Untitled 2012 Nov 16

Yet another untitled. Last time I spoke about restlessness. This time I shall talk about suffocation. And before you get confused about negativity of these posts and depressive language, please know that these are parts of a larger text that I am hoping to write before the end of this year (another month or so to go). And no, these dont reflect the state of my mind. 

This time let me talk about suffocation. 

Suffocation. Most of us know it as a state when we cant breathe. We are left gasping for breath and we cant seem to get enough oxygen in our lungs. We try harder to breathe and that whiff of air remains elusive. The line between life and death seems to blurring with each moment. You love life and hence you try harder. And the sheer effort of trying harder makes it all the more difficult and further blurs the thin thread. Tough to visualize? Ok, lets make it easier.

Do you know how to swim? In the relative safety of a swimming pool? Where you have life guards, floats and predictable shores? Think of the time when you were learning the art and science of swimming. The first few days. When the entire effort was focussed on just one thing - staying above the water level. Because once you went down under, you could not breathe and it was not a good situation to be in. You could hold you breath for a few seconds but after that you were left gasping for breath. While trying to breathe, water would rush into your mouth and lungs umpteen times. Most times, you would have coughed it out, lungs cant hold water, you see. Once in a while someone would have helped you clear your lungs. But suffocation, by water, was not a pleasant memory.

The ones who dont know swimming, imagine a huge polythene bag. Imagine wearing it like a cap, from top of your head and pull it all the way down to your neck. And tie it from the back. And make it taut. So much that you can see the outline of your face on the polythene. The eye pits, the nostrils and the open gaping mouth shouldn't just be evident, but be prominent, just like a student of art draws the outline of a human face. Now when the apparatus for experiment is in place, try breathing in. Every breath you take, will not bring that surge of air that you expect and are used to. But it will pull the thin and yet impervious polythene further in, will make it tighter and make it difficult to survive. And this will effect you on two dimensions. One, you arent breathing and you arent sending oxygen to your brain. And the lack of oxygen takes you a step closer to being a vegetable. Second, the head thinks that its breathing. I mean all its life, the head has told the lungs that the body needs oxygen and the lungs complied by getting air, filtering the oxygen and pumping it along with blood to million little arteries in your body. This, however, is amongst those few times when lungs refused to comply. And it leaves your head confused. Its like that double whammy.

Suffocation is thus a very very potent force. It brings you this close to the edge that you dont know that there's a way back. It brings out the will to survive, or it makes people let go, depending on how you are, who you are and what you are. Its like a test. A test that tells you what are you made up of, deep down inside. Everything else is a sham. The psychometric tests, written assessments, simulators, social pressure, relationships, emotions, all are good tools to evaluate an individual but nothing comes close to the test of suffocation.

Now the reason of the post. Do you have it in you to subject yourself to this test? And share results?

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