It's the title of a horror story by Ramsey Campbell. Among the creepiest stories I've ever read. In synopsis, it's like this:
It's a rainy, gloomy night. Two men, looking for a taxi, decide to share the first one they find. During the taxi drive, they begin to discuss perspectives, and the thought that we do not truly see things for what they are. We see things as we have been trained to see them. One of the men is a worshipper of Daoloth, the render of the veils. Daoloth is the deity who renders the veils that keep humans from seeing what truly is. This man is about to perform a ritual to Daoloth, so Daoloth may remove the veils.
The other enthusiastically agrees and they head to the first's house to perform the ritual. The next morning, police finds both the men dead. They also find a very creepy audio recording of what transpired that night.
I read this story a long time ago. But it has always been at the back of my head. What if what we see, what we feel (as in sensory perception), what we hear, what if it is all a figment of our imagination? An imagination that we have been brought up with?
It struck me how much the perspective changes the way we see things recently. Friends of my parents came home one night. My entire family was at our shop at the other end of the city. I offered to go along with the friends to the shop, since they were not from Pune and didn't know the roads. And it changed the way I see Pune.
Having travelled the length and breadth of the city on a two wheeler for most of my life (generous thank you to the folks at Kinetic Engineering and Honda Motor Scooter India, for the unforgettable experiences I've had on a Kinetic Honda, a Kinetic Nova and a Honda Activa, before my current beast), all the development was unnoticed. I'd seen it change slowly, seen it evolve. But when was the last time I'd travelled through Pune sitting in the back of an Army Gypsy vehicle? A VERY long time ago. Sitting in a Gypsy again, it suddely showed me the contrasts in the Pune of old and the new Pune. It showed me the immense development that had taken place in my city. The city I'd lived in for years. It felt an alien city suddenly.
Another example of this, is the realisation that my college is actually a very beautiful place. When you're busy with college activities, you seldom see how nice the place is. The other day, I took out my camera to take a couple of pics. The realisation didn't dawn on me until I'd started clicking. My college is beautiful. In bits anyway. And it took me the bast part of three years to realise that.
How deep does it go? How much of what we sense is real, and how much of it is what we're supposed to sense? Who can tell?