Blues Musician, Filmmaker, Screen Writer, Author, People Strategy
& Employee Branding Facilitator, Sonic Branding Practitioner & Speaker
Explore the untapped creative potential in you
Anupam Sen Gupta
5 min read
Flunked , Flicked and Delivered, I’m Yours
I grew up with mixed and conflicting beliefs about the Unknown. I’ve said this earlier too. My maternal family believed in God while my paternal family believed they were God.
The concept of God has always intrigued me to the extent of an obsession like anyone else. But my question is that if God lived on Earth, where are they now? Have they all died in a catastrophe? Have they migrated elsewhere? Or is it that we don’t know how to communicate with them? Or they are living amongst us and we don't know?
I never ever found single satisfying answer. So, the only way out was to experiment with my life to find an answer.
This was in 1981.
I was already singing and strumming ‘Light My Fire’. Soon, I failed my final examination in grade 7 due to my early experiments in life with a sedative-hypnotic drug that is similar in effect to barbiturates, Mandrax.
We shall discuss about the drug usage later but for now, during this time, I had a neighbour who was about 5 odd years elder than me and would talk about ‘weird’ things that were interesting yet unbelievable. Like Moon is a hollow ball of Titanium or there is an ancient pre-Adamite civilization under the ice sheets of Antarctica!
He would talk about aliens with reptilian eyes and scales on the body; the entire continent of Eurasia turning upside down with snowfall happening all over India and elephants walking all over Russia; about self-hypnosis and astral travel!
So when I got my annual report saying, ‘Not promoted to Grade 8’, I went to him and asked him if he knew of any mystical way that I could use the power of the mind to change my report card status.
Like every time, he did have a solution. He asked me to isolate myself in a dark room and put a candle in front of me. I was advised to concentrate on the tip of the flame till I could put the candle off with the power of my mind.
I was so God damn excited that in an hour or so, I would gain immense power to look at my annual school report and change the status to ‘Promoted to Grade 8’. So, I ran back home, shut myself in a room, put the lights and fan off, put a candle in front and began to concentrate vigorously on the tip of the flame.
In an hour or so, the flame went off by itself. I was jubilated and felt the energy of my newfound power travel through my entire body. There were electric sparks all over my spine. A gush of white light pushed out of my head towards the sky and a yellow ball of light began flickering between my eyebrows even with my eyes closed.
I began to feel like a balloon; flying up in the air !! Suddenly, the yellow light became so bright that it turned white with a dark spot at the centre. Soon, it turned black.
I quickly excused myself from being drenched in the power of the Cosmos and rushed to put on the bulb so I could quickly look at my annual school report and change the status. And before I could reach the switchboard I stumbled over something and blaaaaam !!!!
But the power of self-hypnosis and astral travel that I’d mastered just by reading Dr Lobsang Rampa helped me to let my soul leave the body. I floated, absorbed in the total power of Cosmos, and looked down. There lay flat Anupam on his back but why that echo of laughter….Hello?
Those days even if we had our own rooms, we were not allowed to lock them from inside. And in the middle of all this, the domestic staff ran in and quickly put the lights on.
And lo! From underneath the table came out my younger brother who all through was hiding under it. It was this bloody brat who had sneaked out from under the table and blown the candle off. And when I got up from my trance, he too was trying to sneak out of the room at the same time and this had resulted in me tripping over him.
Come on now! I was so frustrated that I couldn’t believe all that I thought was happening was my bloody imagination? Those days, Mary Jane was always by my side, holding my hand firm and helping me to imagine when I wanted to imagine. I guess not only me, Mary Jane had inspired Lennon too to write Imagine !! Bad joke!
So the next was to pray to God outside since I couldn't evoke the one inside. We didn't really have a temple in our house or a room dedicated to idols and photos of God. Actually, I have never seen my paternal family going to places of workshop ever in their lives.
So, left with no choice, I went up to the terrace. Looked at the sky and prayed and prayed till I lost all hope and walked up to my father in the evening to show the report card.
Tick…tock…tick….tock….on went the irritating Grandfather clock.
I stood with my head down. Scared. It felt awkward for sure but I wasn’t embarrassed. School reports didn't bother me ever. Or should I say from the time I went to high school, my understanding of life had suddenly drastically changed?
“Life is all about success and failures—good and bad times. But you must always remember that it's only you who is responsible for it. So son, always make sure your present is worth it. ….” spoke Capt. Sen Gupta,in his baritone voice; who otherwise was nicknamed Hitler by family and friends.
“Hello…who’s this?”, I was taken aback.
“Anyways, take a vacation, talk to yourself and come back with learnings and determination that will help you to overcome your failure and celebrate your own life”, he continued.
Now, this was getting boring. I was expecting some serious action.
How the hell would I know that this thought will get embedded so much in me that I’ll celebrate failures by vigorously cooking seriously lavish food ( a bit of an oxymoron), watching movies or playing chess with my little one.
This is the core of anything I do in my life. Make the present worthwhile and celebrate learnings from failures.
So, talking about God inside and outside, I found mine in my father’s advice for life. But then people like me don't learn so soon. Or maybe don't want to learn ever.
Nevertheless, the next year when I flunked again, I was thrown out of school !
And I got so tired experimenting with Mandrax that I confided all my trust and fidelity in Mary Jane for all my life.
(disclaimer - images have been sourced from the internet. we don't have any claim on them. used as reference)