Posted by: Mojo Jojo | September 20, 2006

What is truth, asked jesting Pilate…

Little orange-tinted glasses. He was always made to put them on, even when asleep.
But no, today he wouldn’t.
Stam got out of bed, throwing the covers – and his glasses – aside. Today he wanted to face life the way it was. Warily, he stepped out the door. And he certainly wasn’t prepared for the sight that greeted him…
People – hordes of them – were walking backwards. All the vehicles were moving in reverse, as if that was the way they were supposed to behave. Blindfolded traffic policemen were helping old women cross the street, then dumping them into a well situated just across it. The sun was up in the sky, as if unsure if it were supposed to set or rise. Animals … there were no animals in sight, only dumb humans who thought they were as smart as they could be. All of them slowly walking backwards and out of sight.
And the air, the air seemed to be on fire.
“This is all wrong!” cried Stam, “All wrong!” And he rushed forward, trying to inform them of the error of their ways.
The humans looked at him, some with surprise and others with disdain. “Who’s this madcap?” some of them asked others. “He?” the others answered them, “That’s young Stam. But this is weird …he seemed to be quite okay till yesterday.”
Stam couldn’t care less. Couldn’t they see the obvious? It was as clear as daylight. And so, like some ancient prophet out of a powdering religious book, he tried harder to make them understand. In whispers, in screams.
But to no avail. They just kept staring, their eyes as glazed as glass, until one of them said: “Yesterday was yesterday. Stam’s not one of us today! Kill him!”
This the others understood. And they stood erect, chanting the words like zombies in a dear departed choir: “Yesterday was yesterday. Stam’s not one of us today! Kill him!” Stones came flying his way. Stam got to his feet, ready to flee. He should never have removed his glasses. Without it, he was alone. He was dead meat.
A big rock hit him on the face. With blood pouring from a gash in his cheek, Stam looked up. The humans were now advancing, their eyes blank and their chant rising to a terrifying crescendo: Kill him, kill him.
Stam started running. Wrong or right, survival was the only thing that mattered to him right then. But everywhere he fled, more and more humans started turning up – raising the same death chant… Kill him.
He had gone too far. The only way was the human way … and he had violated it.
And just then, when all hope had gone, he saw the Strouk’s house.
They all thought he was a demon. Nobody ever went to the Strouk’s house. Mama had told him not to, either. But then, he did not a choice. And in the present circumstances, mama would be the next to cast the stone.
Stam ran into the Strouk’s house, all the while looking back in fear. But no, the humans did not follow him; for some reason, they all feared — and respected — the Strouk.
The house was dark and dusty. A few pieces of furniture, covered with a white (now yellowed) blanket, lay in the centre of the living room. At the far end was a tiny washbasin, stained with spit. And beside a window, in the west end of the room, was the Strouk.
He was laughing.
“You are the third person to come in this decade. Do I sense an intellectual revolution in the making?” he asked rhetorically.
In Stam, emotions were battling for supremacy. Part of him was scared, part of him was angry, part of him was dumbfounded … but for the most part, he was curious.
“What’s all this?” he asked aggressively, “Everything’s wrong out there. But they just can’t see it. And they want to kill me for pointing it out!”
The Strouk remained calm. He had seen quite a few tantrums in his age to be really impressed by this one.
“So what if you saw them walking backwards,” he asked, “You were supposed to be wearing your glasses. Outside of them, truth’s not the same.”
“Maybe I shouldn’t have removed them,” admitted Stam, “But that doesn’t change the fact that we are still doing everything wrong!”
The Strouk pondered for a while, and then said: “For a world that knows black to be white, who’s to tell them what is day and what is night?”
Stam hadn’t thought of that. “So, the one-eyed-man isn’t exactly king in the land of the blind?” A smirk spread across the Strouk’s face and, for a split second, Stam thought he spied an evil gleam in his eyes. “No… far from it. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed has no place. For a while, they will shun him … and later, after they have had enough of his madness, they will roast him over a slow fire. Because, in such a place, darkness is the truth.”
“C’mon,” said Stam, “Truth cannot be founded on a majority decision… can it?”
“Of course it can,” responded the Strouk, “Until the day someone discovers that the sun is just a figment of the imagination, they will go on thinking that it is a ball of burning gas. And till then, it will be the only answer to that question… You see, the possibilities that lie before you are infinite. You have to pick your own Truths.”
Stam could now see what he meant. His questions were answered, but he wasn’t happy. But then, happiness is not a very easy thing to achieve.
The Strouk spoke up again: “I think you have overstayed your welcome — and it’s time for my nap anyway. Why don’t you close the door as you leave?” And when he could see Stam hesitating, he said, “Don’t worry about the humans outside. You would be surprised to notice how weak their memory is.”
So Stam picked himself up and stepped out the door.
Indeed, the crowd of humans had dispersed and the only ones around were busy walking backwards. Stam looked back to see the Strouk preparing for his nap.
“Life sucks,” Stam thought as he put on his orange-tinted glasses and joined the great majority.

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Responses

  1. No sweat………!!! 🙂

  2. LORRRL @Mac’s comment!!!! :-)))It brings back memories man!!!Lord! I’m sounding old!!

    Good one JJ!! You have to pick your truths..good one!!

    ( U did write this one, dint ya??)

  3. Yeah everyman, im sure JJ wrote this. It kinda stinks of JJ, in a good way that is 🙂
    By the way JJ, i know i have made fun of your “Ghadchandur-no sweat” stories, but u really do write well. Love it 🙂

  4. Did the story have a moral for us?
    The you pick your truths thing – is it something similar to Pluto being demoted from being a Planet? Dunno really what to make out of the story but you write well 😛
    Cheers!

  5. Ha, Shain! Of course i wrote the story. But you liked my philosophy> thanks
    *blush* *blush*

  6. Div dude… how you? Thanks for the compliments. And hope you liked it better than the ‘Gadchandur – no sweat’ one. Shit, that was embarrassing

  7. Who’s this, anonymous? Glad you stopped by my humble blog, though. But the Pluto thingy was exactly my point. Like, until the day they said the Sun revolves round the earth, that was the truth. And after Galileo came along and got persecuted, Earth revolves round the sun became the truth… see? The orange-tinted glasses are supposed to signify conditioning. Hope am making my point… am quite confused myself 😉

  8. JJ, my man, u NEVER explain your stories!! isnt that what they say??? never explain..leave it open to interpretation..

    and u bet the Ghadchandur, no sweat bit was howlarious..now if only people in Manakachira could speak like that as well 😀

  9. wow! wish i had such a talent of story writin’…good job der!:)

  10. is this a sign of maturity or a stroke of luck? i will cautiously hope for more wisdom to dawn upon dear moe. am right here daddy!

  11. so finally u gave up that stupid template taht only samanth subramaiam uses! nice work. not add the links and u have a block.

  12. a blog that is not updated is no longer a blog. it’s a block. a large unmovable chunk of concrete.

  13. Hey Jimmy, life does suck brother!:) Love your punch lines…

  14. A blog that is not updated is indeed a blog. Blogs are meant exactly for the purpose that the author can update whenever he feels like it or has the inclination to do it. The freedom of writing whenever one feels like and not bound by deadlines and compulsions is the very spirit of a blog.
    Cheers!!

  15. u r a journalist?=|

  16. i feel all the humans are stams too.. they all think that all the others are walking backwards… so when i read this jimmythekid… i feel i’ve taken off my glasses… you write well my friend … don’t write philosphy — we all got one of our own — and to me your’s goes backward

  17. too long too predictable too cliche


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