It is on a surreal hop between the real and the imaginary that I embark, as I lie half-asleep under the monotonous drone of the ceiling fan. The night is as diplomatic a friend as ever; enticing my consciousness with its passionate beckonings, all the while uncovering my deepest and darkest emotions one by excruciating one. Silence does wonders to my soul, my very being, so much that the idea of being awake and aware of its pervading presence obviously triumphs over the luring renouncement of sleep. The fickle players of the night, however, may find that this particular mass of flesh and blood is more than what they bargained for. For he’s found an ingenious way of strutting that boundless expanse of emptiness that lies between wakefulness and sleep; between black and blacker; between torturous suffering and disinterested oblivion. And thus does he find his very soul engaged in this particular night; wandering as a tiny pawn amid that wondrous land of ambiguity, unsurety, uncertainty.
It may surprise the reader but more often than not, it is the sheer randomness of this land that binds me to any shreds of remnant bliss. As I take a walk down the halcyon bylanes of memory and allow my heart to slip into fond reminiscence, my scandalised mind desperately tries to wrench my soul away from the illusion of half-sleep my very spirit is wrapped within. Had I chosen a side; opted for one among the two, it would’ve become relatively easy for it to coax and chide and cajole me into the other; to caress me into sleep or to prod me awake, to lure me into the ineffable black or subject me to the sickly grey; to numb the pain with Nature’s unfailing remedy or to double it through a dose of torturous life. It is the ambiguity in between, that hungry marsh no one dares to venture into, that ironically proves to be the ultimate safe haven against these attractive beasts of the moon. I’m neither conscious nor oblivious, neither within nor without, neither black nor white. I’m floating in that mysterious void that houses both; or with a slight tweak in the imagination, none at all. That blissful space created through need and fed through subsequent hours of pining and obsession. The space that allows me neither the piercing agony of life nor the alien disillusionment of sleep. That divine, spectacular nothing that has just enough room for another soul that’s too tired for life and too timid for death. His memories, his experiences, his lessons can all be stashed into one of its infinite corners and indeed, even his most reeking emotions can scrape a few moments of absolute solace within its voluminous folds. Each of his questions, may they stem from his own insecurity, thirst for knowledge or just dumb inquisition can be instantly extinguished here, for no fire burns so brilliantly as to withstand the bone-chilling vortex of its quiet, unhurried chaos. It is naked, undisguised nothing that’s actually quite something. It is my ultimate everything. My God. My Refuge. My Escape. For it doesn’t, much unlike this blatantly cruel world, ever take sides. It’s that unexplainable, indescribable emptiness that exists where it can exist best.
Somewhere in between.