This was published on The Unknown Pen last month. Thought I should republish it here. (Here’s the link)
A spider spins a web – both to capture its prey and also to build a home for itself. Depending on your perspective, the web could thus signify a comfortable home – a den where you’re in your elements, or it could be a prison from which only death can help you escape.
Just like your mind.
We all have demons in our minds. There are dark crevices in the limitless space called ‘mind’. Those crevices are either never-ending, bottomless Tartarus-like pits, or are deep trenches with monsters hidden in the shadows.
Depending on your birth place in the landscape of your mind – either the green pastures of fertile, productive thoughts; the vibrant and colourful Aurora Borealis-like areas, or these dark crevices, your mind would either be your home or your prison.
In the latter case, how much ever a person may thrash around, lash at the webs holding him, all efforts will be futile. It would be like you are suddenly stuck in a bunch of wild weeds under-water. The more you struggle, the more energy you lose. And all this while, you are slowly suffocating.
It hardly needs to be stated what it would be like if your mind is your peaceful den. Some call it the state ‘zen’; some call it peace; some others, happiness.
For many, however, it is not to be. They languish with a decayed mind, often their whole life.
“God helps those who help themselves,” or so goes the old adage. But what of those who know not how to help themselves? These are often people who cannot accept or react positively to any ‘external’ help offered too.
Their basic response is also to suffocate their saviour. Case in point – the drowning man who chokes his helper through his panic.
So what of those then? Do they ever feel the beautiful warmth of sunshine on their skin? Do they ever live to witness the shooting star? Is there ever an end to this punishment?
Perhaps, yes. But more often than not, no.
After a while, these ‘prisoners’ savour the darkness, the pain, the utter hopelessness of unending misery. Not just savour, they bask in it.
For them, even a tiny pin-prick of light becomes blinding, for those eyes have been unused to light for eons.
For them, a break in the continuous ache, isolation, melancholy and wretchedness, is a pregnant pause that gives birth to hope; not just hope, but also all the buried needs of peace and happiness. It is a glimpse of memory to those who have forgotten – tantalising, and also frustrating.
For them, hope is dangerous, as it may force them to try to help themselves out – again. And that means getting further entangled in the spider’s web.
Some – the lucky ones – manage to escape.
Escape either to life or to death.