THE STATE OF AATMA – by Pallavi Agarwala
“BE BRAVE ENOUGH TO LIVE CREATIVELY,
WHAT YOU WILL DISCOVER IS YOURSELF.”
A myth can be best described as an account of real life occurrences and events that have been wrapped in metaphors to bring the story to life. All myths carry a message of the Creator. It in this respect that the Creator plays the central character in his own myth.
The following piece of writing can be categorized as a modern myth. A modern myth puts the present into context and challenges the existing social order in its hierarchy and beliefs. A modern myth is a reactionary revolution that strives to bring about change by directly opposing every cultural artifact that the current system stands for by ensuring that the roots of these artifacts are yanked out by the very nerve that holds them together. These cultural artifacts may be people, buildings, belief systems, ‘respect’, age, clothes, weapons down to the written word. When writing this myth I realized that the myth can only be truly understood and experienced through all the senses. This is where it is more powerful than a fable or a tale and more important than either.
Myths have the superstructure built in them to plan organization of cities to structuring how the mind works. Though there are thousands of myths floating around, their universal themes are so ingrained in the subconscious, that they even make an appearance in the abstract dreams that one might experience at night. Different myths are made visible by the different tones in the thought and actions that one exercises daily. These actions bear witness to which myths are constructed of concrete and have the power to crush the lesser known myths and these are the myths that extend and exist beyond time and civilizations.
The environment that I'm a part of has so engulfed my senses that it has prompted me into writing this piece. I am the Creator. I call it ‘THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF THE AATMA’ Chronicles. In this myth, there is a state of stagnation, a state of order, a state of collapse, a city-state and a state of supreme pandemonium. It is the last state that is most precious to the human soul. And the magnets that govern this city-state are The Loni’s or Laws. The myth is a discourse between these Loni’s, where the Law of Freewill, Loni Maha Kutch bhi karo opposes the rest of the laws, who have the Law of Fear, Loni Maha Haghh at their helm.
Freewill is a virtue that people possess less of as the days go by. Instead they operate under fear and paranoia. Writing this piece has helped me voice my angst. And without myths I would lie crippled, without a voice or any power.
This is a true account of events that took place 400 years ago, on a small planet in space known as O. All the characters in this myth are real and still living. The creator did intend to cause damage and hurt to certain people living.
THE 9 LONIS OF THE “CITY-STATE”
While the humans lie in a fetal position, clumped in hordes of hundreds, maybe even thousands, under a warm layer of earth, members of a certain “city-state” are engaged in a fervent discourse over the matter that will compose the ideological, physical, scientific and human nature of these humanoids. They are hidden deep within the consciousness of these humanoids and comprise of eight steeples that will bring to order the yet-to-be-established society/ city-state. The collective that are these ten steeples are called Loni or Laws and the body to which they conform to; Lon.
“We will make them dance to our tunes, tra la la, la . To the tunes that grate against their FREE will, if there ever was such a thing.” said Loni Maha Plights (Law of Sorrow and Giving) to the rest of his congregation.
“MARCH, MARCH not dance”, ordered the Loni Maha Rudraksh (Law of War). “If there is one thing that I am sure of it is that there is but one absolute in this universe of Ours, and that is that the mightier sword will always defeat the lesser”.
“That is where you are mistaken, my dear, dear friend”, creeping from behind, a small voice said. The Law of Wealth, Loni Maha Taakat, moved closer and placed himself at the centre of the circle, “for I am the most powerful force. I create movement, I create cause, I create reason, and I create eternal bliss. It is me and me alone that encompass all. Living as well as non-living. Touché to that.”
Loni Maha Ek (Law of Nature) was quick to quip to this remark made by her fellow member. “We are One. We must Act as One if order, harmony and peace are to be achieved and maintained. Tell me what good is wealth and weaponry when only sorrow and discord are your only companions. I plead to the council to keep in mind that life exists within us as well as outside of us. O is our mother. She feeds our hungry body and nourishes our soul. Do not talk of walking against the grain when the sun shines brighter when we sing in unison. If you, Maha taakat wish to be truly successful, then you must understand the principle of ek.”
“I agree with Maha ek that order is the ultimate aim.” Loni Maha rath (Law of Race) remarked as he nodded his head, “but I think it is my duty to remind us All and these humanoids that the One we pay homage to, the One that has created us, is our Father, who with one strike of his scepter placed us on this earth.”
The Law of duty, Loni Maha Sab proclaimed, “And not to forget, that to ensure order, we must drill a healthy sense of duty into these suckers. Let them not forget who the boss is. The Community and—
Suddenly from the dark shadows emerged
Emerged Loni Maha haghh (Law of Fear) (the intonation of the word ‘haghh’ is the sound produced from the stomach).
He just sat. And sat and stared.
“brrrrr. It’s become a liittlle chillllly”, quipped Loni Maha Taakat to Loni Maha ek. Meeting with no response progressed to nudging Loni Maha Rudraksh. One by one their voiced dropped to a silent nod and soon time stood still.
The deep silence was broken by someone snoring.
The law of Duty continued, “—and the Greater Good comes before any individual. What would you say to that—Maha Kutch bhi karo?”
Loni Maha Kutch bhi karo (Law of Freewill) awoke from his gentle slumber and in muffled mumbles replied, “free will Loni. That’s what I say. Do as you wish Maha Sab. Express yourself…” And went back to sleep.
Loni Maha Rang (Law of Color) was the only one left of the collective that hadn’t had a chance to say anything. And between all their voices, no one even noticed.
They continued late into the night and the next day and the next.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF AATMA
Presiding over the first meeting of the State of Aatma, is our Supreme Commander and Comrade: THE Maha Loni Yogi Mallankar Vishwa haghh Shri Shriji (previously referred to as Loni Maha haghh). Under the law of THE Maha Loni Yogi Mallankar Vishwa haghh Shri Shriji there are the Ministers. Each of the Ministries will set up a constituency of their own and rear the kind according to the following Niyams:
As per the new law, we must bow are heads to THE Maha Loni Yogi Mallankar Vishwa haghh Shri Shriji and display our loyalty at all times
1. Wearing the mark of Haghh. One can obtain the mark of Haghh from the Ministry of Wealth, Shri Minister Loni Maha Taakat for a few takas (local currency of the Kind. The currency is in the form of a sacrifice. Must give something in order to get something). Let’s call it a transaction, shall we.
2.1 We strive to preserve ORDER. This is one of our prime principals of this state. For in order lies beauty and perfection and is thus sacred. Divinity in its full glory is not the nirvana of the self but the self-realisation that there is a power higher than the self. We must understand and obey the role that is to be played by the kind. Duty is a Virtue. To serve and to protect the interest of the State is the goal of every kind.
2.2 A system of a police-state is to be established and maintained by the Ministries of Rudraksh and Sab.
To protect the sovereign nature of this institution, we have deployed further power to the ministry of Rudraksh and Sab as they will fight our noble fight against any thing that we might consider an enemy of the state. This will be in two kinds--- moral police as well as police with armour.
3.3 We are toying with a new idea. By how much will the efficiency, productivity and value be added to total income if we give priority to profession over passion? Imagine a city where
-----imagine?” In a loud bellow Loni Maha Kutch bhi karo spoke from his stomach. If you take away the power of imagination, of dreams, away from this kind, then my powers will slowly get depleted and I will shrink and become old.
-----But it doesn’t fit into the system. Try and understand big boy. We are only doing what’s good and right for the entire community.
-----I don’t care about the community. I care about soaring through the sky. I have been listening to your garble this entire time only because I believed that you were going to fulfill my desire to fly.
Any other objections (maha loni sab)----
Loni Maha Rang only had one thing to add and that was,
“Divinity lies in a single thread of golden sand. As the winds come, it blows further and further away, only to shower you with golden light as you slowly open your eyes every morning. And it is Good.”
----Next(maha loni sab)
----I think that there should also be ……and …… and …… and ….
----They won’t listen or understand. Lets get outta here kid. There aint no space fer you and me in this town,” Loni Maha Kutch bhi karo told little kid Rang. As they bade to take leave, they were stopped.
----And where do you think you are going? You, you cannot not NOT NOT NOT NNNNOOOOOTTTTTT. YOU MUST listen to us.”
----Let’s leave. I have better things to do or not do.
She wrapped herself around him and trapped him in a kaleidoscope of colours from the inside but white light was reflected from the outside. For days and nights to come she violently fought every weapon, every abuse that was hailed at them. They were all reflected back onto the other Lonis. After the ninth day of corrosive hail, torn and shredded, weathered and worn out, the two, big boy and little kid took leave of the kingdom.
The constitution was drafted on the three thousandth and twenty first day since the inception of the birth of kind. They were born soon after and all the Lonis were embedded in their architecture except none of which was free standing and they all seemed to lack a luster of sort.
80426th day of the inception.
A city report.
THE INNARDS OF THE CITY
Is a labyrinth of streets marked by deception and deceit. It is hard to deceive oneself from the filth and utter degradation of the human aatma. It lies rotting and festering bitterness in its heart, spewing out fowl language from its mouth at every passer. And then over this mass of gray, lies another layer of gray. It’s the metro police. They march through these streets, plastering the walls with its city anthem —
¬and suddenly the city is transformed with waves of a single spectrum of colour, colouring the alleys. It’s the uniform of the police. They wear the mark of the THE Maha Loni Yogi Mallankar Vishwa haghh Shri Shriji (previously referred to as Loni Maha haghh/Law of Fear). Two black concentric circles dig deep into the hollow eye sockets cutting any possible reach of light. It digs deep into the head, thus displacing the brain. The brain bows down to make space for the resting space of Maha Loni Haghh. The brain oozes out of the ears, and now lies shriveled, hanging by a thin thread from the two ears.
A gray colour gear that comprises of a jacket, thick boots and long pants protects them from the biting cold of winter.
They march in step. They march within 2 inches of one another. They march in squares. They march in squares of hundred that is 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. Till they all coagulate at the epicenter of the city. There is no pushing, no fighting between them deciding who will stand in the front. They take their position in perfect distance and harmony from each other.
“Oh what symmetry. Maha Loni Ek will be so happy. After all those hours of teaching them the power of unification. The elections are coming up and all the Loni’s are contesting to win the seat of the vice-president. The metro polis has been called to restore order and peace in the blocks that are discovering unrest from the roO-iNs.
RoO-iNs are like tiny worms that clog the alleys of the state of the Aatma. They form these clumps and stink the entire place with words.
Something needs to be done to stop these maggots from eating into the divine idea form which this city took birth. And it is by the divine power of the metro police that they shall meet their end.
“Something needs to be done to stop these maggots from eating into the divine idea form which this city took birth.” Shri Minister Loni Rudraksh proudly proclaimed.
“Rightly said, Shri Minister Loni Maha Sab. These RoO-iNs will damage our chances of winning the upcoming elections if we don’t keep them in check. I sent my assistant to inquire about these pests. Where did they com from; they all seem to be good for nothing. Come we’ll take care of this later, show me the plans for the expansion of the empire and the manifesto that we must present to the THE Maha Loni Yogi Mallankar Vishwa haghh Shri Shriji.
A knock is heard and in walks a puny little fellow with a gaunt face and big gouging eyes. He is holding a small pad and repeatedly nodding his head at erratic intervals of time. He is the assistant. His name is Assistant.
“it eez like theez sir,—
—Is not eez. IS. Carry on Assistant.
“the Cit-ty ,
is stroon ,
with shape-less bodeys ,
of mass, not controlled by muscle but formed in,
Like clodes ,
hang from ,
a clodes line,
—Clodes. NOT CLODS. CLODHES. Make it brief, this is irritating to listen to.
“Yes, yes. You are right sir—
Like clodes ,
hang from ,
a clodes line,
like rags ,
from the windows and poles of buildings.
Some sit in heaps
along the pathways of the city.
If you try and move these things,
ones’ fingers seep into the flesh
and pierce through, releasing toxins into the atmosphere of the Cit-ty.
These toxins come onto the buildings,
of the passer and refuse to come off and
get formed into letters.
—and hurry up
“These toxins emit as follows, “Fear is the mother of morality.””
—True True. That’s right.
and it also says, ““I would believe only in a God that knows how to Dance.”
(the minister slaps the Assistant.)
The assistant’s head rattles. Rrrrrrrr. Grabbing the assistant’s hair—
“Twist thy spine that defy the might
Tell me, O’ assistant, what else have you heard—”
The city is brimming with toxins like theez.
Another slap is heard, the black of the screen disappears. The Assistant is walking through a narrow alley. He has been sent by his seniors. The mission: To eradicate all evidence of roO-iNs. To blacken the type that scars the moral polis of the state .
In the darkness, as he is walking through the alleys, he can feel it. A rancid smell crawls up his nostrils as he walks home. As he walks home on a sticky road, his metallic boots are getting heavier and heavier. He plods through the city slowly. He doesn’t seem to care. His eyes are drooping and everything seems a blur.
The stillness of the dark is cut by a strong siren. A beam of light follows. A metro polis van stops and he is forced to salute. As he is getting into position to obey the orders, he is caught off-guard by an added feature. The van’s beam lights up a monument of roO-iNs stacked over each other. It is nearly toppling over. It is being held together by the toxicooze. He sees the Metro polis. They are protected by plastic and stuffing them roO-iNs in huge black plastic bags.
He looks down to inspect his shoes. They feel funny. Bits of flesh are stuck to his metallic boots.
The shadows cast by the beam are long and dark. Fearing that they might consume him, he seeks refuge by running.
His boots hit the concrete road. The further he runs; the finer the flesh gets ground to a paste.
His arms flail in rapid succession
and his knees yearn to collapse with the weight of
He flees to a building to escape the horror of himself. He spirals up the stairs, and jumps from the window.
He is floating in air and it fills his small heart with uncontrollable laughter. He is flyin――
He plummets to the ground.
All is silent.
Morning comes. In place of the Assistant, a roO-iN remains. All left of the Assistant is his metallic boots. Two young Assistants pass by the newly drafted roO-iN lying in front of the building. They recognize their senior by the boots.
And strewn across the building in bold bloody red lettering hang the words,
THERE-IS-MORE-WISDOM-IN-YOUR-BODY-THAN-IN - YOUR-DEEPEST-PHILOSOPHY.
They paint over the building, but reminiscences of red show in pinches.
―But how many more buildings are they going to paint over?―
On their return home that evening, bigger, bolder letterforms greet the passers by.
IN WHOM THE IMPULSE TO PUNISH IS POWERFUL
The morning after the walls of the city are plastered by a notice personally signed by THE Maha Loni Yogi Mallankar Vishwa haghh Shri Shriji.
To the denizens of the state of AATMA--
Of all that is written, I love only what a person has written with his own blood. It gives me comfort that I have given them the freedom to express themselves. It’s just that I wish for the benefit of the city, YOU should constrain these artistic abilities to small white sheets of paper. It’s healthy to have a little opposition in the election. Makes the fight more amusing to control. Except that I am curious as to where these little nuggets of information are coming from : the ones that they seem to be spouting. The metro police and their moral policing will tighten their belts, puff their chests put and give YOU buggers a lesson in ethics.--------'
ANY INFORMATION CONTACT THE MINISTRY-
THE Maha Loni Yogi Mallankar Vishwa haghh Shri Shriji.
On seeing the notice, the state of Aatma recedes into a state of chaos. The denizens shut themselves in into their tiny little cubby holes. And in the midst of night, from their homes pour rivers of text. They flood the streets with Red, washing the grey into the ground. Maha Loni Kutch Bhi Karo has finally opened his jaw and he is ready to take revenge on the Maha Loni Haghh.
THE RETURN OF THE MAHA LONI KUTCH BHI KARO and his compatriot MAHA LONI RANG
They went in search of a land where dreams came true. A land where the unknown was the best birthday present one could wish for. In this land, the ‘word’ did not exist and nothing had a name. Since every word is prejudice, there were no prejudices. And here everyone was equal. And that was the dark truth. Maha Loni Kutch Bhi Karo was accustomed to being treated as a being of a higher order.
Here everything functioned on "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs". They shared a deep understanding of their place in the universe. So even if a predator lurked, it was the fate of the little prey to succumb to the jaw of the predator.
He did not at first comprehend the nature of the lifestyle. Everyone had a role and a mission but nobody seemed to grow up. Even though death was in every brook and fauna, waiting to pounce, the beasts’ activities did not seem to hinder. In every beast there lay a child hidden that wants to play. As they did not understand the spoken word, he was forced to remain mute. Since he was mute, he was the outsider, He started observing. He became a keen observer and would scribble his tiny realizations in a tinier book. His observations led to intense periods of meditation, where he would question only one fact- why had he been put on this planet? He meditated on the philosophy of these kindly dangerous beasts and how different his previous life had been.
And during these intense periods of meditations, he was lifted into delirium. And in his dream time he created the universe as he saw it fit. And from this dream there emerged the ideal quest. This Quest was a glorious quest and would be the new constitution of the state of the aatma.
MLKBK: Oh aatma, what is thy wish?
A: To dream.
MLKBK: Dream. To dream? What kind of dream?
A: To dream of holding light in my eyes and when I shut my eyes to go to sleep, The stars are set ablaze with these dreams.
A: To own a heart coated with courage powerful enough to push away the gray blood contaminated by fear. And Maha Loni Rang will build roadways paved with these stars.
A: A land where the unknown is the best birthday present.
A: To own the RIGHT to be WRONG.
Cut to the present.
I aM a lAW foR mY kIND.
I Am nO LaW foR alL.
If you want to enter a battle with I, YOU are late, it has already begun and you don’t have a choice but to be a part of it. What will you bring to the fight? The more you push your soldiers, the faster they will come crawling to me. Only from chaos can emerge the dANce oF liFe. A predator and the prey. A push and a pull. This duality is the crème.
Swell in it.
Published in the interest of the public by the FREE PRESS.
This was the reply that Maha loni kutch bhi karoge put up on the backs of two more roO-ins that were assistants. They are seen parading around the ci-ty. And the junta starts nodding their heads with mechanical energy.
98296th day of the inception.
A city report.
THE BATTLE I
The city is spoiled. ‘Festooned’ with graffiti, it presents a deplorable site. What is worse is the State of its subjects. They have lost all control of their being. Once able bodied men of function are now being taken to the mortuary. They are unable to control their duty. They are cursing and crying excessively. The stand I feel must be taken, is of a stronger, stricter approach toward the weak. What’s the use of building in concrete when only poofs are going to inhabit them. Better to finish the race than to see such deterioration in the Aatma. Let’s hear what the Unified army has to say about this as they come out of the citadel.
They have passed some new Niyams to arrest the situation and bring it under control. THE Maha Loni Yogi Mallankar Vishwa Haghh Shri Shriji is leading the way followed by his ministers, MahaLoni Sab, MahaLoni Rath, MahaLoni Rudraksh, MahaLoni Ek, MahaLoni Plight, MahaLoni Taakat. Rumours have it that there has been citing of a political power struggle in the parliament as the elections are around the corner.
They don’t say much.
1st day of the new inception.
A free press report.
THE LAMENT OF A DYING AATMA I
This pandemonium. This chaos created. From it will rise the dance of the stars and the night won’t be dark anymore. The day won’t be night anymore. This city shall be festooned with greatness. Greatness for every man will be wearing a mark of glory. He shall sit on his throne of plumes of brightly coloured feathers. Morality makes stupid. That’s what these roO-iNs are. These roO-iNs shall be no more RoO-iNs but take life by its throat, slit it and drink the blood that flows. Only when they have vanquished their Desire, shall they be put to rest.
98296th day of the inception.
A city report.
THE BATTLE II
And however do you suppose this will ever happen?
2st day of the new inception.
A free press report.
THE LAMENT OF A DYING AATMA II
The quest has begun.
The RIGHT to be WRONG.
In the end, the roO-iNs are taken to the kiln and turned to bricks. The city is protected by a high wall, one kilometer in stretch made from these bricks. Freewill's press is crushed. The other Maha Lonis continue their task of bringing law and order into the lives of their subjects. The roO-iNs are long forgotten. The history books keep no record of the city when it was in turmoil.
A small child of six, blind, deaf and mute is born. She lies in the outskirts of the city, abandoned by her parents. In her resides the Maha Loni Rang. The girl sees what escapes the others. And today is her birthday and she has no idea what O (the earth) has in store for her.