A great thunderstorm of sound gushed from the walls. Music bombarded him at such an immense volume that his bones were almost shaken from their tendons; he felt his jaw vibrate, his eyes wobble in his head. He was a victim of concussion.
When it was all over he felt like a man who had been thrown from a cliff, whirled in a centrifuge and spat out over a waterfall that fell and fell into emptiness and emptiness and never – quite – touched – bottom – never – never – quite – no not quite – touched – bottom … and you fell so fast you didn’t touch the sides either … never … quite … touched … anything.
“To have lived and died as one had been born, unnecessary and unaccommodated”
A story set up in the colonial era, of an Indian family settled in Trinidad. Parents who only want their children to become what they aspire to be. Children, who continue being children, running in the green fields, getting flogged for a misdeed, on-and-off relationship with education. And gradually children becoming parents and continuing to play their role in the setup.
A dream of most middle-class families at that time – Getting a pukka house of their own. This is the main theme of this story. The main theme of the life of Mr. Biswas – moving from place to place, house to house, dreaming of one day when he can sit back and relax in a house of his own.
A good memory is like a gush of fresh air that feels smooth and pleasant against your skin, completely engulfs you in a blanket of thoughts and you find yourself smiling at the very touch of it.
But when a bad memory visits you, it doesn’t visit you alone. It brings with it all the interconnected memories that creep up your mind and pull you down. You keep trying to escape from this quicksand, but the more you move, the more you inch towards drowning.
What is it about bad memories that make them so powerful? I had been thinking a lot about this. Opening my arms and mind to all the memories that visit me – Experiencing them, studying them. Can we cut emotions out of these visits? Can I invoke my emotions when a happy memory visits, while behaving like a spectator sitting in a farm house, watching cars running across the newly built highway when it’s turning for a bad memory.
When I say ‘good’ or ‘bad’, it’s all about perspective. A memory which could have been haunting you some time back, suddenly transforms into something good, which you embrace whole-heartedly. Thereby meaning that memory in itself is not good or bad. It is just a reminiscence of a time gone by, child of random circumstances. It is not real. A ghost from the past which has settled in your subconscious and refuses to budge. It is how we decide to face these memories when they momentarily jump to your conscious, that makes them good or bad.
‘Cyclone’ is a wonderful word. It signifies ‘turning in a circle’, just as the one-eyed Cyclops who gave Odysseus so much trouble might have done.
“Nice coincidence”, I thought to myself, as these were the first few words I read this morning. I have been reading this book “The Things that Nobody Knows” by William Hartston. When I picked this book, I went into a logical thought loop –
If these are the things that nobody knows, then how did the author know these things.
If there are things that nobody knows about, then there would be infinite things, as we do not even know that we do not know these things.
If there is no such thing that nobody knows, then there still will be one fact that no one will know – the knowledge that ‘there is nothing that we don’t know’ will always be missing
But let us park this philosophical stupidity for the moment, and talk about this book. 501 Mysteries of Life, the Universe and Everything – From lesser-known facts that ‘a day on Venus lasts longer than a year on Venus’ to even more lesser-known facts that the majority of giraffes are gay(See how I used less right after more, much like our life). This book, really, was about things that nobody knows.