Sunday, 10 July 2011

Firebrand

This is one of my earliest pieces of writing. From 2003. Gosh reading it now, I am amazed I actually wrote stuff like this. Complex definitely Rushie-sque. I think my style is much more simpler, easier to read now. But couldn't resist putting this up anyway.

Teena Arriva. Named after her Roma grandmother seven generations ago. Aneeta Arya had been among the first of the group to go over to the hills near Bucharest from the sand dunes near the marble hills of Belur. Following her soul and her free spirit.   It was said that when she danced her eyes flashed and caught fire, shooting little sparks of joy and angst capturing all those around in the circle of her magic. So they became her paramours ready to do her every bidding and calling and bowing and scraping as long as she fixed them with her warm brown liquid eyes and gave them a dose of heaven itself in the middle of the hell hole where they were. Young girls followed her lead to become her dasee’s. To learn at the feet of the mistress herself. To enchant and capture and dispense with the preliminaries. Go straight to the nub.

Aneeta had finally met her match in the forthright arms of Eduardo Ionut. Born of the Iron veins of the earth. Conceived in a splash of sunlight that shimmered in waves of the blue surface of deepest south china. On the deck of the sea his mother had shaken and shuddered and clung to the iron metal grids running through this earth that only those with the vision could see. And he had popped out fully formed in some ways. Alert eyes, nose heaving, little penis upright in already the orgasm of things to come. And those arms, oh those arms, which many a woman young and old would want to lay their neck on.

Aneeta and Eduardo. Their story was remembered in the tiny town of Deva. Their joyous laughter and dancing trapped in the nooks and crannies of Citadel hill that truncated volcanic plug, through which they had run with the gay abandon of the bollywood music which ran through their steel and iron veins enjoying the stunning views of the Mures valley that it over- looked. It is said that even today their spirits enjoy the green lush valleys while the small town around them has ceased to be in remembrance of their joint magic. Swallowed up they were by their very own beloved citadel when the plug unplugged to spurt the lava on all and sundry covering them from head to toe charring them and these two were found arms around each other locked in the final kiss as the iron grids of humanity tightened its arms around them to keep them in that way frozen for posterity.

Of course their son Hee Won Young had been taken by the rest of the Roma clan who had managed to flee the oncoming waves of lava, which pursued them through the hills and plains and through the Fagaras mountains. For seven days and seven nights the lava was hot at their heels, until with a one final mighty heave in which the very last of the group had been sucked back it finally fell back contented and let them go.

The seed had escaped to continue the story for the next six generations until Teena was  born. Of strange bloodlines, grid locks and dna strands which were all twisted and bound and just waiting to be unleashed, re-activated by the right time and place and stimulus and energies of the unborn sun.

Imbibed and then outbound. Teena Arriva.

Teena just knew about this story. No one had to tell her about it. She just knew it that was it. People asked her often how it was that this amazing history of her had been recorded in such detail. And with the names intact . How her gene line had been so clearly defined like it had been written and posted to her. Sent through a courier pigeon and she had received it, it seemed. Open Sesame and it was there.

"So how was it?" Tell me the reporters had pestered her after she had agreed to write a blow by blow description of her before life, her past lifes, her inter dreams & demons to the fore and spewing out these lines and reams of prose in a serialized version which was duly recorded and published on yahoo.com. A coup of sorts.

Nobody knew why a multi-millionairess like her, an enchantress following in the footsteps of the original Mata Hari, a chanteuse unparalleled had agreed to give an unbiased, unabashed, no holds barred, no other rights available kind of sole distribution to this, then strange unknown website. A website which no doubt had invented the technology of locking and padlocking its zealous denizen’s words in a vault of unrivalled un-grassed privacy, so it could not be copied. Copyrights of the world united. And this small unknown thrown away little site in a corner of the world better known for its karma dharma sutra commercialism had rolled out the red carpet of Teena’s words direct to her admirers.

So tell us then how it had all started hanh? The young man insisted. He of the painted finger nails which were the latest in high fashion in his particular nook and cranny of the Silcon Roundabout on the east end, where his  offices were located. 

And she Teena Arriva had said. “Imbibed and outbound.” 

Famous words. Not last or second last words though. Just words that seemed to summarise the love of the world, the profound truth, the music, which was the background to the bamboo dance in Crouching Tiger Hidden Tiger type of music. Haunting brooding. Simmering. Sunshine on the skin sparkle type. The kind that let you get lost in it and sway and sing and dance and drink and almost reach the Kundalini meditation type of sub-consciousness. It needed no more urging and it was there. That type of words.

Her few uttered words then took the world by storm – that is those parts of the world which had not yet come to know about her ability to shock and blind sweetly at the same time. 

When pressed further she had snapped and said.  “Its not like I’m not going to see Aneeta again,” you know?

“No” the journalist asked? “Why not?”

“Well everytime I go out into the warm searing hot sunshine. The kind where you are in the middle of the desert but you may well be in the middle of a frozen lake kind. You know? Where the sun never sets and the sunrays penetrate and warm up your deepest being?” 

The journo nodded in answer, dumbstruck.

Nodding in satisfaction at his response she continued “Well then, at the crux when I find sweat running down my neck and the small of my back and tricking down onto my buttocks and I look up and see this spider’s web thread just there and glinting in the sun, and I think I must be hallucinating and I cant stand it any more, well that’s when Aneeta likes to appear and then she brushes away the cobwebs, takes me by hand and seats me down. And she proceeds to narrate yet another part of her very interesting story.”

The journalist went away duly impressed. And wrote it all in his column. “She is loved. She needs to be loved above all things. It is not like she is  never going to see Aneeta again. Aneeta  visits her in spirit. It is Aneeta who had inspired her to finally open her voice at the age of 11 and cry out her heart. Notes selling with delight, passion, happiness had flown out, ridden the waves, crossed through the heart barriers, the mind walls, the sound quicksand until finally the entire city is a spinning tizzy of ecstasy.”

On reading this the masses proceeded to put their hands together and clapped and clapped, until when finally the waves ceased and little Teena (for she had been but on the verge of puberty then) had swallowed the last notes and looking at her foster parents had said. I want to sing.

Her foster parents' Atune and Mira's  eyes had met above Teena’s. Atune was completely in love with her voice. At that distance of less than 5 meters from which he had heard the tune, he had no more defences left at all. 

“Ok Ok” he nodded and smiled at her longingly.

Mira got it right then. She knew as mothers and women knew. This was going no where. This was blasphemy. "This is not how it is meant to be in the eyes of God."  She said "Its all over. This is it babe. You think you can stay under my own roof and pull the wool in front of my eyes."

A snake in my bed.

A porcupine in my background.

A tortoise whose shell needs to be taken off and cooked.

"Go then. Make your own fate. For you are banished from mine."

 And so little Teena - she was back in the orphanage. Completely overwhelmed and very angry at how fate had dealt her that cruel blow. Why why she asked. Why could I not be the person to be adopted by a famous actress. Famous A jolie herself why could she have not come down and got me. Taken me then to rule the world, Taken me to where the arms of her young lover could hold me and feed me and clothed me and show me the world, Surely its not just Zahara but me Teena who should have this good fortune. Yes in the sahara too. Surely I should be allowed to swim caress feel dance drink live, break through on the other side.

“Of course not.”  Mother nature had answered her then with tears in her eyes. No way then. No way. And Teena knew right then, Right there, she would have to fight. Fight tooth and nail be inspired and her own blood would have to be used up then drop by drop now, of course used up to figure out her own path. Alone she would be. Desperate she would be. Bend the lines of fate in her little palm she would have to. And in a very hackeneyed gesture then she picked up the rusty nail lying the corner and dug it right into the line of her future, into her mound of mercury at the base of her big thumb, to change the lines, to decide what to do, to fight and persevere, to preach, to lead break through, breakdown all that was the barrier, to become one with the future that she had always seen.

That was the passion then that she put into the rock band she founded called Agni. Born of fire. The symbol of fire, sun and true love.

"Ayeeeeeeeee” she yelled  as she came on stage. Wearing the blonde wig that was the best in terms of inspiring awe  – pure energy that attracts in the hearts of those watching.

As she swung around the stage on the ropes of energy, her blue stretch pants stretching even more to accommodate the muscles of her thighs and buttocks as she twirled around on emotions that welled up from deep inside, a demon dancer come to earth. From one end of the stage to the other out onto the audience above them soaring high, the stars in her eyes matching the flames that shot out from every orifice onto the unsuspecting crowds below.

And they yelled and swore and joined in, the rivers of emotion sweeping them all away into a time and space where it was only the now and nothing else mattered.

Yes that’s what it was all about.

They knew and she knew.

And then right there in the middle of the stage she had seen the vision for the first time. Right at the core of the concert, the centre of the fury, the eye of the crowd, the climax when the noise ebbed to become one with the sky and all the little boys and girls of the richer middle class part of Parsis and Mumbai homes had come to see the piper of their dreams perform – right then in the middle of it all she saw him.

The soul of the Tibetan bells from the mountains of his holiness he had descended. She stopped right there suspended in midspace on her fake moon which was drawing her up towards the stars, towards him.

The swing stopped right as she attempted the somersault the most important intense part of the entire concert.

Yes she stopped right there suspended in mid air.

And the chief engineer in charge of her upswell down there under the rigs at ground level then stopped and swore, the sweat running down his back and his chest as he tried to fix the fuse which had just blown.

And there she was Teena Arriva in the yolk of the egg. And she looked up towards the stars the sun which was hidden and prayed.

And he appeared. A vision in blue with a peacock feather tucked behind his ear and smoking a cigar.

He laughed delightedly and beckoned to her holding out his right hand and leaning forward.

And just as she reached towards him, and the audience gasped for it seemed to them that she was a fairy in turquoise just balanced on her tip toes trying to complete a totally impossible pirouette for it seemed that she was upside down just then as it seemed that she would surely fall now, now, and the young men flexed their muscles and held out their hands in anticipation of this precious cargo which was going to head meteor down

She touched his fingers. Almost.  Just a feather a whisper’s touch away

And suddenly miraculously, then her toes found their footing back on the ledge that she had been balanced on. She rightened herself and looked around but of course he was gone

The clapping and cheering, the sheer delight and relief of the crowds below washed over Teena.

The chief engineer gave a sigh.

Her manager fainted in relief.

And Teena realized that it was the love of these people that anchored her, made her feel real tangible there and loved. That was it. Love. The love of the masses that she could hypnotise. That was real more than anything.

That was what filled her heart with enough mother’s love to give to nurture them. And they would be the children that she could never have.

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