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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Mayank Mohan Upadhyay says the letter in THE THIRD LEVEL is real

The Third Level

Have you seen Farhan Akhtar and Deepika Padukone starrer Hindi movie “Karthik calling Karthik”? It resembles with this story to a great extent.

Of course, the letter was real. It really did exist.

Charley was an ordinary man, who was fed up with all kinds of tensions and worries that plagued his heart. So, he wanted to escape from reality.

He imagined that he was successful in escaping. The intensity of his wish to break free was so high, that he got to believe that it was a reality. In real sense, it was mere a creation of his mind. Thus, the third level was born and existed only in Charley’s psyche.

Human mind is a strange thing. Charley’s mind was divided into two parts. One, that Charley controlled, and other, which controlled Charley. Actually, Charley was ignorant himself of the fact that it was his own creation. Hence, from one part of his brain, he was normal. When the other part of mind made him visualize the third level then Charley felt it to be real. And he wanted to tell others about his experience. He told everyone something, which they found hard to digest.

The dominating part of mind, which was the mother of that unreal world, wanted to make others believe it. Hence, it instructed Charley to tell everyone that there was a psychiatrist named Sam, who said it was just his ‘waking dream wish fulfillment’.

By this, the mind wanted to make others trust that, if Charley talks differently, then at least there existed a person named Sam, who was stable, because Sam said those words, which they had expected and hence they agreed. The mind also instructed Charley to write a letter on the paper, which was inside an envelope of his Grandfather’s first day cover collection, under Sam’s signature.

Moreover, the dominating part of mind made Charley to go and buy more old style currency. Hundreds of people come and go to a shop. How’d a shopkeeper remember who had bought what? He paid the bill under the name Sam.

Many times, when we place a key somewhere and forget, then our sub-conscious mind tells us where to look at, for it. Isn’t it? Like this, when Charley became normal again, i.e., when he gained back control, he saw that mail and was surprised. Also, he went to the shop to find ‘Sam’ had bought old style currencies. His dictating part of mind asked him to do both these tasks. And Charley felt that it was a calling from his sub-consciousness.

Therefore, Charley was himself forced to accept as true that Sam reached that level.

Again he told one and all. They could have easily denied Charley, saying he was crazy. But the mind firstly proved, through Charley, that Sam was an even person. Next, the mind made Sam, the center of scenario. And hence, all were choiceless but to accept that third level was reality.

Nowhere in the story is it mentioned that Sam met anyone personally. Only possibility was at the shopkeeper’s, but it was none other than our Charley.

Hence, the letter was real, all else was just a fake….


Mayank is very creative. I see a future poet and writer in him. I'm proud to have him as my student.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


‘Keeping Quiet’ is a deceptively simple poem by Neruda about the exigency of self-analysis and introspection in building up a new world. An Indian reader with a penchant for spiritual stuff would find the poem offering rich resource for explaining things like meditation, awareness etc.

The poem is a plea for peace from one who has seen the dire consequences of war and and violence.

See the line,
“Let’s stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.”

ARMS can also mean weapons and moving arms (arms-hands)is the stock gesture of dictation and order of any political leader. Remember how Chaplin makes fun of Hitler in “The Great Dictator” esp. in a scene where he sweats and fumes during a speech. The poet pleads people to do self-analysis before doing anything. A person without awareness in action would spread the same ignorance around. It is a vicious circle.

Sri Ramakrishna used to say,

“First rub your hands with oil and then break open the jack-fruit;
otherwise they will be smeared with its sticky milk.
First secure the oil of divine love, and then set your hand
to the duties of the world."

The poet directs our attention to Nature to convince us that Nature too holds back itself only to come back with better output. The same applies to us.

What is significant about “twelve” in the poem?

There are twenty-four hours in a day in all, with twelve hours for a half a day. The hours are numbered from one to twelve for both the ante meridiem (a.m.) half of the day and the post meridiem (p.m.) half of the day. 12:00 after a.m. and before p.m. (in the middle of the day) is midday or noon, and 12:00 after p.m. and before a.m. (in the middle of the night) is midnight. A new day is considered to start with the stroke of midnight. Furthermore, the basic units of time (60 seconds, 60 minutes, and 24 hours) can all perfectly divide by twelve.

In scripture we find twelve associated with rule. The sun which rules the day and the moon and stars which govern the night move through the twelve signs of the zodiac. The zodiac resides in the great circle of the heavens, which is itself 360 degrees (= 30 x 12).

The Heavenly City of Revelations has twelve gates with the names of the twelve tribes on them. Twelve angels stand at the gates; the walls have twelve foundations garnished with twelve precious stones, and in them the names of the twelve apostles. The city is twelve thousand furlongs square, and the twelve gates are twelve pearls. The number twelve is used here symbolically of God's perfect government.

The importance of 12 in Judaism and Christianity can be found in the Bible. The Twelfth chapter of the Bible starts with God calling Abram to come out of the land he was living in and go wehre God would tell him. This is the beginning of God’s plan to call out a nation unto him, that would be ruled by God and be a testimony to all the nations of the earth of the one true God. Here we can see the link between perfect government and the number twelve.

There are 12 days of Christmas.

Most calendar systems have twelve months in a year.

At twelve, the hands of a clock are one. It is Oneness that the poem calls for.

Count the letters in the title “Keeping Quiet”, there are twelve.

Or, the poet may have used 'twelve' for no reason.