“Though this be madness, yet there is method in it”

“Though this be madness, yet there is method in it”

The crowd gathered hesitatingly around the crouched young man whose wails of agony had been shattering the calm and minty early morning air. The sun’s watery rays beat down unevenly upon his ghastly form, too afraid to light up what most could not bear to see. The crowd gasped, the crowd shuddered. Many turned their faces away, many covered their eyes. Mothers pushed their sleepy-eyed children into the safe shields of their homes, the brick walls a barrier from the madness just beginning its ascent.

The man at the centre of attention had a frail body coated with blood. He lay moaning on the gritty soil, his bloody figure a stark contrast to the lush greens and white fences behind him. The man’s long, spidery fingers were clawing at his back, where two large cuts formed a barely decipherable upside-down V. Flies were beginning to settle on his ripped flesh; the shimmer of bone could be seen through the muck of blood and soil. It was a horrifying sight – one that took the breath out of you and replaced it with the stench of raw flesh.

“He is insane,” whispered one man in the crowd, edging towards the bloody, moaning figure.

“They say he wanted to meet God,” breathed another in awe, his tone pushing the crowd together in a tighter circle.

And the bleeding man had wanted to meet God. A life of poverty and hunger had forced him years ago to turn towards various forms of escape from reality. His childhood was spent gazing at rich children playing in parks and eating their leftover snacks. His adolescence was spent gazing at voluptuous girls through intoxicated eyes. Soon, the gravity of his situation settled inside him like a cancer waiting to grow. He had no family, he had no friends. He slept under benches and beneath trees. He ran with the stray dogs and joined them in their hunt for gold (a rotting piece of chicken leg or a half-empty packet of rice) in the piles of garbage that dotted the outskirts of his small town. He admired the rich folk from afar, and hoped fervently that their eyes would meet his, recognizing pitifully the hunger in him. It never happened.

The little white church in his town had often offered him food when it had wanted to look philanthropic. He had never considered the idea of God; to him a church was just a space for rich people to form singing groups and, ultimately, ignore reality. One day, it struck him that this church might help him escape his reality. He had gone with a hopeful smile, grumbling stomach, and bright impoverished eyes to the church, and the events that followed thereafter had soon become a haze of memories in his mind that almost always led to a feeling of intense hatred and anger. They had shunned him and insulted him; many had laughed and many had closed their noses to avoid his homeless stench. “God doesn’t concern himself with little thieves like you,” a shiny-suited man had told him, and he had choked in anger, unable to speak, unable to express how this very God had stolen the chances of a good life from him.

Weeks had gone by, yet the man could not shake the feeling that this unjust God would somehow provide him with happiness. The songs that floated out of the cruel church day after day raised goose bumps on his bony arms and filled his heart with a warmth he could not comprehend. He quietly followed children who discussed stories of God they had learnt in school; he eavesdropped on religious old men who sat with cups of tea in park benches, talking about the beauty and grace of God. Day after day, God reeled him in, and he knew control was slowly spiraling out of his hands. He watched the rich people and their superficial devotion, and he knew they did not understand the dizzying power that was held by God. The church, to him, was just a man-made building misused by men who wanted to pretend. He stole books from children, and he read stories of angels who sat by the feet of God, of creatures that spent eternity wanting to serve God. Of poor men who dedicated their lives to finding God, of rich men who misused him.

Hunger changed forms; it was no longer food that he craved.

He wanted to reach this God, to feel him, to experience his love and grace. He went around, thinking of ways he could leave his earthly life (a life that seemed so similar to the hell the people around him talked of). He began to experience other-worldly feelings; he saw angels in grocery stores, felt the comfort and affection of outstretched arms as he dozed behind parked vehicles. His eyes took on a brightness that became too much for the townsfolk to bear – they looked away from him, unwilling and unable to acknowledge the starving man and his delirious dreams.

He wandered around town day and night, quoting Shakespeare, Keats and the Bible, and thought of ways he could use to reach God. The ‘religious’ townsfolk weren’t consumed with God, and he knew he had to lose his mind to God in order to have him accept his selfless devotion. He had no ulterior motive. He was pure in his intentions, and he knew (from what he had gathered from many torn pages and snippets of conversations) that he deserved to be with God. He could feel his pulsating mind, his feverish body, and he knew that he just had to find a way. Everything else would fall in order.

And one day, as he sat amidst rats and garbage, it had hit him. The angels were the servants of God – they sat the closest to him, and they experienced day after day his grace and might. Beautiful, strong, devoted angels.

He knew what he had to do.

When he had asked to borrow a sharp weapon from the butcher, the latter had handed him an axe and had conversationally asked why. “Though this be madness, yet there is method in it,” the starving man had replied, his hands trembling in excitement. The butcher had paid no heed to this, waving him away without a second glance.

The man spent the night in a trance, knowing he was close to his goal, knowing he had developed his own method to reach God. He knew he would be acknowledged; he knew he would soon be where he wanted to be.

And when morning came, he walked to the centre of town, kneeled, and raised his shiny axe. The screaming started, the blood began to boil, the body started to shudder. He kept going. Swing after swing after swing. He needed openings on his back, for how else would his wings come out? He could feel his wings throb beneath his flesh; he could feel his bones tremble. Blood flowed freely, and his screams blended with his ragged breathing. He was losing his vision; his extremities had gone numb. Yet he knew what he was doing was right, for he could feel the thrumming of heat inside him, the inexplicable force that kept him going.

The crowd around him could see the man was about to die – he lay in a fetal position, and his blood formed a boundary around him.

The whispers of the crowd sounded like a quiet breeze to the dying man. He knew he was succeeding. He could feel himself being pulled away from his earthly life. The years of hunger were left behind; he could feel a new strength inside.

He was floating. He shouted with joy.

The crowd shuddered as the man let out a piercing scream.

He was floating, and he felt his back arch and bend as his wings slowly spread out. The world was a white haze around him.

Many in the crowd moved away, unable to watch as the man’s body began to writhe uncontrollably.

He rose and rose and began to feel the warmth of outstretched arms that were waiting just for him. An embrace he had been craving for, an embrace he had lost his mind for. His heart was fit to burst. His eyes were filled with tears.

He had succeeded.

The crowd watched as his convulsing body stilled, as his ragged breaths came to an abrupt stop.

He had died.




I sit down to write. From the whirl of fast-moving disembodied thoughts in my mind, I pluck a topic. I start writing. No more than five sentences later, another seemingly more important topic pops up, freezing my brain and stopping my fingers. I stay still for ten minutes, mentally shifting from one topic to another, not being able to choose one.  In this stage of doubt, other thoughts seep into the crack between the two disputed topics. I am now thoroughly confused. Temporarily giving up, I get up to drink some water. I watch some YouTube videos. I cannot concentrate and neither can I be completely distracted. Inside my chaotic mind, I am writing witty sentences. I am writing a poem. I am thinking about dialogues for a character in a story I haven’t even started writing yet. I am passionate and fierce, but it is all inside my mind. If I close my eyes, I can see my hands writing down the beautiful words I am thinking of. If I open my eyes, my fingers don’t move and my mind goes back to its chaotic state. I start to become anxious. I jot down a few unrelated sentences, and then pull these apart to dump the same words somewhere else. I write a dark and boring poem about some traumatic event. I draw a few doodles next to this poem. I close my eyes. I fidget, I crack my knuckles, I chew my tongue. In the end, out of sheer frustration, I publish the boring poem on my blog. I swallow back my disappointment. Am I a good writer only inside my head? When I open my eyes, the weight of reality pushes the words back inside my head. When I close my eyes, my mind is free to ignore the difficulties of emotions and reality. But no matter what, I will keep writing. I will try, day after day, to get past the invisible barriers that block my words and hold my fingers. I will try to bring out the good writer in me. But for now, I will stick to the good old excuse of ‘writer’s block’.


2a04f6bb4da2d85c29942f13196a5372.jpgThe windy days

the pouring rain

the trees that gazed

the sense of pain

It all comes back to me.

The bumpy roads

the muddy dogs

the life-sized boards

the rotting logs

It all comes back to me.

The shimmer of gold

the smell of damp soil

the crooked backs of the old

their reasons to toil

It all comes back to me.

Let Her Free


Let her out of her cage,

she needs to fly.

Give her a chance,

all she needs to do is try.

Let her go,

let her free,

All her true feelings

will come out eventually.

Let her wander,

let her roam,

Her heart knows what to do,

Her heart knows where to go.


Subtlety or nah ?


Imagine a situation where you’re really, really annoyed. You have two options – either you boldly voice out your annoyance or you subtly hint at it using body language or expression. The question is, which is more effective? After asking a lot of people, I have come to the very unpredictable answer – to each his own. What an anticlimax, right? Right. But the thing is, over time, people start recognizing another person’s neutral body language. So if you’re talking to a person who DOESN’T know you very well, chances are that he or she will NOT understand your highly annoyed body language (bet you didn’t know that, hah) . But, of course, almost everyone understands the universal symbols of annoyance.
These include –
1) raised eyebrows (should make you look unconcerned or uninterested)
2) fidgeting and watch-checking (classic)
3) frowning (universally recognized certified gesture of irritation and annoyance)
4) nose flaring (very dramatic, but effective)
Everyone gets annoyed. Remember, getting annoyed is not on the same level as getting insulted. So don’t fly off the handle! Save your fierce anger for a moment that actually requires it. Don’t displace your annoyance either. Just because your pen stopped working midway through a frantic note-making session in class doesn’t mean you can get away with shouting at your friend for asking if you’re upset. Don’t let your emotions rule you. If you really, really can’t control your emotions, I suggest you take the well-worn path of subtlety .
I thus conclude my unhelpful article, and shall go back to frowning at my depressing dinner of cornflakes with too little milk.
You can see how I deal with annoyance.

Animal Rights – left behind?


Why are ‘rights’ only limited to humans?  Why does every concept presented in this world have to revolve around humans? I understand that humans are self-obsessed and shallow, but the magnitude of this fact hit me only recently. Most people do not understand the fact that the Earth wasn’t just created for them (if the Earth was ‘created’  in the first place, but let’s not get into that now). Animals form a major part of this world, the world that we so conceitedly call our ‘own’. We may have, as a species, ‘rose to the top of the food chain’, may have become a modern society, may have surpassed all animals when it comes to intelligence, but our moral senses (which form the core of the distinct nature of us humans; what supposedly separates us from animals) definitely seem to be going down the drain.It’s common enough to see people dismiss animals as though they are unworthy creatures -or pests, as some have disgustedly called them. If you cannot sympathise with a voiceless innocent creature, how will you feel any compassion for your fellow species? The Internet has brought to light the horrible and shockingly disturbing nature of humans. Only a few months ago we saw the viral video in which two medical students threw a dog from the roof for ‘fun’. In Bangalore, one of the so-called ‘most modern’ cities of India , a woman ruthlessly killed newborn puppies in front of the mother to teach the mother dog a ‘lesson’, as the poor stray had dared to give birth in the drainage under the mentioned woman’s house. Such incidents take away the little hope that people may have had in humanity. Not only do such incidents point to the increasingly heartless characters of people, it also shows a disturbing preference that people nowadays have for violence and cruelty. Say what you may, I believe that a person cannot be good if he/she cannot sympathise with animals. People often argue that concept of ‘being good’ is fluid, and that it depends on perception. People also argue that ‘humans come first’. I believe that if you cannot care for animals, you cannot be good. If you can’t help them, then at least leave them alone. Why torture them just because your ancestors managed to evolve? You cannot survive in this world without animals.Humans were the biggest mistake that happened to Earth, that is true. I do realise that I have a very pessimistic point of view when it comes to this issue, but it’s hard to be optimistic when you’ve experienced first hand the cruelty that humans possess so indifferently. I have witnessed people running over dogs with their car for fun, and passers-by ignoring the bleeding animal. I have seen a man throw a garbage bag into a drainage – the bag contained a small kitten, which was later adopted by a woman. The issue regarding wild animals is a whole different level. Spreading awareness isn’t working, campaigns aren’t working, speeches made by great leaders aren’t working.The problem is mentality. If you manage to change the mentality of one person, he/she can do the same to another. So talk to your family, your friends, your acquaintances . Be vocal and passionate about such issues. Volunteer at animal shelters. Work out solutions for animal rights issues with like-minded people. Use the internet to connect to animal lovers all around the world. Join an NGO that works for animals. And most of all, be determined. We may be slowly losing hope but the battle isn’t over yet. We aren’t weak. And if we won’t fight it for the voiceless, then who will?

The Passing

She held his lifeless body in her arms and gazed at the slightly confused expression on his face.  He hadn’t been able to accept that he was dying.  He had been a man of vitality,  energy –  illness and death had seemed to cower away from him. Little had he known that they had been sneaking up on him all along –  to gently hug him from behind and pull him under the sweet love of their wanting,  their purpose.  They had never really liked cowering from him.

The understandable explanation given by death and illness made little sense to her.  She did not see why his warm laughter and sparkling eyes had been turned abruptly off. Like a beautiful song not allowed its time.  Like a piece of art that never got completed. It had nothing to do with her,  a normal being with a normal soul, so why had it come for her as well? For she had died along with him. The only difference was that her heart was still beating.

A little difference that made no difference.

Two people died that day.  One died and remained dead.  The other died and stayed alive.