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This Shivers Me


This shivers me: This madness. It shivers me.

This mad world. It sends shivers down my spine. Every time, I come to think of it. Every time I let myself make the mistake of thinking of it. The delectable taste of madness touches me and burns right inside. Closing my eyes, I can see what Yashodha saw in Krishna’s open mouth, the space, the sparkling rolling planets. And opening my eyes, its the world in the mundane and real. The tables and chairs, the tea boiling and spilling over because I’m just sitting here thinking without paying it any attention. This madness. It shivers me. As I imagine how it would be to be insane, to be Rumi, my sister, who is insane because and only because we don’t understand her. But who knows? Who knows, whether the way her brain cells are working is taking her closer to the truth? Why do I feel it? It burns, this madness. I like to feed on it. It’s inspiring. It is thrilling to burn out, like a shooting star through the sky, who doesn’t give a damn to what wish you earthling has inflicted upon him. It’s tired. It’s mad. It’s unburdening. It cannot carry your burden of wishes. It cannot be another totem of your endless desires. People like this are like a stake through my body. A burning stake, a needle stuck with Tantric verses. They’re mad. They’re mad at everything they do, say, want, feel, see. Their madness moves me. There is a brutal urgency in their breath, in their walk, a jig in every step. Because, life is running out of them. Because life is lived in measured steps. Because life is sane. Life doesn’t allow a Rumi, an autistic sixteen year old weeping over a radio. But life itself is the maddest I’ve come across. It is the consummation of madness. A living fountain, a spate of insanity. We are blips of a mad accident called Creation. We are constantly trying to beat insanity into saner shapes. In office ledgers, in science and in theories. But God, I tell you is this sane-insane being or nobody. This incalculable, infinite madness is what afflicts us. Is what makes us sad. Is what makes us beautiful.

Text: Sreemanti Sengupta

Illustration: Ana Vivianne Minorelli

This Shivers Me’ is part of a longer and collaborative work, First Person with Brazilian artist-photographer Ana Vivianne Minorelli. The work is on the look out for publishers. Tell us about takers.

  1. vardhini
    December 10, 2012 at 6:25 am

    Love the wild abandon with which it is written….no obvious attempt at finding ‘method in madness'(pardon the cliche)or maybe the character just doesn’t care enough for sanity… the conflict gets a bit evident towards the end…great flow and really evocative…slightly rambling but I am guessing that it may seem different when seen as a part of a bigger work….:)

  2. grant miller
    December 10, 2012 at 6:35 am

    I think this is amazing ,awesome , beautiful ,and true.

  3. Mydhili R Varma
    December 10, 2012 at 7:22 am

    My initial reaction to this piece of writing was a huge, long sigh, the kind of happy sigh you make when you’ve come across something meaningful. The extract says how ahead of its times this book of yours would be. Can’t wait to get my hands on it! Let me know when it’s out.

  4. Bob
    December 10, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    This made me think of the very powerful documentary “Home” which I saw the other day – it’s a film about what we are doing to our planet, our home. And what we are doing is mad. It is to borrow your definition, madness, in the sense that we are literally burning ourselves out, at a planetary level. But as you say, madness is also a part of life, from the universal madness of this accident called creation, to the individual irrational actions, good and bad, that we all carry out every day.
    Obviously, the last thing you were trying to do in your writing was comment on the world environmental situation! But I just thought I’d mention my reaction, which was based on things I personally have been thinking about – and how they interacted with the ideas you have “ideated”… thanks.
    (For what it’s worth, one of my instant thoughts was that the environmental movement needs to get madder, crazier – right now it’s the epitome of rationality – and that, in a mad world, just isn’t good enough! Another thought was that it needs to be less self-important. In the end we are just so tiny, our whole planet could be squashed like a bug under somebody’s boot and the rest of the universe would go on, in its mad way. That doesn’t mean the bug shouldn’t try to save itself, of course it should – but at certain points it might also be useful to say, hey, I’m just a bug, let’s try a bit of bug philosophy)

  5. December 10, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    There’s certainly a method to your amazingly creative madness. I can’t wait to read the novel!


  6. December 12, 2012 at 4:36 am

    I have been wondering for pretty long time as to how we, native Indians, who talk, not in English, but in our vernacular tongue, could knit into English sentences, our liquified imaginations to match what is being done by today’s painters, architects, sculptures, and of course, the computer controlled film makers world over.

    Sreemanti Sengupta has given me an answer. Sanskrit authors used to write about being struck by the breath within one’s own existence ; they had defined these Vayus. You are struck by a Vayu. You become a Christ, Buddha, Rimbaud, Lalon Fakir or whatever, even a Kill Bill director.

    There are no binary opposites to define a Vayu for or against. Sanskrit thinkers had imagined of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar. We can never call these gods irrational, insane or mad.

    Sreemanti Sengupta’s novel, I am sure, is going to open up the liquified imagination and knit those Vayus into English sentences we have not read till date.

    She is a clear departure from today’s Page3 writers. Publishers should ponder over the text and call for her complete manuscript.

  7. December 12, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    “We are blips of a mad accident called Creation. We are constantly trying to beat insanity into saner shapes.” This sequence is brilliant, poetic, and so true. I love it!

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