এরশাদ আলমগীর এর ছবি
লিখেছেন এরশাদ আলমগীর (তারিখ: বুধ, ৩১/১০/২০০৭ - ৮:০২অপরাহ্ন)

One delightful dream frequents his sleeping hours at recent times. Just as, the legend goes that, an apparition of an unrequited suitor haunts, in most cases though the warmth of such an avidly awaited approval seldom smiles upon the down-and-outs, so the stealthy dream constantly eats away at his borderline poise at the back of his subconsciously restive eyes though for all the different reasons. The other night he tried a new method to rid himself of the apparently sumptuous but cringe making visions of nostalgia. He decided not to sleep at all. But having had the glaring knowledge floating sheepishly in his mind, that he has to wake up early in the morning to catch the first train to work added up to the difficulty he was having making up his mind. He knew how to cope up with the gargantuan workload of long hours' drudgery. He needs a good night's sleep even if he has to compromise on the desperate urge to afford himself the rare hours of lie-ins. But again the thought of his haunting dream kept him wide awake--- in front of the blank sheet of paper he so desperately tries to fill up more often than not with something that would give him a hidden pleasure of furtive creativity- till the time his consciousness of waking hours lapsed into the clasps of unwitting sleepless unconsciousness. He gave in to the temptation of lethargic indifference to everything around him. And, without exception, he woke up with the usual fatigue from hours of struggle with inactive sensibility.
He sat up half awake in his bed, struggling to open his eyes. He turned his head towards the window, which is next to his bed, following the source of the light coming through the cracks of the curtains. He thought the sun was already up. But on moving the curtain a bit to the right with his index finger to figure out the hour, it became clear that it was not of much use as it was still the same night fighting against the artificial flush of streetlights to retain its pitch black garb of darkness –the one that shrouded the outside of his window as he had left for bed. He looked at the time piece he keeps under his pillow, still a quarter left for it to blare out the reveille for Swaroop Choudhury, in short Swaroop. He thought about going back to sleep again to use the full quota of his ration of sleep and put his head back on the pillow. Closing his eyes, he thought it would not be a good idea to go back to sleep again as it would make him even more tired. He got up.


Swaroop, having a careful look around him, stealthily draws out the shaving blade he was hiding in his jacket pocket squatting on the floor with his knees folded and touching the floor. Just as he is about to put the sharp edge on the thin line of duct tape on the medium sized brown carton, he hears the door knob move and startlingly looking up, hides the blade inside his gently closed fist.
"Are you busy, Swaroop?", Mr. Phillip asks opening the door halfway. "I wonder what you do holed up in your room most of the time you are at home"
Swaroop looks a bit off guard and stutters a little looking up at Mr. Phillip whose silhouetted physique outlined a plump ungainly figure against the dimly lit bulb of the corridor.
"So what time did you come back tonight?"
"Attempting to go off at a tangent, Swaroop says, still his glance rooting in about the room, "I wonder how successful a practitioner you might have been in those days
(stealing a passing glance at Mr. Phillip who is almost going to reminisce about his triumphant court room ordeal of the same old case which happened to be the only one to mark the beginning of the winning streak for him in those days though that hadn’t made much headway from there on), I came back five minutes back. I hope I didn't wake you up"
"Why do you think so?", Mr. Phillip looks a bit confused though he can not help betraying the conceited smile, the likes of which only unmixed flattery can successfully provoke.
Swaroop smiles as that is exactly what that question is aimed at. But still hiding his intentions, he goes on, "I met one of my cousins today who is doing very well in the legal profession in recent times."
"O!...", Mr. Phillip looks utterly disappointed and distracted at the same time, "I would not notice that you returned, if Terry did not bark …..but Terry……"
Swaroop stands up from the floor and goes back to arranging the cluttered books on his table. Mr. Phillip still mumbling standing at the door saying something about his jack Russell,Terry. But Swaroop is used to these occasional intrusions. So, half the things Mr. Phillip has been saying is nothing but indecipherable sounds at the background. He will leave after another five minutes or so anyway. Swaroop decides to be a silent listener.

The sky has taken on a mystic hue in the early hours of the morning and the trees are animated with the early rising birds. Their presence is so vivacious even in their apparent absence. There is a nest-a safe haven for this happy early bird family-tucked up unscathed somewhere in the tree. They chirp and sing from very early at the break of dawn until when he gets up. It is not just bird noises, but real singing, like old fashioned birdsong, something similar to the mechanically mimicked tunes, as if in the flesh, in a music box. A soft breeze lingers over at his window making the drapes undulate a little with the purple light of the morning reflecting on the white walls of the room.
"…… would be so wonderful if the secret language of their songs could be decoded"- Swaroop thinks to himself….”it’s sweet but at times it sounds like a white noise or rather a strange language codes that only exist for the pissed out, the somnambulist or the schizophrenically numb skulled.”
Swaroop keeps staring at the moving lights. A drop of tear silently drips down the corner of his right eye. His thoughts remain unbroken in the nonchalant din at the background. Last night was very significant. No one ever taught him what to make of such an instance which so far had not been experienced and remained untasted. Tears keep dripping down in a continuous flow. The walls all around him starts glowing in shades of purple. Getting deeper and deeper. Swaroop remains unmoved in his position without even batting an eyelid. He can feel the breeze on his skin – a small part of the morning is as if settling down on it. A dew of melancholic purple is making its landfall gradually causing Swaroop to stay awake in the beginning of this new day.


Memories do haunt, and so does the urge to forget. Swaroop cannot decide on the choice. There are times when a distant sound or a strain or rather a smell brings back blurred fragments of memories. Swaroop cherishes them stealthily and sends them to the eternal hiding in his own segregated world of loneliness. The other day he was hurrying, with all sense of urgency, to his work as he was already late by fifteen minutes to start his commute to work. He was walking down the pavement as quickly as his feet allowed him after the hapless incident the night before.He had been returning home from work and the time had been way past his bed time and not to mention, for many in his neighbourhood, it could have been halfway through their sleep; not a single soul to be found even loitering about for want of anywhere else to be headed to. No nocturnal creatures, no nightly frolic of stray dogs, no snoring of passed out drunks, not a single breath of wind to roll the empty bottle along the street in vain. Even The lights on the street do not work properly these days. Swaroop had had to make, in places, short leaps to avoid the puddles in the pot holes caused by the rain of the night before. He was cursing, no one knows whom, with every leap that had been making him, with great dexterity, keep control of the bag hanging over his shoulder up to somewhat below the waist line. One after another--- he had kept on leaping through the hurdles with utmost painstaking playfulness. On one occasion, he had even succeeded in landing on his heels onto the edge of a puddle and causing the dappled muddy splash leave on his trouser flap a sharp reminder of his apparent sporting failure. This time he had cursed out loud but eventually it too had lost its effect hanging in the air for a futile moment of world-weary repugnance. He had gasped for breath and looked around with a passing glance as if there had been someone to find vacuous pleasure or rather a pretext of gloating over at his predicament. Again, the next moment had seen him, with renewed determination, start on his challenge to reach home without any further damage; but may be it had been his determination that had lacked the requisite puissance or it could have been his merely callow innocence in resting undue burden on his newly acquired confidence that landed the ultimate moment of deceit Or else he could not have been failed on his clear intention of overcoming such minuscule impediments and, even quite unbeknown to him, had found his right heel slip to a position that would get him to land on the side of the leg arch and sprain the right ankle. That ended the adventure without any further development for either side-the challenger and the challenged. He could not afford to be late at any cost but the die was cast. He was late. So, the only way through was to strain his human possibilities to its extreme and do something between a walk and a sprint. He kept glossing over his watch but on no occasion did he register the time. It was may be a subconscious attempt to recompense for the lost time; a kind of solace. Suddenly, a hint of a distinct though quite a common smell made him distracted from the flurry and he found his senses leading him unhurriedly towards that smell. He could feel the desperation gushing over in his bloodstream to go near the source of the smell. But it was not the source that intrigued him, rather it was all the anticipation, the likeness of an uneventful present, at the most unwary of moments, to a lost memory-- overlooked as a passing jiff of workaday living, yet so memorable and precious. It was as if he was constantly being flanked by an invisible body of ever spiraling fragrance gaining momentum with every wrenching spin as it furled back to the ultimate revelation of a mortal ecstasy. As he turned the corner round the bushes outgrown over the hedge of a front yard which had been so far blocking his views, he finally got past a woman with a fairly attractive appearance though that did not reveal any novelty in the female beauty he would encounter in course of his varied quotidian tropes. He carried along hurriedly on his commute with a dazed perception of the lingering incarnation. Once more, he glanced over his watch. It was 8.30am.

August 8, 2007 (Wednesday)

There is no short of skimpy skirts on the streets today. Hot summer day. Summer has been very short this year. The display of flesh here and there makes the sunny hue of the day linger and the summer more obvious to the senses. But the lumps of flesh on some of the buttocks give me the creeps. If they are nothing else to our senses, they surely could be something opposite to the aphrodisiac if there had to be anything like that. But still I can’t help having ponderously sinful visions of what those buttocks will be like from a different perspective. I need a good sleep now. Long day but still only mine.

Swaroop went to bed having finished his journal. With every year passing, his journals are getting scanty and inconsistent. At the age of eleven when he first started it, he still remembers the date and time of the beginning of his first journal as he still has all his journals stashed safely in a carton sealed with a duct tape under his bed, his journals would be full of details of every minute snippets of information throughout the course of the day. It was like a ritual. Every night, with clockwork precision, he would record all the daily happenings, sometimes even with sporadic dialogues as in plays-quoted with inverted commas. Now-a-days it is on rare occasions, does he feel an urge to record an event, though most of the times those scarce words too would prove nothing of much interest to others or even to himself, if he ever bothers for a re-read at some rare moments of leisure ; so it is more as a pastime or may be as an excuse to write something, a dream he cherishes very secretly to be fulfilled with more serious engagement if he can afford to devote more of his times towards that creative gratification. Usually he would never go back to his journals the next day, the following month or the coming year. But still he could not bear missing out on any day’s occurrences having been registered with signs of utmost retention. Recently, as he is reaching his untimely senility, he is developing an urge to reminisce about some of those past moments those frequent his dreams mostly on every night. A scrambled vision though not in any ways unlike what dreams are meant to be like. How he loves to revel in the sunny beaches of the vast streams of memories! But that constantly reminds him of the present; the ever present; the omnipresent;


He cannot be mistaken about the subtle smell. It’s so much the same. The striking familiarity of recurring experience zips up the lethargic vigor so far sunk into an oblivious torpor. The next instance is not difficult to predict even with the eyes closed as the body never sleeps completely. The intermittent respites in the different elements never leave the body alone to its own device. A whole universe lends its reality to this microcosmic model of the body and mind. If that is so, I wonder where the universe would find its own mind nestled in. There is a bright and shiny moon floating on the transient river of silent clouds. The river under the sky is one with a rippled reflection of a static moon breaking the mirror-calm into several pieces every other moment. Swaroop feels the breeze is a bit heavier than other nights. He wonders why. Normally he feels a little uncomfortable on occasions of such solitary expedition, and quite ironically he seldom has any choice in terms of location. He remains motionless as if any movement would dishevel the whole setting and the incomprehensible calm would be tempered with. Not that it matters much to him, but again little does seem to be dependent on what Swaroop wants. It is more like a dream where every single progression is quite disorganized--nothing progresses following a definitive storyline or logical outcome as we are used to thinking when it comes to sequences of events in an apparently one-way timeline—for every moment a careful scrutiny is called for lest the whole plot should be transformed or rather transplanted without any prescience. That is a House of a thousand identical doors with myriad corresponding keys. Each doorway leads to a different reality. Swaroop mulls over, and the wavelengths of his thoughts too are disappearing soundlessly into the depths of the ichorous mystery lying in front of him against the ominously dark backdrop of the silvery moon, leaving not so much as a ripple. Flanked by the googol of invisible presence and the vast dark expanse of undisturbed liquidity facing him squarely, Swaroop soon senses an uncanny scopophobia lurking in every possible vacuum of his sensory faculties. He feels naked and exposed revealing every possible detail of his physical crudity. He loses sight of all the variegated existence surrounding him on all sides and started feeling like being in the middle of a fierce vortex-calm and unperturbed. Whereas the whole whirlwind of heaving lives is pursuing all round him at fierce speed. He feels being shut in a cramped space allowing him very little to breathe in and out----if he breathes, he might use up the mere empty space surrounding him at an increasingly alarming rate with his carboniferous exhalation and expedite his fearsome strangulation for want of fresh air. He holds his breath and starts counting the seconds silently closing his eyes. Soon he starts feeling he is running out of breath. He closes his eyes even tightly enough to engage the rest of his used energy in supplying the requisite air. It seems he is trying to apply within himself something similar to the humanoid version of the power saving mode to last him a little longer. But it is getting more and more inevitable that he is nearing the end of breath and his reserve of breath will serve him some few more seconds at best. He keeps his eyes closed. Even tighter to the point that it hurts him now. Suddenly, he feels a hand resting its gentle weight on his shoulder to grasp his shoulder with an assuring clasp. The very moment he finds himself zipped out of the vortex in a jiff as if he has just been snapped out of a hypnotic session. He opens his eyes to find that the gentle ripple in the lake is still monotonously engaged in spreading out the blasé chill of the same silvery moon overhead. Everything is in its place with their singular invisibility.


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