Imphal Review of Arts and Politics

Chilling tales of mental illness - 1
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“3 Stories”: A Chilling Tale of Mental Illness — Part-1

“It was dreams too, which cast a spell of doomsday

The beckoning of oblivion in the middle of May

When all was to be in its orbit in the gyre

The pharoah’s serpent makes out the fantasies which lit the pyre

Eyes, mirrored in the sabbaths of the fraternity

Sunken, horrified even of the holy trinity

As already danced to the tunes of insanity…”

Part I

THE DESCENT

You were always my sunshine girl. When life pushed me further into the darkness, it was your thoughts which kept me going. When I couldn’t sleep, it was the memory of your smile which was my lullaby. Just remembering you, I tend to forget the world around me and the masses of humanity fades away.

It has been a hell of a ride getting to know you. Never crooked, never smooth, the pleasure was always mine. And now, when I remember the first time I met you, what would I not give up to go back to that day. That particular day. That particular hour. That fleeting moment. Of sunshine, daisies and butterflies in the stomach. All the riches of the world pales in comparison to the memory of that day… where even time took a siesta from its tireless journey. Hardly ever such a beautiful thought crosses the broken down, moth-infested shelves of my mind. The time, it was so pure. The memory of it, so fresh. The first time, I met you, with eyes wide open. Is there any other memory more beautiful than that? Maybe, there is. Frankly, I couldn’t remember for all I care. Why my heart felt so light, so warm, so good? Why were there butterflies in my stomach? Why I felt so complete, even though it was the first time you came? It was like magic. Pure, simple unadulterated magic.

Taking you down the street of my own incompetence as you followed a step behind. You came with a hope, never to be left alone. But when that hope disappears, all you remain clutching was your own fears. And it became real. It became more than real. It became your death-kneel. Babe, you were so good. I always thought you were too good to be true. And I was right. It was a make believe world I was living in. I was only hoping that if I believed in hard enough, maybe the world will become real. But it was not to be so. For see, I am just a crazy diamond, babe. And the shine’s already fading.

Do I feel remorseful? Strangely, I don’t. But I did really love you babe. Only it seems my love was different. And it was evil.

The anthem of the post gobermint fallout days was still blaring in the radio. 16th December, 2090, the calendar read. We have indeed come a long way from those days. The nightmare was over as mother used to say. The anthem of “3-stories” was however an eerie reminder of those days- you never actually get used to it no matter how many times you hear repeatedly.

“I am a common man, supposed to lead a common life
But I was thrown to the wolves in the darkness of the night.
So everything bright and beautiful is blind to me
Until I am to figure out what I am supposed to be
They called me a soldier, who have seen it all
But as a monster, I have seen nothing at all
I can’t even fold my hands into a prayer
For it would reveal- the hands of a slayer.
With a gun in my hands, I got no mercy
I would shoot and I would kill, as I am trained to be…”

The induced euphoria was however interrupted by the radio static, which precedes some breaking news. And what a breaking news it was. The already quiet hamlet became pin drop when it was announced that a young girl has been found dead in the fields, with strong suspicion of foul play. Rape and murder, it indicated. Everybody appeared to stood in their tracks. But I hurried my tracks; l was not welcomed at such situations.

A rapist father. An militia-man posted in some god-forsaken corner of the earth. Raped a local woman. He committed suicide thereafter, unable to bear the shame when the obscure border town erupted in anger and hatred towards him. Apparently, that was not his only incursion, as mother later tested positive for HIV/ AIDS and younger sister was born with the disease. This all happened some 10 years ago. Mother succumbed to AIDS a year back and younger sister is on ART, last I checked.

Who am I? My name is X, 21 years old and I am the son of a rapist.

It was all who I was, until I met my babe. My beautiful babe. Oh babe, how much I miss you now. When you came in all yellow, and smiled that bright yellow smile. The fallen yellow leaves dancing away in the backdrop of the bright yellow sun; even the wind smelt yellow. You were all eyes for me, and I was all eyes for you. Those words of silence painted a picture of thousand words, and I knew it then and there- we were meant to be together. Anyhow. And I was meant to paint the whole town yellow.

As I followed you behind, even your footsteps were yellow. Even they had a grace of their own. Small yellow footsteps, with yellow slippers and yellow skirt swishing the whole world by. You, glancing back every now and then with those playful puzzled eyes, a strange wonderment writ across your face. Yes babe, love hurts, but I will never leave you alone. You hurried up your footsteps as if questioning my sincerity. But babe, I am true to my words. I am never going to leave you, till the ends of time. Forever-more.

Forever though is a matter of 24 hours, as I waited for you. I came back again to see whether the world turns yellow around you still, even in the darkness of the night. But all I could catch was your silhouette on the yellow curtain, and a trickle of your laughter behind the scene. I want to be close enough, to feel the yellow smell of your silhouette, the laughter, so pure and gentle. Were you remembering me, babe? The laughter told a story of its own, as if reminiscing of what happened in the morning before – when we met, when we fell in love with each other. It is true, babe. We were meant to be together till the ends of time.

I followed you again, as it was meant to be. You went to the local shop, you went to the drugstore. Oh were you feeling sick, my love? Or was it love-sickness? My heart skipped a bit and I hurried behind you. Oh, the sweet voice, the gentleness with which you speak; you are indeed the much needed calmness I require in my world of chaos. Then, I realized why it was love at first sight. The strange familiarity which had overtaken me when I first saw you all became clear. We were meant to be together forever. You were a native of the same obscure border town where father found his true calling and his eventual death. It was déjà vu all over again. Life does tend to work in miraculous ways. And in that instant, I became very clear, of my higher calling, the higher purpose of my life. I did manage a weak smile back at you, but coquettish as you were, you went away hurriedly without much of a pause, without much of savoring the fleeting moment. Our love story was indeed more of silences and less of the noises of the world we live in.

I followed you back to your rooms. Once did you stop and glance back for a second, as if you had a hunch of me following you; protecting you, shielding you from the world which meant harm. But you hurried your footsteps thereafter. Was it because of the cloudy skies? Was it because you are feeling shy? Nevertheless, the glances in silence meant that I will be sleeping peacefully in the night.

Days passed, and we came to know each other much better. I came to know what you eat, what you will be wearing, where you will be going, when you will smile. Ohh, that gentle, gentle laugh, with those playful eyes- speaking a thousand words in the silence which engulfed us. I followed you every day, ever true to my promise of never letting you out of my sight, and from the cruel world out to harm you. Maybe, this is what love should be. And ours was a love story meant for the ends of time.

Endless sleepless nights passed by. I couldn’t stop thinking about you. I also knew that you were not able to stop thinking about me either. I had to meet you. I had to be alone with you. We were meant to be together, forever. I knew that you want to meet me also. I made up my mind. I can’t bear it anymore, being apart from you. The peaceful, lonely and seemingly endless stretch of the road you frequent to was the ideal place for us to continue our words of silence. With all the quietness and desolation around, it was ideal indeed. Yes, it really was, babe. We were born to be together. And I was going to prove it so.

That evening came. I saw you walking down hurriedly. Okay it was a cold evening and it was getting dark. Babe, you didn’t notice me coming from behind. Before you could turn and spoilt my surprise, I just hit you with my surprise, my love. The brick was red, and so was your head from the blood that was oozing freely. Continuing your words of silence, you fell silently into my arms. And I love you for that, babe. I took you to the nearby fields, under the moonlight on that cold wintry night. There, I laid you bare, for all the worlds above to witness, the final act of love. And I did it right there. Babe, you were still feeling shy. I asked you to smile, that gentle laugh, but your eyes were shut. The blood oozing from your head was the only sound, the only movement. You have become lifeless out of love, out of shyness. But its alright, babe. I am here to take you home. And that is all that matters. Isn’t rape beautiful, my love???…

Epilogue

The tragic story of a girl who got ‘taken’ by a monster, on one cold wintry night, beneath the moonlight, in the same fields which she called ‘home’. The girl died that day. And ever since, she has become more than a woman.

Next week Part II, THE ASCENT

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