Don’t Imagine, Read!

Don't Imagine, Read!

“shooting at fake targets with feebles arms and bad eyesight is what life is all about”, said the painter.

“what if i make my arms strong and my eyesight sharp?”

“you can’t!”

“what should i do then?”

“find real targets!”

“where are they?”

“very near!”

“beyond those fake birds?”

“nearer than you can ever imagine!”

“i don’t imagine”

“then emphasize on the first word, READ!”

“have you?”

“No i just imagine!”



The Poet of the East’s Saqinama is one of the greatest poems ever written in Urdu Language. This translation just gives the meaning of his words and not even a touch of the beauty of original Urdu text. The meaning is as relevant today as was 100 years ago. for real Iqbal, this must be read in Urdu. Its very lengthy but i managed to read it thoroughly. Translation is not mine. i found it on some other guy’s blog.

Spring’s caravan has pitched its tent
At the foot of the mountain, making it look like the fabled garden of Iram

With a riot of flowers—iris, rose, narcissus, lily, eglantine,
And tulip in its martyr’s gory shroud

The landscape is all covered with a multi-coloured sheet,
and color flows even in the veins of stones like blood

The breezes blow intoxicatingly in a blue sky,
so that the birds do not feel like remaining in their nests and fly about

Look at that hill‐stream. How it halts
and bends and glides and swings around

Jumping, slipping and then, collecting itself,
surges up and rushes on

Should it be stemmed, it would burst the rocks
and cut open the hills’ hearts

This hill‐stream, my fair saki,
has a message to give us concerning life.

Attune me to this message and,
Come, let us celebrate the spring, which comes but once a year.

Give me that wine whose Whose light illuminates life’s mind,
whose heat burns up the veils of hidden things,

Give me that wine whose heat burns up the veils of hidden things,
Whose light illuminates life’s mind,

Come lift the veil off mysteries,
And make a mere wagtail take eagles on.

The times have changed; so have their signs.
New is the music, and so are the instruments.

The magic of the West has been exposed,
And the magician stands aghast.

The politics of the ancient regime are in disgrace:
world is tired of kings.

The age of capitalism has passed,
The juggler, having shown his tricks, has gone.

The Chinese are awaking from their heavy sleep.
Fresh springs are bubbling forth from Himalayan heights.

Cut open is the heart of Sinai and Faran,
And Moses waits for a renewed theophany.

The Muslim, zealous though about God’s unity,
Still wears the Hindu’s sacred thread around his heart.

In culture, mysticism, canon law and dialectical theology—
all worships idols of non‐Arab make.

The truth has been lost in absurdities,
And in traditions is this Ummah rooted still.

The preacher’s sermon may beguile your heart,
But there is no sincerity, no warmth in it.

It is a tangled skein of lexical complexities,
Sought to be solved by logical dexterity.

The Sufi, once foremost in serving God,
Unmatched in love and ardency of soul

Has got lost in the maze of Ajam’s ideas:
At half‐way stations is this traveller stuck.

Gone out is the fire of love. O how sad!
The Muslim is a heap of ashes, nothing more.

O Saki, serve me that old wine again,
Let that old cup go round once more.

Lend me the wings of Love and make me fly.
Turn my dust to fireflies that flit about.

Free young men’s minds from slavery,
And make them mentors of the old.

The millat’s tree is green thanks to your sap:
You are its body’s breath

Give it the strength to vibrate and to throb;
Lend it the heart of Murtaza, the fervor of Siddiq

Drive that old arrow through its heart
Which will revive desire in it.

Blest be the stars of Your heavens; blest be
Those who spend their nights praying to You.

Endow the young with fervent souls;
Grant them my vision and my love.

I am a boat in a whirlpool, stuck in one place.
Rescue me and grant me mobility.

Tell me about the mysteries of life and death,
For Your eye spans the universe.

The sleeplessness of my tear‐shedding eyes;
The restless yearnings hidden in my heart;

The prayer-fulness of my cries at midnight;
My melting into tears in solitude and company;

My aspirations, longings and desires;
My hopes and quests;

my mind that mirrors the time                                                                                                       a field for thought’s gazelles to roam

My heart, which is a battlefield of life,
Where legions of doubt war with faith

O Saki, these are all my wealth;
Possessing them, I am rich in my poverty.

Distribute all these riches in my caravan,
And let them come to some good use

In constant motion is the sea of life.
All things display life’s volatility.

It is life that puts bodies forth,
Just as a whiff of smoke becomes a flame.

Unpleasant to it is the company of matter,
but it likes to see its striving to improve itself

It is fixed, yet in motion,
straining at the leash to get free of the elements

A unity imprisoned in diversity,
It is unique in every form and shape.

This world, this sex‐dimensioned idol‐house,
This Somnat is all of its fashioning.

It is not its way to repeat itself:
You are not I, I am not you.

With you and me and others it has formed assemblies,
but is solitary in their midst.

It shines in lightning, in the stars,
In silver, gold and mercury.

Its is the wilderness, its are the trees,
Its are the roses, its are the thorns.

It pulverizes mountains with its might,
And captures Gabriel and hoors in its noose.

There is a silver‐grey, brave falcon here,
Its talons covered with the blood of partridges

And over there, far from its nest,
A pigeon helplessly aflutter in a snare.

Stability is an illusion of eyes,
For every atom in the world pulsates with change.

The caravan of life does not halt anywhere,
For every moment life renews itself.

Do you think life is great mystery?
No, it is only a desire to soar aloft.

It has seen many ups and downs,
But likes to travel rather than to reach the goal;

For travelling is life’s outfit: it
Is real, while rest is appearance, nothing more

Life loves to tie up knots and then unravel them.
Its pleasure lies in throbbing and in fluttering.

When it found itself face to face with death,
It learned that it was hard to ward it off.

So it descended to this world, where retribution is the law,
And lay in wait for death.

Because of its love of duality, It sorted all things out in pairs,
And then arose, host after host, from mountains and from wilderness.

It was a branch from which flowers kept shedding
and bursting forth afresh.

The ignorant think that life’s impress is ephemeral,
but it fades only to emerge anew

Extremely fleet‐footed, It reaches its goal instantly.
From time’s beginning to its end is but one moment’s way for it.

Time, chain of days and nights, is nothing but
A name for breathing in and breathing out.

What is this whiff of air called breath? A sword,
and selfhood is that sword’s sharp edge.

What is the self? Life’s inner mystery,
The universe’s waking up.

The self, drunk with display, is also fond of solitude;
—an ocean in a drop.

It shines in light and darkness both;
Displayed in individuals, yet free from them

Behind it is eternity without beginning, and before it is eternity without an end;
It is unlimited both ways.

Swept on by the waves of time’s stream,And at the mercy of their buffeting

It yet changes the course of its quest constantly,
Renewing its way of looking at things.

For it huge rocks are light as air:
It smashes mountains into shifting sand

Both its beginning and its end are journeying,
For constant motion is its being’s law

It is a ray of light in the moon and a spark in stone. It dwells
In colors, but is colorless itself.

It has nothing to do with more or less,
With light and low, with fore and aft.

Since time’s beginning it was struggling to emerge,
And finally emerged in the dust that is man.

It is in your heart that the Self has its abode,
As the sky is reflected in the pupil of the eye

To one who treasures his self,
bread won at the cost of self‐respect is gall.

He values only bread
he gains with head held high.

Abjure the pomp and might of a Mahmud;
Preserve your self, do not be an Ayaz.

Worth offering is only that prostration
which makes all others forbidden acts.

This world, this riot of colors and of sounds,
Which is under the sway of death,

This idol‐house of eye and ear,
In which to live is but to eat and drink,

Is nothing but the Self’s initial stage.
O traveller, it is not your final goal.

The fire that is you has not come out of this heap of dust.
You have not come out of this world; It has come out of you.

Smash up this mountainous blockade,
Go further on and break out oft his magic ring of time and space.

God’s lion is the self;
Its quarry are both earth and sky.

There are a hundred worlds still to appear,
For Being’s mind has not drained of its creative capabilities.

All latent worlds are waiting for releasing blows
From your dynamic action and exuberant thought

It is the purpose of the revolution of the spheres
That your selfhood should be revealed to you.

You are the conqueror of this world of good and evil.
How can I tell you The whole of your long history?

Words are but a strait‐jacket for reality:
Reality is a mirror, and speech the coating that makes it opaque.

Breath’s candle is alight within my breast,
But my power of utterance cries halt.

Should I fly even a hairbreadth too high,
The blaze of glory would burn up my wings.

The music band Junoon has also made a song called Saqinama based on this poem.

we are each other

we are each other

“i was once kidnapped. by none other than the aliens. they ate up my ear, just to taste human meat. (whats in a fking ear?)
well , i was not the only prisoner. the girl i was engaged to be married to was kidnapped too. together? yes together! they ate up her ear too. they said hers is tastier. and i said yes beacause my ears constantly listen to her noise. and when they had eaten both our ears, an old alien came and asked us, “who are you?”

“we are each other”, the fiancee said.

“don’t act dramatic fiancee, they will eat you!”, i shouted at her.

“i can’t hear you, i have no ears!”

“why didn’t you eat her tongue?”

they were impressed by her and made her their queen. then they introduced a new coin of alien money with this picture engraved on it.

that was me telling my grandson the story when he found the coin in my closet.


this moment can be a story one day. as i walked into my room, the sweet smell of roses took my breath away. my mother had changed the flowers in the vase. she knows my habits. but when she is away. the roses’ perfume mixes with my cigarette’s smoke and the fragrance is even more ecstatic. since she knows every corner of my room, i keep cigarettes in my bag. i took one out and lighted it. with the smoke’s infusion in the air, the scenes from today’s day became live again in my mind’s eye. i was standing at the bus-stop. the bus which i use is less in number but travels fast on its route. still recovering from the monday blues, i could hardly remember the name of my new assistant.i had not caught the name when manager had introduced him to me. one of those boys from a wealthy family he seemed where the father is a successful businessman and elder brother a successful businessman too but the grandfather, a hardworking frail old man who raised the business from scratch. the white shirt with the navy blue tie and even darker blue trousers suited his white complexion. the look of that fresh graduate apparent on his face but he looked a little aged than other newly hired assistants. the radiance of his face made him stand out. i had the same spirit when i had joined the company six years ago but I was employed on merit (i thought otherwise of him). he seemed arrogant from the sarcastic look in his eyes as if accusing me of something as i shook his hands as.. isn’t it funny how i remember my unreal perception of look in his eye and not his name?

The bus came and i climbed on to the back door, thrust in to avoid lingering on the foot pedals at the door. “araam se bhai” (easy, man!), said someone on whose foot i stepped.

i looked at myself in the mirror making cigarette smoke circles. “smoking kills you”, Aalia  had said when i had excused for going to the smoking area after lunch. “We are mortal anyway, aren’t we?”, i had replied.

“how long have you been smoking?”,she asked as we walked towards the door.

“since college!”

“and you were how old then?”

“i don’t know, seventeen , i think!”

“weren’t those things banned for teenagers?”

“yes they were but we used to ask the security guard, Khan Bahadur to bring us the cigarettes for a small commission.”


“myself and Ghulam Hussain!”

“the friend who is a drug addict now?”

I nodded slightly. I met Ghulam in college. he was a handsome man. in comparison with him i looked commonplace.but he was engulfed in drugs afterwards and barely finished college. my father had abstained me since then from having any contacts with him. and our year old friendship died. i never met him again. why had i told her that Ghulam was an addict. but that was two years ago. the woman has very sharp memory. i feared that she wont make a good wife since i  found her peering into everything including my contacts in the diary i kept. everyone in the office knew that we had a love affair going on. the news was spread when some peon watched us go hand in hand in the poorly lit stairway. there had been a tragedy with her family that day and i,as a symbol of support had to hold her shivering hand.

“why don’t you stop smoking?”

“i cannot now!”

“you should at least try!”

“i love smoking. i don’t want to leave it”

“but you will be an easier target of asthma, lung cancer, throat cancer,mouth cancer,emphysema , COPD!”

“what the hell is COPD?”

“tobacco reduces man power……!”

“SHUT UP!!!!!”

and she went away to her cabin, giggling.

i jumped out of the bus quickly and thanked God for getting me out of the messy vehicle safe and complete. i had lost my tooth during one such ride in university days and Aalia thinks that made my grin cuter.

the manager was waiting for me at the office.

“this guy is supposed to be here just for some experience. the managing director personally called me to take him under my charge. so you got to be easy with him. just a matter of six months. the director told me he is the son of his friend and has recovered from a fatal disease. after six months he will join his father’s business.”

“he seemed very enthusiastic, didn’t he?”, i said.

“that’s the power of medicine i think”

“what’s his name?”

“Ghulam Hussain”

Shaking hands

Now the following is an intelligently thoughtful story about a very common behaviour of people. Who has written it? you may have guessed it. O.Henry. it is my favourite. all of his stories are. i am very sure that everyone of us has been Ikey Snigglefritz once. The title is different again.  Read this when you are feeling uninspired but free. English is bit difficult as this was written somewhere between 1900-1910. but that doesn’t stale the freshness of this idea.

At the stroke of six Ikey Snigglefritz laid down his goose. Ikey was
a tailor’s apprentice. Are there tailor’s apprentices nowadays?
At any rate, Ikey toiled and snipped and basted and pressed and
patched and sponged all day in the steamy fetor of a tailor-shop.
But when work was done Ikey hitched his wagon to such stars as his
firmament let shine.
It was Saturday night, and the boss laid twelve begrimed and
begrudged dollars in his hand. Ikey dabbled discreetly in water,
donned coat, hat and collar with its frazzled tie and chalcedony
pin, and set forth in pursuit of his ideals.
For each of us, when our day’s work is done, must seek our ideal,
whether it be love or pinochle or lobster a la Newburg, or the sweet
silence of the musty bookshelves.
Behold Ikey as he ambles up the street beneath the roaring “El”
between the rows of reeking sweat-shops. Pallid, stooping,
insignificant, squalid, doomed to exist forever in penury of body
and mind, yet, as he swings his cheap cane and projects the noisome
inhalations from his cigarette you perceive that he nurtures in his
narrow bosom the bacillus of society.
Ikey’s legs carried him to and into that famous place of
entertainment known as the Cafe Maginnis–famous because it was the
rendezvous of Billy McMahan, the greatest man, the most wonderful
man, Ikey thought, that the world had ever produced.
Billy McMahan was the district leader. Upon him the Tiger purred,
and his hand held manna to scatter. Now, as Ikey entered, McMahan
stood, flushed and triumphant and mighty, the centre of a huzzaing
concourse of his lieutenants and constituents. It seems there had
been an election; a signal victory had been won; the city had been
swept back into line by a resistless besom of ballots.
Ikey slunk along the bar and gazed, breath-quickened, at his idol.
How magnificent was Billy McMahan, with his great, smooth, laughing
face; his gray eye, shrewd as a chicken hawk’s; his diamond ring,
his voice like a bugle call, his prince’s air, his plump and active
roll of money, his clarion call to friend and comrade–oh, what a
king of men he was! How he obscured his lieutenants, though they
themselves loomed large and serious, blue of chin and important
of mien, with hands buried deep in the pockets of their short
overcoats! But Billy–oh, what small avail are words to paint for
you his glory as seen by Ikey Snigglefritz!
The Cafe Maginnis rang to the note of victory. The white-coated
bartenders threw themselves featfully upon bottle, cork and glass.
From a score of clear Havanas the air received its paradox of
clouds. The leal and the hopeful shook Billy McMahan’s hand. And
there was born suddenly in the worshipful soul of Ikey Snigglefritz
an audacious, thrilling impulse.
He stepped forward into the little cleared space in which majesty
moved, and held out his hand.
Billy McMahan grasped it unhesitatingly, shook it and smiled.
Made mad now by the gods who were about to destroy him, Ikey threw
away his scabbard and charged upon Olympus.
“Have a drink with me, Billy,” he said familiarly, “you and your
“Don’t mind if I do, old man,” said the great leader, “just to keep
the ball rolling.”
The last spark of Ikey’s reason fled.
“Wine,” he called to the bartender, waving a trembling hand.
The corks of three bottles were drawn; the champagne bubbled in
the long row of glasses set upon the bar. Billy McMahan took his
and nodded, with his beaming smile, at Ikey. The lieutenants and
satellites took theirs and growled “Here’s to you.” Ikey took his
nectar in delirium. All drank.
Ikey threw his week’s wages in a crumpled roll upon the bar.
“C’rect,” said the bartender, smoothing the twelve one-dollar notes.
The crowd surged around Billy McMahan again. Some one was telling
how Brannigan fixed ’em over in the Eleventh. Ikey leaned against
the bar a while, and then went out.
He went down Hester street and up Chrystie, and down Delancey to
where he lived. And there his women folk, a bibulous mother and
three dingy sisters, pounced upon him for his wages. And at his
confession they shrieked and objurgated him in the pithy rhetoric
of the locality.
But even as they plucked at him and struck him Ikey remained in his
ecstatic trance of joy. His head was in the clouds; the star was
drawing his wagon. Compared with what he had achieved the loss of
wages and the bray of women’s tongues were slight affairs.
He had shaken the hand of Billy McMahan.

Billy McMahan had a wife, and upon her visiting cards was engraved
the name “Mrs. William Darragh McMahan.” And there was a certain
vexation attendant upon these cards; for, small as they were, there
were houses in which they could not be inserted. Billy McMahan was
a dictator in politics, a four-walled tower in business, a mogul,
dreaded, loved and obeyed among his own people. He was growing rich;
the daily papers had a dozen men on his trail to chronicle his every
word of wisdom; he had been honored in caricature holding the Tiger
cringing in leash.
But the heart of Billy was sometimes sore within him. There was a
race of men from which he stood apart but that he viewed with the
eye of Moses looking over into the promised land. He, too, had
ideals, even as had Ikey Snigglefritz; and sometimes, hopeless of
attaining them, his own solid success was as dust and ashes in his
mouth. And Mrs. William Darragh McMahan wore a look of discontent
upon her plump but pretty face, and the very rustle of her silks
seemed a sigh.
There was a brave and conspicuous assemblage in the dining saloon
of a noted hostelry where Fashion loves to display her charms. At
one table sat Billy McMahan and his wife. Mostly silent they were,
but the accessories they enjoyed little needed the indorsement of
speech. Mrs. McMahan’s diamonds were outshone by few in the room.
The waiter bore the costliest brands of wine to their table. In
evening dress, with an expression of gloom upon his smooth and
massive countenance, you would look in vain for a more striking
figure than Billy’s.
Four tables away sat alone a tall, slender man, about thirty,
with thoughtful, melancholy eyes, a Van Dyke beard and peculiarly
white, thin hands. He was dining on filet mignon, dry toast and
apollinaris. That man was Cortlandt Van Duyckink, a man worth eighty
millions, who inherited and held a sacred seat in the exclusive
inner circle of society.
Billy McMahan spoke to no one around him, because he knew no one.
Van Duyckink kept his eyes on his plate because he knew that every
one present was hungry to catch his. He could bestow knighthood and
prestige by a nod, and he was chary of creating a too extensive
And then Billy McMahan conceived and accomplished the most startling
and audacious act of his life. He rose deliberately and walked over
to Cortlandt Van Duyckink’s table and held out his hand.
“Say, Mr. Van Duyckink,” he said, “I’ve heard you was talking about
starting some reforms among the poor people down in my district. I’m
McMahan, you know. Say, now, if that’s straight I’ll do all I can to
help you. And what I says goes in that neck of the woods, don’t it?
Oh, say, I rather guess it does.”
Van Duyckink’s rather sombre eyes lighted up. He rose to his lank
height and grasped Billy McMahan’s hand.
“Thank you, Mr. McMahan,” he said, in his deep, serious tones. “I
have been thinking of doing some work of that sort. I shall be glad
of your assistance. It pleases me to have become acquainted with
Billy walked back to his seat. His shoulder was tingling from the
accolade bestowed by royalty. A hundred eyes were now turned upon
him in envy and new admiration. Mrs. William Darragh McMahan
trembled with ecstasy, so that her diamonds smote the eye almost
with pain. And now it was apparent that at many tables there were
those who suddenly remembered that they enjoyed Mr. McMahan’s
acquaintance. He saw smiles and bows about him. He became enveloped
in the aura of dizzy greatness. His campaign coolness deserted him.
“Wine for that gang!” he commanded the waiter, pointing with his
finger. “Wine over there. Wine to those three gents by that green
bush. Tell ’em it’s on me. D—-n it! Wine for everybody!”
The waiter ventured to whisper that it was perhaps inexpedient to
carry out the order, in consideration of the dignity of the house
and its custom.
“All right,” said Billy, “if it’s against the rules. I wonder if
‘twould do to send my friend Van Duyckink a bottle? No? Well, it’ll
flow all right at the caffy to-night, just the same. It’ll be rubber
boots for anybody who comes in there any time up to 2 A. M.”
Billy McMahan was happy.
He had shaken the hand of Cortlandt Van Duyckink.

The big pale-gray auto with its shining metal work looked out
of place moving slowly among the push carts and trash-heaps on
the lower east side. So did Cortlandt Van Duyckink, with his
aristocratic face and white, thin hands, as he steered carefully
between the groups of ragged, scurrying youngsters in the streets.
And so did Miss Constance Schuyler, with her dim, ascetic beauty,
seated at his side.
“Oh, Cortlandt,” she breathed, “isn’t it sad that human beings have
to live in such wretchedness and poverty? And you–how noble it is
of you to think of them, to give your time and money to improve
their condition!”
Van Duyckink turned his solemn eyes upon her.
“It is little,” he said, sadly, “that I can do. The question is a
large one, and belongs to society. But even individual effort is
not thrown away. Look, Constance! On this street I have arranged to
build soup kitchens, where no one who is hungry will be turned away.
And down this other street are the old buildings that I shall cause
to be torn down and there erect others in place of those death-traps
of fire and disease.”
Down Delancey slowly crept the pale-gray auto. Away from it toddled
coveys of wondering, tangle-haired, barefooted, unwashed children.
It stopped before a crazy brick structure, foul and awry.
Van Duyckink alighted to examine at a better perspective one of the
leaning walls. Down the steps of the building came a young man who
seemed to epitomize its degradation, squalor and infelicity–a
narrow-chested, pale, unsavory young man, puffing at a cigarette.
Obeying a sudden impulse, Van Duyckink stepped out and warmly
grasped the hand of what seemed to him a living rebuke.
“I want to know you people,” he said, sincerely. “I am going to help
you as much as I can. We shall be friends.”
As the auto crept carefully away Cortlandt Van Duyckink felt an
unaccustomed glow about his heart. He was near to being a happy man.
He had shaken the hand of Ikey Snigglefritz.

This triangle of inspiration is not a bit virtual!

by samuel beckett

who may tell the tale
of the old man?
weigh absence in a scale?
mete want with a span?
the sum assess
of the world’s woes?
in words enclose?

why not merely the despaired of
occasion of
is it not better abort than be barren

the hours after you are gone are so leaden
they will always start dragging too soon
the grapples clawing blindly the bed of want
bringing up the bones the old loves
sockets filled once with eyes like yours
all always is it better too soon than never
the black want splashing their faces
saying again nine days never floated the loved
nor nine months
nor nine lives

saying again
if you do not teach me I shall not learn
saying again there is a last
even of last times
last times of begging
last times of loving
of knowing not knowing pretending
a last even of last times of saying
if you do not love me I shall not be loved
if I do not love you I shall not love
the churn of stale words in the heart again
love love love thud of the old plunger
pestling the unalterable
whey of words
terrified again
of not loving
of loving and not you
of being loved and not by you
of knowing not knowing pretending
I and all the others that will love you
if they love you

unless they love you



i have often thought of writing a great novel about a Muslim boy and ending it with following lines: “and when his hands touched the golden and blue cover of Quran, a chill passed through his body. he could not remember what happened next when he opened the first page and found it blank. the words had vanished as promised.”

i have not been able to be a Mo’min.I have not even tried. I have kept that for future. I am very idealistic about that. I have a feeling that after this career thing is done with, I will give appropriate time to religion and faith. when i pray, i ask Allah to get me through this period in time so i can focus on the real business. “how ironical! if not now, then never!” i hear a voice telling me. “why wait? is this a rule to make sure you get enough money to provide for yourself in future and then start considering what the requirements of Quran are? why don’t you ask Him to give you the strength to understand the Knowledge and help you pass through this phase too?”

as usual i ignore the voice and get out of the mosque and forget about it. ignorance is bliss.  i don’t know about others but I have assumed my faith to grow strong with time without any efforts being made. i have formed a view of myself being the perfect Muslim in future life.

a short story here is worth telling:

a man, very intelligent and smart commits a crime and is exiled from his country to another place. on the night of his arrival, he plans that he will make his period of exile as interesting as possible. he learns the trade of new place. copulates with local women. earns money. and dreams about returning to his homeland once  the exile ends.  at last the day comes. he goes back to his house in his own country and finds it gloomy and dark. the food tastes bad and women, worst. he loses his health to drugs and wealth to gambling.  and then he realizes that all he had thought was a mirage.”

i hope i haven’t seen a MIRAGE.