LazyEye, Telegraph Calcutta

Merey ghar aanaa, aanaa zindagi

The haze. There is a haze. There is always a haze, of some sort or the other. That is how things are. Perhaps because we have got so used to how things are, to how haze always is, that we no longer see the haze. But it’s there. We see through this haze or that. Or we say there is too much haze and we cannot see it and so we stop seeing things and give ourselves the benefit of not seeing things that we should see. Things happen when a haze descends, this kind of haze or another. Memory. Madness. Mayhem. Murder. They often happen through this haze or that. Of prejudice. Of pathology. Of politics. Of hate. Of bigotry. Of anger. Of vengeance. Of, quite simply, primal urges and impulses. All of their consequences are enacted in a haze. And those enactments done, we often believe and argue we did not see because there was a haze. It blinded us. And in such blindness we commit unforgivable things for which we are liable to later seek forgiveness because we plead we were blinded, we never saw. There was a haze.

There is a haze. You can see it. I can see it from within. I am behind those shuttered windows and doors and ventilators. You cannot see me. I have locked myself in. But you can perhaps see it from the outside too, this haze. It is ionised all across the protections behind which I have locked myself. Between me and you, there stands a haze. Of course, I am assuming there is a “You” on the outside, looking, or trying to look, into the inside through the haze. But what might you be wanting to look into, assuming you are there? And why am I assuming you are there, outside, just behind the haze? What, pray, am I looking out for? Why am I imagining you are looking in?

Let me try and reason this out. Let me wonder why this curiosity has taken me, as it may well have taken you, assuming you are there. You must be there. If I am here, you must be there.

It is comforting to know — or merely think — someone is there, you are there. Because I am locked in and you are locked out and there is a haze in between and it may be a comforting thing to think there is someone there. Another isolation. Another inquisitiveness. Another anxiety. Another inquiry.

Is someone there? It has suddenly become somehow important to know. The haze has cut us off. This haze that you see has come in between, and it is a haze that I have been strongly advised not to step out to and try to beat away. It may be a killer haze. It may not give me the opportunity to even know whether, having beaten it and broken through it, you are on the other side or not. Do not take it lightly, this haze, it may only seem see-through and gossamer light, but its translucence could be lethal. It is a killer haze. It has been advised best to stay away from it because it is everywhere. It is even where you cannot see it. But it can see you. And if it has seen you, it can get to you faster than you can get to it. That is what we have been told. Although those that could really tell, in detail and with first-hand expertise, are not there to tell us anymore. Alas.

So, you see, I have locked myself in. But only in the hope that this haze will dissipate and then there will be an opportunity to throw the doors and windows and ventilators open and let better things in than this haze. Things like life. Which we are somehow preserving from this haze ionised all around. Are you alive? Across this haze? Are you wondering if I am alive, across the haze you can see? Are you even there to wonder? Hello!!

I had built this house and put doors on it, to come and to go. These doors were also more often than not, kept open in the good hope that life and love come through its ajar panels and give us what we frequently need: a gust of life. To clear that haze? Or sweep more of it in, who knows?

Sansaar ki har shay ka

Itna hi fasaana hai

Ek dhundh se aana hai

Ek dhundh mein jaanaa hai.

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