hell hole sidharth vardhan short story


I have been wondering about how come people of this hell-hole keep getting attracted toward me. One reason, I guess, is because I too am in this hell hole – perhaps more deeply sunk then so many else. But they do not generally like each other as much. Why should I be an exception?

Perhaps because I am the only one who talks about solutions -about getting out of this hole. People sunk here do each one of them think that he or she can’t get out of it. But perhaps I give them hope – of being understood. That is all the hope I find in their eyes. Not the hope of being helped out of the hole though – most of them never ask for it. As if the very idea of doing so will shame them.

I don’t know what sort of civilization does that to people – even the most primitive animal screams for help whether or not it has hope of getting any and, among humans too, children are quick to scream when in need of help – that is, before the shadow of civilization has conditioned them to believe that asking for help is a shameful thing to do. They would more quickly cheat a person than tell what is in their heart.

Perhaps once they did try speaking about it – but didn’t get encouraging results. Someone must have made fun of them or insulted them. And now even if they do at times talk about things that they feel passionate about, it is with an advanced apology as if for putting the other person in difficult condition. As a result, the conversations are reduced to talks about superficial topics like the climate, what they are in the last meal, dresses, soap operas etc. I guess that is how civilization imprisons us. Even though we live in crowds, we are each one of us, alone in her or his suffering. What is worse is that we act as jailers for each other.

And if a person tried to break chains of civilization by telling someone else her/his heart’s troubles, the other is likely to put the first in his or her place by laughing at them or getting annoyed.

And yet, the world would have been such a beautiful place if only we know what to talk about. So many problems exist in mind of each one of us which could have been resolved with a single encouraging word from a friend. Friendship! Such a beautiful thing – where people cheat civilization by sharing their troubles and reducing their suffering. And yet true friendships are so rare – mostly the word has been reduced to refer to glorifed acquaintances. Civilization’s way of killing this sort of revolt just as it kills the other kind – of love, iz by giving it that chain of the beautiful name – marriage. How civilization manipulates people into putting chains on those they love!

It is only the worst of the lot, that is thrown into this hole. The society damns those who are different thereafter wounding them and conditioning them such that they are embarrassed of wounds and are afraid of showing them even to each other. It is only the different ones who can revolt – one argues and yet down here one can see how absurd such an idea is. For one thing that these damned people have given up on life.

But I try helping them in seeing upwards towards the stars and telling them they can still grab them, something that I might never find for myself. I could never convince them but we become such good friends while I try to convince them.

Some of them find energy on their own or help from a third person and are able to climb up the hole. Once at the top at them, most of them look back and smile to show their happiness at having escaped the hell-hole, before moving on. I don’t grudge them for their not coming back to visit me. For I know that my sight must remind them of what they had suffered.

You ask – why won’t I try to climb myself? Why, when I convince others of their abilities to do so, am I unwilling to try? But, don’t you see even if I do manage to climb up the hole, I would never be able to walk away until there is a single person in it – until there is even possibility of a person entering. I can not be happy by just escaping – I must destroy the hole itself. I know the chances of that happening are low. But I am satisfied enough with that smile I get from people when upon my encouragement, they look up towards stars and stars shine in their eyes as they smile and also the smiles from the person who has escaped the hole and is about to move on. To know someone remembers one amid his or her happiness.

But sometimes they don’t say goodbyes with smiles. And I can’t help fearing they are offended – do they remember only the discomfort they felt when, upon my convincing, they bring their wounds out in open and forget that it was because of that, they could heal them? Or, perhaps they find the very idea of my person incompatible with their happiness? Perhaps abyss looked back and I, myself, have come to represent the thing I fight – their pain.

Copyright – Sidharth Vardhan

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