Wednesday, August 18, 2010


This came to me in a dream.


The Society for Travelling and Understanding Parallel Interstellar Dimensions


If I was going to blame anyone for my mother Menaka’s (celestial damsel) disappearance, I’d have at least two culprits, my grandmother Keshini (the one with beautiful hair) and her obsession with interdemensional portals, and my father ‘Gajendra’ (the elephant king) and his quest to record the most obscure sounding album the likes of this world has never heard.

But in order to get to our story, I must first tell you how it all begins.

The White Dwarf. There lives in my village a man known by many names – Janardan (the one who helps people), The White Dwarf, or ‘Jan’ amongst his followers. When one is told to go and find The White Dwarf, they would have a hard time looking around the sea of faces surrounding them – for Jan is neither white nor a dwarf. He is rather a foreboding man of grand stature, standing 6’4 with a long white beard and skin the colour of a golden sunrise.

The White Dwarf was once a great scholar, a scientist who studied the heavens and stars, who spent more time indoors with his magnificent telescope staring up the sky than he did with fellow peers and the general public. The White Dwarf was a shrewd man, ever observant of his surroundings, noticing every hair, every dust mote, keeping track of every star in the celestial body he was mapping, and never letting go of any material possession in his house.

Then one day he started noticing that things would go missing around the lab and his house, at first it was just the teaspoons, which was annoying unto itself, as no ganja tea tastes quite right being stirred with a fork. After the teaspoons started to disappear he noticed many other things that would go missing, his blue jumper, countless socks, and watches. Yet no matter how hard he looked for these treasured items – he could never find them. It was around this time that Janardan began research on his most controversial study to date – the search for space cracks in the boundaries between alternate universes and ways to infiltrate these dimensions.

Janardan believed that our world coexists with parallel universes, and cracks can appear in the universe, which would allow one to pass through and find themself in a parallel dimension.

Janardan was convinced that this is where all the spoons were going. That his laboratory was a hotspot for space cracks, and that tiny teaspoon shaped cracks were passing through his kitchen absorbing his cutlery into another universe.

Janardan felt that if it was possible for space-cracks to allow objects to pass through the barrier, than perhaps if a human found the right shape to fit into the space-crack then he too could infiltrate this new world.

For many hours Janardan would sit/stand/crouch/flex into different positions, holding it for hours on end trying to squeeze through space, believing that if he just held the position that eventually a crack in that particular shape would pass by and he would be through the portal and find himself in a magical new universe.

Janardan would try all sorts of places to pose in his mission to find space-cracks. In parks, on top of trees, on peoples balconies, underneath parked cars, crouched into a ball huddled under his desk for hours on end. It was not unusual in those early days of Janardans quest to find him perched somewhere around the city in a strange pose for days.

Janardan was a very charismatic man, and his many friends and fellow scholars would learn of his quest and begin to see that his outlandish theory could possibly hold true, as they also had many items go missing, some even had relatives and pets disappear and could find solace in Janardans teaching that if we persevered with our poses to squeeze through the space cracks we would eventually be reunited with our loved once and treasured possessions in another universe.

Janardan gathered quite a following, and it would seem to the unsuspecting passer-by that they were merely intense yoga fanatics, so the two societies of crackers (as they called themselves) and the general public (blockheads – named so as they were too blocky to pass though a space crack should it present itself) co-existed in harmony for many years.

Over time Janardan became known as the White Dwarf, namely because of his impressive white beard, and the fact that he one day announced to his followers that that is what they should refer to him as from now on.

And so the Society of Travelling and Understanding Interstellar Dimensions was formed. A group unto themselves who lived peacefully and healthily, rich in communal sharing and group support. A STUPID Group with open minds and open hearts.

STUPID moves around the landscape in all cities these days, small sects popping up everyday in another town – with members posing on skyscrapers, on top of pyramids, crawling into mine spaces, or casually posing in parks on their lunchbreaks in the middle of the workday. Many members posing as yoga teachers in the general public running classes in gyms and parks around the world aiming to raise awareness to the possibilities of opening young minds to a new way of thinking. Mostly though, they help tightly wound young professionals in their stretching, allowing an hour of peace to an overworked and stressed out work obsessed civilisation.

My Grandmother Keshini was a great student of STUPID, able to flex into the most impossible positions and earning much praise from the White Dwarf. She eventually moved out of home to follow the White Dwarf to the Great Land where he felt the highest rate of space cracks would be found in the open desert, upon a glorious mountain range, and canyons so deep one could peer for hours and never see the bottom. The White Dwarf felt that only away from cities and their toxic cement structures which were ‘too blocky’ to pass through a portal would the group have the best chance to move into the new world.

The society evolved onto living off the land, roaming the countryside in elephant huts, teepees and hammocks, the white dwarf living in a pyramid made from tin cans and plastic bottles, the only solid monument to be found on this magical plane.

Keshini had a daughter, who she named Menaka, who was by far the most flexible and beautiful creature anyone living in the area had ever seen. Menaka excelled in her STUPID studies and became a creature of awe amongst the men in the group. The White Dwarf felt that if anyone had a chance of cracking through to another dimension it was Keshini, and much hope and adoration was bestowed upon her.

The White Dwarf had an obsession with plastic bottles and tin cans, which he had witnessed in the Old Land the regular collection and hoarding of said items by what he called ‘government blockheads’ (who would never pass through a space-crack).

The Old Land habit of recycling these items, putting them out in large bins for collection in giant trucks just did not sit right with Janardan, and he began to think that perhaps this recycling gimmick was just a way for the government to absorb more funds and precious materials off the townspeople, and so he began collecting plastic bottles and tin cans and storing them around his house, thinking they would be valuable in the New World, and proudly displayed his collection to the followers in his clan, whom also adopted the behaviour of collection and display in their own homes.

When my mother Keshini met my father Gajendra, he had a collection of plastic bottles the likes of which she had never seen, a pile so high and mighty that her young heart was smitten with desire for the young collector, and so they began their love affair of plastic and tin can collection, while working earnestly on albums for the society to listen to called STUPID Music.

My father could play any instrument in existence, and my mothers lessons from the White Dwarf had taught her the value of everyday items, and so they produced many many albums of STUPID Music – the sounds of blankets, the sounds of lamps, the sounds of an elephants tail, and up until my mothers disappearance they were working on their most controversial recording to date – the sounds of space-cracks.


Once a year my family would trek into the city to visit my Ajji and Ajja, they are my fathers parents and live in the middle of the city surrounded by what feels like millions of people.

My Ajja used to be a world famous concert pianist and hangs a photo of himself playing at the Emperors birthday celebrations in the hallway so it is the first thing you see when you enter his house. My father inherited my Ajja’s talent for music and found he could play any instrument in existance like he’d been playing it his whole life. Unfortunately my father wanted to go into Pop Music which completely infuriated my Ajja who considers anything not a piano requiem to be merely noise pollution.

My father became quite famous with his music and it was while he was on tour that he met my mother and they fell in love. My Ajji and Ajja don’t under the STUPID way we live, and are forever calling my father a hobo who lives in a toilet shack on an elephants back.

When we make our trips into the city my father is very careful that we contain our STUPIDness around his parents, we must clean and put away all our plastic bottles and tin cans, our elephant gets an extra special wash, and we try to make our house look less shack-like.

Manouvering through the city on an elephants back is some feat, and my father is very adept at steering her. He sit’s up the front on his little seat, whispering things into her ears and we make a series of seemingly random left and right turns before we arrive at Ajja’s house, my mother tells me my father speaks fluent elephant so that’s handy.

“Gajendra! Park that elephant round the back will you? I don’t want any giant elephant poos on my lexus!” Ajja and Ajji meet us at the front door and it is a very exciting moment when everyone hugs and sees each other for the first time in many months.

They tell me how much I have grown, my father that he needs to upgrade his shack, my mother that she is more beautiful everytime they see her, and Keshini brings down a big bowl of marigolds we have picked from the land as a present for Ajji.

We will usually stay a week, we stay in our house which seems to perplex Ajja on a daily basis

“why are you sleeping in that doghouse when we have perfectly good bedrooms for you in our house Gajendra?”

“father, it is not so bad as you think, you should come inside, Keshini has made a very special tea and you could see the painting that little Rishi has been doing”

“what is he painting it on? a grain of rice?? I don’t think anyone else is fitting inside that thing, I’ll just wait out here thanks”

Each morning when we come outside for our STUPID exercises Ajja peers out at us from his kitchen window expecting to see us creeping inside his house to make food and clean ourselves, he has no idea that we have no need to do that as our house has 3 bathrooms and a generous kitchen, he’s just never been inside so he wouldn’t know.

Ajja and Ajji have never understood being STUPID, father tells me that its because his dad has a massive blockage from his upbringing, that he needs to have a more open mind – if he did, then he would see our wonderful warm home for what it was, rather than some flea infested shack – which Ajja makes no secret that given the chance he would burn down our beloved house to rid us of that “decrepit old diseased hutt..”

Keshini likes to keep up with her STUPID exercises and will do ‘the crab’ for hours in Ajja’s garden, and in many other places around their house in the hopes of finding a space crack in the most unlikeliest of places.. When we came to visit my Ajji’s when I was a little boy, you would hear screams and smashing noises when someone had opened a door and found Keshini inside in one of her complex poses. These days they are used to it, and wouldn’t even blink an eyelid if they found her inside their flowerpot in her ‘dead tree’ stance for hours on end.

Ajja loves my mother, and he is her biggest fan when it comes to music. For a man who peers down his nose at anything not operatic he has found a definite soulmate in my mother and the two can sit for hours on end making up new songs while he plays piano and my mother turns the microwave on and dances around the room all night.

On this particular visit my Ajja and Mother had been coming up with a score for the latest album my parents planned on releasing “the sounds of space cracks” my father will sit in on these sessions playing tabla, piano, sitar, Ajja arranges the composition, Mother readys the microphone, and they compose that way for hours.

Depsite all our differences, we have a tremendously wonderful time on our vists, even our elephant is treated to a daily showering and cleaning session from Ajji, who mainly does it out of her obsessive compulsive cleaning disorder, but our elephant doen’t complain, except when Ajji gets into one of her scrubbing trances and will buff the skin away on our elephant butt until she is raw. That’s when you know showertime is over, when Ajji comes inside sopping wet from our elephant dumping the water bucket all over to get her to stop cleaning.

Aside from the compositions that Ajja contributes for the sale of STUPID music, (something he would never admit too), we have a festive time with lots of spicy dinners, singing, dancing, and appreciating each others company for the small amount of time we spend together.

One of Ajja’s neighbours - Tushar has been STUPID for almost as long as my Ajja can remember, my father and Tushar used be friends and to do dual-poses for hours in the backyard when they were growing up, a form of dual-STUPIDity, where one can entangle themselves in the most curious of poses, however injury is rife when you try to achieve these levels of STUPIDity and most people give up after having their partner stand on their nutsack, or have a toe in the eyeball for hours on end. Noone has ever achieved a dual space crack before, so the practise is left only to the most extreme of us.

We always visit Tushar when we are there, because he always has something exciting to show us. Tushar favours himself as quite the entrepreneur, and is always very keen to show my father his latest scheme.

This time he proudly brought out his latest venture – STUPID water.

“what’s so STUPID about it?”

“well, you can pour it on yourself, that would help with your STUPIDness, or you could drink it to internalise your STUPIDness”

Tushar has been selling STUPID water under the proviso that it actually helps with space cracking. He belives that by pouring the water on yourself before going into your poses you will be more slippery and be able to slip through a crack more easily, or drinking it might help with becoming more focused when you are about to embark on a STUPID session.

My father couldn’t believe he was actually selling the stuff to people

“well there’s a lot of STUPID people out there…”

On the morning we left I hugged my Ajji and Ajja goodbye, Keshini was nowhere to be found until someone spotted her hanging off their aerial on the roof, my parents bid them a fond farewell and we set off on our elephant, as always Ajja lets us know if we ever want to stop living this disappointing bohemian lifestyle that there is a warm bed waiting for us in their house.

Ajja and Ajji never saw my mother again after that visit.


The Chantal said...

Cool story man.

Anonymous said...


and I wanna live on an elephant