LOOK BEYOND WHAT YOU SEE
Well, I am no good writer. But it is a humble effort on my part to express one of the craziest adrenaline rushes that I felt years ago & perhaps seldom in my dreams. I’ll try my level best to portray the same exact visuals in this little write up.
Honestly I am very fond of horror stories & the weird part is I find that FEAR quite funny. Didn’t get me! Right? Well on the first note I get really very scared & I shout as loud as my larynx permit. But the very next moment, as soon as my rational being points out the terrible ups & downs of my heart beat, the motor nerves perhaps send some amazing healing responses to my brain! And you know, I am so very aware of it! The immediate outcome is thus one of my most irritated expressions, as it appears to others that is I burst out laughing & laughing as if the ghost itself has possessed me. Basically this LAUGHTER & that FEAR are having a perfect face off at that very moment.
Hope I am making sense. Every moment is associated with some sort of understandings, debates, responses, subconscious beliefs. Soon each & every word written will be meaningful to you. Soon you will realize what I am trying to express. Such is the nature of me & my relationship with horror movies. But I never thought consciously that this relation will hit me so hard subconsciously.
What are your perceptions of dreams? Perhaps, dreams translate your wishes? Perhaps, they make you see what your subconscious mind wants you to see? Perhaps, it is some kind of warning bell for you? Perhaps, DREAMS take you to another world, another dimension: asking you to ‘look beyond what you see’. Sometimes, we are not capable enough to comprehend what the dreams actually mean. Often & generally we forget the whole episode the next morning. We wake up afresh. But some dreams never leave your back whatever & how much you try to escape from it, from some experiences perhaps you shall never ever want to have it back in your life.
Kolkata. Today, I am a 22-year old girl, a woman rather. But still, even after ten years or a bit more, I still remember each & every scene I saw in THAT dream. I can never forget it how much I try. But that doesn’t restrict my courage to watch horror movies. Generally, most of the dreams are left incomplete as the morning bells start ringing in the ears; many go unaware of the conscious mind. But some leave their footprints forever in the heart, soul & memory too.
Dating back to 2006.
It was a calm wintry morning. With the rays of shining bright sun striking my face, I woke up. There was silence, something that somehow made me numb for a second or may be less. I got up from my bed. Stood in front of my mirror, perhaps one of the furniture’s, the bare minimum need which a habitable room desires for. Puberty had hit me. I saw beards growing. I was in my teenage, my boyhood. Yes. I was shocked to see too but perhaps I had accepted the fact that the eyes through which I was seeing the world at that very moment were of some boy. Perhaps, I believed it. Soon, I completely forgot the existence of my girl entity, of the reality. It was fading away. My beliefs of the girl I were fading away. I was the changed soul now, the change I was aware of in the beginning. But gradually, I went on with this transformation, in another world believing it another shade of reality.
[From now on all the ‘I’ refers to the male entity Guru.]
‘Guru! Have you got up? Guru?’ I heard my mother calling. I replied, “yes mother. I am ready to go.” I didn’t know that that very day was perhaps the darkest day of my life. I was aware of one DARK secret I had hidden from the entire world. But somehow I managed to fight with it throughout my life.
I lived in a very remote village of Bengal, India dated back to 60s-70s of 20th century. Here most of the villagers were illiterates. I Guru & my mother used to live in a small house of our own. We were not that poor habitants but not rich either. Somehow we managed our livelihood. I was a very introvert kind of a guy. My mother used to run a small jewelry store of her own. The money earned from it was well sufficient for both of us to survive in this rough world. The roughness I was afraid of, the roughness I always tried to run away from. I rarely talk to other people other than my mother. The home itself was a world to me. There were some untamed fears that struck right on me whenever I gave a hard attempt to express myself to some other person besides my mother. Perhaps the world reminded me each time that I was not a normal human being. I was always in a state of fear, a fear of expressing truths that were intensely dark, a fear of getting my rationality & existence questioned. I hardly had any friend of mine. I didn’t reveal my darkest fear & terror of my life to anyone, not even my mother. The courtyard of my house was the sole haven of my escape. The courtyard used to give me that feeling of openness & at the same time that security & enclosure – perhaps, a temporary rescue from me myself.
With these untold & unshared fears, my life went on. My mother became my best friend. Like all other friendship rules, we shared everything among us. Gradually, there came a day when my mother learnt about that UNWANTED DARK TRUTH of my life. My life was getting worse as hell. She couldn’t help herself but to take me to HIM. The truth I accepted in my life: I knew nobody would ever believe: OTHER THAN MY OWN REFLECTION & MY MOTHER, ALL OTHER HUMAN BEINGS APPEARED TO ME AS SKELETALS. As if my eyes were some sort of an X-Ray machine. That’s why I used to restrict myself in my room. Initially, I always stayed afraid. But with time, I started accepting my fate, my curse. But unfortunately, when this came to the knowledge of my mother, she broke down in tears, in pain. The pain that was within me for so many years, I see them rooting in her too. Thus, one fine morning she decided to take me to HIM, one of the famed TANTRICs of our village. The darkest day of my life had come without a prior notice.
It was past 12 noon. We were waiting in a queue as if standing in a ration shop line. There were so many skeletons ahead of me, behind me. Now that my subconscious mind had made my conscious one admit the fate, I didn’t get much bothered actually. I made myself understood that I COULD LIVE MY LIFE WITH THIS CURSE. I COULD FIGHT THIS BATTLE ALONE. But then again, at that very moment, a cold fear made me shivered. This was not the one I dealt since childhood. This fear was something unknown, unpredicted. My deep self perhaps tried to communicate with me, trying to warn me against something bad, very bad that was about to happen. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what to think. Once again, there was a pin drop silence that was making me numb. This time, it was not for a second but more than a minute. My body stood still in that crowd with my eyes closed.
Like I said earlier, the illiterate people of our village trusted a TANTRIC more than a DOCTOR. They were believed to be possessed of some supernatural powers which could heal even our worst difficulties & could bless us with a new life. My mother pointed me out, “Guru, see these people. They came here with a belief. See those who are leaving, see the kind of relief on their faces. I hope soon you will be perfectly alright. Don’t you worry? Have faith. Okay?” Hearing my mother’s words, I tried hard to keep my fears aside. But somewhere this heart couldn’t accept the fact. I was the fourth person on the queue waiting for the turn.
Finally, the moment arrived. It was my turn to go inside. There was a rule written: YOU HAVE TO COME ALONE. Words from her, “Relax, everything will be fine from now on. Have faith. Go on my son. Believe in God & goodness.” I entered. The room was unusual. There was a weird kind of darkness. No not in literal way. The space was sufficiently lit. But the darkness that hit you would surely make you anxious. There was pain. I could feel it. The walls were vibrant yellow with patches of red. But it was appearing dried & blackish. What was it? What it could be? Was it blood? Was it indeed so? My mind was accelerating fast with thoughts. I couldn’t stop myself. I was getting mad. Everything was happening instantaneously. I pledged! Please stop! I was shouting in my head! I SAID SHUT UP! I was yet to look at that man. The next moment what I saw was beyond those racing thoughts. The man was sitting in front of fire. He was preparing for some Yajna. That man. With long black beards, all dressed in red attire, with a long red tika on his head, a wide band of red ribbon wrapped on his fore head. His eyes lined with surma. Those intense & dreadful black eyes. I couldn’t control my fear. As if the water had already reached above my head. I heard him shouting, “Finally after so many years I found you. I came here just to take you with me.” He was laughing hard. My ears were hurt with his laughter. All of a sudden, I felt as if I was in some other world indeed. Not even my mother could reach me. Was I about to die? Perhaps at that very instantaneous moment, I was praying death. Perhaps death could be my only savior. More surprisingly, I was seeing the flesh & blood of this man. NOT A SKELETON. He added further, “I know about your curse. I was the one who brought you hear. It was a curse for you. But you know what! Your curse is my boon. I need you. Rather I need your soul.” I was shivering in fear. I didn’t know where to go. My legs were frozen. My physical body was not responding to the messages what the motor nerves were sending anymore. I was counting seconds of my death. The fire was spreading. It was only us. I heard music. I was not in me perhaps. I saw the fire. I felt the silence. But the music. It was taking me. My soul. I didn’t know what to do. Instead, my muscles relaxed. I was surrendering me to that beautiful tune. Perhaps, for a second, I felt I could be free indeed. Perhaps, the music would be my savior. I didn’t know the source; I couldn’t see that demon anymore. I was getting on my knees. I couldn’t see anything anymore. Everything that was happening was entirely a hypnotic phenomenon. All I could do was to feel the flow of events. I surrendered. A weird happiness hit me. The kind of glee, joy I hardly remembered I ever felt in my life. A beautiful silence, the soothing peace. I was happy. I felt BLISS.
When I opened my eyes, I saw I was lying with my back on the sand. It was another wintry morning. I woke up with the sweet monotonous sound of the waves. It was calming. But the next moment I was anxious. What happened last night? Where was my mother? Rather, where was I? I didn’t remember I ever visited a sea in years. Wait a second!! Where was my village? What happened to me? Did the tantric kill me? Was I dead? I was afraid once again. Once again, the fears were running my mind. I looked up. I looked around. Another shock hit me. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I couldn’t comprehend what was happening at that moment. I was watching people!! I WAS WATCHING PEOPLE! I rubbed my eyes. I looked around. I was not dreaming. I was really actually seeing children playing with sand, people taking bath in the sea, some enjoying the sun. I was far away though. There was another kind of awkward silence. Once again, the silence was numbing me. I stood up. I came close to the water. I felt tired for a moment. I needed to freshen up. But another shock was waiting for me to hit me hard. I looked at my reflection. I was startled. I couldn’t believe what my eyes were seeing. I was looking at a man on the reflection which was supposed to be mine. I saw there were wrinkles on my face, there were folds on my forehead. I had heavy beard & my hair had been so rough & grown longer. I had become more muscular. I couldn’t identify this personality. I couldn’t believe this transformation. I was so thin & shaky teen. I was blank. What was my age? How many years had passed? But it was just yesterday night I was in that TANTRIC’S place. What happened yesterday? Was it at all yesterday? My mind was desperately seeking answers. I was alone. I couldn’t even identify any face because I had never seen one. In the meantime, I heard something. “Guru, you woke up? Finally. “An unknown voice behind me. I didn’t know him. I asked, “Who are you? What is happening? Please help me out. I was a teen yesterday. How can I be so aged today? Where is my mother? Where am I? I can’t understand anything? Please answer me. ANSWER ME!! “That man looked still at me. Without blinking his eyes, he replied, “Relax. Calm down. I can understand. All I can tell you is your mother is no more. It’s been almost ten years now. I can’t answer anything anymore. One day you will find them. This book will guide you. Open it.” I remained blank. I was confused. I did what he just told me. The book was quite heavy & seemed old, really very old. Perhaps, it could be some thousand years or may be more? I was simply turning away the pages. My hand stopped at a symbol. It resembled like a leaf. All of a sudden my eyes asked for an answer. I looked up to ask him. But he was not there. I got up. I searched him all around. He was simply vanished. All I had was this book now in this vast eternal world of solitude.
Years passed. Once a young couple was passing by me. They looked at me, stopped & asked, “What is this book about? It seems quite interesting. Can I see it?” In a husky voice, I replied, “this shows the answers to the questions about self you yourself were unaware of. My girl. Sit. Look closely at this leaf. LOOK BEYOND WHAT YOU SEE. “
There is laughter all around.
[Coming back to reality.]
KOLKATA. 2006. I was frightened enough that I was sweating even on a cold wintry morning. I usually slept in between my mother & brother in my big room. I was under the blanket. It was around 4’o clock in the morning. But the world under blanket was so dark that I could still see the green leaf. I was unknowingly trembling in fear. I woke up. I realized it’s already morning. This relieved me. I again closed my eyes. To my utter shock, I was seeing that glowing leaf again. This time, I jumped off my bed. Went to verandah, to check what the hell was happening. It was all perfectly fine. Same old me. Same old house, the road, the people. Everything is perfectly NORMAL & FINE. It was a terrible dream. I laughed at my fear. I sighed, A LONG HORROR MOVIE INDEED.
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