Monday, July 27, 2009

Afternoon. July 24

They said it was going to flood that day,
and flood pretty badly too.

Apart from the few half-hearted showers,
it didn't rain much
although we each overflowed and broke through our floodgates
one by one.

We stared far into our separate distances
expecting that if the rain didn't drown our sorrow,
that at least fairweather would dry our tears
but no sooner did the sun creep out every once in a while,
than it was indulgently engulfed by encroaching clouds.

forlorn laundry fluttered flippantly in the window grills of his neighbours' apartment block
as the whizzing fan ripped though our grief.

I didn't know what to say.
If he had said anything,
I wouldn't have known how to comfort him.

We lost many things that day
and to have tried to explain any of them
would have been meaningless.

We would never have found the words
to speak of such silence.

We would ask now of Death

Of late I have contemplated my mortality many times, but I didn't realise what it would take from me to have to come face to face with it. These last few days have not been easy and more than once I said to the void in my heart that "it's just not fair. What has happened is not fair."

Then I found the words I had been looking for: the answer I need right now. This is how I will choose to face death, and in facing the inevitable, face life:

From The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

Then Almitra spoke, saying, “We would ask now of Death.”

And he said:

You would know the secret of death.
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.
If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.

For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.
In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.

Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honor.
Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?
Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?
For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?

Only when you drink form the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

The Passing of a Beloved Soul

Kanika, we will remember you for the love and joy and laughter you brought us all

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Waiting Inside, Hoping For The Rain To Abate

I love the monsoon
- don't get me wrong -
but waiting inside, hoping for the rain to abate,
I can't help but dread it sometimes.

I can't help but
stand still in fear and awe of its mighty force,
or sulk at its persistance
while simultaneously begrudging it the welcome
it so unnervingly well deserves.

It's been pouring and raining
and falling buckets of water -
as if the lady upstairs were washing out her window grills with a vengance
(she tends to do that every morning
even when it's already raining and pouring outside)
and the verandahs are so full of water by now,
that I wonder what the inundation must look like
on the tracks at Dadar station or
down at the local subway.

People must be cursing the rain, I think,
because these fair-weather folk
are like fish out of water in a flood.

You would imagine that they could be better equipped for a downpour
(seeing as it rains like this every year)
and would be carrying the latest trenchcoat fashions in their briefcases
or even wearing neat wellingtons Made in China,
but the truth is,
that even in July,
the poor souls manage to survive water cuts on their kitchen taps,
only to be swept away by the tide around their compound walls outside their modest homes.

It's an ironic, evil, adorable little jester this torrential rain,
and it's already made a fool of most of us today,
although waiting inside, hoping for it to abate,
I can't help but wish that it would let me stay in
just a little longer.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Expressway Watercolours

I've picked up my watercolours again.
These are from the weekend in Khandala

11:47 am/pm

Friday, July 03, 2009


the monsoon makes a certain habit of me.
like a sunflower that follows the likely daily path of a star,
the rain in july
resounding in the music that crawls into my digital player
around this time of year
is incredibly light,
entirely frail
and when it finds its strength,
beats down a sloshy track to the door of my wood-panelled room
which, in between the pensive prints i've collected over time
and the neat grids of calendar art,
looks like its been through a lot.

I've such relics jammed into the corners of this space
that, swelling in the humid moisture of the month,
they fall out of place
and tumble into a neat file standing on the edge of my softboard,
trying to dry off and dust away the flakes i've let them accumulate
as punishment for giving me so much grief
and so much more silence to anticipate.

july is always like this:
a shaking, twisting, awakening mass of memory
that comes out of hibernation just to remind me
of everyone I used to know
and everything I couldn't be.
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