Another Day in Paradise

Posted: December 26, 2009 in Non-Fiction


 The battleground is quiet; the din of warfare is lulled by a silence that is deafening. The bodies lay strewn all over. Some perished without a prayer on their lips. The others had time to gaze at the sky and welcome the momentary silence. A few just stared as their glassy eyes looked around at their fallen brethren, thinking why it all ended this way.

The same place was rattled by sabers a few minutes ago, the place where a thousand bombshells had unloaded itself with all its might, another invention to maim more. The battle-scarred returned to fight yet another war, to go home and regale the ‘alive’ with their deeds of bravery.

 The canons rested with a few wisps of smoke, lazily finding its way out into the air that was loaded with the stench of death and vulgarity. The men had fought for a piece of land that they each claimed to be their own. When did the land they lived on become so much a possession to fight, maim and kill worthlessly? The malediction is here to stay. Out there in the horizon I see the sky turning crimson with the blood of our ancestors and our today.

 The sharp edge of the knife cuts through the body of another and a war cry pierces the night sky. Another abode torched while yet another explosion rocks the surface, in a distance and in the daylight we see a glimpse of the tortuous cycles, vanquished and erected on a monument of what is called faith.

 Awake and alive yet seeing this beautiful world going into pieces is not what was envisioned while growing up. When the sweet innocence died out and questions stopped asking, since answers were hard to come by, then the mystery no longer appealed. Waking up every morning unsure what is in it for some and others.

 The circle of life incomplete for most; as they inhale the fresh air in the morning and find themselves blown to smithereens in a second. An undignified end to human passions and survival, handing it out on a platter for another to extinguish in a second, is what it has come to. And so we wear blinkers in an effort to mask and see only what we want to see. Our life on hold we cannot put, for it goes on. And whatever happens in it, around it and to it, is a summation of that existence taking choice cuts and dumping the rest in the sea of humanity, obliterating memories that cut deep.

 Cauterizing the pain, pushing unsavory scenes behind us,  into the recesses of our minds, re-write history books and change the geography of our hand–drawn maps, segregating people into little demarcated territories, telling them ‘you stay within that’. Cataclysmic events everyday throwing us off-track from a neatly conjectured and pre- ordained life and sometimes written out in our heads all jumbled up.

 We walk around, doing our tasks, in a stupor, part of our brain seeing, feeling, touching, and reaching out at a distance to all, yet unable to touch, Somewhere in between the hand freezes as walls are erected in the fog, a  defense mechanism to avoid hurt and pain. An act from one human to another with strings of understanding their pain and a desire to mitigate it and see them happy as everybody should be.

 A deep rooted desire to achieve balance and equilibrium, to find one’s own centre of bliss, in harmony with the world, not wanting to become a  robot, de-humanized to the plight of what goes on around us. Not wanting to walk away from the stench of human life getting wasted, holding our nostrils high and away to ignore the scent of life, as it turns putrid and assails us. Trying to seek retribution for every soul out there, taking on more than one can handle, yet wanting to be a part of it all to avoid obfuscation between ‘feeling’ and being ‘dead’ alive.

 And so I turn the TV and the radio off and toss the headline news in the trash, trying to get the circulation back in my head, as I hike up the mountain, the nearest thing to heaven, far away from all that I don’t want to see but stares at me gaping, grasping, beckoning me into its merciless currents and I am saying I don’t want any part of its madness as I scramble higher and higher, breathless but sane.

 Then I halt to smell the wildflowers and inhale the crisp air that has been around the world thinking, “Who the heck has seen paradise? Paradise is wherever and whatever the mind wants it to be.”

 So I rush back and hug my little ones, thinking ‘hopefully when our generation passes away you will still have a wonderful world to live in.’




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