In Company of Brute


SKU e-book Category

184 in stock


By Durlabh Singh

ISBN: 978-1-84747-804-7
Published: 2008
Pages: 70
Key Themes: mental health, recovery, empowerment



Under the impact of the dark forces of hostility and indifference, the author suffers a mental breakdown. Slowly he fights back, aided by his writings, to regain semblance of sanity and human dignity.

A pilgrim’s progress of a sensitive soul.

About the Author

Durlabh Singh is a widely published author and his publications include novels, short storyand verse collections. He is also an artist and lives in London.

Book Extract

He walked through the earthen secret paths hidden by the tall crops growing in all the adjacent fields. It was simply different from the things he had imagined and in some ways more profound, brimming with all the emotions of both mind and body. As they walked through, the panorama changed. Some of the fields were being irrigated, and there were pools of water, which some birds were taking advantage of. Small finches and sparrows were dipping in to take their morning bath, and afterwards they sat and clung to the delicate stems of the growing crops, which bent over under their tiny weights, swinging to and fro like a person resting in a hammock.

It was like a play being staged, with different actors in colourful plumes playing their parts in an unknown drama. At their approach the birds shifted themselves further afield, as if mindful of the human intrusion into their magical world, which being inhabited by the spirits of crops, wind and water. Soon they were near a grove of trees, like an oasis amid desert waves of greenery. Some doves had made there nests and were cooing tunefully, whether to entertain their young ones with lullabies or simply just to claim their territories who knows. Anyhow, it was a sweet sound carried by the gentle breezes of the morning amid the shimmering universe of the leaves There was an old tree trunk laying on the ground, and they sat there listening to the music of the wind below and of the birds’ overhead in the trees.

It was time to move and see other vistas of nature. Soon their path turned into a sandy soil, and the child took his shoes off, as he wanted to feel the silky touch of sand beneath his bare feet. He thought that it would feel cold, but he was surprised by its lukewarm warmth. The morning sun must have prepared it warm for him to walk on. As his feet pressed on the surface of the sand the grains oozed out of all the gaps between his toes and spread themselves over the top of his feet; it felt like his feet were being washed in a bowl of sand. He had seen birds taking their sand bath sometimes, as they squeezed the sand under their feathers and forced it out, thus taking out all the annoying ticks and feeling refreshed. He cleaned his feet with his socks, shook them, and then wore them on his feet.

There was a tree along the path, magnificently spread with red bloom and of hundreds of seed- pods on the ground. He picked one, and took off its prickly outer coating and came to the shiny seed inside. It was smooth, light brown, and decked with tiny dots. The boy fell in love with that artistic creation of nature, and exclaimed its merits to his father. He collected a few of those seeds and deposited them into his pockets. He was going to decorate his mantelpiece at home with those jewelled beads.

The sown wheat fields were a splendid sight to behold, a sea of dark green swaying in the breeze, just like waves in an ocean. The wind seemed to caress them with a soothing touch, and a voice came through as if to sing them a song. The child sat and listened to it; indeed it was singing a gentle song, and he wanted to be involved, and asked the wind to be kind and sing a song for him too. The wind picked up its speed and brushed past his face; it was a different song, more of hastened tune, and the child understood it and felt better and supported, and a sort of friendship grew between them. He told his father, and he gently smiled at his son’s innocent flights of fancy. He did not want to discourage the child from communicating with forces of nature, and asked the boy if the wind could sing a song for him, too. The boy sat and meditated on this, and invited the wind to sing another song for his father, too, and it obliged.

When he was about four an epidemic of typhoid fever struck the household. D and his older sister were laid down by that bacterial infection. Early symptoms included fever and abdominal pain, was diagnosed firstly as general malaise. But the weakness and fatigue increased, and then doctor diagnosed it as severe typhoid. His temperature rose sharply, and everybody became worried. Soon he went into delirium and was screaming and shouting, to the distress of everyone.

Their temperatures did not go down, and the doctor became worried about the health and possible recovery of the children. It was a terrible time, and agony for the children as their condition deteriorated. D suffered from confusion and hallucinations, and saw big cats surrounding his bed, trying to attack him and devour him.


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