Sunday, May 1

Candid in the Love City - IV


Our Candid  fully accepted the suggestions of old man and instead of groaning or screaming or trying to talk with people passing by, he kept his eyes closed most of time and stayed focused on his inner self, believing he’ll see the rays of light any moment and that moment will be moment of his freedom. Of getting untied from this pole, of learning the laws of Love City and meeting fair Jane to never depart her again. But that fortunate moment seemed slept far away in some cave of future and there was nothing in sight that Candid could name as “light”.

There was just the pole, tied Candid upon whom people passing by daily had started laughing and more and more cut from old man, an occasional glimpse of Jane that every time appeared after an interval longer than previous and daily lectures of old man in praise of sacred pain that opens the gates of heart for enlightenment. Candid was unable to understand how much pain he has to endure before that light could awake inside him, but
his natural cheerfulness was fading away gradually, an irritated and pessimist behavior had begun to replace it and Candid became more and more used to old man’s knife. He spent most of his time grumbling in low voice of all the wrongdoings world had done to him.  He again and again remembered the owner of tea stall, who didn’t return his 50 cents because Candid had asked for an extra spoon of sugar. He remembered the polish-boy who broke lace of his shoes while trying to remove them for polish and 10 cents he had to spend for buying a new lace for his shoes. He remembered even the Countess Le Rire who often accompanied him in travel but never paid for his ticket, wasn’t such an act of cruelness enough to break heart of any human? He was thankful to old man who showed him true face of people and with wise wounds led him to know his true, angry and sad self.
One day, tied with pole, and dreaming of the light to-be-awakened very soon, he saw Countess Le Rire again. 
“Oh my, you are still tied here Candid.” She exclaimed.
Candid remembered old man’s advice to not let even her shadow touch his shadow, he was embarrassed to observe that shadow of countess was directly touching the shadow of pole with which he was tied and slightly touching his own shadow too.
“Be off, be off you witch!” He screamed. “Keep your cursed shadow away from me?”
 Countess was surprised. “Hey, smiling and singing Candid, what happened to you? You never spoke with anyone in this harsh tone, let alone with a lady?”
“Be gone, be gone!” Candid shouted. “I don’t want to talk with you.”
People passing by laughed, Candid didn’t know whether they laughed at him or at countess, for him both cases didn’t make any difference. However, countess wasn’t as indifferent as Candid, she turned red with anger.
 “Well, well, I got it.” She said angrily. “That devil has turned you into a melancholy copy of himself and you stupid …..” She stopped for a moment. “Well, I’d not blame you for this; it is nature of men to become complete idiot at glimpse of a fair lady and sadly very little can be done for this. But I’ll not let him kill your candidness anyway, if laws of love city allow him to do this all, they can’t stop me from helping an old friend.” 
“Don’t be blasphemous to sacred pain!” Candid resisted. “You don’t know the highest of enlightenment hidden in pain.”
“Well, how long do you think this pain will take to awake that so called light?” Countess asked.
“Hmm, I don’t know.” Candid replied simplistically.
“Well, ask the old man this question today. We’ll meet again tomorrow!” Countess said with a smile and disappeared in a blink of eye.
 Countess’s words penetrated the barriers of all the spells casted by old man. He couldn’t stop himself from thinking about her question all the day. When old man came to lecture him on the sacredness of pain, Candid asked him the question candidly. “Sir, how long this pain will take to awake the light inside me?” 
“Why are you asking this?” Old man distasted his question very much. “Whole world sees the sun once rose. You’ll witness the light yourself once it awake and you’ll not need to ask any question then.”
Candid wasn’t satisfied with this rhetorical answer. “I want to know how long it will take in your opinion, how many weeks, months or years? I believe you have helped many people to awake this light inside them and your experience might have an idea for the time required for whole process.”
“Ah, you naïve Candid! Haven’t you read poetry, poets spent their whole lives in bitterness, suffering and pain. It’s their light that turned into master pieces and helped a number of people see the path in jungle of life. Do you know? None of them complained of their pain or tried to get rid of it. They accepted and embraced their pain and earned the respect of ages. For them, pain wasn’t an accidental happening but a lifelong process that helped them live more enlightened than others. Seeing these facts, why do you hurry to escape from this pain? Don’t you see, you haven’t accepted this pain yet and isn’t this the reason of your suffering and being tied here? Look inwards, ask this question to yourself”
 “I want answer from you!” Candid insisted, the wise question of countess wasn't to be satisfied with this rhetorics. 
“Unfortunately, I have no answer for an obstinate and willful student who doesn’t pay attention to lessons of his teacher and keeps asking silly question.” Old man stood up. “No lecture today, you have spoiled my mood. We’ll meet again tomorrow and keep your questioning machine turned off while learning the laws of Love city.”
Countess Le Rire appeared immediately after old man departed.
“Where you around?”
 “Of course, I was around. I care for friends.” Countess smiled. 
“He refused to answer my question.” Candid said with disappointment.
“I knew he will not answer your question because he has no answer.” Countess seemed amused by Candid’s disappointment. “It was silly of you to expect any answer from him, do you know why he has tied you here?”
 “Because I don’t know the laws of love city and laws of love city are not ordinary laws, they can’t be taught an ordinary way. We have to suffer and endure pain to learn those laws.” Candid repeated old man’s words like a learned parrot.
 Laughter of countess was louder than Candid expected but it didn’t include any bit of contempt in it, it was a pure joyous laughter,  particular to countess ,that does not provoke irritation or anger, . “This time let me call you “O naïve Candid” but not in the sense of naivety in which old man calls you” She said. “But never mind it, we are always naïve in a foreign land no matter how learned we are in our own country. If you were free to learn the laws at your own behalf, you’d have learned everything by now. Tied here with this pole, you are very cunningly kept from learning while deluded to believe you are learning."
 “Oh my God!” Candid screamed, words of countess had quickly made sense. “ Do you mean he made me believe first that I can’t learn the laws of Love City myself and then tied me here with this pole to make sure I’ll not try to learn these laws myself? Now I look towards him all the time and endure all the cuts he gives me.” 
“You got it right!” Countess smiled. “I expected you to understand this. Look, Candid! This is the only way of learning, you got questions and you seek answers. There’s nothing mysterious to that”
“But you also said that laws of Love City can’t be learned ordinary way of learning.” Candid pointed out.
“That’s true, but do you know? Laws of Love City don’t allow harming anyone. They don’t allow even making a scar on back of one’s hand.”
 “What?” Candid shouted so loudly that everybody passing by stopped for a moment to look at them. “Then why old man says that laws of Love City give him full authority over me including the authority of giving all these cuts everywhere? How can he wound me this much in presence of such a law? He should be jailed for his inhumanity.”
“But unfortunately, laws of Love City don’t allow jailing anyone who teaches the law. This is how cunning people exploit law.”
Candid’s head was now swirling. “I’m enough with these God damned laws now. They allow everything evil and yet don’t allow jailing a criminal, what a fraud in the name of laws.”
 “Don’t rush on decisions.” Countess said. “You are far from understanding these things but you’ll learn everything soon once you got your freedom.”
“Can I get free? Can I get my hands untied and walk on the ground with free feet?” Candid got excited. “If it’s possible, dear countess, please do it for the sake of friendship and humanity. I’ll be grateful to you for the rest of my life.”
 “It’s possible but it’s not going to be easy.” Countess said with a smile. 
“I’m ready to pay any price for this.” Candid said quickly. “Any price, I assure you.”
“Don’t be so quick to announce that, may be you are not ready to pay that price.” Countess wasn’t as excited as Candid was.
“How can it be? I’m Candid the free soul; I can pay everything, do anything, to get my freedom back.” Candid uttered in amazement.
 “Try to remember, you were more excited to do anything for your Jane sometimes back.” Countess laughed her friendly laughter. “What do you think about her now?” 
 Candid got sad. “I haven’t seen her for a long time. I miss her but I can’t forget the fact that she is the reason behind all these wounds.” 
 “What if the price of freedom is her? What if you have to forget her in order to get free?” Countess inquired.

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