Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Ageing Warrior

Resplendent in his glorious armor, adorned with his many swords, long and short, he had a Zen glint in his eyes of battles to win, of heads to severe, of hearts to pierce, of souls to scavenge, of bodies to injure, of unending bliss to endure. Bliss that spurts out of mutilated limbs; he was the warrior. That is how he remembered himself; a man unafraid. You can only inflict as much pain as you are willing to suffer on your self. He was definitely willing to die. He had killed many, some worthy, some not, but each one very satisfying.

Today, he stands in an impotent city, where people have put up lights to brighten each and every corner, holding a faded photograph of himself taken in an era that even time forgot; when he was young and restless. When he knew what he had to do: scalp, disembowel, slash. When the blade in his sure hands would meet vanquished flesh and bone in one fluid moment of grinding ecstasy leaving in its wake incredulous staring eyes fast losing consciousness; ebbing life. Ah! In the dance of death he found the fountain of his eternal life. Age has made him give that up. His own body betrayed him one day. His muscles, his sinew, his bone made a mockery of his valiant attempts to decapitate his last enemy. He resorted to poison instead, feeling and knowing at each step of the way about the depths he had sunk to. Was he the same man who was feared amongst his tribesmen? Was he the same man who had torn asunder the neck of another as if he were a mere fly? Was he the same man who survived countless wounds?

Why hast thou forsaken me?
I am here my son; you have forsaken me.

The warrior knew each inch of the way; he had walked towards madness once. But that was a long time ago and he was a different man. The Teacher had held his hand. No the Teacher had not even touched him once, but he did lead the way. Now with the Teacher dead, at least in body, his spirit still lives inside the warrior, all seemed lost. The warrior had a little less faith. Perhaps not! Perhaps he had taken a misstep; a detour of sorts, a small journey into the familiar comforts of money laundering, kidnapping, cutting business deals, writing letters, reading books of fantasy, drinking goblets of sweet wine…perhaps he needed to do so. This is how he will redeem himself towards madness once again. This time to dwell forever; never to return to the world of rabbits who dress like men and cows who believe they are women.

For now, he remains insatiable, shedding tears into the cosmos, talking to the Little Girl who attempts to provide succor from her lifeless breasts. Under the stars they stand each night awaiting moonrise, the mind that whispers of beauty each passing day, the mirror that reveals the travails of age each passing day, the eyes that show each other who they are, who they have been and who they may become: each passing day.

The Teacher speaks to him every night, the wonders of modern recording technology, but he doesn’t listen to the words. It is the sound of his voice that enthralls the warrior. It is the sound of peace. Peace that the warrior is hoping to find in this lifetime. Peace that will satiate, perhaps! Perhaps he needs to find that moment of glory when he stares into the eyes of the enemy and drives the blade into the throat. Perhaps that is peace. After all, he is an ageing warrior and he didn’t die in battle. The world is made not of men anymore; there are no worthy adversaries. Who shall be his rival? Who shall he spar with? Who shall cut his throat?

Death is the ultimate enemy; the one to who he will surrender. Yes! Death is worthy. He will choose his time and manner of death though. He won’t give Death the satisfaction of catching him unawares. He will not allow Death to decide when, where and how. He was a warrior, he will decide. I am ready, said the warrior.

3 comments:

satya said...

oye chori...kahani aage nahi badhegi kya......

rukawat kyun.....khed hai to bol de....doordarshan waloon ne mera bachpan yunhi barbad kiya tha....rukawat ke leye khed hai kah ke....

xanjukta said...

Yaar, it's a tough story to tell... i've no experience at being a man, much less a warrior...imagine ageing warrior... give me some time...another three/four days...

satya said...

Yes, no problems. Wait till your creative juices are flowing again.

Latest news is Omair's is going through a 'mid-life motorcycle crisis'!