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.