What am I? I am a man. But I do not have humanity in me. In order to have humanity one has to master the art of showcasing hypocrisy, a variance in words and deeds; one must partake of chest-thumping, manifest activism, and arrogance. But I am unable to do all that. Therefore there is no humanity in me. I am unnatural and insane. But those who call themselves human beings—I do not see any natural stability in them either. The whole world is manic. Perhaps that is the reason it is unable to comprehend its different streaks and qualities. And so I am insane.
I know this world is but a game of shadows; our existence a seductive trompe l’oeil. I have come alone and will disappear so. None will come along with me. I have realized that one requires both friends and enemies. Just friends will not do. That is why I and my kind of people are not humans. The creatures who call themselves humans loathe us. What shall we do?
I am the forest flower. I took birth in the forest. In the forest is all my lingering. I persist there. I do not mind anyone’s not calling me a human. But my only thought, my heart’s desire, is that I should perish in the forest too. Let my final bed be spread amidst the hushed, caring lap of vana-devi. Let me merge and mingle where every atom cries that aching song.
There are so many people in this world. So many are rich, others well-regarded, then there are the poor, or stupid, scholarly many, happy or sorrowful, small and big—all are but humans. But not me. Who am I? I am not any other creature. But I could not become a man worthy of his name. So I am mad. Why mad? Because I realize that to work silently here is a waste of energy. Only the one who, with great fanfare, can trump up his eminence and power is mobile. The silent one is dead.
I usually do not smile. Why don’t I smile? Is there any subject at which one can smile? Some people smile in order to annoy somebody else. Some other fellow smiles so that he can sweeten and mollify another’s mind. I do not like such smiles. I do not have any interest. So I do not smile. What is smiling? At some beautiful high point of our mind is the source of true smile. Meaningful contortions and distortions of facial muscles have nothing to do with smiling. Where has that smile gone—that truest form of smile that arises from the deepest region of the soul, traipsing along, rejuvenating our heart and mind, reverberating through our veins and arteries? I realize the worth of such a smile. Whereof I cannot smile, thereof I remain silent. So I am a pariah in human society. Therefore I am not a human. I do not have humanity in me. I am useless, insane!
Selflessness is the maddest option in this world. So, my kind of people are insane and useless to others. Everyone has one purpose or another. But I don’t have any. Humans are selfish. In every pore and atom of his heart the seed and imprimatur of the self is embossed. Selflessness is a subject beyond their ken. So I am insane. I am useless.
Yes, that is the reason that the infant or the teenager, the young man, the middle-aged or the elderly—no one can tolerate me. As soon as they see me, their spite and enviousness automatically spring up. As soon as nature’s child, the tiniest of toddlers, spots me, there emerges a speck of smile on his lips. Sarcasm and mockery writ large all over his distorting and contorting face. The naughty child becomes naughtier the moment he sees me. With his natural mischievousness, augmented manifold, he scrambles toward me. A fresh tide of hope washes over the young-man’s mind as soon as he notices me. Oblivious to the whole of creation, forgetful of every care, he dives into the waves of the snickers and shrieks of my manic condition. The middle aged man begins to foster and ripen contempt and repugnance as soon he recognizes me. He finds a fresh fillip to bring grave charges of fraud, deceit, posturing and swindling against me.
For one final time the old man’s begrudging jealousy is inflamed as soon as he spies me. As he gets a sense of my fearlessness, my broad heart, unperturbed by the thoughts of death, he begins to bark and bluster, following the adage. My ways are all against the tide of worldly laws. Therefore, I am useless, insane. I am doing fine being mad. I do not chase worldly distractions. Do not think you can distract me with those gestures of your body or eyebrow. I despise such cleverness. So, they try to ignore and shove me away. With inflamed nostrils, muttering all kinds of known and unknown swear-words they crown me with appellations. Ways to brush me by the wayside. No harm in that. My heart says:
Yours and mine, our friendship dawned
Infamy was the award
Let people spread buzz and slander
You and I did our job
তেরি মেরি দোস্তি লাগল
লোক সব বদনামী কিয়া।
লোক সব্কো বকনে দিজে
তোমনে হামনে কাম কিয়া ॥
Than-didi says, if you are able to be blessed with your husband’s love, it does not matter whether you receive other kinds of love. But I do not get familial love. Let them ignore. I have spoken to my soul. O my soul—it is very difficult to be good to people. Do not expect the love of ordinary people. Try and turn bad and base as much as possible. You will be freed from all responsibility of being human. Since the zamindar does not accept tenancy tax from fallow land, you will be free. Is it because I follow such logics that I am unable to fathom who I am? Or is it that I am unnatural and useless. Insane.
Mad! Mad! Mad! Truth be told, everyone in this world is insane. To be saturated is to be insane. Look closely, all around you, till the horizon—if I be insane, pray who, then, is lucid? Somebody is mad in beauty, some in thought. Someone else is mad in wealth. Someone in the soul business. Some dance naked in the promenade of life for a little fame—the maddest of desires. But he has a meaning in that lunacy, a purpose and lexicon, a grammar too. I do not have any such. I have become somewhat unnaturally insane. So everyone is good. Only I and a few like me are eminently useless, loathsome and anomalous-manic!
This insanity is my blessing and privilege. Abadhut says—such lunacy is true bounty. Pure benevolence. Let the whole universe go mad by the infinite kindness of the dayamaya—the almighty. Let all the favourable winds of this world reverse their directions so that the doorways of peace might open up.
Not anymore. See, I have made all of you mad by speaking of insane people. Is this a lunatic’s rant? Good men and women you all. Will this be to your liking? You all would like that world to be filled with cuckoos who, perched on spring’s verdant bower, shall sing at the highest pitch and beckon their lovers. Since the cuckoo’s tone is soulful and stirring. And the crows? Let them all perish.
Since their tone is too harsh. But crows are simply too many in number. Just like the dark boy who is the darling of his parents, it is the crow who is possibly creation’s and the creator’s most beloved puppet. That is the reason you tolerate, disparage and get angry at it. I just flow with the flow. Alas, the heart’s bhava, the soul’s signs, do not appear in words. Even if at nature’s prodding, sometimes a few expressions do take shape, the strings of this soul’s veena has completely failed to even begin heart’s alap with the interlocutors. The more this inept hand wishes to paint the emotions of my soul, the more the picture turns out be grey and dull in its appeal. Instead of rang, all badrang I lay out. So, in order to mitigate the youthful follies of this nineteen year old boy of the nineteenth century, I can only say this—
To turn into such a madman
Manmohan has lost everything
Tree barks are all that are left
These will be dispensed by the son
Still, if luck would smile
And you’d bestow your grace
I can evade time’s scythe.
If you don’t, head-banging the recourse.
হইতে গিয়ে ঐ সে পাগল
মনোমোহনের গেছে সকল
বাকি আছে গাছের বাকল
ছেলের হাতে খেতে ইটা ॥
তবু যদি ভাগ্যফলে
দয়া করে ঐ পাগলে
ফাঁকি দিতে পারি কালে
নইলে কেবল মাথা কোটা ॥