There is no one in the room except him. So he is alone there. But there are other nonliving beings present at the same time with him. Chairs, tables, beds, the lights and fans. They can’t speak, they cannot talk. He mocks at them as they are dumb, deaf and blind. He laughs at the light because it can help see but it itself is blind. The windows are open, the fans are moving. Lights are on.
He sits in the North West corner of the room. He is sad and gloomy. For last couple of hours he has been sitting there. His hands resting on the table and his fingers are hanging in the air. He drinks water from the bottle which is near him. He does not know what has happened to him. He wonders when nothing has happened to me then why I am sad. This has disturbed him so much that he has been just thinking for last two hours. “Have I gone crazy?” he asks himself, “But how can a mad man claim that he has actually gone mad?” He feels very lonely. He feels very lonely not because he is alone in the room now. He realizes same because of his relationships. He could not make any one closer to him nor is he able to do it now. He talks to them but not heartily. Words flow in the air and dissolve. He has no lover, no girlfriend because he could not make one. He meets his friends but hardly involves himself. He turns on his computer and clicks and goes on clicking the folders till he reaches his desired folder and he plays heavy metal videos on windows media player. He has always loved metal sound. He is fond of those ear throbbing shouts of the vocalists and bass guitars, long hair swaying in the air and the fierce drum beating. He always makes his head dance according to the violent rhythm of death metal songs and he has thrown his legs likewise as if he himself is on the drum. But he is not doing it this time. He feels crap and boring. The man singing there seems to be shouting because he was feeling weary. He tries to read jokes from the eBook he had collected. But they are unable to play a smile on his face. He just artificially laughs ha-ha-ha. He is not at all interested and he shuts down the system.
He finds a piece of paper fallen on the table unnecessarily. He sees the both sides of it and there was no blank space left to do any other work, so useless now. He tears the paper into small pieces; he makes them as small as possible by his hands and till the hands ache. He takes some of those scraps to his hand and drops them. They are blown by the fan. Some fall on the floor and rest on him. He collects the other pieces and walks to the balcony. He releases them down and watches as they land on the ground. He finds it funny. He goes to the second floor and does the same thing. He returns to the room, locks down from inside and again sit on the same chair.
“What should I do now? What should I do now?” he thinks.
He does not feel like reading his text books which are lying on the table already. They are handsomely thick books and he is fed off seeing them again and again. He walks to his cupboard and looks for the novels that are present at that moment with him. God of small things, the Zahir, the Doomsday Conspiracy, and the Lady Chatterley’s Lover, the Wings of Fire and Tease me. He then looks at his diaries one with a red cover, another in brown, a cement colored and the other two are of same color which he does not know.
He maintains diaries regularly, not exactly but almost regularly. He likes his diaries. They have been his friends. Although they don’t talk to him, they listen to him patiently. They hear whatever and whenever he says something. They store his ideas, his feelings inside them, they help him share his views and hide his secrets. They never talk to anyone except him. On the diaries he has written his name, Ranjan. He loves his diaries. They are his personal. He sometimes goes through the pages of his diaries which keep account of his past activities. He feels good when he reads then and tries to have a picture of it. He started maintaining a personal diary when he was a teen of thirteen. He used to write but once or twice a week, sometimes not at all in the month. But he knows he loved diaries, he used to complain his dad to get more diaries and how many he has spoiled. He regrets for that. Now he does not do it anymore. It took him five years to make it a regular habit. When he started writing in diary he used to note down his daily routine. When did he get up, what did he do after that, did he go to school, when did he come back home, he played or not etc. but as he grows older he knows what he should write in a personal diary. He does not write them in detail anymore but a small portion. The rest of the lines are filled with his ideas, the different things he does in the whole day, what he dreams, which girl he likes to see, what he hates and several other things which he terms secrets. Every time before going to bed of after getting up in the morning he does not forget to work on his diary and for this year it is a brown covered Oxford diary.
He picks up Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence. It is a sex novel. He has gone through the book a few times. Now he does read only some selected pages which describe the romance. He enjoys reading them. In the four hundred pages only forty pages have provocative description. He flaps the pages and looks at the cover of the novel. He finds the cover page picture more interesting than the novel. He puts it back in its place. Someone has said,” In history nothing is true except name and date. In fiction everything is true except name and date.” He finds the lines very interesting. There are several things in his cupboard thick text books, novels, diaries and a bunch of notes. Except them there are his daily used things. He gets irritated when he sees the notes. The notes have more blank white pages than written pages. Sometimes he finds it very difficult to study and he hates it.
To pass his time he collects pictures from the news papers. He cuts pictures of his desire and pastes them in a particular note book. He likes to do it. He brings then to the shape they are in and then sticks them. The pictures include women celebrities, flowers and beautiful sceneries, cars of his choice, houses and bed rooms. When he gets bored he sees the collection and they take him to the world of imagination, he feels good. The collection expresses his dreams, desires and choices. He has developed this hobby in him so as to escape from loneliness. He is also a philatelist. But today he is not in a mood to check his neither picture collection nor stamps he wants to have a look which are from various countries along with Indian postage stamp. He has stamp from New Zealand, Australia, China and USA. Every stamp has a meaning. He is indifferent to understand the story of stamps right now.
The other thing he does when alone is thinking. He muses, he ponders about a lot off things, but a particular one at a time. He thinks of the world and of different situations. He considers several topics which anyone does not take into account. He ponders for hours. He thinks much rather than speaking or talking unnecessarily. He even hates to say a word. Are words must be spoken to express feelings? He jots down his remote ideas in his diary.
When he is in his home town, he does not like to waste time. He sits in his room alone reading a novel or a magazine. He dissolves himself in the novel and does not like anyone to disturb him. He goes on morning walks. The morning time is very pleasant. He takes long walks by the canal side. He stands on the bridge and keenly observes the flowing water. He loves the green hills which he can view from the roads in the morning on which he goes for walk. After sun is down he stalks on the crowded town road. He does it alone. He never walks on the street roads. He does it alone and avoids the company of friends. His regular time on the road is between 7.00 pm to 9.00 pm. His friends easily find him on the main road during the time. He has never been in a group. His friends ask him, “Why you are alone? Did not you get anyone to accompany you?” Ranjan answers he likes it in that way. He is alone in the crowd. He gets a lot of things on the road and everyday he discovers it in a new way. One day he found an old friend of him. The funny thing happened to him was he could not recall his name. He knew it. And he walked the full length of the road and while returning he remembered the name of the friend at the very place he had met him. He still smiles when the incident peeps in his mind. “I just walked four kilometers to recall a name.”
He is back to the chair. He is thinking something, his head cupped between two hands. He takes a notebook and opens a fresh page. He goes on writing there.” I am going mad. Am I going mad?” he writes several times then stops himself. He tears that particular page and crushes that into an irregular ball shape. He needs to throw it somewhere. He looks around and the dustbin, his eyes catch, which is placed diagonally opposite to him. He tries to put it in the dustbin from the place of sitting. Unfortunately it hits the wall and falls not into its destination. He walks to the paper ball, picks it up and takes a few steps back. He decides to throw it into the dustbin and continues it until it falls in there. After trying a few more times it reaches its destination by happenstance. He goes to the bed and lays his body down. His back is aching thanks to sitting for a long time on the cushion less plastic chair. He is not feeling sleepy now, so he cannot sleep. Before he shuts his eye lids he looks at the fan that is moving round-round. He thinks. There are only three blades in the fan. But when it is in motion it seems like a round flat umbrella is moving. I can see the blades everywhere in the areas it covers. Why it is so? But there are only three blades. It may be an illusion. Do every people see what I can see? Why I am thinking of the fan? Perhaps nobody thinks of a fan after the day it was invented unless it is hot or urgently someone needs to dry the wet clothes.
He is unable to laugh or smile. He gets so angry. He grabs the table lamp and hits it on the wall so hard that it is scattered into pieces. He takes out the external keyboard and smashes on the floor. The keys are now out of the keyboard and they lay sadly on the floor. Someone knocks at the door. He opens the door and finds nobody. He is so angry that he kicks the door very hard. It makes a banging noise. He is so mad that if he finds the one who knocked the door and went away, he will thrash him. He feels like pulling his hair. But he cannot do all there. He can only think.
He wants to cry. Now he wants to cry. He wants tears in his eyes. He is trying. “Oh God! Why all these things are happening to me only? Am I the only one to suffer on earth? I am going mad. Someone help me. Please help me. I have never done anything which could satisfy my parents. I have never given them a little bit of happiness. Then why this life is for?” his eyes are moist now, the pre symptoms of tear.” I have given them pain only. Should I end my life? Yes, I must end my life. I should die now. I should die.” He is weeping. Tiny drops of tears rolling down his cheeks. “I should go to the top of the building and jump from it. I want to die. Oh God, I want to die. I am not even good at relationships. Then what is the purpose of my life? I have no friends. I have no lover of mine. I am a lonely guy.” He remembers what he had told his best friend one day.”I do not want your friendship any more. We are not going to be friends from now. I want to be alone.” And from that day he has behaved him like others, but not as a friend. Once his best friend, not now any more had asked,”Have you gone mad?”
Yes I am mad. I was mad then also. Why did I do it? I don’t know. I am unable to accomplish my goals. Why? I don’t deserve this life. I must terminate myself today. I will jump from the top of the building and die.” He is sobbing hard now. He bites the pillow in order to make no noise. He is unable to breathe a full breath. He tries to chock his breath. He repeats the line, I-should-die in his mind and weeping.
Someone knocks at the door now. He has to open the door. He sees himself in the mirror how he looks in that state. His eyes are red. He is so helpless. He wipes his tears with the towel and looks again in the mirror as he wants to leave no sign for anyone to discover that he is crying. He goes and pens the door. It is his roommate.
“What were you doing?”
“I was asleep.”
Ranjan is back to his bed and thinks, “What a miserable life! I cannot even cry contently.”