An object, invisible within me, like an intruder to the sensitive me, reset my lost charm. Like a true friend, she initiated the transformation mission within myself. Just like me, she too was true, loveable but stern, bold yet determined. You can be at times crazy too, she said. Well, with whom was my next query. Her answer was only a wink!
Are you exploring me? Her response was only a smile. Turn back and you will see yourself…how you loved yourself and your loved ones! How you never bothered what others thought about you, how you always did what you thought to be right… how you believed in yourself and the super power above you who stood by you for every right deed of yours, how you always obeyed your conscious without paying heed to what others thought you to be. Can you change their outlook?
Being outspoken is your way, that is what one must chase without resorting to the cheapest tools of hunting one down! Life for life, love for love, hatred for hatred! My bewildered look gave her enough space to pursue her conclusions and she was right!
She never wanted me to nestle between my sense of belonging and the response sheet I received. Perhaps this is not what you deserve, she has been constantly turtling my disturbed emotions, you need to navigate your voyage to the right direction.
Where’s the shore? Who’s having the halyard of my boat? Is it tied or set free?
Finally she answered, your shore is the farthest because hook and crook is not your forte. The captain is a Major perhaps, but indeed he has your boat with him. He’s not egoistic and so he has let you sail free.
And my final question… hey true friend, are you a talisman?
Yes, I am within you, my charismatic charm has cast a spell on you, I am your own MIND!
How do they let go those who stood by them during critical times ?
Why and how do some people change colours just like Chameleons?
How can they be so pretentious?
At the same time how do they profess and preach about humanity?
What are the parameters of quality, to them?
Is it the self-proclaimed superiority of a superior Birth?
Can’t they use that complex for better evolutions?
How do they become so judgemental on you?
Why is it permanent in some blood that they are just jealous to see you happy?
After hours of repeated tossing, I just asked my brain to relax as I had an answer.
Time will stand by your stand, righteousness will succeed,
The wheel of Truth will slay Untruth, gradually.
In the third chapter of The Gita, Arjuna asks Krishna.
“You know, Krishna, sometimes men do terrible, sinful things, even though they know it’s wrong. It’s as if some unstoppable force is making them do it, almost against their will. What’s this force, do you know?”
And Krishna answered:
“This is the desire, this is the wrath, born of Rajas or passion.
It devours everything, it’s most sinful. This is the enemy-know it!”
A shadow unheard, unseen, hidden
Behind the curtain of my bemused mind,
Heaped before my rolling black balls,
And then devoured by my self-esteem,
Waltzed up:Hey You, The Purpose and The
Pursuit, your Aspiration and The Realm,
The Path and the Followers, Recognition and
The Rapport, The Outcome and The Desire
Is the snaky track of The Path set?
Stunned at the audacity of the unexpected
Stroke, I tossed it to The Light inside me,
Placidly said: You Poised Lady, Your Pursuit
Is towards Paradise, The Hereafter. The Happiness
of your Soul!
Worms can't degrade you, Faith is the only Key
to Unlock the door of The Paradise. Move On!
How do I thank thee? History in black and white
Is now colourful. While historians were busy
digging an empty hole, you dug a dry land
to find the invisible without letting it glide over.
Discovered, the invisible became a torrent.
Not many can do what you did, read the thanksgiving.
A woman alone surpassing the under currents
so fierce, so powerful yet foul minds to defeat a lady
who's determined and blessed by a force more powerful
than Niagara's falls.
The folded hands kept either sides
With a feigned face reminds me of
a cat, after hours of good sleep and bowls of good food
turn furious with a single whip! Or is it the face of a contestant
seeking votes? No, their look is fair!
Synonyms of ingratitude encircle the invisible
Some of them just wait for a stage to show
their weird faces, don't they realise they can be
the clowns of the show ?
Some floating figures, toss as the wind goes.
Thanks for the invisible, the chorus said.
I just murmured, dare you say without meaning it,
prove, if you are not effeminate and lady-like.
His legs are streaky, his thoughts are bigoted,
His words are sugary, insincere, only frictional.
He's dramatic, thinks he's capable of creating
An impact wave, the waves fail to hit the shore.
Thinks himself as an intellectual, imposes himself
with the blunt sword made of mud
upon the poor folk.
Highly ungrateful, floats around trying to pocket
people he thinks he needs, sings songs of praise
While it becomes burial songs to true hearts.
If someone asks me to name him, I would only
call him as Mr. Hypocrite!
Up the ladder of thoughts,
Steep through the steps of dreams,
Walked I trembling to grab a grip.
The poles of the desert waving
while grinning, foreshadowed to be stagnant.
Sirocco! Those heads within the dancing
dunes whistled passing over my destiny!
Sudden, I hear nature's music!
Gentle and undefiled, I felt tears in the
corners of my eyes,ethereal,mournful chimes,
made my heart pounce, who heard the thud?
The disappeared heads, who saw the blades of grass?
Resumption towards tropical forests!
Evergreen not dense though, I grew tall.
Those towering trees without shading the sunlight
spread into branches of broad leaves.
Thick barked, nature kept me safe from
the cold waves, erosion and the huge fall!
No mythical bird,
No trace in Greek legends,
An eagle, not of Arabia.
Her beak sealed, legs tied,
Wings broken,eyes pierced,
Towards the pyre, a clap of wings.
A nimbus invisible, illuminating,
She, a sapphire and Sun.
Resurrected,another clap of wings.
Beak unsealed, legs freed,
Blue eyes igniting Him.
Exceptional she, like a Peacock
Danced with a leg, time, the ONLY witness!
_ I swear, Billy makes my eyes well up every time I think of him.
Published in 1971, Arun Joshi’s The Strange Case of Billy Biswas is worth your time, soul and conscious. Having read it for the fifth time and feeling Billy, feeling for Billy very often without further reading, let me confess, Billy is one of the rarest character created ever by a novelist. Few in-completions in the novel, yes, but the character of the protagonist,Billy is more or less complete. Created then, it has all the quint essentials of the modern century’s most discussed, thought about subjects . Racism, Romance, Humour, Friendship, Politics, all in one plus one of the few characters I have read who does justice to himself forgoing his family, his social network realising what actually he wanted to do, where exactly he belongs to.
Billy Biswas, the US based(Harlem, for reasons he explains) Anthropologist returns to his homeland in Central India having sensed his intuitions without letting anyone to intrude, without expecting anybody to understand him. Young and rich, he chooses to live a tribal life in the Saal forests, leaving behind his family, creating an impression of being killed by a Tiger. All he chased throughout was the meaning of things which he see through, hear through, clear and well-defined. There could be a question on his sense of moral responsibilities towards his wife and son, but as he himself explains to Romi, his friend, on questioning,
‘ But don’t you think you had responsibilities towards her, towards your son?’
‘ I have greater responsibilities towards my soul!’
The way he looked at the Whites of America, his own super rich Father who’s a supreme court judge, his wife Meena who’s after money, what friendship actually meant to him , his views on Justice and Politics are specimens of what we see around. Being one among the aristocratic, rich class of Delhi, his mind and soul always was with the ordinary, uncivilised tribals of central India. He dreamt different, thought different, dressed different, spoke and smiled different, acted different and hence became ‘Strange.’ The way Joshi explains Billy’s eyes and his grin, I swear again, anybody would fall for him. ‘Hello old chap,’ the way he greeted Romi remains at the tip of the reader’s tongue and later gets deposited into their minds as a fixed one.
The second half of the novel is sensational as the novelist explains the commotions surrounding Billy’s disappearance, how he reacts to the call from within, from Nature. Hair raising illustration of the Tribal woman, Bilasia who becomes Billy’s wife this life as she was in the previous, a lot of beliefs around superstitions, how Billy happens to meet Romi, the collector, in the collector’s bungalow, ten years after his disappearance, his justifications and explanations for his actions, the metamorphosis the Doctor Anthropologist undergoes, are wonderful illustrations to be remembered forever.
New definitions to the word friendship is sought towards the concluding chapters. Even after Billy asks Romi not to reveal about his presence to anybody including his very family, circumstances pull Romi to act otherwise and as Billy warned, what havoc it created with his life there! Billy’s father, with all his political influence tries to find Billy out through his civil servant friend, Romi, and Romi resists and hesitates. Soon things go beyond his control and the search for Billy Biswas turns to a man-hunt.
Bilasia’s questions to Romi and his answer less face haunts a true reader. The terrified face of Billy’s younger son and the intelligent, the shrewd face of Billy’s elder son with a hint that he would become like his father is a positive note before the novel ends. As Billy meets with the inevitable end, the emotional heart of the reader too floods up.
A character complete in almost all the senses, I often wonder about another possible end to the novel. Perhaps, that end could satisfy the soul of an ordinary reader, not the elite. Billy with his strangeness has become a part of my sensible thought. Hope he becomes a member of yours too, if you let… Have a read.