Friday, September 02, 2011

The Story

(This is the first story I wrote for WRiP. Thought I might as well post it here)

And then there was a violent thud which made the room shake. As if the world were bursting open into splinters. Liquid splinters of light and deafening flux of paranormal vision. Music floated into the room like the last breathe of existence. Perhaps it was Mozart. “Perhaps a little too dull for untrained ears”, she mused. But definitely soothing amidst all this madness and collapse.

She could feel her loneliness weighing down upon her. Relentless alienation. She could feel the breathe of time along every hair on her skin. Just like the flowing tongue of an evil sorceress. Perhaps she had a name, she thought. Not that it mattered much to her now. Names were useless in times such as these. Especially when she was having her ‘visions’. She could feel time flow along criss-crossed points of motion within and without her. She was being held out like a transparent being in all her nakedness to the serene indifference of the world. Her body had thus turned into a paradoxical shrine of conflict between shifting states of rest and motion ~ between what she believed was more than one kind of conceivable time. Expanding co-ordinates of time zero and multiple points of simultaneous existence. Every atom in her body, she felt, was alive both to the neutral world outside and her vivid flux of painstaking images.

The clock-hands had twisted themselves and were raining down in the form of liquid daggers. Vertigo of images spun in a mist of red. Horses that speak as they turn into women. Fingers caressing wet glass and navel. The women move like water across the floor and the room moves in a waltz like time. Time now becomes language. Mosaic of trance in glass. Finger sky. Jesus bird. Move. Waltz. Penetrate. Then melt, melt, melt.

The cat beside the window stares at her in disgust. Our universe is full of surprises. Perhaps I don’t need a plot, he thinks. She has been living her visions. Her body twisted in vile postures like a pre-Raphaelite painting as she snaked along the co-ordinates like a moving story. Ok, back to time zero. The women, the waltz, the motion all receded till they merged into a single point of amnesia. Thankfully, normalcy returned to the room. “I have been dreaming,” she told herself, “Or may be I’m dreaming now. But surely, both can’t be real.” “Or may be, “ she cried looking at the cat with twinkling eyes, “you are the one dreaming. In which case, I don’t have to bother much about reality.” The cat looked at her in an irritated manner and then yawned. “I need a plot,” he declared. “I have been travelling from Moscow to London for years now. But not a plot in sight.” “I can provide you with a plot,” she told the cat. “The only problem is I can see it vividly the moment I close my eyes but can’t put it down in the form of language. I can see it all,” she murmured. “The waltz. The women. I can still feel time flowing through my body like a torrential...”

“There you are,” interrupted the cat. “You’ve put it down in the form of language.”
“You don’t understand,” she explained. “There has to be a logic. There has to be a plot. I know all of these images are linked together almost like a secret fraternity but it’s not clear. Who was waltzing for instance- the room or the women or both? Were the women women or horses?Or were the horses women? There are no real, discernable boundaries. They are all messed up. And to narrate a story, I have to plot them along a real time axis. So, do the women come first or the horses? Do I use real time for narration or the time frame of the images. But time then was insignificant.”

“Insignificant questions.” Said the cat with another yawn, “You theorize too much.” “My problems with language are different. “I have been editing and re-editing the sentence “The cat loves the fish””. What if you say the “The fish loves the cat”. Probably it would mean different but how can you be sure that you always say what you want to? Then again, what if the verb comes first. Or you simply say “Loves the the cat fish.” Language breaks down you might argue but doesn’t it sound more beautiful? And more realistic for then your problem of trying to convert memory into language will be solved.”

It was her turn to get bored. “I believe,” the cat said, taking a step forward and whispering with great precaution ,” such a conversion is false as it is always forced. Everything can’t be language. Is it for instance so important to hanker after a relation and a plot? And then narrate logically? What you told me perhaps made no sense but it is beautiful as it is nothing but a reiteration of your memory and vision.” The cat then paused for a breath and opened his eyes to find the woman gone. He felt stupid to find himself talking to thin air. But surely she was there a minute ago, or had he been dreaming? He then recalled the woman in her state of being almost possessed as she narrated her visions. Or was it his vision? Alternate realities. But the poet was the poem and memory was the narrative without language. He had an idea about who the woman was. The music, the women, the red trance and madness will have to be obstinately committed to paper. After all these years, the cat has at last been blessed with a story.


Amrita Dutta said...

Reminds me of Anindyada's classes. *sigh*

RBC said...

Schroedinger's plot!
But seriously, it's clever and some lines are beautiful, like 'The clock-hands had twisted themselves and were raining down in the form of liquid daggers.' The sorceress's tongue got in the way though. However, I would caution you regarding statements such as 'the poet was the poem.' These are the sort of thing that sound profound but actually disrespect the irreducibility of life. No art can be as complete, as connected yet random, as life. So let's not claim too much for art.