In a universe far away, there set a world in the center of the galaxy within which was a beautiful yet elegant city, a city of high bastions. It’s that kind of a city that would arise right out of a child’s imagination. We could just imagine the beautiful elements the build up this city, the streets twisting and turning in such a way that they form swindling stairways. But there remained a few streets flowing like water, gushing out of a drain. The streets lights standing tall and showing a gesture of festivity. The houses, standing tall, twisted with bright glowing roofs.
The city, in young Kublai’s head is filled with happiness and joy as you would see in every little child’s mind. The people, rejoicing over the memories that the kid has created over a period of time. But of course, at one point young Kublai had a deep dark times in his life within which his life was turned up side down which influenced his mind in such a way that his memories for his imaginary city was battered in the form of firings or some kind of war. A war that affected him in such a way that he could compare it to a game of chess.
Growing up, Kublai’s mind grew larger making his memories even more stronger. His memories being the day he found his first love, the time where he imagined their nuptial processions but at one point where he would feel like an usurper to the stranger’s life. Also the moment in life where Kublai’s memories constantly begins to fade away into an abyss where in the city in his mind starts to give away.
But alas! this was just a mere realisation that that controlled his young mind. A realisation that had been scratched into the corners of his mind telling him that his dark memories can’t really take a hold of his young mind, but it is those strong and wise memories that help him in building up to his life.
It’s been a century since Pandora let out the plague of misery unto the world. The people of the world were terrified of their now state of mortality and clung on to life with a desperate need to live. They lived life to the fullest till the days they departed. However, death was frightening. They wanted more. So the captured the souls of the dying ones and after turning their perishable vessels immortal they’d return the souls back to the body.
Eusapia of the living was too small a place for the dead, so they built one for the living, an identical city underground and the confraternity of hooded brothers were the only ones who could commute and exchange between the two.
Initially the city of the dead was changed according to the changes in the city of the living. The mummified bodies carried out activities they performed amongst the living but the dead having regained immortality had no need to carry out these mundane tasks unless they liked their tasks. Now having no direction to follow, the dead began to innovate. Changing the design of their Eusapia. The confraternity needing to maintain the identical cities started changing the city of the living.
When the members of the confraternity die, due to their nature during life, were compelled to carry out their duties, form the city of the dead they commute to the city of the living. The veil that separated the two cites has disappeared. No one knows which city is being made in whose image. People believe the dead are the true creators of the cities and they are all that will prevail.
After travelling different cities of this country, it was time to explore Tamara. Tamara, ‘the city of wonderland’ got me goosebumps each time I spoke about this city. I did not remember anything of the past except this beautiful experience of my lonely life. I lost my parents in a car car accident when i was 12, I was 22 now. My childhood went in grief and pain. The only way to overcome this distress was to travel. Travelling made me happy. So i decided to travel the world, meet new people explore different places.entering the city, I witnessed tall tress, huge houses, big doors, many four legged animals. Everything was three times bigger to its actual size. Nothing seemed usual to me. Fascinated by the sight of footprints of the rat into the house, I ran rapidly behind it. Being left alone from the new environment , I was clueless where to go. The very next minute my eyes flashed on a shadow of a person nearing me. My heartbeat was on race, my face went numb, I was unaware of what to do. I sat, hearing the shrieking footsteps of an unknown soul. He showed up, this handsome soul took my eyes and mind off everything around. Couldn’t get over that magical moment. It didn’t take me a second to realise that I had already fallen for him. That soul got me into million dreams, I approached him. All I did was just a smile, he had understood. Eyes were just enough to express my feelings for him. Leaving the house, going towards the woods I shared my experience with him. He smiled at me in mute. All was going good till I sang a song for him.He pushed me away, and said I reminded him of his past, which he had already forgotten. Henceforth, refused to see my face again. That got me all shattered and heartbroken. And made me come to a conclusion of leaving the city forever, and never turning back. I had not explored the city at all. All i experienced was an encounter with this handsome boy. After leaving the city, I realised that I failed to discover the most beautiful city. But I had no regrets, inspite of not discovering the city, I had experienced the most beautiful thing.
Living in Valdrada was not easy. As he woke up with the rising sun, he could already see a flash-forward of the rest of his day playing in his head. As he looked at his reflection in the lake stretching and getting out of bed, in his mind he could also see it two steps ahead, brushing his teeth and a few hours later walking down the railed street to meet his lover.
He had just woken up but he was so tired. He was tired of constantly knowing what was coming. He was tired of being so aware of his actions and of thinking so much about what he was doing, how he looked while he was doing it and how the world could see him. His mind was racing at the speed of light and he could not stop it even for a breath. He knew that the sacred lake of Valdrada had no mercy. It would reflect his every action. But it could also reflect his deepest thoughts and feelings. Nothing was private. That bothered him so much. For as long as he remembers, he’d never had a reckless moment or a private thought. Even as a young boy, he never did something silly like stealing candy from his mother’s jar because he knew that everyone could see it in the lake.
The voice of his conscience was the loudest voice in his head and the only one he listened to. What this voice didn’t tell him was that everyone in the city was experiencing the same thing. They would have care about how he looked in the lake but they were too engrossed looking at themselves, thinking about their own actions and concerned about how they looked in the lake. The sad part was none of them realized that this was a trap they had set up for themselves and that the world didn’t really see what they were doing or care about it. They were all anxious about their own reflections.
He reached the high street where they were going to meet and as they embraced each other he could not stop looking at his image in the lake and thinking about what that image was going to do. He loved her so much but he couldn’t get his own thoughts out of his head to make place for hers. He could never give attention to anybody but himself. He could not feel any moment because he was so concerned about the next. And he hated himself for it.
All he wanted was to stop hating himself. To be set free from the binds of the lake. To be able to spend just a few moments in her arms where he was not listening to his conscience. He wanted just one reckless moment that could outshine all the tiring memories he kept having of his future. He wanted one moment where he could interlock eyes with someone other than his own cold reflection. In his preoccupation, he didn’t know that she wished for the same thing and so did all the other people in Valdrada..
As i wander about in a negaitive space somewhere between heaven and hell i arrive at Argia. It was dry and airless clay packed the room to the ceiling ,the streets were filled with dirt. The city was cold and dark shadows walked through me . I felt an emptiness in me. There seemed to be no hope for dawn, yet there seemed to be a hope for escape.
I am a wandering soul. I was not welcomed in heaven for my sins and i was not welcome in hell either because i did not have enough sins. So where does a homless soul go? we either wander through negative spaces and parallel dimensions or we get a second chance by the supreme soul to pay for our sins in Argia and go to heaven.
From above, nothing of Argia can be seen. The place is deserted. I could hear screams sometimes and voices filled with pain and regret. I felt vulnerable,scared but i had no choice it was do or die. I was amongst various souls but still felt i was in exile. We were given fire for lunch and atoms of negativity for dinner.
We had to maintain determination and strive for survival to get to heaven. Everyday i would walk to an intersection where there was a dim light to find peace as no one would come there. But today i saw something unusual, i saw another soul hovering over my spot. There arent any friendly souls in Argia. I was hesitant to make conversation.
He said to me in a deep voice escape is inevitable, and we never spoke a word again. He was puny and meek in form but had more courage then all the souls combined in Argia. They beat us in hope for death everyday but did not let us die, the forsekeness started to grow on me but what that soul had said to me left a stong impact on my mind and so i never gave up.I atoned to my sins by baring the agony , finishing my chores and continued to eat fire and atoms of negativity without creating any in my mind.
The supreme soul seemed to impressed with my determination and decided to ask me a final question before i left Argia. Ss asked- what gave you the courage to stick around child? I said- well someone told me escape was inevitable and from that day on i decided my path. Ss- so it seems you made a friend,he smiled. Me- i wouldnt exactly call him a friend sir,more like colleague i added to the humor. Atlast i was set free and as i walked from Argia to a path of light i see the puny soul again, i said to him- i thought you were gone. He- i still havnt atoned to all my sins. Me- i wish you luck my friend i hope you get out someday. The soul smiled and said- i told you my friend escape is inevitable, i will get out someday. I smiled back and left i knew he would get a second chance afterall like i said he had more courage then all the souls combined in Argia and he was the only good memory i would have of it. He was Argia to me.
Calvino describe Adelma as city of dead’s he founds everyone who resembles are dead. He finds an old man during wholesale fish market who was loading sea urchins resembles the same man when the writer was small. Then comes a vegetable vendor who weighs a cabbage on scales, one girl was identical with one in his village who had gone mad for love and killed herself she was his grandmother.
He was lost or absorbed in that Kaleidoscope of wrinkles, eyes and pain. Then he realise that he arrived in a city where he is also dead and he thought that the further side of his life is not happy.
While i was brushing off the dust from the corners of the wall, I noticed a large web, an unusual one. I felt a mystical vibration in my veins as i began to walk towards this enormous web. Each strand interconnected, supporting the other. A city emerged through this web, a city beyond the realms of imagination was suspended below from these strands. The entire space was lit up with chandeliers like clusters in the sky. There was a weird feeling in the pit of my stomach, seeing this unfamiliar sight . i was unsure whether i should walk further but curiosity got the better of me, so i continued to walk. Suddenly i felt a hard bang on my head. I looked up to see, while another kid came swinging by.
The people living there were cold, each one secluded from the other. There was no form of connectivity among them. The houses made of sacks suspended from the strands of the web gave a feeling of warmth and security while they drifted away from the happenings of the city, into their own peaceful abodes.
They climbed down with the help of rope ladders hanging from the web. Each ones fist clenched tight around the poles of the ladder, with the fear of letting go.
I was tired, I believe i had walked too deep into this web not realising, too distracted by this unusual environment. My mind was muddled and i began to feel alone, afraid i would be trapped in this city forever. I Suddenly felt warmth on the surface of my skin a new understanding dawned upon me. It was almost like each strand had a story to tell some happy some sad but however these memories connected the souls of the people living here.
Just then i was taken aback by the flickering of her eyes. Her toes clenched. A wise woman of ageless beauty sat there emanating light from her heart, at that moment i web disappeared and i was set free.