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Monthly Story, April 2022


Image → @eye4dtail

Archetype → Sage

Rasa → Adbūta (wonder), with Bhayanaka (terror) as secondary



R.M.’s index finger traced his full name—Remus Molligoda—undersigning the no-confidence motion to impeach the President. He finally had enough signatures. His secretary should walk in any second now to say that the driver is here. R. M. resisted the urge to re-read his carefully worded speech for what would’ve been the twenty-second time. Instead, he picked up the worn translation of ‘The Republic’ by Plato from his desk, and opened the earmarked page with a particularly revisited text;

“One of the penalties of not participating in politics is being governed by your inferiors”, it read.

R. M. grew impatient wondering where his secretary was. The office door opened. But, it wasn’t his secretary that entered. It was a man with eyes like walls—fixed, impenetrable, unyielding. R. M. knew danger when he saw it. “Who let you in…?” he asked, reaching for the phone. But, the man’s hand shot up too fast, pointing a gun. R. M. felt his entire being compose into airless rock—like an animal first realizing it was caught in a trap. The world around him drowned in irrelevance. Then, something incredibly hot and hard shattered in from between his eyes.

R. M. saw his head hit the desk and a red stain grow like a mushroom on the no-confidence motion document while a loud storm of running footsteps and shouts took over the office. He spiralled out of the storm and into its serene eye amidst the calamity. In the stillness, R.M. watched half his mind wrestling with the stinging disbelief of this cosmic betrayal while the other half wept, beating itself for an answer.

‘Why?’ he asked. But, the face of the universe stood all around in absolute indifference.

R.M. realised that he was surrounded by a black ocean. This ocean had nothing but somehow, it raged against the last vestiges of his existence. He felt an utter fatigue of bodily limits as the weight of remembering pulled him further down into the depths. Something instinctive in him knew to start letting go. R. M. watched his life take flight around him in pictures; memories dissipating through the feeble gravitational pull of his naked mind. He watched a memory of a particularly warm March afternoon in childhood, hiding in his father’s study, reading books from the high-up shelf placed purposely beyond his reach; The memory left him effortlessly. He watched the distinct shape of his only son Ananda’s face begin to lose significance as it started to resemble the nothingness. A vaguely familiar, argumentative voice quoting political ideology to an opponent in the parliament was heard from behind the fold of time; Was that him?

He was positively earless and eyeless. But, what is the thing that is listening and watching?

The parameters of sensibility were already starting to fall away into the long, black expanse... He contorted to accept; to let go of clambering; to loosen the neverending grasp for meaning. Just then, a mirror of light appeared.

A mirror of light? He couldn’t comprehend it. Yet, there it was.

He felt the mirror of light dawn on like a sunrise on a strange island. Soon, it started to appear terrifyingly all-encompassing, blinding him. A wordless urge came to close in, to stop seeing; to welcome the unknowing as where the road to understanding begins.

Perhaps, understanding only comes in hindsight when we look back at the full view which includes the answerless.


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