After he lost his soul! Existential Questions
When my soul met me the other day and asked where did I lose it, I could not answer. I looked at its eyes, looked to my right and left and then looked beyond it. I looked at the yesterdays and the today and the tomorrows, but did not know what to say. I took up my diary and tried to find out. But there was no entry. I took up the almanac to find out any specific date and time when I possibly could have lost it. But couldn't find any. Then I thought of my wife ... Maybe she could tell me ... Or my dearest friend ... He could tell. But I could speak to neither and I looked at my soul, bewildered, and touched the lady I dreamt of last night and thought she had the answer. But she was also a big disappointment. My soul stood with its glance fixed on my forehead and asked, "How come the texture of your skin has changed?"
I was perplexed. I touched my forehead and felt that portions of it had lost its silken smoothness. I tried to blame the change in the weather and said, "Look, winter is setting in. There is hardly any moisture in the air and so my skin has dried." It looked at me with sympathy in its eyes. That made me sad. I said, "I will put some moisturizer on the skin and it will become smooth again."
Then my soul asked me, "How come you have not slept well last night and the night before and the nights prior to it?" I asked how did it know that, it was lost days and years ago. It gave me a significant smile and said, "I know everything about you that even you do not know." Then it asked me why was I suffering from acidity, indigestion, breathlessness and anxiety? It asked me to remember the time when I lost it and tell me how I felt like when I had it within me. I said that I did not remember losing it at all. It laughed and flew to a nearby tree and became a bird as it perched on its branch and began to whistle the tune that I loved when I was a little boy. I kept looking at the bird and began to think. I began to hum its tune. I hummed and I thought. I hummed and I thought. I hummed and I thought. But finally I lost the tune. The bird was also not there and then someone from behind the bushes, beyond the darkness where there was no light, yet an illumination that could make you figure out figurines, said she had stolen it years ago, when I was a small boy. I tried to rush towards her ... through the bushes ... through the darkness ... I wanted to reach the illuminated place where light was absent, but an ethereal glow made her visible.
But I got stuck in the bushes; then I lost my way in the darkness. But I cried out at the top of my voice, "Why did you do that? Why did you steal my soul when I was a young boy?" There was a whirlwind for an answer and the bushes swayed and the darkness became impregnable and I could not see her anymore.
Then I looked behind and found my soul standing beneath the tree, on the branch of which it became a bird and hummed the forgotten tune. I rushed to it and demanded that it should tell me when I did lose it? "Tell me when did she steal you and why? Tell me ... Tell me all you know about it ... Tell me ... please!"
My soul did a funny jig, it went into a circular movement around me and began to dance. I looked at it perplexed. I wanted to dance too. Dance through the darkness around, dance through the bushes, dance to the figurine, dance away all the questions, the pain I was suffering from, the agony, the sleepless nights, the acidity, the irregular bowels ... everything ... everything ... I wanted to dance away everything. Me and my soul. Going on in a merry-go-round trip. Dancing in a circular motion with no way forward and no end to the motion. Going round and round ... round and round ... and round and round. Then my head began to spin. I stopped and looked around. I could hear the same forgotten tune and my lost soul had become the bird again and singing the forgotten tune. I asked it to come back. "Come back to me. Tell me when and why I lost you and please stay with me from now on."
But the bird flew away. Beyond the tree. Beyond the bushes. Beyond the darkness. Beyond the illuminated, ethereal glow. Beyond life and death. Beyond time and its measure. Beyond everything. And now I stand in the darkness asking everyone passing by. Asking everyone passing by. Asking everyone passing by ... "Can you tell me when I lost my soul?
"Can you tell me when I lost my mind?
"Can you tell me?"
Someone stopped by and said, "You have not lost your mind; otherwise you would not have known that you have lost your soul."
"Go to the garden by the side of the river, sit on the garden chair, breathe in some fresh air and then may ..." said another lady.
I turned around. Yes ...Yes ...Yes ...
But can anyone tell me the way to the garden, by the side of the river?
Did I lose my soul at all? Did the bird flow away beyond the azure blue into a disrupted nothingness? Did I meet my lost soul at all?
Article © Pranab Ghosh. All rights reserved.
Published on 2020-03-02
Image(s) © Sand Pilarski. All rights reserved.