Saturday, April 30

Candide in the Love City - I


It's said that Candid, the singing and smiling traveler, arrived in a new city en route his journey. The city was called Love City and it was law there that no traveler was allowed to stay there without proving being in love. Candid didn’t know that law; he entered a hotel whistling carelessly as he was used to and asked the cleric at reception for a single bed room. 

“Are you in love with someone?”  Cleric asked.


 Candid got nervous at this unexpected question. “Umm, no, I’m not in love with anyone.”


 Cleric stared at him with displeasure. “Do you really mean that? Have you never been in love ever?”


Candid’s confusion grew. “Perhaps” He tried to remember “It seems like I have been in a love, or I thought so at that time. Let me think, was that love? Umm, no, that was not love or perhaps that was love. More probably that wasn’t love and I have never been in love. But what this all have to do with my checking in?”


 “Don’t you know the law of city?” Cleric said angrily. “This is love city and no traveler is allowed to stay here without being in love.”


 “This is very strange” Candid said in surprise. “Would no hotel of city book me a room without being in love with someone?” 


 “No” Said the cleric harshly. “Now you can go, better leave the city or fall in love with someone before sunset. Even if you tried sleeping on footpath without being in love, you’ll get arrested and jailed for violation of law.”


“One minute.” Candid implored. “Does this mean that I can book a room by just saying: Yes, I’m in love with someone?”


“No!” Cleric replied. “You have to prove this sir, and it’s your own headache to prove your claim. Law just wants you to prove this anyway.”


“Then it’s better for me to leave this city as soon as possible.” Candid soliloquized. “My free nature can’t tolerate strain of such laws.”


 “Good bye sir, wish you good luck.” The tone in which last words were said, didn't resemble the word “good” in any sense of its real meanings. 


When Candid got out of hotel he found the sun descending down fast behind the jungle of towers that surrounded the scenario of city.


 “Damn it!” Candid growled. “I have to fall in love with someone and request her to help me booking a room in a hotel. What a foolish task to do and what a foolish law. I wonder how the legislature of city came to pass such an absurd law, but it’d be better for me to fall in love first. Hunger has started murmuring inside my stomach and soon it’ll be shouting at full voice. I don’t now if laws of this city allow to buy the food without falling in love or not but it’s better for me to try falling in love first. These jumbo size mosquitoes, hovering above my head in clusters, spending a night with their love doesn’t seem to be a good idea. Mosquitoes are always merciless and I’d not wonder if mosquitoes of love city proved to be crueler than mosquitoes of anywhere else. I can’t expect anything good from a city with such absurd laws.”


 A beautiful maid appeared from the door of building next to hotel while Candid was engages in that self-talk. She was one of prettiest girls Candid had seen ever. Her curly black hairs were shining in last rays of sun so magnificently that, given the choice, rivers of world would have preferred that black magnificence over their colorless purity. Clad in white gown, with a glowing smile on pink lips and a bunch of red flowers in hand, she looked like a garden turned into a girl by some kind of magic. Candid  forgot to breathe until she directly addressed him. “What’s matter stranger? You look in some problem.”


Candid couldn’t believe at first that he can be so lucky. “Eh, it’s ok … I mean, so kind of you to ask me … Umm, I’m ok, yes, there is some problem. I’m new to this city and laws of this city are kind of strange … I mean …..” He smelled the sweet fragrance of Night Jasmine coming from lady as he breathed his first breath after seeing her.


 She laughed. A laughter like the jingle of a thousand silvery bells in royal garden, though Candid was sure all bells of world together couldn’t produce the sweetness that seeing such a heavenly laughter on lips of a beautiful maid can cause to heart. 


“I know the laws of city well.” She replied. “And I can help you, you want to fall in love with someone?”
“Yes, but unfortunately … I mean …” Candid hesitated, it didn’t seem reasonable to tell a girl that he needs to fall in love with someone.


 “Misfortune is good fortune in disguise,  good side can appear any moment, stranger …” She smiled again. 
“D… Do you mean that …. That!” Candid stammered.


“Stranger, as it is law of city for strangers to fall in love with someone, so it is the law for all girls of city also to fall in love with strangers.” She replied in a soft, low tone. “Do you think lawmakers of city didn’t know what they are doing when they passed the law for strangers?”


A sudden idea came to Candid’s mind. “Do you mean the law punishes the girls if she can’t make at least one stranger fall in love with them?” Candid asked.


“It is so, we are given these red flowers at a specific age and if we can’t make a stranger fall in love with us before the flowers wither away, we are punished. I have been unlucky to wait too long for meeting a stranger but I’m lucky that these flowers are not withered yet. Will you please accept these flowers from me?”


 “Of course my dear!” Candid shouted in excitement. “I’ll consider this to be the luckiest thing ever happened to me. I wonder how an angel, a fairy, a flower like you can remain hidden from eyes of lovers for that long. What a bliss it’s to accept these heavenly flowers from pretty hands of a maid like you; I’ll put these flowers in vase of my heart and will kiss them every morning, smell them every night. I’ll bring the water from river of eternity to sprinkle on these flowers and will never let these flowers wither.” He kissed the hand of girl with a passionate kiss. “Just a few minutes ago, I hated the laws of this city and this city was the most disliked place on Earth for me. Now I appreciate the wisdom of lawmakers those endowed this city with such wise laws and this is the most beautiful place on Earth for me.”


Girl blushed. “Stranger, you have to learn all laws of this city to complete your love.”


“I’m eager to learn all those laws!” Candid declared. “But before that, I’ll like to book a room in any hotel of city and have dinner. O most beautiful lady on the Earth, will you not please help me booking a room? We’ll have a splendid dinner afterwards and I assure you that I can write beautiful poems when I’m not hungry.”


“Stranger!” Girl said with a frown. “We are not that inhospitable to let a lover wander on streets in search of a room in hotel, you are coming with Me.”


 “Aw, who doesn’t love a love with a built-in saving plan!” Candid exclaimed. “I’m ready to follow you even if it leads to hell fire.”


“You surely don’t need to go in hell fire!” Girl replied with a smile. “Come follow me”


She entered back the building from where she appeared. Candid followed her.



Inside the building, in a semi-dark room, lit with feeble yellow light of a small candle, Candid met a white-headed old man with wisdom of ages woven in wrinkles of his face. Girl introduced both to each other. Old man welcomed the Candid warmly. “So you fell in love with Jane? It’s very wise decision, a decision that will make your life as happy as was Adam’s life in heaven.”

 “So, name of my sweetheart is Jane.” Candid thought. "What a fool am I, falling in love with someone without knowing their name, but how can be a person not fool abiding by such laws as of this city."


“Jane! Did you tell him what the first thing is according to law to do after falling in love?” old man inquired.
“Oh sorry, I forgot that, in fact …” Jane tried to explain but old man didn’t care to listen to her explanation. “Never mind, just tell him.”


“Oh yes, stranger! According to laws of city, first thing to do after falling in love is the first thing that I’d ask you to do.” Jane said to Candid.


  “I’m your Candid, not strange anymore.” Candid replied cheerfully. “I assure you that I’ll do anything you’d ask me. Even if it’s stealing the big diamond from the crown of ghost realm’s tyrant, I’ll do it for you.”


 “I’m not going to assign you any such task.” Girl was amused by his reply. “I just ask you to pay attention to wise saying of this old man; he is an authority on laws of love city and no one knows laws of love city better than him, do whatever he asks you to do. Once you learned all laws of love city, the rewards you’ll get are beyond your imagination.” 


 Turning to door of building, she waved good bye to Candid. “I have to go now but very soon I’ll return to live forever by you. Pay attention to laws, and, to nothing else.”  


 She went out like a sudden current of wind laden with fragrance of Night Jasmine.  Candid  took a deep breath to catch the last particles of fading away scent and to soothe the nervousness arising. 
“Ok, now look towards me young man! She is gone and I don’t know whether you will see her again or not!”  Old man began to say.


Candid got shocked. “What do you mean?” He asked in a furious tone, standing up from his chair.
“Calm down young man! Calm down and sit down!” Old man said without getting any impression from Candid’s passion. “Listen, don’t try to reach any result or make any move without knowing the laws of love city first. Your success or failure depends on your learning. Do you know how sacred love is? Do you know why lawmakers of love city passed all these laws? Do you know what it means to be in love? Without knowing the answers to these questions, don’t hurry on anything.”


 Candid felt his excitement and passion of love abating like the sea foam after a tempest. Feeling of hunger rose again. “It looks like learning the laws of love city isn’t like learning ordinary lessons in school therefore I’d better have dinner before listening to old man’s lecture.” He thought and addressed old man. “I’m very much thankful to you for your kindness. I owe for the wonderful fact that you assumed the responsibility of teaching me laws of love city. But, may I have dinner before learning the laws of love city? I mean, it doesn’t seem probable that I can understand and memorize all laws with an empty stomach. My mother was used to say that I have to take my lunch to school if I want to do well in studies and I believe in her wisdom very much.”  
He saw the expressions of old man’s face changing but couldn’t fully get what his changing face means, though he got a slight idea when old man grumbled. “You small minded people can never pay attention to noble things, you slaves of your stomach. Come with me, I’ll arrange a meal for you.”




Click Here for Part Two of Candid's adventure in Love City.  


Monday, March 21

On the Origin of human thoughts !!!

Tracing the origins of human thoughts back to their original sources, is fun, especially during walks on railroad in sunny Friday. Human conception about family, about world, about life, about beauty, about humans themselves, about society! While modern inventions of human mind are fascinating and awe inspiring, while it's wonderful to read how Edison invented bulb, Fleming discovered Penicillin or Einstein formed the theory of relativity; I’d love more to know how our ancestors migrated from caves to hand-built houses and how they came to know the joy of planting a flowery plant in yard of their house. 


I love to think and wonder what was the perception of first person on Earth about his world, trees, animals, streams, mountains, plants and birds? How he came to name them, recognize them from one another? What feeling might be of first conscious human when he listened to the song of a jay first time? I like to think who was the first person to invent a door for houses? Who invented the chair and the table or did both inventions came from different minds in different ages?


What were feelings of first father towards his offspring, of first husband towards his wife, of first son or daughter towards his father or mother? What felt the first hunter upon his first hunt and which animal was the first to become a victim of human hunger. I wonder who was the wise person to feel that he can't survive in this big big world alone and he need to live with other humans like him to stay safe and satisfy all his needs? Was this concept incorporated in mind of first human before he got a consciousness of "living" in this world or it was a conclusion that a later generation drew from a series of miseries? 
 
This question especially comes to my mind when I see 21st century's individualists counting and complaining of the "evils" imposed on individual by society. I often wonder if it happened so that a cunning human plotted something in his mind to gain power over fellow human beings and manipulated the diaspora, from a late ancestor scattered throughout a valley or jungle, to make them believe that they need to live collectively under some organized rules?
 
I wonder who was the first person to compose a song? Which material served as first music instrument to human beings? Who was the first poet and how did he feel at composing two or more rhythmic lines and wondering how beautiful they seemed to his own ears? Did first ears listening to a poem belonged to any long haired, blue eyed (or say green or hazel, this doesn't make much difference) maid and the first poet himself didn't knew what he was saying while looking into those blue eyes (or say green or hazel, this doesn't make much difference) or playing with her long silky hairs. I wonder who was the first writer to shape the immaterial sound into material of words? Who was the first person who told his children a story, the first gardener who planted a flower in yard of his house? How he or she felt at the growing beauty in yard of his/her house or in front of his/her cave? I try to imagine the bewilderment of first person who discovered fire, the awe of first person who listened to thunder of clouds, the joy of first person who got wet in rain. I try to visualize the first father who wanted his son to become something the father wanted himself wanted to be but couldn’t! The first bride and groom of world and wonder what kind of rituals (If there were any) were performed at the ceremony of their wedding? I try to imagine the first quarrel, the first joke, the first good morning, the first good night, the first person to ride on a horse (Or whatever was available to him to serve as a ride). 


I think about the first person to use something as a currency and the first person to accept it, had they imagined at that occasion that they have just led the foundation of a system to become so immensely powerful that one day it'll enslave its own masters. I think about the first judge who gave verdict on any kind of case and what laws were available to him or was that solely left upon his wisdom and knowledge? I wonder about the first thief and circumstances those made him a thief, the first killer and what made him a killer (This is one of rare things about what we have plenty of information available to color the images of our wonder) The first unfortunate prostitute and the first exploiter of her. The first warriors, first armies to fight and for what they fought with each other? I wonder about first priests, man's first impression of his Creator in this world and the first tear a person shed for an unseen God. The first school, the first teacher, the first employee, the first employer, the first friends and their first play under the blue roof of sky and first sounds of innocent laughter the silent airs of Earth listened to. The first person who pet a cat or dog or goat, the first person who milked a cow and the first person who plowed the Earth in order to grow something.
 
It's a series of unending wonders; I turn to the pages of history. Through historical records, found in remnants of dead civilizations, through the human thoughts those made to survive the fatal blows of times, I see the humans striving to survive in an uncertain world with cordial offerings but harsh countenance. I pick up dots from history and try to draw an image by linking the dots with pencil of my imagination. I see humans descending in this world as a family (Any evolutionist around, you can easily replace this descending human from heaven with an ascending human from Earth in your mind, but please don't bother to correct me) and father and mother and sons and daughters wondering what to do with all things available to them to get all the things necessary for them. I see the people wondering (Like Me ^_^) about everything around them and making observations, forming explanations of mysteries tickling, nay not mere tickling, in fact baffling with their minds and then passing these explanations to future generations. For the ease of people those liked to bath in cold stream and hunt in warm sunlight rather then bothering themselves with care about these mysteries and for the ease of future thinkers who bothered themselves to care about how and why of these mysteries. 


I see the family of two persons turning into a group of many, then so many and then too many to remain not a single group any longer. For a moment I get my head out of sea of old wonders and look at my own time, the 21st century and see the human longing to bring back that initial time, to become a family again and then I fall back into sea of old wonders and try to imagine what caused that family to split? Were they in thousands or in millions when for some reason someone decided to break with rest of family and find his own way through wilderness of life, not knowing the splitting line starting from him will grow further and become myriad like cracks on a mirror? He might be accompanied by at least one female partner in this adventure otherwise it wasn’t possible for him to lay the foundation of a unique way of living and pass it to other generations those, over span of time, were to identify themselves as different from rest because the way they live is “better” and they are “superior” to others for their uniqueness.


Oh, a unique way of living? let me stop and wonder again, what caused him to break with rest of family? Did he want to live a way that other or elder family members didn’t approve? Had the oppression of free will started in very beginning of human life? Have young been considered imbeciles since dawn of history and elders held a right to make decisions for them since the first sun rise of their life? Is striving to protect their children from the harms they have faced is incorporated into some parental genes in us? Does the rebel energy of youth also springs up from some genetic coding rather then an acquired sense of need to rebel? I try to imagine the reddened face of first rebel and his clenched fists. I wonder if he knew what difference he is going to make.


I try to fast forward the reel of time in my mind and see the one person after another breaking from family and striving to establish a world of his dreams, a world not restricted by wishes of family and then someone from his later generations tired of the world of his ancestor’s dreams and breaking with family again to find or establish a world of his own dreams. Thus I see the men dividing in tribes and spreading across the world from their place of origin. I see them spreading outward in a gradual circle from their place of origin, say from heart of Africa to plains of Atlantis, grasslands of Europe and deserts of Arabian peninsula, later this circle spreads further to mountains of Central Asia, plain of India, North pole’s icy Scandinavian fringe, prairies of America and in a far corner of world, the lonely Australia. 


I see the world getting narrower for an individual to run away and establish a dream world of his own. There are no more thousands of miles available to cherish the dreams of all dreamers! Sons and daughters of Adam and Eve should now learn to establish their dream world within known limits. I see the era of wandering tribes coming to an end and earlier drafts appearing on the map of world those were to become the blue prints of great civilizations. I see the humanity resting at banks of rivers and stream after centuries of wandering and small villages appearing around mighty rivers like mushrooms in a rainy season. The world is getting smaller! Traders from established rural societies have started travelling from basin of Indus to land between two rivers. When sons of two brothers, departed with each other thousands of years ago, meet with each other they are so much changed that it’s almost impossible for them to imagine that their ancestors ever lived together. It was almost impossible for a trader from Indian civilization to believe that the Babylonian counterpart of him holds a blood relation with him in his DNA. These traders, to return their home with stories of wonders of unknown peoples of unknown lands, were pioneers of globalization, signs that world is gradually getting smaller for human consciousness. Then, I really wonder, then it seems as though someone had put the vehicle of human progression in last gear at once. The number of people on Earth started growing exponentially, means of transportation and communication began to get faster and abundant almost overnight. World becaming smaller and smaller and human ambitions becoming larger and larger ……… 



 (Just to remind you, like all other postings of this blog, this article is also incomplete and not structured coherently yet .......)  



Monday, March 14

When autumn lasts for too long

When autumn lasts for too long
Gardens blank out name of spring
And hold on to autumn, like
To their mother, children cling

Monday, October 25

To a Bunch of Monarch Butterflies

A thousand galaxies hover beneath ...
Green heights of a shady arch
Ah, but dark night of waiting heart
For whom the time is sole Monarch !!
.

Sunday, October 24

When guitar of day turns quiet

When guitar of day turns quiet
And moon comes fluttering its wings
When noise of day faints away
And bell of dreams clamorously rings
Memories dance around like butterflies
To desirous melody, the night sings
 .