Between Two Denials

I don’t believe in brave,

Until nothing else begins to stand; anymore

 

Over conversations, I said it; I wondered and spoke out. More like spoke out as much as I could and not as much as I wanted. Little fears cloud around and carry heavy rains; peculiar rains; no water, just destruction. 

I asked, what would I choose – opportunity cost or self-loathing? One that visits sometimes dressed like a memory or the one that seeps through every vein of lived out life? What is to never choose and live and live but never choose. 

What if I say I heard him talking as if he knows everything; words, his words, pulling their own meaning down. How much of meaning my words have given to him. Words, my words, making up for everything left unsaid. 

There are rains, heavy rains, somewhere above the skies of Delhi, waiting to unleash. There are things in between, though; things that make the rains and us seem invisible to each other. So, I say much too much of dried up lives; their hearts, heavier than heat and lighter than moisture. 

 

Art: Miroslav Sasek

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The Weekend

My niece, a six year old, used to sow stones in hope of them breaking out; through

The ground, breathe,

And flower.

 

I’m writing this under the influence of sickness and the thoughts it dumps on me. This is somewhat like Kahlo’s ‘What The Water Gave Me’; much stripped down though. There are texts I’ve been replying to, calls that I’ve been answering; and making myself, sometimes. More than ever, and anything, I’ve been staring at my phone. 

Down two days of nothing, there are days to come. Days, I have nothing to know of. And somewhere between these days, there is anticipation lost in ambiguities. Like the refracted light of setting sun, there’s illumination, scattered, red, in my head. 

I was here a month ago, I’m still here, at least that; what he thinks. Should I call him ‘it’ if he’s nothing more than a thought? A desire unfulfilled, revisiting my bed like a nightmare I’ve been dreading of. Something sinks, puts a hook somewhere within, and then leaves like a soul. Where do we keep our medicines anyway?

So, this makes me, and I make this a show. A weekend still awaiting its demise like a plagued outcaste. As I am sick, and you know, I shall be forgiven if I puke my words out; they are, after all, a collective of self-destructive invisibles.

Blasphemy + Visitations

~ Blasphemy ~

 

It’s for the blasphemy of love,

That I burn, roll

In the depths of despair

Of Self-inspection, contemplation, raking,

Shaking it all up;

What could I possibly seek 

From the heart that doesn’t speak, from

The eyes that don’t

Glimmer in hope,

Just like red wine, kept in the fridge. 

Maybe, not lust, maybe

Not love,

Maybe nothing, no words at all,

But,

Just a vile search

To find a word in that heart, a word

To make me stay. 

 

~ Visitations ~

 

My words, don’t pass by me,

Like the love, I

once had,

For you know, of

What I crave,

For,

No love,

 But Lamentation. 

 

 

Art: Rowena Murillo

 

 

Reading Into Hunger

Hunger by Florence + The Machine is here and it’s such a visual rarity. Directed by AG Rojas, who seems to be the sole visual director for the new album High as Hope, has displayed an intelligent and intricate use of frames; a careful imagining of the space, objects and most importantly – art.

The restriction of the visuals within a square frame shows Rojas’s intentional reminder of how to acknowledge his effort. He has reflected narrative as a painting, words finding their meaning in the images, all reflected through a frame, or maybe, a canvas. A canvas where use of light, camera angle and elemental discontinuity makes every frame a work of art in itself. The recurrent use of long still shots, with the subject looking away from the viewer, is testament to the same.

Image result for florence welch hunger

It is not just the elements of direction that has caught my fancy; there’s much to be appreciated in the narrative as well. The most apparent theme would be the use of art as a metaphor to life. The statue shown in the early frames comes across as an allegorical representation of a human body in general, and that of Florence in particular – one may trace it from the hand gesture Florence makes in the first frame which is similar to that of the statue, and in many recurrent similarities in positioning in subsequent frames.

That said, we shall now look deeper into the statue and the reason behind using it as an allegory. Walter Benjamin in his essay Art in the Age of Mechanical Production has talked about as to how the meanings and values that are associated with an artwork changes with the change in the context in which it is placed. This perceptive change has much to do with how we engage with the artwork, our own understanding, rather than the inherent meaning or value of the same. The artwork is then merely an object of our understanding, our perceptions; our unilateral desires. For instance, the way we look at an object of every day use might change if we see that object being placed in an art museum, and then change again, if we later see it in the church. This coupled with the British concept of Seeing, which describes the ways through which aesthetics incorporates or  subjects itself to the perceptive gaze, come across as a dominant theme in the narrative.

Related image

The statue, despite remaining the same, gets associated with various meanings with the change of the place and people handling it. For instance, for that disdained surgeon, dissecting the statue became a matter of ‘his’ satisfaction and claim rather than that of the statue itself. Also, we see the statue having certain voids which are mostly ignored except by one person who curiously wanted to go deeper in his understanding of an external figure. The moment he touched the voids, we see something unsettling Florence in the next frame – another sign establishing the allegory theory. 

This is where I bring in the lyrics, or as Florence said it, the poetics. In a statement made to BBC she said: ‘

This song is about the ways we look for love in things that are perhaps not love, and how attempts to feel less alone can sometimes isolate us more”.

The constant positioning of ourselves, our bodies, to the fancies of others is what that resonates well with the statue allegory. The desire to be loved, the stretch of it to an extent that it becomes hunger, makes love a delusion. Despite being melancholic, she’s talking to herself as an other, and asking her to believe in her self and her beauty. For most importantly, sometimes it’s not about finding the answers, but about just knowing that thing; the thing that makes us feel the way we do. 

 

 

 

Undelivered

What do I tell faith about denial, of

What could I say

That is not whispered to fate, by time,

To destiny, by hope, of

Songs that winds silently carry to the wind-charms, and 

Then wind-charms call it mine. 

Could I ever make the sun, see,

A look of it from the hiding, from the shelters, above

Within, walls, from my eyes, I 

See sun, hear music, 

Of winds, or 

Wind-charms, Maybe.

What possibly, 

Could I ever,

Tell love of all the joys of being unaware. 

I see the surge of fury from

Beneath the bedrock of my core, I 

Lean over, and then

Turn away,

Vanquished,

Of all that I ever said to silence about fulfillment,

And darkness,

About home. 

 

 

Art: Give Me Your Eyes, Alexis Winter

First Writing Since…

As I begin to think, I see

What was that drunken, sunken, 

Love forsaken grin, and

The smiles in between, all smiles

And no meaning. 

As I begin to think, I write,

scream in the silence of words, sing

In the language of form, I begin 

To see myself, outside

Of self. 

First writing since, First 

Love after life got done with all that called itself love

First words since that morning, of

Waking up to the death of 

Those who lived till yesterday, Unlike myself,

When was the last time I lived

Till yesterday?

Words be words, since

Since it began in curiosity, now all

All, of it, all, 

Just languishing, I’m dragging, it’s unmoving;

 Unloving, maybe?

First matters Since, the

First fights and reconciliations, of first

Everything but love. 

I see you in pain, I can see

You looking at me in want, in desire, in 

Everything but love. 

First writing since I saw you looking at me

With someone else, in smiles, in warmth, in 

Everything but love. 

Words, upon words, upon verse, I build,

I build every day like a house of cards,

You say you see me but you don’t, you never did, I

Though, am aware of your

Honesty,

Am aware, of

Your presence, your calls, your texts, your words, your drives, your stares, your

Everything but love. 

 

 

 

Art: Fotini Tikkou

 

For the Postcards and Beyond

She presented me with a choice, a banking lecture or a ride to the post office. Even if I would have thought of contemplating a bit, there she said, ‘we will have such a good time together’; So, not much of a choice left, you see.

We barged out of the college gate, withdrew some cash from the ATM, and chose to walk to the post office, which quite incidentally, was located within the airport premises. During that walk, we witnessed both the cherry blossom trees and a pile of garbage at the corner of the pavement, but, we chose to talk about the philosophy of mono no aware, a 5 minute journey packed with a lifelong belief in the pathos of beautiful things. Maybe, that explains the cherry blossom trees too.

At the airport, we were received by a post office which had no human within it. We thought ‘they’ must have gone for lunch, so we decided to hang around, take a time, here and there, see it all tick by. ‘I always find airports fascinating‘, I told her, ‘would love to stop someone from going away someday‘, ‘that’s so cheaky’, she said, ‘even if it is, it feels good‘, I replied, ‘but it’s so unfair for a person who has spent so much time in packing and preparing food for the journey‘, she shot back, ‘well, we can unpack in my house while having food in the car en route‘, I concluded.

It is here, during this time, post this conversation and at this place, that she introduced me to her postcards. The picturesque collection of photographs ornamented with messages so personal, and oh so warming. From the ones depicting prancing tigers to the ones having wine savouring old ladies on them, every piece felt so different and so uniquely special. It is not the picture itself that differentiated one from the other; most of the uniqueness came from the handwriting of the person, the address noted, and most importantly, the feeling expressed.

Sitting there on the side bench and going through this stack of her postcards surfaced a smile that was hidden for a long time; one reflecting not only the sense of understanding, but also the sheer joy of being a participator in someone else’s. All these years, how silently you have moved, within and beyond. How much you have come to learn and unlearn. And in all of this, I finally see you. I see you risen, awaken and most importantly, loved. It was maybe during your suffering that I felt so connected to you, but it was this, this unexplained happiness of sharing, that I felt peaceful; it was here, amidst all the strangers coming and going, that I felt the silence of contentment, and MAN I’m so glad, I felt it with you.

 

Sounds of Self

We’re all humming,

Humming our own made up melodies, Our

own parched lips parting and then

Meeting again,

Taking out words marinaded in a voice audible only

To self, We’re all

Making music of heart, of 

Sorrows, spirits and sunshine, music

Of our own travelled course, 

I hear you humming,

I hear your music, distinct from mine

And then my parched lips part,

To hum

My own melody, to smile

And cherish yours.  

 

 

Art: Joe David Drumm

On Regrets in The Process of Becoming

We ponder upon regrets, or more like let them linger because we see ourselves in this journey of becoming. Like a piece of a jigsaw puzzle, we see our present as a part of a larger destiny; an element in the life optimization process. 

Transcience, as preached by Buddhist philosophy mojo, is the only reality of life. The only thing that never changes is the change itself. When life is lived in moments and every passing moment is marked by a sense of decay, every thought about the ‘decayed’ is just a hindrance to the process of becoming. When we regret, we force to recollect and relive the moments we will never capture again. Such is the weakness of regrets. 

When Edith Piaf agreed to perform at her last concert after the death of her most beloved person, she chose to perform a song titled non je ne regrette rein – which translates as ‘I have no regrets left’. It’s fascinating to see a person who has met with such a profound incident of loss denying even an atom of regret in her system. Edith tells us that regret is not natural and is definitely not connected with our material reality; it’s never about what we have become. Regretting is a hedonistic activity of indulging oneself in the artificiality of the past. Such is the frivolity of regrets. 

So as I was talking about life goals with my dear friend and a fellow law student, my only advice to his long drawn out plans was to move away from the linearity of these very plans. It doesn’t matter how you would feel about your career when you are 90 because the happening of that very event in future in nothing more than a contingency. If we will dwell in anything other than present, we will be taking away our energies from the phase that matters the most in the process of becoming. And that is – now! 

 

Picture: Regrets by Jasper Johns