• Vol. 05
  • Chapter 10
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They peer at me through a lens. They want to confirm if I am who I say I am and imagine that the retina has the final word. Even the technology resting in my hands insists that I trust the lens.

They think my face is my fingerprint.

As if fingerprints are alive and ready with all answers.

I wish this were true. I wish my face had lines going around in circles the way my thoughts do. I wish my thoughts moved either inwards or outwards without ever crisscrossing each other in unknown bizarre ways. I wish life were as simple as an optical illusion that the mind knows and accepts as one. I wish there wasn’t a face with all its ridges, spurs, chasms, and a landscape that changed with the light and the darkness of moments. Then I’d have remained unchanged over the years with just a few measly lines turning grey.

The face, however, is in many ways similar to an iceberg where thoughts deep inside are the real navigators. It is these wily navigators that are responsible for everything from early melting to rapid meltdowns to deliberate surprises in the pitch dark for boats and cruise ships to allowing seals, walruses, penguins and others to pop up on its deck to pose for the paparazzi. An entire cosmos exists right there on the face, as it does on an iceberg. One can see the dance of the universe there only if one wishes to… after all, this is what Krishna showed Arjuna in the Mahabharata, didn’t he?

And yet we sometimes cannot or do not wish to face the face. We hide behind a curtain of inscrutability so we can remain unaccountable. Save all that is unreadable and carefully pin it on. This is all you need to start in the world of politics. This is all that my father said as he thrust a piece of paper towards me to sign. This form, once filled, would launch me as a worker in the political party that he now patronized.