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Creating Flow

The Freedom To Be

He had been thinking about The City for a while. Living in it. Moving around it. Using the arterial roads that criss-crossed its length and breadth. At times when he was returning by plane back to the city at night he could see the traffic like an army of ants, moving like bight yellow dots across these arteries, much like blood flowing in the veins of the human body. Soon he would become one of them. A dot occupying the city. Get consumed by its energy. Swept by its pace. Seeking his dreams. Fulfilling his desires. Watchful to pain. Managing his feelings. Pretty much what everyone else did.

The vehicles honked. A simple beep. A longer impatient beeeeeeeeeep. A screeching kreeeeeeeeeee. A louder no-nonsense POMP. Cars, bikes, tempos, buses, auto rickshaws all jostling for space and movement. Honking at the pedestrians for occupying roads that rightfully belonged to round tyre-d creatures.  Man fighting for space in the city of his own creation. Who created the city? How did it come about? The towering buildings, the looming bridges, the hanging sky-walks, the parallel rails, the spinal highways, the dark alleys, the criss-crossing by-lanes, the colourful shops, the swanky offices, the well manicured parks, the crowded promenades. Who built them? What was there before all this was built?

One early Sunday morning he runs on the beach. As sea of plastic and garbage. He dodges the plastic to put his Addidas adorned foot on the sand. A tough task. It seems like he is playing a game of hop-skip-jump avoiding the white plastic. Like a shroud  covering the sand, signalling its death. The beach is crowded by people. A plump lady dressed in a yellow salwar kameez, walking her white, fluffy Pomeranian. She is wearing sports shoes walking briskly. Her face is ruddy with the exertion. A girls football team is practising at a distance. A large man in a white T-shirt and blue track pants is standing near them and shouting instructions about passing the ball to the center. A group of runners with similar white and red T-shirts are running together trying to keep pace with each other. A garbage van is making its way slowly across the beach. The brown uniformed municipal staff prod the plastic and garbage with metal-pointed sticks collecting them in pile before depositing it in the van. As the van makes its way across the beach it leaves a trail of visible sand, from where the garbage has been cleared.

Flowing red-hot coals. Not knowing if they are coming or going. As though frozen in time. Red hot, yet frozen.  Like a picture hanging on newly painted cream wall. Intense-passionate-vibrant-red framed in black and white. Docile, domesticated and sophisticated. Appreciated, complimented and arrested. The City of Dreams. Built with bricks of desire and the cements of passion. Imprisoning its inhabitants under tons of concrete. Gasping for air, for expression, for rest, for love. A lonely creature. An assembly line. A mass production. Heaving, breathing, sputtering. Fed on desire. The desire to become. Not be.


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