Friday, 31 October 2008

Pain is alluring.

It was Kali Pujo, the night after the night ghosts return.

The spirits of our dead ancestors, do you think they care for us? Do you think that they come to caress our warm and throbbing cheeks, our soft and weeping hearts, as we feign death one night? Lighting candles, lighting candles to keep away these lost and forlorn spirits... do not touch me tonight, do not stroke the small of my back, look at me, but look from afar, return but do not haunt...

But they haunt.

That night as the last candle spluttered out, spluttered out like an oft-repeated cliche, spluttered out like a cancerous carbuncle saying, "Oh let me flicker out slowly...to ease the pain, for see how I have suffered in life, death is a release, death is joy, death is sublime..."

Burke said the opposite of the beautiful was the sublime. And you say death is also beautiful,it has the beauty of silence, the beauty of infinite possibilities. And thus perhaps death is the highest aesthetic truth, and yet why why why look at a quack philosopher enunciating a pearl of wisdom this lost and forlorn night.

The next night worshipped power and was full of light. The third eye was inflamed, not rheumy like the eyes of the one we lost... She too was sublime and beautiful. Noise erupted in the skies, noise accompanied by a thousand sparkles.My heart contracted every time there was a sudden noise. One Diwali night I had spent in a hospital, thinking I was about to die, of pain. Drugged and thus apparently tranquil, away away away far away was illumination. Illumination. Hundreds of thousands of children celebrating...what?

"Aaj Kali Pujo?" I muttered.

An anxious mother nodded. I could see her praying. To whom? Me. Me, I would live.I knew it. The pain was alright. This is a pain we keep with us always. Just beneath the surface, Drugged, threatening to erupt. Sedated, waiting to seduce.

Pain is alluring.

So the next night is Kali Pujo. She is worshipped, she is worshipped, she is worshipped. All night the chants flow, the noise erupts, the light illuminates. The spirits of dead ancestors did not wish to share, but they do.

Share what? You ask; share what?

Perverted and perverse epiphany. Frigging.Pain.Is.Alluring.

10 comments:

Oshtorombha said...

Pain, we feel in different ways but we feel all the same.
Tell me about death, it is beautiful and I want to know more.

Khub bhalo likhechhish. It is beautiful, indeed. Is it sublime? I know not.

Beauty makes me relish words. I like it thus.

What's In A Name ? said...

Like that Amitabh-ad says:

" Dard mein bhhi kuchh bata hain"

Baudolino said...

I now see that sorrow, being the supreme emotion of which man is
capable, is at once the type and test of all great art. What the
artist is always looking for is the mode of existence in which soul
and body are one and indivisible: in which the outward is
expressive of the inward: in which form reveals. Of such modes of
existence there are not a few: youth and the arts preoccupied with
youth may serve as a model for us at one moment: at another we may
like to think that, in its subtlety and sensitiveness of
impression, its suggestion of a spirit dwelling in external things
and making its raiment of earth and air, of mist and city alike,
and in its morbid sympathy of its moods, and tones, and colours,
modern landscape art is realising for us pictorially what was
realised in such plastic perfection by the Greeks. Music, in which
all subject is absorbed in expression and cannot be separated from
it, is a complex example, and a flower or a child a simple example,
of what I mean; but sorrow is the ultimate type both in life and
art.

Behind joy and laughter there may be a temperament, coarse, hard
and callous. But behind sorrow there is always sorrow. Pain,
unlike pleasure, wears no mask. Truth in art is not any
correspondence between the essential idea and the accidental
existence; it is not the resemblance of shape to shadow, or of the
form mirrored in the crystal to the form itself; it is no echo
coming from a hollow hill, any more than it is a silver well of
water in the valley that shows the moon to the moon and Narcissus
to Narcissus. Truth in art is the unity of a thing with itself:
the outward rendered expressive of the inward: the soul made
incarnate: the body instinct with spirit. For this reason there
is no truth comparable to sorrow. There are times when sorrow
seems to me to be the only truth. Other things may be illusions of
the eye or the appetite, made to blind the one and cloy the other,
but out of sorrow have the worlds been built, and at the birth of a
child or a star there is pain.

Bhooter Raja said...

haha (to what's in a name's comment)

What's In A Name ? said...

* baat
( in response to baudolino's comment)

monidipa said...

but pain is alluring?

Elendil said...

Death is beautiful? What do we even know about death. What little experience I've had of death and all his friends has been anything but beautiful.

ahona said...

@oshtorombha- yup.
@wozzinaname-bata sounds better.
@baudolino- i'm as heartless as a child taaina?
@mandygirl- i know about the italics.
@elendil- i'm talking senescence here, chuckit.

Elendil said...

Yes, I am of course, too stupid to understand most of the things you say.

ahona said...

Nilanjan's thakurma passed away some time back. she was in her mid 80s and it was basically old age.
With old age comes disease. A fortunate few die in their sleep. She was not one of them.She suffered, she gasped, she went. My grandmother too is 80. She is slowly growing old. I can see the physical aging by the day, mentally she shows her age in a rare moment of forgetting, senility. Then she looks stricken, as if her age strikes her all of a sudden. Sometimes, she looks tired- in the morning. She always looks tired at night. It's a gradual decay. It's called mortality. It's irreversible. She has held her babies in her arms, she has held her babies' babies too. But she may never hold our babies.
I am trying to grasp this fact. And you say it is not beautiful?