I have heard that Dronacharya formed the Chakravyuha today.
Amongst all of you, the young boy Abhimanyu, can only
Pierce through this formation.
But, Alas! I have not been able to tell my little son yet
The way out of that death-well.
I wish that you should not have already sent
Him to the dungeon of enemies.
■ The Mahabharata, “Drona Parva”,
Chapter 72, Shlokas 20-21
I wander lonely among the deads,
Deads of varied forms: Big, small, non-existent…
Times have brought them together –
Killed them to make them alive –
Lives – unnerved: awaiting that hysteria
Of the heart that won’t pump any blood any more.
I wander lonely among the fossils –
Tall, tiny and invisible.
Emperors, who fought, won and died,
Sages, who got the light to preach –
Left home never to return again,
Gods with extra eyes and extended hands
Could only stand with their stiff
And gaping palms.
Yakshas who kindled a thousand spirits
Lost their own in the process
And Rakshashas who they say did all
The mischiefs are stuffed within
Then there are attendant wastes of the
City under the city under the city…
The broken pots with cracks
Concealing the scars on earth’s or on moon’s surfaces
Plastered with white tapes around
Some insignificant stones once
Writ with remorse and compassion
On their charred skins
Are conserved to display
Immobility or weakness?
Trees captivated by the spell of
Bricks as glasses all around pretend to hug them
Till they stagger and perish on
A way that leads to nowhere…
Three pigeons: one white, the other black,
And yet another camouflaging beneath the both,
Are struggling to break the spell
But, Oh! They fail; They exist borrowing
Light from the Sun and save for
The grey leaves that the trees have left for them.
I see the wastes of civility pieced together
To form a Chakravyuha that hates warfare
Sitting silently inside the Garden of Peace. . .
Adorned with freshly discarded utensils,
Washing machines abandoned at the time of their birth
Refrigerators surrounded by the scorch of the summer
Cool no more
And the bright fashioned irons
Cursed for their friendship;
Can no longer gather the strength to warmth
Together they form an empty cycle.
I did not die, and I alive remained not;
Think for thyself now, hast thou aught of wit,
What I became, being of both deprived.
■ Divine Comedy – Inferno, Dante Alighieri,
Canto 34, Lines 25-27
A silhouette of unreality drapes up
The flickering candles
The twisting glow-signs, the vanishing headlights:
All dissolve within the glasses beneath
The translucent electric screens. . .
And therein are captivated
The spirits who left home centuries ago
Bet could not return;
Their Lord who formed a country of their own
Stands helplessly under
The shadow of yellow plastic flowers. . .
His eyes ablaze with LEDs
Piercing his vision –
Long forgotten Birahiya tunes console
The touchscreen map where
The wandering bards lost way to their village.
The sorcerers have now exerted their spell
On four lions nearby –
Turning them into stones with dysfunctional
Incisors and canines lurching from
Ever-widening oral cavities – have gone insane –
Beneath the bluest psychedelic rays
Turning and dancing – dancing and turning –
In untiring rhythmic motions.
They all are protected and surveilled
With the mere blowing of loud yet useless
Whistles – prohibited to leave.
I wander lightly among lives
Where gay children twinkle along the milky way
Up above the stairs.
Where two low-vision telescopes
Are blinded by their own invisibility.Relaxed children I see riding upon
Even more relaxed Lions,
Tigers, Crocodiles and Cobras – all rocks
And no heart – freed because relaxed. . .
Like the stars relaxing at the Madame Tussauds
Waxing memories with divine pride. . .
They smile – smile eternally to themselves or
To the children – nobody knows –
There is nobody to dig up
Their dreams for a lost world they left
Like the little children dig up long-discarded coins
From the bottom of a tank filled with blackish-and-greyish chips
And discover the wanders wrinkled behind the magnifying glasses.
They are freed because they relax
Like the urinals relax
When children piss on them
Like the doormats relax
When they rub their feet on them
They relax like the balloons
When they are twisted for fun.
And, beyond that, there is light, only light…
Amidst the eye-wrenching silence…
That takes different shapes
Sometimes flowers, sometimes galaxies,
As if the moon settling behind a bluish glacier…
I walk towards the ascetic’s cave
Where three memorial lanterns
Glow at the entrance…
Two inscriptions recall
The hour of my birth –
“1,50,000 Captured”: “1,00,000 Dead” –
This is how the war ended, and I was born…
I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.
■ The King James Bible, “Gospel of John”, 11:25
2. On Demanding a Basic Right
Apollo and Foucault have now died together,
All pagans, old or modern, have now been beheaded.
The Romans crucified Christ: it seems.
It is, in fact, treason, amidst
The darkness of night (starry, might be!),
By them who he had held tight to his bosom,
Then, why do I exist anymore?
The earth with dying, and Oh! noisy men
Cutting roasted fowls with sparkling cutlery –
Sitting beneath the cemented trees:
Set ablaze with the passion
Of green and blue glow-signs: lifeless.
Why should I exist at all then?
With these posters and hoardings,
With grey rivers where dolphins die regularly,
With glaciers melting in love with ice-tea,
With cities panting under the hot heavy air,
And black tar on fumed streets.
Change the Constitution, I demand,
For the sake of humanity and for me,
Make euthanasia my birth right.
Why don’t you allow me to go?
My birth wasn’t in my hands:
Why can’t you offer my death to me –
Voluntary, peaceful, scientific and aesthetic?
Ojachito is a nobody. His absence may be felt at: firstname.lastname@example.org