its homage to the dead, on this silent and otherwise normal night, it began again, to silently pour…