Part Two: Incineration

Stained with the blood of a thousand years-

Today and yesterday are slaves already. Tomorrow’s next.

The sun-

A golden arc that once represented the hopes and desires of an ever rising empire.

It’s now a floating nuclear bomb and the lazy cotton clouds are the white silk shrouds, concealing the haunting innocent faces who simply couldn’t get away- collateral damage.

Yes, that’s what we call them.

The winds- I imagine them to be giant silver sickles sharpened to slice into two equal parts and I imagine they’d do it with a gleeful grin.

Then, comes rain-

Showers of bullets fired from metallic cylinders-

lethal extensions of humanity, invented by the Chinese, adopted and improved by the Europeans.

“there will come soft rains,”

that’s what they all chant , praying for water to wash away the horror and sins of the battlefield.

Rain comes, but in no means soft.

A shower of bullets and grenades, of severed limbs and droplets of blood sprayed all over the sky, staining the earth permanently. Even if a thousand flowers, red, white and yellow bloom next spring, in their petals, the horrors of the previous year will never vanish.

Can’t you hear the echo of the voices?
the wailing children, the screaming men, the shrieking women.

Can’t you hear the silent wails of the trees whose roots are shattered by the incessant attack of the storm of grenades?

Can’t you hear the silent protest when buildings older than a decade of generations are blown up?

The earth is stained with the blood of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

The skies are burning.

The skies are on fire.

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Part One: Orenda

The orchestra of birds chirping early in the morning-

My 3 am alarm clock that repeats every few minutes. I can’t even reach out to slam it into a much desired state of snooze because this particular alarm clock is privileged enough to have wings that it flaps, flying for hours a day, covering a million times more than what I could even dream of doing on foot. At 3 am, it is already succeeded in making me feel inferior.

I wake up, officially this time, at 8 or 9 am,

“A respectable hour of the morning” as my mother would off course say. Any time later, even if it is just a few minutes past “the morning”, she would automatically classify it as afternoon, according to her watch off course. Naturally, the world follows a much more reliable system of the GMT, according to which, all time before midday is morning. Regardless, I’m awake- if by “awake” you mean the wonderfully dazed state of mind, where I float, halfway between the conscious and sub-conscious realms of my mind, drifting without a single care, watching the world and its events pass by my eyes- blurred, like the images I see from the window of my car. It’s the state for the rest of my day of course.

Morning becomes noon, which transitions to afternoon and then dusk. Or twilight. Whatever you prefer to call it. I know it as evening. Is it only me who finds it odd that 4 words describe one particular time of the day? How beautifully odd really. It’s why I love this language. Each day is a scavenger hunt for new words. Join me sometime. Hunting alone gets terribly lonely don’t you think? Besides, two arrows would hit wider targets right?

Have you ever noticed the skies at dawn and dusk? When I was a child, I thought the skies were stained with candy. I wanted some. I wanted to grow tall enough so that my fingers would grab those cotton-candy clouds, tall enough that I could stick my tongue out and lick the candy stained skies and the giant crimson lollypop floating in the sky. My grandmother heard of this. She didn’t laugh. I spent a large part of my childhood, deceived into drinking milk twice a day, along with curd and all my vegetables and whatever was given to me on my plate for my meals- breakfast, lunch and dinner, in hopes and expectations that I would be that tall one day. I obviously did not. What did happen was that I grew out of my innocent daze of childhood where I viewed the world through my rose-tinted glasses that made the world seem like a wonderful utopia. That is childhood.

I’m no longer a child. Now, the skies at dawn and dusk are on fire in my eyes. The infant rays of the sun pierce the darkness, bringing light. But it isn’t white. Its fire- a demented orchestra of yellow, red, orange and pink- screams echoing, bombs exploding, guns firing. The sky is a battlefield, stained with the blood of those who dare to step foot on it.

The sun rays are like the rain of bullets fired from a gun- revolvers and what not. A gun is a gun and the moment a person holds it, he becomes lethal. The bullet pierces through the young flesh of the innocent teenager who they bribed into fighting for them. A soldier is a pawn to them. Yes them, the ones who sit in their offices, sipping their expensive coffees from their white china cups, leaning back on their leather chairs, swirling around, swimming in their shroud of smoke, high up on floors with double digits. Soon it will be triple won’t it? To them, a soldier is a pawn. They forget, a soldier is a child of someone- a farmer, a laborer, or maybe some innocent teenager who’s lost enough to think that army life would be like a game of Call of Duty. No it won’t. There’s no pause button. Once the bullet rips through the flesh and shatters the heart, life is over once and for all.

Wasn’t it Stalin who said, “One death is a tragedy but a million is a statistic?”

I can’t recall exactly. I read it a while back, off the surface of a book whose name I can’t recall. Perhaps I read it in school, or perhaps I read it while I performed my daily ritual of surfing the internet. Regardless, to them, this applies. War is a board game. A soldier is a piece- a faceless piece whose death means absolutely nothing. The point of the game is money. The one who earns the most wins money is land. That’s all that matters. Only one can win and when that happens, the battle ends. The war never does.

The battle ends. The fighting ends. Cities ruined. Cultures and histories insulted and destroyed mercilessly. People dead- on both sides, and innocent spectators who just couldn’t get away in time and got sucked into hell and never survived to explain how bad it really was. Nevertheless, it’s a grim victory but a victory nonetheless. Thus, the skies that previously burned of war and reeked of the scent of rotting bodies transition into the calm blue, almost white really. That shade stays for the rest of the day until evening when the skies burn again. That’s how wars are fought really. There’s always a moment of calmness which is forgotten, absolutely ignored when the first bullet is fired once again.

Evening turns to night. Black. Actually, its midnight blue. Or Prussian. I don’t know. I didn’t really pay attention in art class as you can see. Either way, it is just dark you know? Its the absence of color all together. But that, I will see that shade again and I’m going to think its various shades of the same color but it won’t be. It would be ripples of black satin that I will see before my eyes for the next 7 or 8 hours as darkness fills the crevasses of my mind that would be normally reserved for dreaming. But my sleep is vacant, dreamless- just the way I like it.

After all, silent solitude is always appreciated