Between Zion and Babylon


Imagine the state of being of the society, reflected in a parallel reality as either a holy city of virtues or a chaotic metropolis of vices . . .

Picture the perfection of beauty, sitting magnificently on a holy hill. A highly elevated place of peace; opulently edified with a spectrum consisting shades of glory, honor, power, benevolence, grace, sanctity, nobility, brilliance, immanence and mystique.

The land of no night. Kingdom of light. Home of the light-footed, the light-handed, the light-hearted, the delighted, the delightsome, the delightful, the enlightened and the bright.

A sphere where love is the air and feeling good is a way of life. Lions feast with lambs, not on them, in this secret sacred space. All bask in gravity’s embrace, trust being the social and emotional currency.

A nation where kindness is second nature, where a good name is golden and gold isn’t worth more than its glitter. There you’d witness the naked truth moving freely without persecution.

Far, far, far away from the peak of perfection, lies no man’s land, swallowed by the drab ambiance of grey clouds; neither appealing nor repelling. No day, no night but an uninspiring, never-ending twilight. Rattles in the dust break the eerie silence every now and again.

Figures –shadows of men- sit on fences, old and dilapidated. They sit, stooped, detached from within and without, in an abandoned space with silent echoes and faded memories of done and dusted days.

Like a spirit in mist form, cold air sweeps stealthily through the land, whispering to the withering shrubs, creepers and trees with twigs resembling crooked fingers. Warmth exists neither as temperature nor virtue, where nothing, besides nothingness, really matters.

Farther away from this desolated wasteland of no ownership, down down in the valley, the miasma from the heat in the ever-bustling chaotic metro wisps into the dusky air above.

From the city walls, cries of debauchery and decadence ring out. At the entrance, cold stares and sly gestures greet the traveler. Noisy unforgiving streets await the ones who sleep; no mercy for those who slip. Dark districts with desperate eyes peering from the shadows spawn uncertainty mixed with anxiety.

Doors are shut tight and windows barred. People lock themselves in, to keep out smiling untrustworthy strangers. Not a soul has an iota of faith to ascribe to any face where it’s okay to be paranoid.

Chaos is the order of the day of perpetual solar eclipse. Silence is buried in discordant sounds blaring out simultaneously from left, right and center. Scores upon scores of people litter the cityscape, shuffling and mixing up so randomly as every kind of activity goes on.

Here, volatility reeks in the atmosphere,  it can almost be tasted. Ire is the match to the fire in this dwelling of hot-headed, hot-tempered, fiery souls. Force and violence is the desired form of self-expression. There is always a fight to the death for anything worth having. Life sometimes, costs a meal, it depends the circumstance. Hate permeates through all that is, revealing itself through scorn, condescension, envy, covetousness, wickedness, malice, contempt, mischief, ill will and all else resembling depravity.

In the capital of decadence wherein a vile reality plays out, insolence is the default state of being. From the city center to the outskirts, bizarre and barbaric acts get their consent from the darkness.

What if the state of being of the society, is reflected in a parallel reality as either a holy city of virtues or a chaotic metropolis of vices ?


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