Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Road to Salvation

An eternal quest for knowledge and an unending search for righteousness has led me to this barren piece of land nestled in the heart of nowhere.

I stop in my tracks to gaze at the eerie landscape-the dried grass growing in patches,clumps of thorny bushes here and there and a few rocky boulders.
I should be scared and nervous but uncannily enough there's no feeling of impending doom or of any sadness.

I see three random paths stretching in front.
And I know one of them is the one-the one holding the key to all the answers.
The answers I've been looking for..I don't know how long.

I catch the scent of fragrant flowers-
Perhaps blooming yonder at the end of one path.Or maybe the one beside it.It's hard to tell which one.

But I can also smell charred human flesh.Although I'm not nauseated.For I've seen it all.....known it all..in all these countless years of travelling.

I close my eyes in the final moments of contemplation.But I already know it won't help me to decide.
Time is running out and I have to make that dreaded choice.....that much-awaited choice.

Inhaling deeply I take that first step...that unsure step which bridges the gap between me and an unknown destination by a few centimeters.

Gradually I break into a slow but steady walk.
It is an untrodden path I'm walking along.It is not paved or smooth but neither is it strewn with thorns.I can see a few trees on either side and the blazing summer sun above.I can also hear a low,dull sound...but I'm not sure what it is.

It keeps growing in intensity though.

Astounded I pause abruptly.....as I see from afar another human being walking towards me from the other end of the road.He is humming a tune and wearing a smile on his lips.And he is not in the least bit surprised to come across another human in this desolate place.
I've never known him before but somehow I know this much-that he is my mirror image.Another lone traveller who has braved the harshness of worldly realities.
I smile for the first time in days as comprehension dawns on me.And I know I've chosen right.Finally.


P.S:I was studying last evening when suddenly this idea popped into my head.Originally this piece was written in the form of verses but then I felt it was too much in the league of prose.But now I can't figure out whether this is a piece of prose or poetry...well never mind.I'll just tag it as a short story and let you guys decide what you feel about this.Pardon me if this sounds a bit confusing or too sombre.For this is just a figment of my imagination :)


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24 comments:

☆Tharangni☆ said...

hey! this is really nice! sounds much like Robert Frost's ~The Road not taken~ i.e. the first 2 stanzas of the poem! its really nice! and i really like it as a story!! :)

Som said...

This is what Buddha experienced then :P
Its more like one knows oneself completely after the confluence ....you were viewing yourself...as an entity in a completely unbiased way, with no emotional baggage ==> being a part of the whole.

On a personal level I still doubt enlightenment...exceeds my scientific temperament by miles T_T

Do explain in what way its sombre? o_O

Neha said...

hey really good one..loved the idea..and of course the execution..simply fantabulous :)

heavealie said...

this is like one those conceptual poems that i usually write.it was well written but this can surely be converted into a poem.yeah its more like a short story,more like a song sung!!well written as always really shows what life is all about.full of unknown possibilities,you will have to just keep walking!!keep writing!!

Samadrita said...

@Tharangni: Yea I'm sure it does.The Road Not Taken is a beautiful piece of poetry by Robert Frost who is of course one of my favorites.But then this piece is not only about treading the unconventional path.It has a deeper,personal as well as an impersonal meaning.Thanks for reading Schrei :)

@Som: Ah I knew someone was going to bring up Buddha :P
But this story/prose piece is neither about enlightenment nor about salvation.Or maybe it is but not in the general sense.You have to keep this in mind that enlightenment and salvation-these two words might mean different things to different people.
The traveller in question is actually 'me' who is searching for the true meaning of life.And do you know what the other traveller symbolizes?-
Love.Yes.
The narrator realizes in the end that every journey is worth being undertaken as long as you have someone to accompany you.Walking the road ahead becomes much easier that way.

And I'm glad that this piece didn't make you sad.The thing is I'm actually blamed by most of my readers for writing sad poems.Lol.
Besides 'charred human flesh' doesn't exactly give away a hunky-dory feeling now does it?That's why I had the nagging suspicion it might come off as something sombre.Glad to have your valuable comment.

Samadrita said...

@Neha: Hey there lady like always it always feels good to have your comment.Thanks for those warm words :)

@heavealie: Yes yes sir I think I got inspired to try writing something along these lines after reading your pieces.Yes it was originally written in the format of a poem but then I changed it later on.Thanks for the comment :)

Anish said...

hmmm...interesting...

the mode of narration is very innovative..really unique...I have never seen this format before and really liked it a lot....

the description is pretty good...painting pictures with words is quite a difficult task and you have managed to execute it brilliantly.....

however I didnt understand the content of the poem...I am not really that much into the enlightenment stuff...or the spiritual awakening things....so can't really comment...

Overall I enjoyed reading it...liked the narrative style most about this...

would give it 8/10....

Nethra said...

Thanks to the PS at the end, because I had really started wondering whether this is a prose or a poetry.
I liked the story line and yes, the journey becomes easier when you are accompanied by your loved ones.
I liked the story very much. Nice work. :)

Samadrita said...

Anish: Fair enough.I didn't expect anybody to understand it fully coz extremely personal thoughts and feelings are hidden within this piece.A lot of the descriptions are symbolic and have a hidden meaning.
But can you let me know which parts you didn't understand?I might try and explain them to you :)

Samadrita said...

@Nethra: Hehe sorry about confusing you.I guess I was confused myself.I'm glad to hear that you found the piece to your liking.Thank you :)

wisewit said...

Well, short stories are always a bit like poetry. In both cases you're dealing with something like a snapshot. What it shows is true to life, but there's a lot it doesn't show you. That's important to keep in mind because a short story can be cynical or despairing without the author being like that.

Oh, and by the way it's generally better not to mix past and present tense narrative styles in one piece. Other than that it seems well written. Anyway I like the image. :) It reminds me of fairy tales where the hero has to choose one of three paths. In that case they usually represent past, present, and future.

wisewit

The Ketchup Girl said...

ooh Nirvana!! :) Its a well written piece. evokes a lot of imagery and for a bit made me feel like I was watching THorn Birds- what with all that arid landscape u are talking about. :) But strangely your salvation sounds melancholic. shouldn't u have been happier? :D I love this space!

Chatterbox said...

Beautiful post Samdrita :)
Loved the depth of your thoughts and experience beautifully portrayed in words.

Thoroughly enjoyed my visit to your blog.

Keep up the good work.

Cheers!!

knk said...

fabulous thoughts , you are really a good writer,

http://smsjar.blogspot.com/

Sorcerer said...

wonderful..this is beautifully written

Journey is much easier when you got someone who loves you to hold your hands. :)

Samadrita said...

@wisewit: Ah yes I shouldn't have mixed those tenses.And yes you are right when you say that stories can be melancholic without the author being in that kind of a mood.Thanks for the comment :)

@The Ketchup Girl: Hehe that's the problem with me I suppose.I always end up romanticizing sadness.Actually what my intention here was displaying the fact that happiness is sometimes hidden within grief in itself.It depends on the way you look at life.Thank you for loving this space.That's what I count on as a writer...love from readers and their support.

Samadrita said...

@Chatterbox: Happy to know you enjoyed the visit to my blog so much.Hope to see you again :)

@knk: Wow thank you lots for saying that.Although I've lots to learn. :)

@Sorcerer: True that.Thanks for reading.

Chandrika Shubham said...

Beautifully written. :) Pic is awesome. :)

Selenium said...

If it wasn't for the title, then it felt more like the world came to an end and you were the only survivor trying hard to live... though he/she may have no reason to.

Good one... a lot of philosophic metaphors in here. :)

Atindriya said...

Buddha Speaks! All hail Buddha!

The Laughing Man said...

An eternal quest for knowledge and an unending search for righteousness has led me to this barren piece of land nestled in the heart of nowhere.

Sounds nice, but could have been slightly better worded...

The eternal quest for knowledge and the unending search for righteousness has let me to this barren stretch of land in the middle of nowhere...

Good stuff on the whole... again... I cant write like this... which always makes it fun to read... but I believe that the path does not matter... so long as it is one of your own choosing... and so long as you try to enjoy the ride as much as you anticipate the enjoyment after reaching your destination...

http://x-laughing-man-x.blogspot.com/2010/03/journey-towards-happiness.html

Samadrita said...

@Chandrika Subham: Thank you! ^^

@Selenium: Yes a lot of symbolism is involved in this piece.Dual and hidden meanings to most lines.Thanks for reading :)

@Atindriyo: Moteo na.'Tis not about Buddha.This one was about 'me'. :P

@The Laughing Man: Actually I deliberately changed 'in the middle of nowhere' to 'in the heart of nowhere'.I think both forms are correct although 'in the middle of nowhere' sounds more grammatically appropriate. ^^

atindriyo said...

:) it's real poetry, and these are true words, something I'd tried a lot to write, but had to give up :(

Karthik said...

First of all it wasn't melancholic or sombre. Whatever made you say that.
But it's cryptic, which made me read twice. :D It was worth it really.
(Thank heavens for it's Road to salvation, and not Road to perdition, a la Tom Hanks) :D

You've been doing a lot of experiments lately, haven't you? And boy, am I loving them!

Splendid, Sammy. Keep 'em coming! :)

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