Lone Zombie

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Lone Zombie

Wow! That title sounds real cool. I love it when things get real corny, like those B-grade Hollywood flicks featuring our kind. Pity they don’t make ‘em so often these days. Sigh. So I, the lone zombie, live in a world where there is only me and no one else. And I have started to get used to the name. Didn’t I tell you I liked it! I am not alone in the real sense; there are people all around me. But I am a zombie. I am predestined to walk the path of life alone. There are my co zombies around too. But they are enduring their pain themselves, like me all alone. And I would say to them, go get your own story. This one is mine, just like my suffering. This is the path set for me by the one unseen, the one unheard but always felt.

Lone zombie has always been on a journey. It doesn’t remember when it started off. Also it does not know when the zombie in it came alive or is it the zombie in it came out dead or the dead zombie in it came outside or…Let us leave it at that. It is not pertinent. Nothing is pertinent anymore in lone zombie’s life. As you would have noticed, zombie will be referring to itself in third person from now. It gives the zombie a sense of self importance and like mentioned before, the name appeals to it extremely. In any case, this story is an exercise in self-centered indulgence. It might as well not feel guilty about it.

Once came an autumn along. Somehow it had never made its presence felt on zombie before though it came out of its hibernation every year. Zombie didn’t know what it meant, back then. For it, it was something novel and zombie loved it. It was feeling the joy of feeling the seasons for the first time. This was a miracle. Zombie had felt joy. A feeling as alien to it as would be a snow flake in the Sahara.

It was something I had managed,
Tried as much I did to evade.
The past comes back to haunt,
To tell me what I rather had done not.
What mistakes do to the character is anneal,
And take on life with a new zeal.


The joy numbed the pain and it numbed the loss, everything that the season took out from it. The dry air squeezed everything out of its body, what ever little was left, that is. The rashes broke out on the skin and they burned. The air itself whispered the song of death in its ears. But zombie wouldn’t care. It was feeling itself for the first time and feeling awake. Thoughts of death in many ways signified its transformation into the living, feeling an existence that it so much craved for. It was in no mood to listen to the very element which brought hope but prophesized death at the same time. Somewhere somehow something told zombie that it was losing more than it was gaining. But sane voices are rarely heard in a state of ecstasy. The end came abruptly. Seasons come to an end so very subtly but this one had to end without a bang, without giving a hint of a hint. Its departure shook zombie’s very existence. It signaled an end to the phase when zombie actually felt – pain, ecstacy, guilt, everything.

Then came the winter after a while. Not after a while, sooner than anticipated actually. Zombie was feeling a period where it was actually enjoying being a zombie again. "Life or lack of it doesn't get any better", it thought. Then winter appeared in the form of a beautiful white bird. The zombie saw it as a pristine dove. The dove touched its heart and this brought warmth even in the cold. Something so tender and so caring, showed it where the heart beats in its beaten down body.

The bird appeared most sweet,
that once atleast did the thought,
not rise up in the mind that,
it needed this passage of time,
for only that purpose.
But next minute the realisation stuck that I had
spent a lot more than time.

The harsh cold of the winter overpowered the warmth soon enough though. The bird wanted to fly away. But zombie didn't want to let go so soon. Without its warmth, it didn't know what would happen to it. The bird didn't seem to want to stay on but zombie felt that if they could tide over this cold patch, they could perhaps see a better season, fall again maybe. But zombie itself wasn't sure what the future held for it. What if the winter lasted forever, what if it got even worse! Zombie went into a hibernation during the period and let destiny take its course. The bird flew away and the winter subsided, quite coincidentally.

A long time after the cold came the summer. Zombie had resigned itself again to a life without change, a life without emotions, a life without life. It had a craving for the bird. The hope that the bird would again come back to warm its heart was something that was eating up zombie from inside. The hope manifested into a fear of reviving the past. But in this period of mental disarray, there was a drift that blew across the zombie. The drift warmed the frigid depths of the zombie. Come to think of it, zombie always knew the drift was around, lying at a distance, never making itself obvious. It didn'e feel it because zombie never felt it nor felt a need for it.

And now zombie wanted it, more than anything else. It chased the drift along for a while. Then got engulfed in it in its entirety.What followed was a period of intensity in feelings that the zombie wished it never had to go through. But then it had desired the drift and it had to now traverse the full course, suffering everything that came along. The drift soon gained in momentum and soon zombie was in the air floating along. The sun was beating down and the heat was getting unbearable. And then summer ended.

On the red hill facing the sea,
lies aglow a house of hope,
there I naively enter,
with a joy n desire to live,
but in an instant the wind blew
away the nestled hope that was
instilled in a candle i carried.

The drift was fast waning and in one final burst, flung the zombie away. And then it disappeared too. Zombie lay stunned at what happened. More than the pain it suffered from the innumerable wounds on its body, the mental excruciation the whole event caused shook it, once again. It lay stunned and lost. The desire to survive weakened considerably.

So at the end of it, zombie still survives in its inanimate state looking forward to more seasons. "How such a radical change of outlook?", one might ask. As much as it tries to be cynical, zombie been wired to feel pain, feel joy and feel a lot more, because to feel is a special ability and to be resilient is a much greater ability that the zombie got as a gift, not from Him, but from life itself.

The end



A small explanation for the abstract nature of the piece. Lone zombie was something I wrote as an experiment in expressing emotions of a nature which requires one to dig deep within oneself. Getting such range of emotions from a person who lives a "boring" life in reality was a challenge I had to surmount. Unbelievably I worked on this across 2 months trying to get my mind to respond to imaginary situations and pain. While most of the text seems to be indicative of the pain and suffering, I wanted to end this with hope in the face of unbridled cynicism. Hope I have achieved what I started off towards. I would love to know from you.

4 comments:

Aarthy 3:10 AM, October 18, 2005  

Read it, lone zombie.

Quite interesting, I do like how you ended it, mmm hmm, it is so similar to someone, the optimism comes and quickly is shadowed by the negative thoughts, feelings, predictions, :-)

nicely written dear! I am quite sure you had gotten what you wanted, when writing this..or at least I feel I have envisioned what you wanted to express :-)

shmooty loo, shahy-oo

Anonymous,  2:52 PM, October 18, 2005  

WTF is your point?

Shashank Jain 4:33 PM, October 18, 2005  

I like it when my words confuses and confounds someone :)

But Mr. Anonymous, there is a point. Sad that you cannot see it in your first read. Try again.

P V Menon 5:15 PM, October 18, 2005  

I like the 'lone zombie'... interspersed with some good poetry. It's a commendable effort to capture the zombie's feelings across seasons (err, seasons?). Four/five seasons in a year is too much to handle...no wonder the zombie prefers the 'lone' title.

An honest confession is that efforts directed at expressing ones experiences in pithy, abstracted is subject to interpretations. Which means, the author has a greater chance of winning accoloades from those who are more familiar with his way of life, or at least thinking. That, in fact, adds mystery and imagination to this piece of work.

Best of luck with more frequent seasons in your life...

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