The church doors were about to shut out the last rays of sun for the day ,when i heard footsteps. Doing God`s work was exhausting . The colour of white had faded from my robe ,given way to the colour of mud , grease from a man`s daily ventures , taken into consideration that this day hadn’t been scripted synchronous to my daily routine. How men waste away, doing nothing ,and still get those stains on whatever the put on ? The sudden blackened stain of cigarette ash , that yellow mark of oyster soup spilled ,due to some annoying ,disturbing thoughts pondered upon. The small pellets of soil stuck on my robe due to that sudden rain which still hadn’t stopped .The small kids ,who came for a little crumb of bread hadn’t come today, i was unaware why they stayed away from their daily routine .They gave me, some sort of company ,on those forlorn evenings. I taught them how to live. God`s verses.
The man in the black coat had moved towards the confession room. His appearance was as shady as the co-existence of the red glow of sun and those drops of rain splashing on the window, both unaware of each other`s existence.
“Had you been late for a minute or two ,you would have returned , your prayers unanswered, and confessions unheard, i was about to close the door and retire for the night.” I was happy to have a visitor .
“Doesnt matter, i would have come anyways Father, i am leaving for New York tomorrow.i would have woken you up.”
“A desperate soul, in search of peace i perceive ,what is it that you want to share ?”
“Father, can i light a cigarette ?”
I had quit smoking seven years ago.But a part of my senses never got over it. The eagerness to inhale came back as unscathed as it was when i had deserted it. “Try not to.”But that aroma of burning tobacco had already reached this side, through that small slit created for the sound to pass from the other partition where the guilty sat. Maybe , i hated this procedure of not seeing faces. It was better to tell on his face that he shouldn’t light up, my not so erasable weakness.
“ Father ,What colour does love symbolise ?”
“red, is your confession taking off with love ?”
“ Why isn`t it blue ,or green ?”
“Because red symbolises desire ,and love is a creation of desire,in its most innocent form.”
“What I am trying to say is Love hasn’t inherited its colour. Someone conceived the idea that it could be red. ”
“you have something to confess, don’t you ?”
“Father what do you call this imagination of comparing or metamorphosing an object from its one form to other.”
“Personification, metaphor. I am too tired ,to answer your questions which puts my grasp of English in doubt.”
“Father my wife suffered from a rare form of mental transfiguration .
Have you heard of synesthesia ?”
‘yes, sort of where a person gets hallucinated “
“ absolutely not, hallucination is to conjure an object in completely another form. Synesthesia is quiet different . haven’t you heard of people who see colour in numbers ?”
“ ya, they see 1 in red, blue in 2, do these things even exist ?”
“Ya, the witness is standing right in front of you. Though you were a bit wrong in your explanation. The person knows the letter 1 is printed in black. But his conscious mind sees it to be red.”He passed a piece of paper through the slit. something was scratched on it with a pencil
“ If x is the object that our mind percieves , y is the form that a synesthete thinks of when he sees , touches or smells x. Audio, Video , Lexico synesthesia are quiet common though psychiatrists believe that there are more than 60 types of it.”
“ even if this disease exists ,whats it got to do with your confession ? “
“Father, it isn’t a disease. Richard Feynman had it. So did Nikola Tesla, Syd Barrett and John Mayer. They were proud to proclaim to the world that they had a sixth sense which others couldn’t perceive. Seeing objects or coloured smoke while listening to music is the most common form of Synesthesia. Have you used Windows media player ,Father ?”
“Are you trying to say the man who invented the “Visualizer” plug-in in WMP is a syenesthete ?”
“So the god`s man uses his computer as well .” he smiled.A “prickly” laugh.
“ Father have you read Dan Brown ?”
“Which one ?”
“The lost symbol .“
“remember those lines ...
Centered over the table hung a carefully calibrated light source that cycled through a spectrum of preordained colors, completing its cycle every six hours...The hour of Yanor is blue. The hour of Nasnia is red. The hour of Salam is white.”
“The description of Mala`khs house i suppose. “
“ya , another typical syenesthete who has the timeàcolour syndrome.”
“ My wife, father had a very unique kind of syenesthesia .She associated an object to any special action or quality of a human being . She never ate apple . She interwove apple with the feeling of guilt.”
“She involved her feelings to what she saw ?”
“ Ya ,what she saw through her mind-vision got connected with her feelings.
Remember “Shine on you Crazy diamond ” where Gilmour wrote “You cried for the moon ?”I could find only one human being on-record who had the same symptoms as my wife. Though Syd gathered it from extensive use of LSD. “
The rain had increased its pace.
“ It was raining one night , just like today . I returned from work to find my wife busy talking to someone. My first reaction was that she was through a phone call. But when i faced her, that small rug-doll on her arms , to whom she was whispering to , tore my world apart. “
“You don’t have a child ?”
“ We could never make one.She never endorsed adoption”
“she imagined the doll...”
His deep breath seemed to fit into my unfinished sentence.
“ I immediately took her to her doctor. I couldn’t let this seed grow more, though i knew it`s genesis.I knew this speck of disappointment would save her from drowning more and more into the whirlpool. She got admitted in a mental-sanctuary .”
“Did she get cured ?”
He stopped. Lit a second cigarette.
“ Then why are you here ?”
“ You seem to be in a hurry , Father.
Yes, she got rid of this projection of her synesthesia , but when it come to peace of mind, no stone was left unturned.The constant nagging fact that she could never be a mother , had never left her mind. She stopped communicating with the world, even i was not a part of her sordid but nevertheless important-to –me circle of life. “
“ What did you do ?”
“A little drug would have caused no harm. “
“You drugged her ?”
“ LSD, the only drug that can cause surreal synesthesia.
Father... she died of drug overdose yesterday.”
The white colour of thunder filled my part of the confession room. A lightning had struck somewhere near the church.