Category Archives: Musings

Bush

His head was a bush from which erupted a thousand birds each having dark and phantasmagorical colors, bursting into rainbows of light, water, dust and fire. Intertwined in this bush they swirled in a whirlpool, jovial as a midsummer knight’s cat’s whiskers, descending into valleys and voices of death gods.

And the Senator, now retired, whose horses were afraid of elephant riding witches, put his feet up against the sun and screamed and smoked and wore leather jackets with dark lipped, high crumbling hopes, dwelling in grammar and specializing in masks and breakfasts as he typed.

She therefore throws her arms around the Deer now, and lets it embrace, but writes on the piece of past He owns, tying knots and colliding body parts. To Her tapes and drives He delivers packets of commodities and means of trivial entertainment. Both sit, exchanging sounds, interpreting personality traits via binary support, sharing miserable periods of learning, hurling words into one body, sharing visions of slumber and while She likes visiting places, the places visit Him. Some from the future, foreboding. He eventually, inevitably does a somersault above the voyaging ships of the pumping organ and lands in a universe of colorlands and soundscapes where the ocean waves leap, laugh and jest, sizzling like a thousand burning ants and strong like antlers of a centuries old dragon. Rising above Her, deliciously sour symphonies manifest, but He is ok with the typewriter lying unused by him if no one else produces words with it either. But He’s thrusting and thirsting for roger and lust, hinting naiveté. But of small pink lips, black hair accessories, imagined beings from a foreign nation and of blue skies he knows nothing.

So She looks to the Senator again in sorrow and despair, her fox like agility diminishing, opens a door and falls into a rising pit, and pulls a rope but grows still as a cat’s scrotum in a winter night’s icy gale and stagnant like hair on an ice cream vomit, cute and tall above Her senses. Her eyes have smoke in the joint of His body of art work out which He does for Her performance, commending Her frequently burned hair but, changing like seasons, twisted like His brain or black brass wires, like that of a creature from a foreign nation, riding a strawberry shake.

Many journeys away over miles of hut filled valleys and smog covered terrains he sees a faint trace of a dream’s sketch form and dissolve, so he persists solemnly, mutely but she squeals sweetly, bellowing like wind upon which sails the silent leaf of his self. The leaf lands in that bush, which perpetuates.

 

PS. He, She, The Senator and the Deer.

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Ending the Dark

Into the mirror you gaze. Darkness hovers above. It envelopes your skull and your ears. It’ll soon cover your eyes too, blinding you. There is an irritation, a prickling about. You want it all to end and end soon; You want it to stop, you want to get away. But the noises get higher; slashing metal sounds emanate from above. You wonder when will it all end. You had waited so long for this to begin, waited for you to get away from the darkness above. But now this seems interminable; Each passing moment turns to hours and hours turn to pestering poltergeists which perturb you endlessly. Hands grope you, they grope your skull, your neck and they turn your head where they want it to. You are being manipulated without any control over your actions. You want to rise and drift away but the hands won’t let you move, they won’t let you go. And then the black shards rain down from above. They fall everywhere, even into your eyes which bleed out tears. They fall all around you, coloring the ground in black. And they fall into what you are clad in, so they now prick you from within. There’s darkness above, below and upon you. And then, just then when you thought the bleakness was all pervading and eternal, you see a ray of light; a shimmer of hope as the hands lift the shroud off of you and demand a red piece of paper.

You’ve just had a haircut.

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A Paradox

I sit upon an exalted throne,
Judging the banes of society .
Bearing the labels of right and just,
I serve the causes of deity.

I sit hunched in dark alleys too,
Drenched in the malicious rain.
I feel pleasured to hurt and wrong
Without reason, logic or gain.

And my heart does flit and my soul does twist,
I am of merry commotion full.
I reach and see beyond the canopy
Of the heavens above so wonderful .

But my Body does shiver and my Mind does quiver,
The dark blinds me all the time.
Morbidness conquers my conscience
As away the dark hours chime.

My Heart and Soul proclaim to me
To transcend limits and soar.
My Mind and Body restrict me
They torment me and bore.

These are my traits, miserly and great,
I’m a paradoxical angelic demon.
For what else could I possibly be
But me myself, Human.

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Perceiving Oblivion

By the Lie the Truth exists
And by the Wrong the Right.
The Dark pervades eternity,
Its opposite recognized as Light.

Darkness prevails naturally
Light needs be brought
Lies will be, but in man’s mind
Truth needs be wrought.

Wrong is ineffably easy,
Wrong need not sought.
But for Right to reign triumphant,
Wars need fought.

Right and Wrong,
Truth and Lies,
The battle is perpetual,
As away time flies.

*

But there is no Right
And there is no Wrong;
There is no reason
To the nightingale’s song.

For what you deem Wrong
May be another’s Right;
The wind matters differently
To different birds’ flight.

The Rights and Wrongs
Are mere ethics of the society;
Accepted norms
Without variety.

But you shall support your Right,
And you shall abhor your Wrong,
And you shall fight the battle,
For that’s been life’s reason all along.

_____________________________________________________

It is no business of a poet to explain his poetry, but then again I am no poet.
In the first 4 stanza half it establishes the clash of the opposites and in the 4 stanza second half it implies the reality that all this friction between opposites is basically pointless and it is life’s point to make sense of this pointlessness. Thus the title Perceiving Oblivion.
The perfect division of poem’s length and even a vague physical symmetry of its two halves is an endeavor to portray the balance of the opposites and in this case, belief in order and chaos.
The poem is a personal exploration of the doctrine of existential nihilism and its link with the concept of right and wrong.


			

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A Midspring Night’s Nightmare

I have a dream…

No, I’m not quoting Martin Luther King Jr, I really do have one to narrate here. Not in the dream-I-can-fly way, no. But in the successions of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations that occur involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep way. More a nightmare then a dream, but a dream nevertheless since nightmare is a sub classification of the term dream.

It’s peculiar how we forget most of what goes on in the dreams that we dream at night , I sometimes wonder if Luther King was actually really about to tell us about a dream he had just had last night but then forgot it as is often the case with dreams and instead said, “Eh! What the pair of fetid dingo’s kidneys does It matter anyway, I’ll say something about these blacks being persecuted instead…”

Far fetched, but Possible.

Now as a genuine blogger I’ve always believed in presenting the kind reader with proofs, citations and references to prove my work’s credibility. Therefore here’s the photographic proof:

Image

Photos are the courtesy of:
The Firm With the Camera That Only Captures the Color Black and Its Shades Limited © “

If you find it difficult to  memorize, you can remember their name through this easy abbreviation:

“TFWCTOCCBISL©” for short.
They were the only ones covering the Civil Rights movements because their camera wouldn’t cover anything but blacks.

So before I forget mine, I’d prefer to pen it down specially for your ennui.
The vividness and unambiguity of the account that follows may cause you to speculate over the level of authenticity that I’m writing this with and whether I have intentionally blurred the line between fact and fiction for the sole reason of spicing things up for the reader’s interest. In my defense I will say this: dreams are beyond words, they are beyond language and description. They cannot be classified, nor can they be proven or determined in the exact fashion they happened, even to ourselves. They remain as vague as a childhood memory and as strong as a poet’s passion. Therefore, to reproduce them on page one finds himself in need of filling up the missing links and gaps, as dreams do not care to do that for you. They are a fragment of real world mixed with the continuous subconsciousness stream of thought, free from sense, rationality or logic. A dream exists as a reality that is unmaterialized yet perceived. Thus, I have tried to minimize any holes that might exist but it is still flabbergasting how easily, how fluently I can recall every minute detail of it. Perhaps this is because I narrated the dream to my younger sister as soon as I had got out of it…

Yes, I say ‘got out of it’ because it was not a normal dream you simply wake up from, it was inception: a dream within a dream within a dream which is within a dream which is inside a bucket full of dreams and then some.

Exaggerating? but just you wait.

I don’t always have such complicated Memento/Groundhog Day style multi layered nightmares, but when I do, I have them. I have had about three such dreams to date, and all of them in the past few months. The one I’m about to tell you about, if you would be kind enough to bear with me, is the first one I experienced. I call it and its kind “revertigo dreams”. This is because of the way they tend to revert back to the same horrific point at which I wake up, or so I think. Confused? So was I. I’ll explain i.e. tell, first let me show you the Revertigo Dream. Or in other words

“Do you need me to elaborate? Or can we just crack on?”

-Sherlock, Robert Downey Jr.

*

It was the spring break, the spring was nowhere to be seen in the sense that it is meant to be, which we derive from poems, movies and songs: No rainbows, butterflies or chirping birds. No sight of Wordsworth’s Daffodils or the “O Blithe new comer!” cuckoo’s voice in the serene valley. But all that mattered was it was supposedly spring and for it we had a break from school.

On that eventful night, the moon looked down upon the sleeping city of Lahore. The stars formed a canopy above and conversed in a heavenly language which descended sleep upon all beneath. Somewhere in the heart of the city of lights, a labourer rested his head upon a stiff pillow, ready to let his turmoils and trials fade away into oblivion. His freckled countenance spoke Dylan’s words, “ Let me forget about today until tomorrow…”

In some other part of the city a worker at a quiet, deserted patrol station leaned backwards in his chair and gazed longingly at the cat which snoozed peacefully nearby. He turned to the sky; it was lit with moonlight but he was in darkness.

And somewhere in this city of dying dreams and rising hopes, somewhere in this slumbering city bathed in the pale moonlight, a lean figure of a sixteen year old movie geek sat hunched over his laptop in a dark room. Half lying, half propped against the bed, his handsome little face was illuminated with a conundrum of ever changing mix of colors and shades being cast upon it by the motion picture playing on his laptop screen. He was known by the noun Usama Lali. And he was me.

Due to the over accumulation of the guests my house’s levee was about to break. I had therefore gone off to my little sister’s room to sleep. So I was there on the bed, she was sleeping. On the floor was asleep our maid. When you enter the room through the door, the double bed lies to your left, a wall size window in front, and a wooden cupboard and bathroom to your right.

After watching the screen for hours, I began to nod off, no longer able to concentrate upon the moving objects synchronized with sounds that were supposed to make sense. So I glanced at the watch and it announced the approach of 4am. I put away the laptop and decided to hit the pillow.

Level#1:

I lie awake. Something is amiss. I twist and toss in my bed, unable to attain that bliss which leads to sleep. You never know or remember when exactly do you fall asleep, but it isn’t going to be anytime soon, I think. I look down the length of my body, I can see my toes.

The night has grown still.

Suddenly I hear someone crying. A soft, muffled sobbing. I look around. Or is it something. My heart is gripped with fear I cannot explain. With doubt I cannot believe. With the sense of evil I cannot understand.

I locate the origin from which the voice is emanated. It is coming from behind the curtains. My only solace lies in the hope that it isn’t from behind the curtains but behind the window. It is funny how you would prefer to have even something so ineffective as a sheet separating you from your fears then nothing. It’s just how brain works, it needs hope.

I get up. My feet move towards the curtain and slowly, as though not moving at all I pull apart the curtains.

The night has become frighteningly still.

The crying has therefore become terrifyingly loud.

I see a face, covered with hair. Brown hair. The figure is like a cat, it sits in the back corridor right on the other side of the window and it looks up at me. And it shrieks.

I find myself in daylight and in the back corridor, it seems different, somehow more spacious. But the face is gone. Vanished.

Level #2:

My eyes part. I sit up in my bed. I’m afraid. I crane my head to search the room for something, something I don’t know exactly. Finding nothing, my heart pacifies. I swing my legs off the bed and make my way towards the washroom. I’m sitting on the commode when I hear something.

My heart pauses. My eyes widen. Someone is crying.

I rush out of the washroom. I’m determined it’s a cat or something and that I am going to wake up my sister so she witnesses this too. I am trying to stumble through the dark towards the bed when I hear someone scream in my feet:
“Blood! Blood! Everything is in blood… Bloodied bodies. Baths of blood!”

I look down. I’m looking at the face of my maid, a girl of about ten. Her eyes are open, her eyeballs rolled upward to reveal the whites of her eye. She judders, she shivers and she screams of blood.

My sister starts screaming now. She shouts about blood too. The maid’s feminine shouts have turned into that of a man’s, so that a man’s voice is talking about death.

Everything in the room is screaming. Screaming at me.

And they talk about blood and death and murder.

I can smell blood, I can taste its rusty taste in the air.

And out their in the night, the hairy face is still crying. Louder then ever.

I run to the room’s door and pound it with both fists. There’s no sound, it’s all mute. You sometimes become so scared that your own voice may scare you, or it might not escape your throat at all. The door is that scared too.

Level #3:

I fly open my eyes. My heart is pounding right out of my chest. I cannot breath, I cannot be more afraid and I have never been so skeptical about my sanity. I have lost track of reality. I do not know what’s a dream, what’s a hallucination, what’s a hypnotism and what’s a reality anymore. All I know is I’m stuck.

I slap my face. I literally pinch my legs till it hurts unbearably. I go to the washroom and splash water on my face. It feels so wet, so real. This cannot be a dream. It is really not. In fact I’m up now and have discovered I really need a glass of water down my parched throat.

I’m going through the gallery, past the other two bedroom doors. The house is silent. Dreadfully silent. Almost too silent.

As though through intuition or that peculiar sense which tells you someone’s watching you from behind and when you turn someone actually is, I sense something in my house this night. I sense loneliness and I sense evil.

I open one bedroom door, vacant. I open the other, no one’s there. I go back to my sister’s room. My head is screaming by now, it is screaming for my sister and maid to be in the room. It is screaming that it wants to believe it isn’t insane. It falls silent.

My sister’s room is empty.

I find myself standing in front of the freezer, in the kitchen. I open its lid and bend down into it to fetch water. I see a pile of decapitated hands, heads, fingers, legs, stomachs. They are packed up, and frozen. They have turned bluish white. But the heads still look at me.

And now I see blood and death and murder.

The Waking

I sit up in my bed. I look at my sister, I look down at my maid and I look at the curtains. I was awake. No, I really was. But I must say I did not think so. After being to the 3rd level into the dream, anyone would think the same. For a long moment I lay there thinking if I was really up. Fearing the crying sound, fearing the maid’s talking in sleep might start the gory talk again.  I was seriously concerned about my sanity! But that was it, I had finally woken up. I made a surprised sound, more intentionally then naturally, to signify my getting out of the revertigo dream. My sister asked what was the matter, and I narrated the entire dream. And then I very cautiously and fearfully went to a thankfully undisturbed sleep.

*

Believe this or not, you must agree this is too incredible to believe. My astonishment at this dream could have been potentially fatal, I really could have died during the sleep if that would’ve continued. I believe so. There’s only so much a mind can bear. If the mind believes it is dead, it becomes dead. And my mind was too troubled that night.

Wikipedia tells me it is a condition called “false awakening” during which a person believes he or she has gotten up and entered the real world and is going about their daily chores while he/she is actually still in the dream. But my case was a repetitive reverting to the point of waking up from a nightmare and then the cycle started again. It is too troubling.

But here is something strange, I swear this is what just happened: I asked my sister what happened that night and she says she remembers me going to the washroom and coming out of it to find a cat meowing outside the window in that chilling child-like cry of its!

I don’t know what was fact and what was fiction anymore. That spring night, as it was, was not tranquil for every troubled soul alike. The city had slumbered, some peacefully and some perturbed and I happened to be among those perturbed. Dreadfully perturbed.

And somewhere far away in the very city, that worker at the petrol station smoked his last cigarette and finally sighed triumphantly. His night shift had ended.

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Minor Fears and Ridiculous Phobias

Have you ever contemplated about how the very place which seems jubilant and pervaded with merry commotion in the day time becomes darkly morbid, gloomy and full of terrible fears at nightfall? Isn’t it that very place that you were in during the light of day? It most certainly is. But why is it scaring you now? What has changed now? Your perception of it due to a slight change in the surroundings, that is what has changed.

Now I am a man, a young man if you may. It is therefore expected of me to be manly and brave. But that I am not. Why? Because I have stupid fears of small things that would make you laugh. But they are as real for me as the fear of a ghost or a dead-man-walking is for you. I justify these irrational fears of mine by giving the example in the afore-mentioned paragraph: It is all about the angle from which you see a thing; Which dimension of the thing at hand you choose to scrutinize.

Although I must say I have not always been like this. My feats of bravery and resilience displayed in my childhood days have often been narrated to me by my elders. When I was a child I got a bone marrow and water extracted from within my spine. I was born with a terrible eye infection with puss coming out of my eye corners. I never watched television like my peers used to, except for the few minutes that I managed to view it for through television’s reflection on the room window. I had an eye surgery in third grade but did not whimper, not a single complaint of irritation etcetra. Once my foot got run over by my own car’s tire as I made my way out of it at school gate but I still went to school, limping on one leg. Once while watching player of the week clip on TV I was ushered by my brother to get him a plate. I rushed into the kitchen and held onto the door side to turn myself around towards the sink. My middle finger got stuck in the gash where the lock goes in and Patukhhh! Finger turned back, but not a tear. I got most of my teeth extracted with injections and tools, but not a tear.

Now I quite regretfully have to confess that that is not the case anymore.

What follows is a list of fears I hold regarding different things. They are very mild, nothing serious. Therefore labelling them as “phobias” would be to err. But nevertheless these things irritate me and deserve a post of their own. You might find yourself having these fears too, but it’s just that you haven’t really noticed them or given them enough importance to write about them in length. But I do have that kind of precious time which I am at the liberty to waste as I wish. So, without any further ado (yup, I don’t mind using cliched phrases), let us proceed:

Astrophobia: Fear of thunder or lightning

I was on my PC and had read about a doomsday prophecy earlier on that day. This doomsday, according to the prophecy, was to occur on that very day. It was a holiday I guess, maybe weekend, so therefore I was quite oblivious of the weather and all: hibernating mode basically. So imagine my surprise when I heard a louder the hell thunder with which the electricity failed. Complete darkness and a loud silence pursued, that certain foreboding silence. Then another thunder followed by another and so on. The entire house literally became lighted through windows at every lightening. The noise was deafening, light blinding. The winds moaned and whistled. Then started the hail. It threatened to bring down the roof, I tell you. The ground shook or so it seemed, the walls rumbled as hail hurled against them and the lightening roared. I was certain that one of those hundreds of lightnings was bound to bring down our house, the question was when.

It was the first time I felt real fear, ineffable trepidation.

The first time I really feared God.

And it was the first time I asked to be forgiven with tears in my eyes and self on the prayer mat.

He did forgive me, He did accept my promise to not miss a single prayer and He did accept my promise to never do wrong again. But I have not prayed for a long time and I have done wrong. I used to think about those generations who went astray even after watching Allah’s prophets’ miracles and the destructions that came to the wrong doers. I used to wonder how on Earth can someone be so ignorant and forget those lessons?

I now know how that happened. And I also know man is bound to do wrong and be lead astray, or maybe it’s just that I am from among those with weak faiths and characters. This is it then, I have to establish prayer again. Starting today.

So this is how I acquired that fear of lightening. Now, as soon as the sky begins to rumble and it rains, all I’m wishing for is: just rain, no thunder. I haven’t even gone in the rain intentionally for a long time but initially I loved too.

Fear of Ceiling Fans

Have you ever thought how extremely dangerous it would be to have sharp blades spinning at an incredibly fast speed hanging a few feet over your head by just a rod? I mean, it’s just a rod! And the blades are attached to the center circular spinning part with just a few nuts. What if one of those blades’ nuts slip and it plunges towards you? What if the entire killer machine falls off? It has the potential to crack your skull, slice your brains nicely in two and make the top of your head an independent entity. Or better still it can perform a perfect beheading feat.

It isn’t severe, but the thought every now and then enters my head and I start avoiding sitting directly beneath the fan. If anything can happen in this world, this can most probably happen.

The fear of the rumbling of an aeroplane in flight

I remember reading in school an Oxford English language comprehension exercise passage which said that just before a devastating earthquake strikes, you hear a certain rumble, like that of an approaching aeroplane or a train. This rumbling grows in volume until becomes loud enough and that’s when the Earthquake shakes everything with utmost convulsion.

Now whenever I hear an aeroplane approach, part of my head is apprehensive. Who knows, this might be that rumbling. Or what if the growing noise never dies down and mutes away in the distance; what if the sound continues to grow until the plane crashes into your house? This happened in Model Town in my very city in this past month. So I’m guessing it is again a possibility now, isn’t it?

Fear of mirrors

No I’m not a superstitious zealot and I’m not completely insane, please wait and hear me out will you? I know this has gotten too ridiculous for you by now, but hold on a minute will you. Now see, What if. Just saying, what if you are looking into the mirror and you turn your head to the right… but your reflection keeps on looking at you. Then it reaches out with both its hands and grabs its upper and lower jaws, one with each of the hands. It then starts to pull them apart… you feel a certain strain In your jaws too. As the smiling reflection slowly rips apart it’s jaws, same is happening to yours. Haan?

Quite “Jaw dropping” eh?

Or one of this could happen?

Ok so enough scares for now. I would now stop/end this. But the thing is, all these fears come and go, and are hopefully temporary. They surely bug me, but not to the point where it becomes absolutely intolerable. Now I would leave you with all the best luck the next time you find yourself surrounded by atmospheric electrical discharges accompanied by thunders of 30,000°C. Also best of luck while sitting under the spinning blades, being almost struck by earthquake or a plane and for the next time your ­hum zaat in the mirror tries to do anything undesirable to you.

Pip pip Toodle oo!

___________________________________________________

Next stop: An eerily peculiar pattern of nightmares I have been having recently.

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A Hard Rains A-Gonna Fall…

Oh what did you see my blue eyed son…

The song is probably one of the best ever, written and sung by the best songwriter of all times, Bob Dylan. The lyrics are so bizarre, beautiful, utterly honest and completely heart felt. Its lyrics are too huge for a normal mind, yet they are simple and…all there. There are numerous interpretations of each and every single line and it successfully portrays the times it was sung in.  And it continuously grows to relate more and more with current situations. It was basically written and sung by Dylan at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Any moment America and Russia might had plunged into a nuclear war. And Dylan, thinking there was no more time to live, wrote what I consider a masterpiece. As he said himself

“Hard Rain is a desperate kind of song. Every line in it, is actually the start of a whole song. But when I wrote it, I thought I wouldn’t have enough time alive to write all those songs so I put all I could into this one.”

Although the line “A hard rains a-gonna fall” is interpreted as referring to a nuclear fallout, I currently take it in its literal meaning. Pakistan is having such hard rains, effecting 2million people. and it just stopped raining outside. But the amazing thing about this song is that every single line can be taken literally or pondered upon as the symbolism in the song is quite a thing in itself. For me its the lamenting of a soul who fears a “Hard Rain” and has had the various maturing experiences of life.

“No single event can awaken within us the stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.”

-Antoine de Sainte.

Every line is a song in itself, and the blue eyed son, who has seen too much about life in too little a time, merely states all of the experiences.

Now me being an amateur of amateur Dylanists, I won’t go too much into the lyrics but just give my opinion and overview of the stanzas. This might sound like some blasted gibberish, but that’s alright for me. I like to make a fool out of me, and a me out of that fool. we all are one.

So let me try my hand at analyzing the un-analyzable.

Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?
And where have you been, my darling young one?
I’ve stumbled on the side of twelve misty mountains,
I’ve walked and I’ve crawled on six crooked highways,
I’ve stepped in the middle of seven sad forests,
I’ve been out in front of a dozen dead oceans,
I’ve been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard,
And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard,
It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.

This stanza takes me onto a journey of places far and wide. The blue eyed son might symbolize the young and naive generation who is yet to see and experience all of this hardship. The singer has been to misty mountains, crooked highways, sad forests, dozen dead oceans and walked a thousand miles into the mouth of a graveyard. And of course there is a lot more this stanza then i can perceive…

Oh, what did you see, my blue-eyed son?
And what did you see, my darling young one?
I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it,
I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it,
I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin’,
I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin’,
I saw a white ladder all covered with water,
I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken,
I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children,
And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, and it’s a hard,
It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.

A newborn with wild wolves around him. An innocent young soul born into a surrounding full of the beasts that are men, threatening to conjure a storm that could blow everything away in a mushroom of fire. The blood dripping branch and a-bleeding hammers represent all kinds of violence and riot surrounding the narrator.  The blood dripping branch might show the racism too. The wet ladder symbolizes a way out of all the plights and dilemmas, but a very insecure and slippery one. Broken tongues might represent the ones who aren’t given the right to speak, ones who speak rubbish or perhaps the miserable illiterate population. Young children carrying guns and swords clearly indicates the trend of child soldiers, and the upbringing of a ruthless generation…

Oh, what did you hear, my blue-eyed son?
And what did you hear, my darling young one?
I heard the sound of a thunder that roared out a warnin’,
Heard the roar of a wave that could drown the whole world,
I heard one hundred drummers whose hands were a-blazin’,
I heard ten thousand whisperin’ and nobody listenin’,
I heard one person starve, I heard many people laughin’,
Heard the song of a poet who died in the gutter,
I heard the sound of a clown who cried in the alley,
And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard,
It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.

To me the start of the stanza is too eerily related to the bomb. Then comes the line about “ten thousand whisperin’ and nobody listenin”. I personally take this as Dylan’s protest to God. There are thousands praying to Him, but he has turned a deaf ear to the sinful race. The next line shows two opposing situations at a same time to differentiate between them and make the listener aware of the suffering going on around him, outside his comfy shelter of a home and a town. The poet who died in a gutter: a person who put down his thoughts to paper and tried to make the world aware of the happenings, just like the narrator who is talking those thoughts, met his ultimate doom. The clown who cried in the alley represents each and every person. We are not always what we like, want or appear to be. No matter how many false hopes you have got, the truth is still there, and its fatal.

Oh, what did you meet, my blue-eyed son?
And who did you meet, my darling young one?
I met a young child beside a dead pony,
I met a white man who walked a black dog,
I met a young woman whose body was burning,
I met a young girl, she gave me a rainbow,
I met one man who was wounded in love,
I met another man who was wounded in hatred,
And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard,
It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.

A young child left to survive with a possible future just as the dead pathetic pony. The mentioning of human being and an animal strangely compares them both, making one muse. A white man walking a black dog. This is perhaps the best put line about racism. A white man is ready to accept and care for a black dog but why doesn’t he behave the same towards a black person? A women’s body burning. The women who weren’t given any rights. For no particular reason, it brings the sculptor of “ Ecstasy of Saint Teresa” to my mind. Read about it in angels and demons. Designed by Bernini, the sculptor shows the saint’s sexual encounter with an angel who brought about a blazing pleasure… Then the part where a girl gives the narrator a rainbow comes. Perhaps the only line that isn’t depressed. He meets a man who’s wounded in love and another is wounded in hatred. You can run away from negative things, but sometimes these are the positive and the nearest things to you that wound you.

And what’ll you do now, my blue-eyed son?
And what’ll you do now, my darling young one?
I’m a-goin’ back out ‘fore the rain starts a-fallin’,
I’ll walk to the depths of the deepest dark forest,
Where the people are many and their hands are all empty,
Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters,
Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison,
And the executioner’s face is always well hidden,
Where hunger is ugly, where the souls are forgotten,
Where black is the color, where none is the number,
And I’ll tell it and speak it and think it and breathe it,
And reflect from the mountain so all souls can see it,
And I’ll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin’,
But I’ll know my song well before I start singin’,
And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, and it’s a hard,
It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.

When asked about what he intended to do in the future, the blue eyed son replies that he woul head out of the place before it starts raining. Before everything goes up in flames. He intends on walkin into the deep and dark forests, to get away from everything with himself as his companion. He would head out to where people are many and there wants are many too, but they got nothing. “Where the pellets of poison are flooding their water.” I borrowed a collection of essential Dylan interviews, titled “Dylan on Dylan”. in it, Dylan says:

Q: It’s so impersonal today. You said it’s gonna happen. What’s gonna happen?

Dylan: What’s gonna happen, there’s got to be an explosion of some kind. The hard rain that’s gonna fall. In the last verse when I say,” Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters,” that means all the lies, you know, all the lies that people get told on their radios and in their newspapers. All you’ve to do is think for a minute. They’re trying to take people’s brains away. Which maybe has been done already. I hate to think its been done. All the lies I consider poison.

“And the executioner’s face is always well hidden”. the falsehood is never caught and its the righteous lot that suffers at its hands. What a line. Need I say more? He’d go to a place that’s melancholy and sorrowful with suffering. Where the colour’s black, and racism is at its peak. The narrator will think, meditate and feel all the things there. He’d set an example for everybody and then he’ll vanish. Meet the inevitable. And he will and still knows what he ought to do before he does it. These experiences have changed him.

And here’s is that gem, sung by the living legend. Bob Dylan.

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