My deluding Pet

Walking through my neighbourhood

shedding my clothes – naked –

is a day that will arrive sooner

than walking that same path

shedding my Ego

Ego is most difficult to abandon

It is my most intimate possession

It is also my most intimate Pet

The adoption happened innocuously

I discovered this Pet

on a lonely day – or was it night?

I fed it, it purred

I talked to it, it listened

I chastised it, it cowered

But it cuddled me in it’s warm embrace

on that lonely day – or was it night?

Just like a kitten

it pushed my right buttons

I embraced it back

for I am only human

I was trained to pity

Ego is the most deluding Pet

It helped me climb insurmountable hurdles

It’s adrenaline boost

tided me over most of them

drenching me victorious – fresh

like the inaugural monsoon shower

Why wouldn’t I then,

consider it as my only true friend

Wouldn’t you?

Don’t you?

But this very same Ego – surreptitiously

created new hurdles

Some it helped overcome

just like hurdles in a training course

the sole purpose of their existence,

to inject that feeling of victory

delivering me my timely dope

Leashing me with that timely dose

Some others, the ones that matter most

are those that it masked from me

Either camouflaging as too trivial

or just plain impossible to climb

These ones, over time

grew wider, higher, stronger

entrenched themselves ever deeper

They surrounded me, blinding me

from the sprawling freedom

just laying there on the other side

Thus, I let it steer me

Partly, blinded by the intimacy we shared

but mostly

afraid of loosing my timely fix

One day I awoke

inside the fortress

it had created

Built to protect me – something to behold it was

Shelter me, superbly it did

by denying others to breach

I continued to consider it

my most intimate Pet

My Pet then seized the role

as watch guard to this fortress

screening admittance on it’s discretion

following it’s will and whim

Slyly it created

an environment of transience

thus transforming itself into

as my only constant friend

It too, like all things alive

needed attention and affection to thrive

As I suspected it’s true intent

it sensed my disenchantment

And by admitting those who pampered it

more that I ever permitted

it sought to satisfy elsewhere

this new void that it felt

Later I realized

how vain we both are

it too needed it’s timely dope

for it too, by now,

was hooked

Just like me

Much later I discovered

the duplicity of a fortress

That which shelters

also snares an unwitting prisoner

Reluctant to loose my only constant

I lived an incarcerated life

It and I playing

the very same games we played

Both exhausted with the charades

but afraid to chart the unknown

Even the will deserting by now

Perhaps, it would be much later in life

when all faculties have deserted

that Ego too, will finally abandon me

I imagine the goodbyes to be mutual

Either outliving the other’s purpose

Left with no other possessions to guard

finally submitting to breathe in the unknown

The taste and vision

of the world outside the fortress

– one that was cleverly shielded for so long –

could be overwhelming for my sheltered and withered spirit

Like a twig in a deluge

the exhilaration of the freedom to just flow

might be the final lingering taste

I carry to my cradle

of infinite dreams

The cycle of rebirth

finally succeeds

in stripping me off my Ego

only until when I, naively, compulsively,

adopt another in the next life

Oh, how many lifetimes will it take

for me to gain the wisdom,

summon the courage

to abandon this Pet…

and, (sigh) finally, live a bit?

20th February, 2010. Mumbai.

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