she writes about age,
memory loss, senility,
about watching her mother's
mind disintegrate, about
names, faces, dates, childhoods
recipes to dishes she has cooked
at things she has no comprehension of
anymore: the television, soap,
remote controls, shoelaces.
"she can still read," my mother says
so they read together:
the vishnu sahasranamam.
"she thinks she can sing" my mother says
so they listen to her sing.
i wonder if i
will have the strength
to write poetry
she said it with certainty, her face pale, her lips loosely bound together, her nose flaring. a couple of minutes later, she shook her head, raised her eyebrows and closed her eyes. her breathing slowed. her panic ebbed. the smells of jasmine came mildly. they tapped at the tip of her nose before entering, and all of a sudden, she smiled. she asked me where i was going. 'chembur', i said. she nodded at me purposefully. i nodded back. two stops after, i stood up. she jostled through everybody else and took my seat with a sigh.
never again, she said. breaking my heart.
my old email accounts.
rediffmail, with a first-name-only address
yahoo, whose password i haven't changed in twelve years.
hotmail, back when msn was cool.
but i miss more
the emails i got
when i first fell in love
when i discovered that
poetry can be understood,
can be felt, can be loved,
that it doesn't have to be
in strange phrases from the '30s
that it doesn't have to be explained,
that it can be about
puppies, match sticks, bits of soap*
that it can be broken words
that make sense
only to you and me;
that we can learn to love
ourselves, that i could learn to
some days i want to
go back and read the emails
we wrote to each other
that we so cruelly deleted
when we decided
we love ourselves
more than we love
kukkapilla, aggi pulla, sabbu billa
heenamga chudaku denni,
prapancham oka padmavyuham,
kavitam oka teerani daaham.
- srisri, mahaprasthanam.
(no, i haven't started writing yet. unless you want to count the market assessment of dairy cooperatives i did last month. i don't.)
I've been making rounds of some high level government offices this past week. I misplaced my PAN card, so all I have is my JNU student ID. Each time I flash it, I elicit a reaction. Sometimes an awkward laugh, sometimes additional scrutiny, sometimes a conversation about what I do there. Each time I have to show it, I prepare myself for a reaction. With indignation and pride.
Never been proud of alma mater before now. :) It's kind of cool.
There's this argument:
1. X was charged with something atrocious.
2. X was tried through due process of law for doing something atrocious (because democracy bitches).
3. X's trial may or may not have been fair.
4. A, B and C as citizens of a country question X's trial process.
Or there's the other argument:
1. X is a terrorist. X blew up things.
2. X got hanged (because democracy bitches).
3. A, B and C support X.
4. A, B and C deserve to be hanged too.
Yes, let's replace debate with rhetoric. That way, we don't really have to expect answers and less of us will have a headache.
*goes back to dancing naked, having safe sex and drinking alcohol not gaumutra*
-her (spike jonze)
(on most days i'm just the very worst)
She's 80 years old, lost both her children in the earthquake twenty years ago. I met her at her kachcha home today. It's fifteen degrees out, she only has one kerosene lamp and four litres of fuel for it each month. Come, see my bungalow, she says.
While telling me her story, she fumbled around in the dark, looking for her daughter's photograph. She looked through all of her belongings (all four plastic bags of them) and finally found it. She told me about how nobody gives a shit about whether they live or die. Even their pension is eaten by the amir log.
Where's the bloody justice in the world.