The Design of Madness

By Rahul Pandita

(Courtesy of Rahul Pandita and Intentblog)

Madmen don’t care about blurbs.

He was mad. His madness did not require him to wear torn clothes and let saliva drip from the corners of his mouth. Or to mumble to himself. Or to throw stones at people. His madness had its own way. Its own design.

Like this. He drank whisky with roasted grams. Sometimes he would begin drinking at three in the morning. Switch on his CD player and listen to the melancholic songs of Talat Mehmood. And cry very silently as the night broke down into sunrise. And then he would wet his hair, look into the depths of his retinas in the mirror and laugh. Laugh till he collapsed.

Sometimes he would begin writing in the evening. He had held himself for long. No longer anymore. He would put choicest Bhangra tunes on his player. After pouring himself half-a-finger whisky, he would begin typing. And then rise suddenly from his seat and begin dancing. His dance was so intense that frenzy would hide itself. When one song finished, it meant five hundred words and innumerable tiny droplets of sweat on his forehead. And then another half-a-finger, another song and another five hundred words. And a round sun of sweat on his shirt.

Aaja mere khaetan di bahaar ban aaja 
Faslan da roop da shingaar ban aaja

Come on, be the spring of my fields 
Come, be the ornament of my harvest

That was Amarjit Sandhu doing a private show for him. He danced with his eyes closed. He would even type with his eyes closed. And blindly take a swig from his glass. When he was exhausted, he stood in front of the mirror again. Looking intensely at himself, as if the mirror enabled him to see the blood surging in his arteries, he would laugh again.  
 
By that time, Maya would appear. He would kiss her delicately, undress her and enter her. While he made love, he would recite poetry. Mostly James Thomson.

And so throughout the twilight hour 
That vaguely murmurous hush and rest 
There brooded; and beneath its power 
Life throbbing held its throbs supprest: 
Until the thin-voiced mirror sighed, 
I am all blurred with dust and damp, 
So long ago the clear day died, 
So long has gleamed nor fire nor lamp.

Maya would begin to ebb away from his febrile consciousness. She was an illusion after all. But his madness was real. The words that you read right now are a testimonial.

Rahul Pandita is a freelance journalist and writer based in New Delhi. Until recently, Rahul worked with India’s leading television news channels including Aaj Tak and Zee News. He has reported extensively from war zones like Baghdad and Kargil. He has also reported widely from Kashmir and Northeast India.

Rahul is also a recipient of the Northeast Media Fellowship 2001. In 2002, he won the e-author award for his unpublished novella, Chinar in my Veins. His work has appeared in the Outlook, Deccan Herald, Daily Pioneer, Northeast Sun, Sahara Times, Strategic and Defence Magazine and Finnish magazine Ihmisoikeus.

Rahul is also a member of World Comics India, working on the idea of using Comics as an alternate mode of communication. Rahul is currently working on a novel based on the 1947 tribesmen attack on Kashmir.

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