Like a person who has been nudged and skimmed by the gruesome and appalling apparition of death once and given one more chance to continue his life in this world, I sit alone stoically inactive, comatose and silent amid the commotion of this great vanity fair.
While as Spring for me has lost all its charm and salubrious gaiety, and its wild iridescent color palette has been blanched to monotonous off-white, Winter, in all it's benumbing ambiance and thick layers of dazzling white snow that changes the contours and obfuscates all the topography, has left, quite a long time back, to effect my lungs and nostrils and doesn't bring sanguinity to my face any more. It's the Autumn's pallid color and decadent shrivelled leaves that make me relate myself with its imbecile and transient nature.
I feel caught in the dark matrix of the pandemonium that we have made of this heavenly place by our greed, lust, apathy toward the weak and oppressed, by our supersonic speedy races for the bounties and riches of materialism and by the pollution of our environment; of our once mellifluous pristine rivers, lakes and other water bodies, now turned into filthy gutters that carry more sewage and carcinogenic effluents than water, with human carcasses of poor and oppressed murdered in broad daylight lying scattered all over their banks, and vermin and scavenger birds pecking at their fearfully teared apart eyes,tongues, knuckles, entrails and other body organs.
In this pandemonium, houses and chalets silhouetted by faint twilight turn into eerie ghosts and people seem to be always rushing to and fro as if fear, not purpose, goads them . We fear to move out of our houses after dark, and only coils of smothering weird mists like frightening ghouls shriek and roam our lanes, always in lurk to snatch our souls away. Our indifference to people's misery and agonies, and our callous hearts have turned us cantankerous and enemies of each other. With the result sky high walls and barriers have appeared between the families from a common bloodline.
While our so called education institutions swindle the parents out of every last penny, thrusting them into the abject darkness of indigent, and turn our younger generations into wild beasts; our children are made to think and believe ethics and morals as obsolete and archaic, and they are turned into lifeless machines, automatons, who believe only in slit-throat competition, and are always busy to supersede one another in terms of wealth and affluence. For them philanthropy, compassion, brotherliness and feelings, that comprise an essential element of every human life, is a long forgotten dream.
Standing alone surrounded by the withered chinars, and with the dead stifled leaves afloat, falling slowly from the apathetic gloomy charcoal grey sky, my pessimism, inaction and non participation in the process of rectification and purging of our society make me appear to loose all my grip and connectivity with this planet and ascend me higher to the domain of pure light where the cymbals and trumpets blow thunderously and the devils beat and shovel me for my sins- for my turning a blind eye toward corruption, moral degradation and oppression of the weak by the mighty – with their clubs and thongs of fire into utter damnation. A purgatory fire of red hot stones and the damned ones that seem to be incessantly incandescing and burning awaits me and purulent maimed bodies of sinners, reeking and stinking, lie scattered all over the place.
"Hateful is the dark-blue sky
Vaulted over dark-blue sea.
Death is the end of life; ah, why
Should life all labour be?
To war with evil? Is there any
In ever climbing up the climbing
All things have rest, and ripen
toward the grave
In silence; ripen, fall and cease
Give us long rest or death,
dark death, or dreamful ease."
The author is an artist and works at Govt. College of Education, M.A. Road, Srinagar