TODAY -

Nicholas' Phantasmic Journey :: Part 1

Devasis Laishram *



Part 1: Nicholas' journey begins.

10:25 read the clock that hung lifeless in his messy bed room as Nicholas entered, exhausted and lethargic owing to the wearisome events of the day. It started with the usual boring lectures and ended with 9 shots of tequila, two mugs of beer and a bruised right eye. He looked at it again. 11:25 it read this time, and losing faith in his sight and also because what time it was was hardly important, he gathered whatever clothes was on his bed and throwing it on the chair, gave his back, his sore, aching back the rest it rightfully deserved.

And thus he stretched out, relaxing his fatigued muscles and aching tendons and with eyes tightly shut, tried in vain to fall sleep, and the harder he tried to sleep, the more wakeful he became, for when he thought of sleep, his mind wandered itself to the events of the evening, the flirting with a random girl in the bar, the angry boyfriend, the heated conversation, the exchange of a lot of poetic verses-starting with the F-word and followed by an exquisite illustration of verbal delicacy-the swinging of the right arm, then the left, a round kick, and finally the "getting-thrown-out" off the bar.

And this has become a sort of daily routine for Nicholas, this bored, misguided 21 year old who left his small hometown called Imphal at the age of 9 and who's currently landed himself in Delhi University, a myriad of colleges where future scholars and scientists come to spend endless nights sharing an intimate relationship with quantum mechanics or chaos theory or with the infinite theories on an infinitely vast subject proposed by amazingly enlightened people, all of who have an unusual beard and a usually tousled hair, people who are otherwise known as philosophers.

Then you have the non-scholars and the non-intellectuals, like Nicholas, whose only accomplishment in life is the "fashion-sense" that they have acquired by an endless research or rather a PHD, done on the internet from great teachers and institutes like Louis Vuitton or Chanel or D&G or Zara and in turn buying hundreds of "cool" and "trendy" dresses, a practical use of their well acquired knowledge, with of course, money from their parents.

And so, thousands of college students from all over India come to this awfully crowded place, with its awful 'sizzling-in-summer' and 'freezing-in -winter' weather to showcase their parent's riches or their apparent knowledge in the widely respected and studied field of "fashion".

And no doubt, Nicholas with his scholarly knowledge strutted with the lavishing riches of his parents and his amazingly handsome features, which in actual is merely a properly arranged nose and eyes and lips, was highly respected and looked up to by all of his colleagues and friends and even by people who don't actually know him but secretly "follow" him on Facebook and Twitter.

And as he lay in his well cushioned bed, his brain automatically recalling what had happened in the evening, his body protested and shouted for a good and long sleep. He felt a tingling sensation here and there but was too exhausted to be bothered by it. And thus, Nicholas concentrated in his attempt to fall asleep, thinking of nothing but to relax his eyes and allow his subconscious to take over and drift him to a world where anything was possible. He heard strange noises, noises that sounded like the distant eruption of a volcano or the crashing of a plane, the start of an apocalypse some miles away, but with his weariness engulfing him, with his muscles burning of fatigue, had no desire to see what was happening. Then he felt his body become almost weightless, felt himself become startlingly light, so light that he could almost fly away with the slightest breeze. Then suddenly, everything stopped; the itching, the fatigue, the restlessness, the volcanic eruptions, the strange buoyancy, all came to a halt and the air was filled with an odd but rather comforting silence. He opened his eyes.

Realizing that his fatigue suddenly vanished, Nicholas stood up in amazement. He didn't feel a thing, no more weariness, no more sore muscle, and found this rather disturbing. A minute ago he was yearning for sleep, his body desperately begging for rest and now he was completely fine and overflowing with energy. Did he fall asleep for a while and wake up again? But he didn't remember falling asleep. Still unsure of what was happening, he flipped the switch. Nothing happened. He did it again. No electricity. And in the absence of electricity, his expensive flat was of no interest. So he decided to go for a stroll.

Still astonished at how active he suddenly became, he found himself strolling along the road beside Deer Park. It was empty. Strange, he thought. It should be about 12 pm by now, remembering his glance at the clock, and in Safdarjung, there were always a few people coming back from parties and late night movie shows, and today being a Saturday, the road at 12 pm should be filled with auto rickshaws; very strange indeed. Maybe he read the clock wrong and it's a lot latter than 12 pm.

No phone to check the time either. He wondered why he didn't bring his phone with him. It was very unlikely of him to forget something as essential as a phone. Then suddenly, and quite bizarrely, disturbing his concern about the oddness of the street, the sky changed, and it was now as bright as ever and the sun shone marvelously before him, emitting rays of light, visible and invisible, ridding the earth of all darkness. Then as if things couldn't get any weirder, the streets changed too, rearranged themselves from concrete to dirt, the lamp posts are no more to be seen, the road divider vanished, and Nicholas stood bewildered, gazing at the vastness of water that stretched before him, water that gleamed magnificently before the bright sun, a sight of mystical beauty, a heavenly serenity and the whole scene radiating a sensation of pure bliss. Nicholas stood gazing at the Loktak Lake.

To be continued ..


* Devasis Laishram wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer describes himself as
"I am from Pishumthong Ningom Leirak and i'm currently doing my B.Tech in Punjab. I would be totally delighted if someone called me a "volatile-Promethean"; volatile, mostly because I completely abhor invariability and stagnancy and I constantly seek new interests and hobbies and promethean because, well, who doesn't like to be called ingeneous! Even though I am a sad perfectionist, and a brutal skeptic, I do like to keep my mind open to new ideas and theories for I believe with the microscopic consciousness of the human brain, nothing is definite. I love writing, music(those by artists from a proper music college), reading novels, travelling, gym-ing and hope to add a lot more to the list. I hope to write fantasy novels mixed with a sort of philosophical non-fiction."
The writer can be contacted at dipu(dot)dvs(at)gmail(dot)com
This article was posted on September 03, 2013



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