THE PLAN…If you wish to offer patronage, contact me firstname.lastname@example.org
There are infinite worlds out there, nothing is inanimate in our universe, oops sorry, the multiverse.
You are there too. In the many-worlds that exist, all the possible outcomes of a quantum interaction are realized. You know all that you see around you, the world, the stars, your family, your lover, the Universe; it’s not just a Universe, but a multiverse, actually infinite multiverses floating around in the quantum foam!
Think about all the fiction you’ve read, it’s all real and is happening right as you read these lines. Gregor Samsa is metamorphosing right now into that giant insect, Muersault is attending his mother’s funeral after which he will engage in sex and then kill the Arab, humans do things without a purpose and war is its reaction, the underground man is rambling with bitterness in the underground. It’s all there and it’s happening right now.
Amazing stuff right?
Ghosts are memories of things that have never happened…but then what has happened and what has not? What is real and what is not?
The physical space that you inhabit, is that real? You can feel it, smell it, touch it, so it must be real, right? But how do you quantify its reality?
Nothing happens here which is unnecessary, the great Eastern metaphysics say.
No jiva ever comes into existence. There exists no cause that can produce it. The supreme truth is that nothing ever is born.”- Gaudapada’s Karika Chapter II Verse 48
This stands as the very basic crux to this text- it’s all an illusion, so one karmically, through kriya and kripa of the mahatmas can change possibilities and thereby altering results, the very fabric of reality.
Spirit falls into matter and becomes these physical bodies which experience
existence, each in their own peculiar way gathering more experience for the conscious evolution of mankind.
Let’s shun absolutism, bad or pure good is purely relative and open to interpretation, everything is so very interrelated, the quantum entanglement.
What’s a smile without tears? What’s a rainbow without stormy skies? If we know not how to cry, how can we laugh??
THE PLAN is an allegory told through three divergent points of views in BOOK-I. What happens when TIME tells you a story? Yes TIME, the silent ruler of our lives, the witness to it all, the rise and fall of mighty civilisations, kings and power brokers, death and famine, creation and destruction.
Nina Ray is our second narrator, the individual who has birthed THE PLAN not out of pleasure, but through extreme pain and suffering that comes about with losing the one you love most.
Dr.V is our final narrator and in the most obvious interpretation stands as the antagonist. He’s not alive anymore as he speaks to us as a ghost inhabiting dark, astral planes of existence, he tells us how and why situations and society creates a sociopathic monster like him, we eventually discover the reason he rapes and brutalizes this young budding starlet who’d come to him for a breast augmentation procedure.
In BOOK-II, there are multiple narration points- Zeenia takes over, we have their mother or ma as they call her describe her emotions for the first time, we have dadu tell us his point of view and of course Time and Dr.V continue on.
MONOZYGOTIC TWINS, Nina and Zeenia Ray, they shared the same placenta and the same amniotic sac, can you imagine that? They are not only identical twins, but the closest DNA structure. However they are like chalk and cheese in all ways.
“As a man soweth, so shall he also reap…it’s the NATURAL LAW, unchanging, eternal and universal…it does not have a beginning and it never ceases to be…” -BHAGAVAD GITA
What is this reality, this Universe, but an endless law of causation? A rape happens which changes all lives involved, which is the reason THE PLAN is birthed.
ZEENIA RAY, a lesbian, is trying to get a huge break in an A-grade film in the world of Bollywood; she’s already a pretty well known model for print and video. Also seen on the ramp for prestigious shows like Lakme Fashion week, she’s quite popular in the circuit with her wild and party girl image.
Once in a lifetime do such offers pop up, but Zeenia, lean and petite, needs those 36D cups to effectively gyrate her bosoms, dhak-dhak style in those slinky cholis, yes, such matters are of national importance to the public and of course the fillumwalas! So obsessed does she become that she sees humongous breasts wherever she looks, telly, hoardings, films, they’re everywhere, mocking her, shaming her tiny size 30A.
One night she’s at a club in SOBO with her girlfriend, meets a casting director who introduces her to an eminent plastic surgeon Dr.V. Zeenia throwing caution to the winds, calls him for an appointment.
Little did she know that Dr.V, a sociopath had other plans. That night watching them both, she and her girlfriend on the dance floor, he had made a resolve. Zeenia Ray must be shown the correct place of a woman. Yes, he’d lured her in as a mouse with cheese and then brutalized her and discarded her like a used condom.
NINA RAY- a poetess immersed in her world of haikus and poems, words and rhymes, ideas and concepts, beauty and angst, she’s also a post graduation student in Psychology and in whatever time she can spare, she volunteers at a shelter for abused children. She carries on numerous programmes of literacy, health and hygiene and does puppeteering in the “school in a bus”.
Nina once interested in Rustam Mistry, one of her psychology professors, gave up on that crush after waiting for him to make the move, but when he finally managed to approach her it was too late, she was already deep in love with Frank Stringer, a photographer and documentarian from London.
Frank is here, in Bombay to explore, shoot and discover. He remembers his childhood in Pondicherry, at Auroville, in the ashram where he was born to parents who were disciples of the Mother and followers of Sri Aurobindo, but now cannot link his childhood days in the idyllic Auroville to the sewer infested, insanely populated city of Mumbai.
Crazily noisy, pokey elbows, disgruntled faces and Pan Parag spit and urine adorning public walls, beggars, transvestites in the traffic signals; garbage vomited by the sea, this city is definitely not something one can prepare for, it’s an overload on the senses.
However, there is Nina and he falls in love. There’s an element of mystery in her, yet, she’s so open, caring with the shelter kids, a truly free spirit, he muses. Things move pretty fast between them and in no time, they’re living together in her apartment with her feline companion Muffin whom Nina loves more than she loves anything in the universe.
Zeenia is seeing Melissa, a model as well, but unlike the crazy party girl that she is, Mel has a good head over her shoulders. They’re very much in love and share their Yari Road apartment with a crippled dog Zeenia had rescued as a pup from the garbage dumps of Andheri. Bhola is his name and they love him to bits and pieces.
A foreboding troubles Nina, a little girl visits her, from years caked in the dust of memories stored away in the HD of her mind. It’s her sister from when they were both seven. What is she trying to tell her? Why does she cry tears of blood? Why does she continuously ask for help? Why are their identities continually being mixed up?
Then one day, reality as they know it shatters into smithereens.
We start Chapter-1, A MALEFACTION with a gruesome murder, so vicious and personal that it’ll churn any hard-ass crime scene investigator’s stomach. Multiple savage stab wounds, chopped off testicles and a dingy hotel room in SOBO bathed in blood. THE PLAN is laughing; its final validity is ascertained. It exists!
The murderer, a woman in her early twenties sits catatonic over the dead body as billion thoughts flicker in her mind. On closer inspection, one can discover a catharsis in those eyes, no matter how dead they may seem otherwise.
The brute had to be destroyed before he can perpetrate such violence on an innocent again; Mahishashura had to be defeated by the Devi Durga.
Ya devi sarvabhuteshu shakti – rupena samsthita
Namas tasyai, namas tasyai, namas tasyai namo namah….
There is one face, with a white flowing beard that persists in her memory; it’s her dadu, the Bengali appellation for grandfather. Her dear beloved dadu!
Dadu had brought the two sisters up, after their parents had died in the chardham yatra during severe floods and landslides. Dadu was not the typical fast paced, money grabbing, spiritually barren materialist that you see today, he was a man who understood the fundamentals of action, reaction, of the karmic flow of things, imparted the hoary wisdom tradition of Sanatan Dharma to whatever degree he could to the girls. Also a painter and sculptor depicting surrealistic realities, he was a kriya yogi from the mystical lineage of Mahavatar Babaji.
What is kriya yoga?
It’s an ancient scientific tradition based on the practitioner residing in the blissful state of atman through various esoteric practises of pranayama, meditation and mantras which has been revived by Mahavatar Babaji during these times. Lord Krishna had given this science to Arjuna in the times of the Mahabharata, they say Sant Kabira, Guru Nanak, Meera Bai and Jesus were all practitioners of this art.
Dadu’s gurudeva happens to be Bhupendranath Sanyal Mahasaya, a friend and colleague of Rabindranath Tagore, a professor at Vishwabharati, Shantiniketan and the disciple of Lahiri Mahasaya to whom Babaji imparted this secret knowledge.
Dadu is one of the most important characters of THE PLAN, it’s due to his kriya-shakti Dr.V is guided through the dismal astral planes of existence.
Dr.V is unable to perceive his face, sees the outline and the white beard, a radiant emission of bio photons. Dadu shows him the past, their karmic connection, his evolution as different life forms, as different species and finally he meets Mahavatar Babaji. He ages thirty years in a few hours, is transported to the Himalayas and comes face to face with the kriya masters. He discovers the intrinsic holographic nature of reality and is shown different worlds and divergent realities, in the multiverses.
And then, a whack! Reality swirls and twirls again.
You don’t exist, I don’t exist, this story doesn’t exist, and we’re all as unreal as the Universe itself, Dr.V realises after a myriad of spiritual experiences. He had raped Zeenia as a corrective measure to turn her towards men.
Lesbianism to him is abhorrent, it’s a perversion and he decides to show her that a woman’s place is by her man, preferably in the kitchen, birthing his children and supporting him. What’s this woman’s lib? What’s this girl on girl? It’s just a subterfuge to get guys to buy porn, but how can it be a way of life? It’ll surely ruin the fabric of the family on which our society stands.
Little do we know that he’s had to deal with quite a bit in his childhood and has experienced one such corrective rape.
The exposition charts out this character’s point of view, his deep rooted misogyny and lesbophobia. We get glimpses of the afterlife embodied in numerous myths across the world through time.
We travel to the Judgement day of the dead; we experience the dismal astral planes of existence, the inhabitants of such realms are distressed souls with morbid expressions, hollowness, their very being.
Dr. V begins to explore the dark facets of his psycho-somatic make-up; he takes us through his abused and neglected childhood, he’d seen his father discipline his mother on his fifth birthday. His parents were dead that very day, his father having shot his mother and then committed suicide. But why?
The only remnant of that painful legacy is he himself, in this world, all alone, burning with hatred and resentment. We see him develop into a sociopath through medical school and later on he decides to become a plastic surgeon, what better way to play GOD?
He takes us on a journey through his love of bondage, S&M and erotic asphyxiation and other fetishes of a deeply disturbed mind. Materialism is his sole mantra as he worships his swanky wheels’, gold Rolexes, his eight thousand dollar suits and limited edition Mont Blanc pens and other fineries.
The Preludes, they were his escape, the repeating motifs sometimes stirred in him a deep spiritual yearning, sometimes they strangulated his very being, they awakened in him guilt and anguish, pathos and regret, the music is what kept him at least a bit human.
Dr.V liked to dress in drag, losing his identity to become his mother Cherlyn; it was a ploy to interact with her in some way. Often he’d become a little boy and play games with her, often he’d stroke himself down there, dressed as her. He’d cum with such intensity that it’d shock and pleasure him immensely.
“To err is human, to forgive, divine.” -POPE
We’re human so we err, how many of us can forgive?
To most of us it would appear as absurd, but Dr. V’s saviour is dadu, Zeenia and Nina’s grandfather who having risen to great spiritual heights can now discern the truth and decides to guide this lost soul. And finally, Dr. V realises the futility of the violence he has perpetrated against the girls. There is atonement for him too; he is saved by Zeenia who travels through time to stop him from witnessing that brute act on his fifth birthday which transformed his whole personality and made him the cold sociopath of tomorrow.
How did she do that, you ask? Do you not know that when spiritual giants like Babaji guide you, nothing is impossible, not even time travel! Besides the human body in itself is a time machine and the possibilities are infinite throughout the multiverses.
Babaji appears throughout this mystical narrative, as Thoth once when he saves Dr. V on the judgement day, he appears to Nina in the psych ward and his famous words Dera danda uthao are the foretellers of a reality shift.
There are also appearances of the other kriya masters and Rabindranath Tagore in the narrative, the ghosts of Sartre and Derrida are very strong influences here too. Tagore chides Nina for taking death too seriously, but is that even possible? This death, even though it occurred as deep sleep could not be taken lightly in any world, in any reality. To Nina this death was her own death and no words like serious or frivolous could give it any meaning or definition. Its meaning was too deep to fathom.
Death has been a very frequent visitor in Nina’s life and it has claimed every single person she really cared for, even her cat Muffin who was like her baby, but nothing could prepare her for what would come as an eventuality.
Zeenia catatonic, brain-dead in a vegetative state on the hospital bed and then she falls asleep. Did Nina manage to do it? Did she pull the plug as her sister telepathically communicated to her? What was Tagore doing there anyway and telling her of how Amal fell asleep? It took her a few seconds to remember Amal, the protagonist of his most famous play Dakghar!
Dadu is there, she needs him more than ever. Nina will sacrifice everything for her reality to shift. She deserves to be lying on that bed, dead, with her miserable poetry and cynicism, what sense does it make for Zeenia to be there? She is vibrant and fun, not a morose depressed soul. Zeenia was going to be a star and she, a bloody useless poet! What good is that?
Babaji watches her sacrifice, which from the petty human scale takes on a much grander cosmic connotation.
Nina hangs, for nine eternities on the great tree of life, the tree which is our greatest sacrifice. She gives everything of herself, she lets herself be split into two halves, one becomes the earth, the other the sky and she sacrifices herself for creation.
Nina, the primordial one and Zeenia is the “other” she desired for and not for a moment did she hesitate to perform the ultimate sacrifice.
What good will her sacrifice do? It saves Zeenia in the parallel reality; the rape does not happen as Nina stabs Dr. V to death before he can perpetrate any violence on her sister.
But Babaji’s game is not over. Zeenia is now shown the sacrifice that Nina has performed for her in the alternate reality. So what does she do? A tear for a tear, an eye for an eye, a life for a life?
How does this saga of multiple realities in the many worlds culminate?
There are alternate realities, different worlds where there are unique versions of you and me; these many worlds exist independently, but crossing over them is not so easy, but Nina manages to do it.
All possible realities exist, all possible outcomes exist, we may not be aware, but it does; in a different reality Nina may be penning down a story about the writer who’s conceived of THE PLAN. It’s absolutely probable.
This still is just the top layer of the narrative. THE PLAN is a multilayered, surrealistic piece laden with heavy symbolism from a plethora of myths and legends of the world, an enthralling journey that explores the archetypal mind.
This narrative is non linear, disjointed and fragmented, it conjures up fantastic surreal geographies and landscapes, climates and creatures, Rabindranath Tagore and the Steppenwolf. Time is not linear. There is nothing new in the thought, peruse the Vedanta and you will realize so; but to us it’s chronological because of our limited consciousness.
We’re unable to realize the Universe in all its intricacies, complexities and beauty. Through kriya yoga or spiritual practices or extra sensory perceptions certain individuals have been able to tap into a reservoir of energy-fields which reveal to her impossible realities and fantastic realms.
TAT TVAM ASI- THOU ART THAT, to elucidate it simply, you create your own reality as you’re the ultimate truth encased in flesh with blood gushing inside. YOU ARE THE UNIVERSE!!!
Parallel worlds, different possibilities, and the very nature of consciousness is explored through Science and metaphysics in this novel which is however steeped in Vedic, Tantric and other esoteric symbology making it smell of the soil of Bengal, Bombay and Khandala, the triadic key locations, as we cut back and forth looking into the lives, art and struggle of the main characters- the two girls, dadu and Dr.V.
The culture of this land steeped in ancient tradition is losing its ground to a fast paced globally oriented instant variety; that dichotomy plays a crucial role in this novel. How do we define our Indian/ Bengali roots? It’s also a song of angst at the confusion displayed by the youth about the orient and the occident, the two polarities tugging away at their very core, yet, the heart somewhere deep inside resonates with the rhythm of the roots as it dances away to the ulus, the dhak and the dhol.
There are glimpses of the world of modelling and acting, the unrealistic expectations thrust on these vulnerable girls by the media. The element of temptation is strong and youngsters often succumb to it resulting in disastrous consequences.
The apathy of society, the press, the legal and medical institutions and
their aficionados are all dealt with as is the new obsession with plastic surgery and other body modification techniques.
This novel has a feminist discourse whereby we seek to analyze the position of women in the twenty first century in India. Gender inequality is emphasized, whether she be divine like the Devi Durga or just a mere fictional character like Ophelia in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, in all cases she’s confronted by the sheer oppressive social structure she has to operate within.
Even Mahishashura laughed at Durga when he saw her, what I have to fight a woman he thought? Her glorious divinity did not even impress itself upon his convoluted mind; he refused to see beyond the fact that she was a woman.
Nina and Zeenia try to make a break from this matrix of domination, but at every step of the way, they’re faced with the domineering patriarchal society where women are systematically tortured, abused, pressurised and then discarded and it eventually leads to a corrective rape which is the tool of many a domineering society to subjugate free women.
Isn’t life just great for us women?
Delicate issues like rape and its aftermath, society’s apathy, judgemental people, PTSD and rape trauma syndrome are handled here to throw light on victim shaming, victim ostracisation and how one’s life is ruined after the act; after all she is just “property”.
Girls are being raped, hung, drowned, there is of course the rape in itself, but how does a man sodomise a child and then insert safety pins and shards of glass bottles in her delicate vagina and how do these miscreants set the victim ablaze after committing such heinous crimes?
There are gang rapes, public hangings, female foeticide, brutal molestation of children, and rampant abuse of small kids in institutions, slavery and sodomy. What do the dear netas say? Let’s not even go there.
What else do you expect a girl to do but want to end her life? Suicide it is. So much so for demanding justice!
This my friends is the society we live in, aren’t you absolutely ecstatic?
No wonder Nina pens these lines, “I feel like I’m in exile, in exile from Time, thrown into this world of ghosts and death and wonder, drifting through unknown seas of confusion, into a world unknown. The exile is from my own self, in an unconscious reality, a dreaded nightmare of new ghoulish phantasmal realities. Exile me out of time, exile me out of space.
How long have I travelled being in exile from the true home? Eternities, now please take me home, take me home.”