Friday, April 12, 2013


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An astronaut turned shaman was fasting in a lonely asteroid. The celestial body in which the Shaman lived had long been imagined by his generation as a diamond mine. The spaceship’s departure in 2112 C.E. was celebrated across the Earth, which would have ended all the strife around these precious stones. But after four years since its departure, diamond lost its position in the hierarchy of all the desired stones. The mystery ended when his spaceship landed in this asteroid circling around Saturn. The market for diamond had shrunk, humans were more keen on preserving themselves on fine exo-silicon devices mined from the lunar surface and distant moons of Uranus.

The central figure of this ploy is the last survivor. One night his old transistor cracks up, he hears recording of the desperate SOS of his colleagues reflected from the diamond mines on his radio channel, as if the asteroid had entered a time warp. The transistor tunes itself and plays back the same old message in which corporation that sponsored this trip to start the diamond mines, abandon it. The corporation announces that bringing back the astronauts would be too expensive when the preserving the humanity is the immediate need. Billions of people wanted to sign up for self preservation inside worlds created by silicon chips. The central figure keeps fasting so that he could save up on his ration hoping one day a spaceship would come back and but the act of fasting creates delusions. He feels the presence of a ghost, which wants him to finish his rations and break the fast and on the other side, he sees a portal opening to take him to distant time in which he is rescued.

The ghost is obviously a need that becomes an obsession and when one identifies it, it emerges out as the significant other. This significant other, as the shaman imagines, is often responsible for all the other corporeal adventures. The portal is the future and addressing him in the first person. Breaking a fast is then a spiritual exercise say, a end of the meditation to cultivate the hunger for more objectivity, sublimity and refined taste in the nature of things. And after the Shaman stopped fasting:

“Till the hearth cools down
there will be no rice”
Who burned the rice?”

These dilemmas were platitudes
of my time,
when you said
you were kneading the dough
and my hunger behaved like a ghost
who wasn’t keen on leaving me
mortified of his own presence,
Because I was breaking my fast.

The ghost imagined:

“How dangerous does it seem
A man breaking his fast in presence of million stars
Why should I care what they think
I cannot let this sink.”

Then the portal opens and says:

“The newsmen wearing lens caps
strolled in the landscaped gardens
they were the masters of this time,
and I was a performing my feast,
a definite charm,
don’t blame those delighted hands
dressed, acetate laced fingerprints
slowly washing away particles
discharging colours
as if Curie was inside the portal, by me
all this while
imagining my face as a radiating mineral.

They called it crude
when they dug up
they called everything
but stopping at the word,
their slight hesitation
enforced a certain lack of --
and they thanked the earth,
almost with their half hearts
“no morals in the crudes”
they say,
they just named it,
the irrational
the red sun from the black hood,
planted in the far side of the moon
land with no forests,
azure lunar soil
legitimate land for the mines
a resource not of nature
stark in contrasts
and on the other side,
an eternal shadow
refining light
evoking poetry,
the world of fancy
likened to a piece of cheese.

A child that he was,
infernal and brimming with
million Volts of energy
no diamond could reflect
nor prisms of sand
but this fine dust of Uranus
served his land of plenty.

Welcome to this interplanetary muck
shared by the sons of Debris.

We now live in our dream called heaven
washed everyday by a little sea.
The water crystals
sing about the stories
of heroes who refused to be.”