Aye-Ash

city, Friends, india, Uncategorized

Tis in ourselves that we are thus or thus
Shakespeare missed out a bit, it seems.
We may be a lot, or little
More, or less
Plentiful, or lacking
Happy, or ever searching
All of these may be within us
But just as much is outside
Within others,
And in the liminal spaces between the two withins
It’s in these spaces, that bodies talk
Through touch, speech, taste, and sight

Even presence

Ideas form
Love is felt, lost, and rediscovered
Fellowships forged, broken, and reunited
It is within these spaces, that we become

More than us, even if just a bit more.

Or so I think.

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Ghosted

city, india, Life, Uncategorized

I wait at the entrance of a bar
Brewery, drinking hole, a bustling space
Dreading the meet to come, I’d rather be someplace else.
Someplace else with friends, comrades, keepers of my soul
Fragments of my fellowship
Friends with broken arms
Friends chasing stories
Friends who feel ghosted
I’d rather be there instead of here
Here the hope is that there will be a story for the evening
To move beyond borrowed experience and have some of my own.
So when I meet these dear friends again, there will be a tale to tell
An evening to narrate
And belonging to feel

New York

america, goodbye, new york, travel, Uncategorized

Three hands piled on top of each other
One brown, one white, one undecipherable

The one on the bottom looked tired, and spent.
Which is weird, because it was early morning.
Perhaps it has been tired for a while…

The second one was a gentle feminine hand, with soft skin, and bright red paint.
That one looked confident, if not a bit too bright.

The third one confused me everywhere.
Can’t tell you the color
Can’t tell you it’s character
Nor its story
Nor its feelings

But for just 7 minutes

These three hands, with all their colors and stories

Piled on top of each other.

For 7 minutes
Around a pole
Between two subway stations
In New York

Bridge

alone, america, goodbye, travel, Uncategorized

There is a bridge that leaves my city
I take it ever so rarely.
Whenever I do, it’s for a short while
Only to return
Or so it has been for a while now

The bridge that leaves my city
Crosses a water so deep
Often it appears, in the corner of my eye
As I walk around my city
For food
For sights
For love

The bridge that leaves my city,
I don’t take it if I can help it

I make people take it to come to me
So that I may feed them, bond, and watch them laugh

Today I took that bridge that leaves my city,

and I wondered

When did it become my city?

Lightning over panama

america, Life, sky, travel, Uncategorized

I saw lightning over Panama
Piercing the white armor of steam
Oblivious to the lives below
Far more grand, far too visceral
Unfettered by the sheet of blue
Shattering the calm dark of the full moon,
I saw lightning over Panama

I saw it in a distance : a majestic crackle in the sky
I hope it looks the same from everywhere : the rapturous crackle in the sky

I thought the light is the same for everyone everywhere.

As I saw lightning over Panama

(Me, 2016)

Chains

america, college, Life, study

Imagine a body; tied and subjugated. One born so, just like its fore-bearers, and its bloodline as far as it can imagine time and history. The entirety of its life can be captured in one single unchanging frame; half bent, with a wooden structure inextricably tied to its arms and neck. Prevented from ever standing upright or bending completely, all the body ever does is drag the structure forward. This might not seem like the best way, but efficiency isn’t particularly a concern. Or perhaps it is a different kind of efficiency altogether. Given the limited visibility, the landscape in its vision changes constantly in movement, but never in character, form, beauty, or even promise.

One day, the body has had enough! It explodes in a burst of strength that shatters its wooden prison into pieces. As the splintered remains of the enslaver slides of the body, it rises up with a crackling sound unfamiliar to its own constitution. Its vision moves in the direction it has always wanted to; up and ahead. Upright for the first time, the eyes behold a landscape farther than they have ever seen, distances which seem infinite but attainable. Even as the back comes to term with a posture so fantastic and alien, the body’s resolution is set. It will move forward, but this time, on its own terms; towards the distant horizon. This is its promise, its future, its singular salvation. In time and space, it will be what it wants, what it never was.

As the newly liberated body takes its first step, it stumbles and falls. “It’s just the first step, the body is simply adjusting to the new conditions…” it thinks to itself. Unwavering in resolve and fixed vision, the body rises and moves forward. Only to fall again. As time passes, a new routine emerges; the path to progress and salvation becomes that of  an upright and forward facing body, falling again and again. “The horizon must be where this stops! The horizon is where this atrocious despair will end! This body, at the horizon is the the promise. I can unmake all that I was, become new, tirelessly march on, towards a new horizon! Perhaps even rest! If only this dratted stumbling would stop, I’d reach faster. I am doing everything right anyway. Straight vision, focus, determination, and movement!!. The promise of my promise will not elude me!”, as its hands reach for the fast approaching earth to break the fall.  

The falling continues. The seething sun and the rough terrain, earlier naturalized and discounted, now become impediments constantly assaulting the liberated body. Somewhere between where it started, the point of its liberation and the rupture from its forgotten past, and its failing movement towards nowhere, the body stops. We’d never quite know why it stopped. Presumably to catch a breath and continue on. Perhaps it was tired. Perhaps it lost hope. Or perhaps it was just a glitch in its internal circuitry causing it to halt for but a second. But in that brief moment of respite, the body became aware of itself, and looked down. And as the eyes beheld its own body, and micro-seconds later, so did its consciousness; the unyielding chains around its bloody legs became loud, heavy, and painful. The chains that never left it. The ones the body never remembered to shed, or even notice. Perhaps they couldn’t ever be shed. Not by lack of wanting, but somethings never can be.

The constant companion between your rupture with the past, and the future that is nowhere.

PS.: My flatmate suggested this could be something one could call the ‘Manacles of History’. I want to improve this metaphor. History and its manifestations expressed as a individual experience could be conceptually misleading. Perhaps the manacles are experienced differentially across space, time, and the social. Perhaps chains is not the best metaphor. But it is the one I thought of right now. I will work on it I guess. What got me thinking about this was the Angel of History.


There is a painting by Klee called Angelus Novus. An angel is depicted there who looks as though he were about to distance himself from something which he is staring at. His eyes are opened wide, his mouth stands open and his wings are outstretched. The Angel of History must look just so. His face is turned towards the past. Where we see the appearance of a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe, which unceasingly piles rubble on top of rubble and hurls it before his feet. He would like to pause for a moment so fair , to awaken the dead and to piece together what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise, it has caught itself up in his wings and is so strong that the Angel can no longer close them. The storm drives him irresistibly into the future, to which his back is turned, while the rubble-heap before him grows sky-high. That which we call progress, is this storm.

(Benjamin, 1940)


The guessing game

america, college, Life

Guess whose account had 500 dollars withdrawn from it from an atm far far away?

Guess who never ever visited that ATM?

Guess whose finances are now precariously fuckered?

Guess who is going to have to manage this, apart from all the studying that needs to be done?

T’is I, and this is not but a scratch.
Tata!

 

P.S. I now have the flu.

Post colonisis

city, study, trains, travel

Hey hey hey,

I am in London.

Everything is so damn quirky and strange.

There is so much history here: owned, borrowed, stolen. But it’s here, and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Its overwhelming at times, the sheer number and geography of destinies  which sprung forth and contorted themselves to the notes emerging from this city. This is true for my parents, and theirs before that, as it is for millions around the world.

Meanwhile, I spend my days in a library reading 18th century texts. It’s quite enjoyable, once you get used to the circuitous writing style, which is also unnecessarily polite. I occasionally take time out to dig out manuscripts pertaining to my home town and any information I can find on it. Apparently I have descended from ‘heathen’ ‘aboriginals’.

I am exceedingly tired today , and can’t even think of a half decent point for writing this, if not for its own sake. Nor do I have a profound observation about the city.  Except perhaps how well dressed everyone is, and how I feel like a potato here. It’s annoying that I can’t ever dress well, or care to.

Finally, I think all women everywhere are beautiful.  And fabulously better at most things. But before I go, a special mention about the women here.  I  struggle to frame this  delicately, trying to balance  between sounding appreciative while not seeming flippant: but these striking visions of beauty I can but be grateful for, and hope they realize they are so.
Ok they possibly do. And I can’t be poetic to save my life. And this just sounds all wrong.

Now I sleep. More history awaiteth tomorrow.

S

P. S.  I am already seeing regular faces in the Tube.