It is worthy of amazement how one can be so accustomed to what is absurd.
What is strange, what is not?
I wonder, living side by side with the dead, the undead, the troubled and fortunate.
How are we so accustomed to a regular breach in our morals?
Today, I sat typing the names of injured protesters for the Kashmiri conflict for my sister. The words did not seem personal, Mushafars, Ahmeds, they did not sound like living, breathing people who were writhing in agony a few states away from me.
They sounded like a few names, scrawled hurriedly on a hospital data sheet. My sister was spelling the names out, I was typing, when it occurred to me a spelling error, an error in transcription would mean somewhere, a family sat unsure of whether their son was in the hospital bed or missing.
The enormous responsibility of an act so done with ease, shook me.
The next tab, there was open an online shopping website. I was typing out the word ‘dead’ in an excel sheet, beside a name of a person who was living the day before yesterday. I was noting down homicide yet,
Yet nothing changed. The screen beeped, ‘sale on blue pants.’
That is where the trouble lies. No matter how many lives are lost, irrespective of how much some suffer, nothing ever really changes.
We are stuck forever in a history of unanswered prayers.
I then picked up my phone, saw my brother had asked me to find a good print of Now you see me 2. He didn’t seem to mind that I would pirate the movie. What other option did we have? The movie hasn’t launched in India, I cannot afford to watch it any other way. I break rules, commit a sort of mild felony for something as simple as a movie, noone blinks an eye.
Three states away, a boy my age was murdered for wishing the ak47 and uncertainty of ‘armywallahs’ wouldn’t plague their lives anymore.
Upstairs, my cousin sister lay absorbed in her boyfriend of the month, while my sister sitting beside me watched a documentary on state perpetrated violence.
My uncle sends a message on facebook to my sister, telling her that our political situation calls for nothing short of a revolution, and to keep her faith strong. While my sister read it out to me, my father walked into the room, asking whether I could help him caption photos.
Mechanically, I add catchy lines on the bottom of his facebook album documenting his photography in China and Honkkong.
My friend pings me, asking me why I sound so different today. I want to tell him “I am two people at once, we all are. We drink tea while reading about girls raped in alleyways, and terrorists slitting throats. I sound unlike myself, because I have reconciled to being two people at once, sometimes the girl who likes Jake Gyllenhaal isnt home when he calls. Someone else picks up the phone”
I wonder if he would understand.
I decide he wont. I tell him “I don’t know’
I sit down to watch a movie, and find myself drawn to the keyboard. Absently, I kill an ant climbing up my thigh. Somewhere a baby is born with peals of cries.
The wind chime fills the silent room with music. My phone blinks again. My friend tells me Iwan Rheon is a full fledged singer.
I consider telling her I know the names of three dead Kashmiri Protesters.
Her best friend cut ties with her because she was muslim. I wonder what that girl would have thought of her precious army if I whispered the name of all the dead muslims her Indian soldiers killed in her name.
I don’t know what to say to my friend though.
The phone sits on my thigh.
I wish someone would call me, and draw me into a cocoon of their self-centered needs.
I want to drink. I think again of the women straining rosary beads in their fists as gun shots tear the ground, its not that far from here.
I wish I had some money. For an interview, they want me to write a play about highschool students. I fight the sigh swelling inside.
I run my finger down my contact list, all my ex classmates look like strangers. I look up, there is a pile of books waiting for my touch.
A book by Marquez is on top and wars with Identity and Violence by Amartya Sen sitting on the bottom
Which one is more important, I wonder.
My friend is getting worried, he asks me if my sister has left for her hostel. I take a casual picture of her, she poses and I click. We go back to our own laptops, without a word.
The silence is comfortable.
I think of another silence then, because it is Sunday.
He reads my blog too, sometimes. He dislikes the surrealism in my posts. Here I stop and I delete the thoughts, I’ve known men like him, its never advisable to dwell on their lives.
I automatically start shutting parts of my mind, slowly the shock of writing ‘dead’ beside a name wears off, to be replaced by uneasiness.
I recall vividly, the trail of deep red blood that flowed down my thigh, I was washing stains of my clothes. Accustomed to the time of the month.
Accustomed to bleeding.
Accustomed to forgetting everything I cannot fix, and somethings I don’t want to.
I think of the hundreds of pain filled screams, and some laughing, unaware of the common thread of humanity that shakes and shudders all day.
I recoil into myself, a car skids outside.
A cat sneezes, I remember the new choker around my best friend’s neck.
I wish for silence, Murakami’s Dance Dance sits waiting.
I abandoned Great Expectations, and a Kashmiri Romance.
The light on my phone is blinking again, I don’t want to see the message.
Its 12.45 am.
Morning is far away.
The night is dark and full of terrors.
Our God is cruel,
There is no comfort. My mother is exhausted, she works all day, never sits still. She has fallen asleep.
My own presumptuousness amuses me.
A grey and a pink shawl dry in the room, I feel for tears inside myself.
I come up empty.
I sigh, and go light a cigarette. I wish my mind would be silent for a moment.