The Man with Heart
by Abha Iyengar
Part 1 appears
in this issue.
The meeting at the Congress of New Dimensions was a walkover for Arnab. When he walked in with TT2, people had stared, their eyes distended. A couple of them had smirked. A hum was in the air, far above that of the air-conditioning. Of course, TT2 was a beautiful man. So they were attracted to him. But beauty alone would not move them.
There were many new inventions, and there was much discussion about what would work and what was impossible. There room was rife with skepticism; they seemed to have seen it all. They wanted something new, something unusual.
TT2 had been sitting quietly next to Arnab, absorbing the collective stare of all on him.
Arnab now presented TT2. Both of them walked onto the stage. Arnab, four feet, shock of multi-coloured hair that was his only vanity, flat-featured, big-faced, round-bellied, round-legged. Next to him stood TT2, his height reduced to 5½ feet to adapt to the low ceiling of the space; well-proportioned, a beautiful-featured and calm-eyed Shiva transported onto Earth.
Arnab said, “I have been trying to bring someone onto Earth who could give us the meaning of life again.
“Our spirits are jaded. We have had enough of whatever we are capable of having. We need to find some other places in our minds that are not linked to work, performance, results, and nothing else.
“We do not understand song and dance. In fact, TT2 had suggested that I sing and dance with him, but I ran away from the idea. I feel scared of upsetting myself, and upsetting the Universe. Yet, we need to make changes. I do find that with him around, I have been able to sleep and rest like never before.”
“So what does he do? What is so great to have him around? He just looks good enough to eat. Maybe we can eat him?” The whole hall was alive with possibilities.
“No. That is not the way to taste him. I can tell you that he is slowly making a difference to my life. He has to live if we are to benefit from him.”
There was a strong protest from the gallery. They wanted to taste him, they felt they could get a share of him in this way.
TT2 began to speak. His voice was slow, mellifluous. “I can see the saliva dripping on many of your faces. Kindly wipe it off. It is rude to show how much you want to gobble someone up. While you are willing to do this, at the same time you are not willing to know the essence of me, of how I can get you in touch with that part of you that you know nothing about”
Jeers followed from the gallery. Arnab was not aggrieved. He was sure that TT2 would win the day for him.
“We know all about us,” they said. “Tell us about you.”
TT2 said, “I am that part of you that you have lost. That is me.”
* * *
TT2 had also said to them, in his soft voice that never rose beyond a certain even keel and level, that he was available at all times. Even when the rest of the Earth shut down for recovery, when the juices that kept the brains going needed to be replenished, before the switch was thrown at the centre of control to make all of them come once again to life, he was available.
So when, despite the switch being thrown, they were unable to sleep or put their minds to rest, TT2 was there to talk with them. He would take them to the place of dreams and well-being, of love and imaginations, where ecstasy could be experienced through energy and spirit enhancement, where old thoughts and frustrations could be put away and replaced with new ideas and feelings.
As he spoke, the voices died down. A hush fell on the gathering.
At the end of it all, Arnab was congratulated. A new voice had indeed been introduced into the world. The Congress of New Dimensions wanted him to take TT2 to the World Congress meet in two months. They were sure he had introduced a big breakthrough.
His fellow scientists crowded around him, pressing his hand and congratulating him. Arnab could not tell them the truth: that he had just uttered a word, and the TT2 had come into being.
He went for his moonlight walk that night. TT2 accompanied him for the first time. People looked at him with awe. They were already speaking about him in hushed whispers.
* * *
The queue had started forming outside Arnab’s pad. Everyone wanted to experience TT2. They now called him T-Squared Two instead of TT Two as Arnab had called him at first. It became very difficult to manage the people.
Arnab was walking on Cloud Nine, for everyone was congratulating him. The World Congress had already indicated to him that the prestigious Crown of Thorns was in his pocket.
After a couple of months, TT2 said to Arnab, “We need to move to a bigger space; it is difficult to conduct healings here.” Arnab, glowing with confidence, put a request to the High Order, and it was instantly approved.
They moved to Green Fields, a very open area, where the sunflowers bloomed and goats grazed. People were actually smiling all over the world. They felt happier and more content. There had been instances of people falling in love as well, something unheard of just those few months ago.
At the Congress, after Arnab was crowned with the Crown of Thorns, TT2 was invited on the stage to give a speech.
TT2 began to speak, “As you can see, by getting in touch with your hearts, you make them expand. They begin to feel. You will find that you are becoming calmer, more relaxed, and your face radiates newfound charm. People get attracted to you, they want to be your friend. You are in touch with your inner self, the real self...”
The hall reverberated with claps as the world stood up and acknowledged him. Stream of consciousness news was pouring into all the news channels, with everybody crowding around TT2.
Arnab felt something. Was it the crown that was pricking him?
* * *
Arnab had been feeling these little twinges off and on for some time. He had tried to ignore them, and suppress them, especially since he knew that TT2 could read his mind.
TT2’s popularity was growing by leaps and bounds. Arnab found that he could not do anything else, he had become a manager of TT2’s discourses, meetings, reflections, TEDINFINITE talks and public relations. His multi-coloured hair was developing shades of grey. His dependency on TT2 was also growing. He had to have what he called his “Sleep Lullaby” recited to him every night by TT2 before sleep came to him.
A sense of unease began to surface.
The next Congress gathering was scheduled to take place in Geneva, a few months after Arnab had received his crown. TT2 was the Guest of Honour. He was to give the main speech. Arnab’s name was not even mentioned.
TT2 smiled. “I know you are feeling upset about this, Arnie,” he said.
I wish he would not call me that, Arnab thought.
“Arnie is a very nice name. It suits you more than Arnab. And don’t get upset. You have given feelings and love back to the world. If it means sacrificing yourself, don’t you think it is worth it?”
With that, TT2 went online. He was speaking to students on “love in relationships.” He said it was a process of illumination, through which one found one’s soul mate. It was a way to find one’s destiny. His handsome face glowed.
“Stop the brain, open the heart,” he said.
It was night now, and Arnab left for his walk, feeling quite alone.
* * *
They landed in Geneva via their respective shuttles. A crowd surrounded TT2. Arnab pushed his way through to stand beside him.
He clapped his hands. “You people have often said that you want a taste of TT2. Take him, he is yours. What you won’t get in words, you will get in the flesh.”
The crowd had been waiting for just such a prompt. They went berserk, lunging and pushing and tearing.
TT2 opened his third eye. A circle of fire surrounded him. They could not come close to him. And then TT2 vanished.
Arnab was shaken but happy. He had not felt so happy for a long time. That ends “That Ass 2”, he told himself.
It was not to be. He was not to be let off so easily. The Congress was not happy with the end of TT2. They laid the blame at his door. “We need to make more of him,” they said.
“What did you use to design his brain? Tell us the formulae, the chemicals that you used,” they said.
“I will tell the world everything in due course,” he said. He was glad to get the attention once again.
* * *
That night he could not sleep. He felt deprived. Phone calls began to come in. People were suffering all over the world. They wanted TT2. Arnab could not deliver.
Eventually, all this told on him. He was last seen at the ghats, where some people still brought their dead to perform the last rites. He followed them, trying to wake up each corpse by saying, “Tathaastu.”
The world forgot TT2, and returned to their big minds, bigger visions and tiny emotions. Nothing consumed them once again: neither jealousy nor love. They just felt an enervating despair. They were in search for the next big thing to help solve this. The TT3.
Copyright © 2014 by Abha Iyengar