Featured Prose — 07 December 2013

A true story from Madhuri.

Friday, 11:50 a.m. I’m at my pc on its tidy new computer desk. My new house is finally sorted and I’m ready to do a long-postponed Skype session. I’ve just scanned the client’s Human Design chart and am about to e-mail it to her. I am feeling a bit tense since Skype does not always behave right and because this client has been waiting through my move and some cancelled appointments when British Telecom took two weeks to set up my broadband. Mercury is retrograde, and anything could happen.

Madhuri at the computer

Friday, 11:52 a.m. The phone rings. It sounds unnaturally loud and demanding. I pick it up.


“This is Microsoft Service Department,” says a very Indian male voice – a voice with a particular pushy intensity to it, I think to myself. But oh well, it takes all kinds. “We are calling because your computer has been hacked. Some Chinese have got into it and installed many many files that are not yours. Look, I will show them to you.” Strange things begin to happen to my screen. Words seem to empty out in the middle like anaemic blood cells and collapse. Then they vanish. A box appears with wavery outlines; typed gobbledegook is in it – one or two things look like mine, the rest is who-knows-what.

“I have to do a Skype in a few minutes!” I cry. “Who are you? What are you trying to sell?”

“I am not selling anything, your computer is going to crash in half an hour, I need to install some software, look, your protection has expired, I am just talking to the accounting department,” all in a very forceful tone.

“I don’t have time for this! I need to work! Call back tomorrow!”

“Your computer will crash very soon!” he says angrily. “I am trying to help you! How else we would have your computer password if I was not from Microsoft?”

It goes on like this. I am alternately pushing keys he tells me to, then not pushing them, then complaining, then panicking – “I don’t know what to do! I’m an idiot!”

“You are an idiot? Why you are an idiot?”

“Why? I don’t know! Just – about tech.!”

He goes on manipulating things on my screen. My screen looks like a place where a street riot is going on – people stumbling, hit, getting up, gathering together, staggering off to fall down. It is like seeing some part of me, taken over by parasites, changing form into some different, ghostly version of itself.

“I need to go!” I cry. “Stop this! I have to ask my computer guy!”

“Push control – there – then R – and don’t touch your mouse now!” he orders.

“I am an old lady!” I wail. “I don’t know about all this stuff!”

“You arrrre an old lady?” he asks sharply.

“Yes! I’m an old lady!

He continues with his depredations for a minute or two while I wail and things die on my screen.

Then abruptly he hangs up. I wait for him to call back – I still kind of believe he is from Microsoft, and that the Chinese have been killing things – but he doesn’t call.

My e-mail file asks if I really want to delete it. I am looking wildly about for how to say No! But it self-deletes. I look for recycling, to find it again. It too self-deletes. My head is hurting, the back of my neck has seized up. My beathing is erratic. Energies jump about all over me like kids on junkfood.

Friday, 12:05 a.m. My session is five minutes late, and my pc looks like a battlefield. Things are lurching and dying. Now the whole screen goes black. I get up and rush next door to the neighbor’s. As I manage to send the client an e-mail on the neighbor’s pc (she has no Skype) she tells me how she was scammed by someone who said he was from Microsoft, and she had to change all her bank info and various cards and so on. My head pounds.

I go home and phone my pc guy. No answer – I leave a message. He is due to come to help me set up backup – but not until tomorrow morning. I phone my bank and cancel my debit card; they will send another. I don’t do online banking, so that’s ok. I phone British Telecom. A nice Indian tells me “These guys are trying to earn some money. They will phone you back and demand money. But your pc will be able to be brought back into working order.” I go rushing off down to the library to send messages to people about what has happened.

On my way home, I know what I must do. I am also, the past couple of days, wobbly and off-centered from an aching heart, and I have not addressed it properly yet. I’ve been having vivid dreams at night about my still-much-loved ex in Missouri. He is not a very communicative person, so I don’t know what’s going on with him. There are now suitors coming into my sphere; I don’t know if I can forget the past love enough to be open to someone new. So I had gone to open mic night at a local pub and read aloud my two favorite poems to him. Then I sent him an e-mail about this. And he had replied very tenderly – he still loves me too; he sees my face overlaid on that of his new girlfriend; and hers on mine. But she is a very good partner.

A girlfriend told me I ought to look at his FB page – the new woman is there. So I finally did…and saw a pretty, thoroughly nice-looking woman with glasses, writing sweet gushy things about him and about the strawberries she picked in his garden – which, of course, I had planted. Urk!

So all this is aching in me in a very unfinished way. I know I have to go Inside – and now, my writing – my life’s work – is in the black tumult of a collapsed pc. My expensive backup device (provided by that same dear protective man) had vanished in Corfu last year. I’ve got older backup in flash drives, but nothing recent.

Friday, 4:45 p.m. I drink a kombucha slowly. Then I go up to my bedroom. I change into flannel pajamas, get gratefully into bed, put a rolled towel under my neck, prop my elbows on small pillows; place my hands on my solar plexus. A small towel is over my eyes. I begin to go Inside.

For the next three hours I descend inwards in distinct levels. Every descent is a further blessing. I am using my Self-Healing Technique; asking myself certain questions to elicit the material in the unconscious, so that I can observe it with eagle gaze while at the same time allowing it totally, compassionately, to be just what it is. I welcome everything – even the really hurty stuff. And there is plenty…about love – the identified sense that he is my man – for he was, wasn’t he? For so long…he was always there. And the ache of the theft of my pc insides: this feels like my brothers taunting me when I was young. So many brothers, so much bigger. Not very nice. Taking things away from me.

Then I am being born. I feel my mother’s flesh around me, full of her sorrows. There is no real preparation for me. There is not enough food. She has not enough energy for me and all the boys too. Her marriage is lonely, so lonely. She has nobody to turn to, for she is proud too. And I know that I should not really be there; that there is no room; that I should be gone. And I have known that ever since. So mean strange assholes can sometimes impinge and convince me of things – because I doubt my very right to exist. If somebody blusters and accuses, surely it is what I deserve?

Facing all this, asking the questions, thoroughly feeling it all…leads to the transformation. I ask, “Show me the Key.” I am shown this – just this; going Inside. I ask, “Show me the healing.” And I see a sweet stream of bliss up the center of my body. “Show me the Light.” And it is there, all over.

Friday, 8:00 p.m. I’ve been under for three hours, and have worked on my 3rd and 4th chakras. I have seen, in the 4th, that although my ex and I love each greatly and tenderly, it is not enough love – not enough for him to sacrifice his life for me by coming here; not enough for me to sacrifice mine by staying there. Not enough. And in fact the love has survived and became sweeter because I left; I respected the truth of things enough to do that – and thus the love can thrive. Otherwise it would have been bent and burdened by resentment and compromise.

I get up. My whole being feels different. Headache is gone; lightness is there. I make a salad and eat it at the kitchen table. Then I pick up the scribbled phone number of a man who had e-mailed me that day, asking me to phone; a new man, a different man, a man in England, where I live. I have not talked to a man as a man, since I left my ex fifteen months before.

This is fun! My auditory soul rejoices! I get to have a flirtatious chat – a fun flowing witty time where he makes dry British jokes and I fall about laughing. This is nourishing! His voice has a nice tone, though with some ennui or suffering some place in it. But then, he is not a sannyasin, just a ‘spiritual’ guy. But, okay.

Friday, 10:00 p.m. I feel so much better, even though my pc’s fate is unknown, and I still sometimes shudder with the peculiar, near-violent force of that Indian’s haranguing voice, that I go to bed and read for a while. Then I sleep well, waking for a while somewhere in the night to do a third Self-Healing, on a place deep inside my belly – where I had thought was a darkness, but it turns out there is only peace.

Saturday, 10:30 a.m. My pc guy arrives. He is that rare type, a Reflector; only 1% of humanity is this open mirror; no centers colored in on his chart. I love being in the same room with him. He is young, tall, shave-headed, with huge round eyes. I feel soothed and heard and smoothed and expanded and uplifted around him. But what he says now is scary; “This does not sound good. What these guys do is, they target an old computer. They implant a Trojan in it – like the Trojan Horse – and then they are able to control your computer remotely. They strip away your files and then phone you back to ask for money for a password so you can get them again.

“I’m going to remove your hard drive and clean it; see if I can find any of your files. And then I’ll re-install a new program and some protection. By tonight, you will have a working computer. But first, we have to change all your passwords.” But before we start work we talk for a bit about birth traumas and the programs they install in us – that we ought not be here; that death is closer than life, and so whenever something deathly beckons us we bow immediately. We go our whole lives adhering to the sad part of the program, slavishly. He has his own story to share.

Then we re-do all passwords – for e-mail, Amazon, Facebook, etc etc. And he stoops to put his boots on, and takes my pc away in his backpack.

I go to the library again to let the client know I should be able to Skype tomorrow. I am a bit amazed that I feel so happy. I am of course thinking what to do if my files are unrecoverable; and maybe it’s just too soon for the shock to have set in…but I have a feeling of being at home in a place deeper in my torso somewhere – beneath the frenzy of yesterday, beneath the heartache. I always love walking in Hebden Bridge and the surrounding countryside – the fresh cold moving air, the wildness, the Northern light. And I enjoy it today. I buy some food at the organic shop and come home.

Saturday, 2:00 p.m. The phone rings. It’s my local computer hero. In his considered Danish-accented voice he says, “Well, it looks like all your files are here. I should be able to bring your computer back in an hour.”

“Oh –- Jesus – God,” I say with dramatic Christian throwbackishness! “Oh – oh oh!”

“It seems like the guy decided to have mercy on you,” he says.

“I don’t know why! I mostly freaked and ranted at him! Maybe it was when I said I was an old lady – it was after that he hung up.”

“Maybe so.”

As I’m waiting I ponder this. I imagine a fierce young guy whose granny makes samosas for him. She is not an old lady who hangs out on computers – she is in the kitchen, where she has always been. She says to him, “Oh, Ramraj, you are looking too pale! Too much time you are spending in your room, on that computer! I have made you some samosas, and chatni, and kitcheree, and some chai, and a nice plate of toast-butter! Come, come, sit and eat! Eat! You are too much pulled down! What people will think of me if they see you, too much thin! Yes, you are good boy, earning so much money for us – but come now, eat, eat!”

What will I do if he phones back? I am eager for him to phone. I want to get under his skin, mess with his sleazy little heart. Put on some Hindi-bindi myself: “Oh, your heart is broken, it will crash in half an hour! Press ‘control’ and then ‘L’ for ‘love’ – and I will send love into it, yes, and you will be healed! I am sannyasi, I know how to give blessings – and curses! But for you I will give blessing, I see you are really good boy – just need love in your heart. How your mother is liking your work that you do?”

But he does not phone. My pc guy says this means he has had mercy; otherwise he would definitely have phoned by now. My computer is produced from the backpack and set up. When he turns it on a beautiful sight greets me; new wallpaper (I had had none, being too low-tech to figure out how to get any) of a gorgeous bunch of oriental-looking flowers – orchids, I think – pink and deep, deep pink – on a soft ground of pink; all digitally-sharp and clear. Very feminine.

My writing files seem intact. My painting files too. My pictures folder is missing one file: “’Specially Great Pix,” which I mourn slightly; but it could have been so much worse. The pc looks spruce. I’m told it will work much faster.

It’s a joy when you can pay someone with great happiness. I do this. We make an appointment for me to learn to back up into Dropbox so my work will be out of the pc as well as in it.

“I enjoyed working with you today,” he says as he is putting on his boots to leave.

“Ha ha, that’s because I meditated five hours over the course of the day and night! Yesterday you would not have enjoyed!” I exclaim.

Sunday, 12:10 p.m. The long-postponed Skype session happens, and is lots of fun. Big relief. First, though, I have to figure out, by myself, that the Skype isn’t working because it is not turned on; and how to turn it on. I am very impressed that I manage this.

So – just because whenever you get on the phone these days you have to talk to someone in India, does not mean that all Indian voices on the phone are official and honorable. Of course, now I have heard many stories about this sort of thing – but I was ignorant, and that’s what he preyed on – that, and the power of pressure to unseat a person. I was in Kiev in October studying Human Design with Nisarg, and one of the things we looked into was just this; pressure. If someone pressures you, it is not yours. You don’t have to buy it. I so very often do buy it. And then this is what happens. My younger brother, a computer guy, was simply astonished that I would even talk to the bogus fellow on the phone. Right now, I am too. I remember Osho saying it is better to be cheated than to cheat – better for your spirit. Maybe I’ll keep being gullible. Maybe I’ll learn to wake up to the fact I’m being pressured, and say No. It would be novel, and interesting, to try.

Article by Madhuri