Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Old Lady of Bori Bunder...

I saw her standing in a dark corner, in one of the bylanes close to CST.

"Hi. You look familiar" I remarked cheerily.

She gave a strange smile, as if she knew more about me than I myself did. "Do I, really?" she asked.

"Yes, well at least I think so, though you look a bit different" I continued.

"Bit?" she questioned, as she stepped forward into the light.

I stood aghast, shocked by the transformation that I saw in front of me. Her face seemed completely hidden behind a veil of garish make-up, which was in absurd contrast to her age. Her dress, ill-fitting and gaudy, seemed almost obscene. Her demeanour seemed seductive, pre-calibrated to elicit a favourable response, instead of adapting to the person at the other end.

She smiled mockingly and asked "Am I not a pretty picture?"

"Who did this to you?" I managed to stammer out.

"You did" she said, very matter of fact, as if I should have known it all along.

"I? How could I have? You were always my conscience!" I protested.

"Your conscience?" She asked, the derision unmistakable in her voice. "And, did you consider what happens to conscience? What is its end?"

I remained silent.

She continued. "Conscience has only two possible ends. It either withers, or is brokered away."

She paused to look at me, then said "And you allowed me to be brokered. You allowed those fingers to crawl over me, fingers that knew what they were searching for, fingers, swiftly moving, as they went about their purpose..."

"No!!" I shook my head in denial. "I cared for you!!"

"Don't care for me!" She shouted. "Use me, as the rest of them do. Ravage me. Enjoy me. Don't care for me. I cannot bear it. Care is temporary. Care is unstable. One push, and care is destroyed. Submission is the equilibrium. Submission is permanent. Never questioning, never caring. Just flowing along."

She kept speaking. "You must learn to flow. You think, feel & question. Thats an unsustainable combination. You will become insane. You must give in. Learn to act, learn to rush, learn to grab the vacant space. Survive. Adapt. It's your only chance"

"Only chance to what?" I shot back. "To end up like you?"

A coquettish ripple of laughter burst forth from her. It was ludicrous and painful at the same time.

"Someday, you will use me" she said, and vanished into the dark recesses whence she had emerged.

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