Open Minds 2

Morality: Akim is lying on his bed, staring morosely at the ceiling. Everywhere around him are the sickening cries of ‘hypocrite!’, ‘sick bastard!’, ‘pervert!’ which make him cringe from himself every moment.

Dissecting further, he is somewhat perplexed that the discovery of his thoughts by other people had this gory effect on him of blaming himself, and that the sick thoughts themselves hadn’t, except for the episode with his mother. Now he knew that the sadism he experienced when he imagined a person he didn’t like getting his head severed off with blood spraying everywhere or getting sodomised by a group of revelling sexual fanatics was a part of him alright. He was not at all justified in feeling sorry about what he felt now, as he didn’t feel then. What then, did bring about this resentment of self? Childhood had seen his parents telling him over time that killing, raping, arson, kidnapping, is monstrous. The idle child mind, upon hearing the hushed scandalous tones of the grown-ups when referring to an act of the above, envisions the above to be so diabolic that even thinking of such incidents is wrong. The first instance of taming the imagination and the authority of enquiry thus occurs. Such was the case when he was told to respect elders, not to speak loudly in the house, to appear civilly in social gatherings et cetera. Society had shaped these up, but society in itself was made of fallible people. Every one of these rules foisted upon each one of them may claim to be universal, but they were more like the shackles for the free thinking mind.

How often did he question himself as to why be it exactly wrong to kill innocents, asked Akim. Never. As the years had progressed, he had stopped deeming everyone as being innocent. The monstrous human mind, he thought, could never think for the good of all human beings all the time. Even if they did, it was purely for their selfish desires of being happy that motivated them. The smile of the beggar child when receiving a ten rupee note warmed their philanthropic heart. Once again, it was the society that had deemed the act of giving as a generous one.

And when the progeny of these same people now hissed Akim’s name in disgust, he could not help but perceive a flock of puppets pirouetting about in the tunes of these same universal rules. Perspectives matched step with step, and unison among all of them was riveted. Public opinion was just a river waiting to meet an obstacle to branch out into a tributary.

Power Relation: We might as well remark beforehand that Akim had been one of the diligent blokes in the college. He scores well, play football for fun, and is impressive in quizzing. He has been preparing until now for one of those kickass quizzes that come once a year, before the defect made itself conspicuous. The day of the quiz dawns bright, and he goes there hoping to give the villainous wretches in the form of the other competitors the hell after all the cold shoulder treatment they had meted out to him.

However, he soon realises that the answers that he gives is anticipated by the quizmaster as well as the other participants, much to his chagrin. It’s all over in a matter of minutes. He returns home, a desolate soul.

It’s now rife in his mind how much he has been forced to change over this period of time. People who were mediocre in life in general now managed to sneer at him passing by. He didn’t even know why. Maybe because now they copied entire answers from his mind in any test that the teacher compiled thus bringing themselves at the same level as him academically or the fact that he had shamed himself by allowing everyone to see his inner thoughts about people, about teachers, through no fault of his. Until now he had been the pristine educatee who is a good friend to all, and even though you might envy that guy you cannot help but feel some sort of respect or admiration for him. Now he was a standing joke, and the mediocre people had found the chink in the armour, and no opportunities were wasted in pummelling his confidence and denigrate his self worth.

“Why?” Akim found himself asking. “What have I ever done to them to deserve this?”

He ruminated, and slowly rallied around the point that maybe they felt threatened by him, his presence. Maybe they wanted to possess the smug sense of superiority, even if only for a few minutes. Those conversations he had with them, the jovial laughter they shared, in both of which they had been willing participants had been an effort on their part to be among the academically affluent and popular folk. They derived solace from the fact that being in company of such people gave them the illusion that a part of greatness was now affiliated with them. They could strut about the class with that illusion in their minds, which, in a way was good to boost their self esteem, or so Akim would have thought at the time, as he really didn’t give importance to what they thought, as long as he was among the popular kids in class.

In the aftermath, Akim had pissed off nearly everyone, and the Mediocre Ones immediately shifted their allegiance to the majority of the class who now were against Akim. They were the ones who now threw the darkest of looks to him and rendered the most degrading jokes aimed at him. They were the ones now who were superior, and didn’t leave any stones unturned to enjoy the position. Damn those hypocrites, thought Akim to himself, one moment the closest of your friends and the other moment the most foul mouthed vicious vilifying bastards.

Still so, why did they show animosity in such liberality, he strived to answer. Distancing himself momentarily from his whilom stance, he now stared at himself through the eyes of the Mediocre Ones. Pompous, popular, petulant. He was amazed. Mediocre Ones didn’t think they had the capability to do something good in any field, and therefore they did not even try. The only way they could assert themselves in the class, or so as they thought, was by acting the parasite. Or maybe people like Akim didn’t give them a chance.

Winter vacations to the Rescue: And pretty much the months went by in a whiz for the rest of the schoolgirls and boys, though an aggravatingly long period for Akim. The winter vacations being announced made Akim heave a sigh of relief. He came home, exhausted, flinging his bag away and himself on the sofa.

The situation had to change, he thought. No longer could he deal with those nasty laughs behind his back, the silent treatment, the meaningless floundering in a hellhole of vileness. The antagonism had only led to him getting more and more aggressive against them, which hadn’t helped at all in his case.

How could he tame his mind to withhold everything within him? Thoughts were the equivalent of a nuclear fission chain reaction, each new nuclei giving way to more, with subatomic particles akin to notions flying about. Years of not controlling it had made it go berserk. When the child first learns to speak, he renders gibberish, and then as slowly the sentences form in the mind, he speaks as he pleases. This sole process takes them 3 to 4 years. Later on, as the household and people and interactions with the society will them to, they learn to control ‘what’ they speak, or to devise ornamentation to hide a pun, implied meaning, or exhort exclamation, as the case might be.

Akim thought, why not with the mind? Worth a shot.

The next dawn saw him meditating, trying extremely hard to manipulate his own thoughts, trying to subdue anger as soon as it came forth. And true he was, it did take him a lot of work and time. But eventually he succeeded.

And then, the fleeting thought came. Everyone had the notion that thoughts couldn’t be false. They are, you know, just formed out of nowhere. Their ignorance was going to be Akim’s gift.

He tried it once with someone. X, the boy, went past him, and quickly Akim beamed across the message that Y another guy, had spilled ink on all his books. X checked and sure enough, found that the description matched. Y, the unsuspecting bloke got an unearned punch in the face.

Delighted, Akim now worked his way through the entire class, arranging fights, jumping in to regularly resolve fights, acting all sympathetic to either party he wished. Soon, he was back among the group. Ladylove, seeing the complete transition, now inched closer to him.

Though it did cross his mind that whatever he had thought earlier of everyone being spineless bastards and hypocritical asses, was now being implied upon him to, but what the hell, he loved the power!

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