August 15, 2012 § 3 Comments

26th January 2012 (0952hrs)

 

The nation celebrates its becoming a Republic.

Among all the imagined borders that crowd our globe, this little village finds its own. Tracks of railing separate the old village from the new, with an intermediary crossing that presents an illusionary fluidity. The new village is more accessible from the main road, is a few meters closer to the nearest town and has its own load shedding pattern that differs from the old. The old village lies as it was for a decade during which politicians, educators, doctors and businessmen created new space for themselves. Some were from nearby towns looking to settle where land is cheaper and yet accessible by road. However, most were of the village, merely choosing to display their prosperity and power in a place slightly distanced from their own. With time, others from the old have moved into the new, but remain off the cemented roads to maintain a familiar drainage system. Even though the old and new are distinguished with freshly acquired notions of what each says about the other and themselves, for mostly political purposes, they remain as one.

Celebrations were held in the old village with all the old and new villagers participating. In the old village lies the public school and local government offices, both at which flags were hoisted. The hoisting of these flags was to conclude a procession through the village, led by the school band and children. Teachers and political leaders followed with most other villagers remaining spectators. The morning commenced with rounds of trained physical displays and the honouring of Gandhi and Ambedkar, whose frames sat garlanded on armed plastic chairs.

The time after this auspicious occasion was rigorously and solely focused on the upcoming elections. Rickshaws running on man or horsepower were mounted with speakers along with symbols honouring principles of various political parties and individuals. This time round, people’s votes ensure power at the village and district level. The only issue at hand that all the candidates seemed to agree on was a song which would for certain gain them votes. This made matters testing for the voting populace as all were individually fighting for unity.

Villagers soon began discussing our political affiliations on the basis of whom we most interacted with. Here, personal relations determine voting choices. Free alcohol on the day of the elections runs the risk of ruining all the hard worked at friendships, but most claim to stay loyal and continue reaping friendly benefits.

In the dusk of this political skyline, cows continue to be milked, families continue to arrange marriages, boys continue games of cricket and marbles while girls prepare meals for the house, and farmers continue to choose death over unyielding fields.

Soon, it was time to leave.

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July 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

The sun remained eclipsed for days, shining brightly at us via a rainbow round a wholesome moon.

Veeraiya, the wisest of storytellers, spoke to us of forests and our role in repeated wanderings through the same. Our paths, he said, create streams. And thus, where we go, water follows, closely by life.

I may have become from a cultivated sea, but the mountains and the waters they birth are now my home. With each setting day, I grow afraid that my return may be distant and new love, challenging to find. It appears as if these mounds are clinging to me and crying out for me to stay, but it is I alone who weeps. These hills and the lives they sustain are my solitude. I may not know them, but their faces I shall never forget.

***

My descent wasn’t as steady as I foresaw. The dependable moon remained through my last day as the sun rose brilliantly from the ghats. Bamboo Rivers lead me away from my new familiar as my love grew mightier than the deep-seated roots that hold up these mountains despite gravity’s snare. This is now my only remaining hope – that my own travels create space for waters to flow and life to rejoice.

For amidst a sea of cloud, the earth is an adventure.

May 23, 2012 § 11 Comments

I wish I could give you the sound of the sea, not sealed inside a shell. The grand power with which it conducts its frothing waves that struggle to burst forth all at once, but are victims of melody. The silence you hear when it holds its breath in anticipation of lightly toeing the sand, the only moment when it is mere and vulnerable. The sounds that it permits the wind to carry, and those that it keeps close, drawing you nearer. The heaving of the tides, the spilling of the waves onto lands littered with crab-holes that travel deep into places you cannot traverse without holding tightly to the roots of palms. The same sea that through eyes of many, travels to plains that become deserts, that become mountains, that hold snow that greets clouds who dust it through skies bereft of rain that has already fallen on your outstretched hand; I take it in mine.

May 17, 2012 § 4 Comments

With sleepless eyes we gazed blearily up at the skies and watched the stars float on the wind. Amidst many, they danced merrily; constantly realigning while always keeping close. Lights bounced off the underbellies of birds as they flew beyond the earth, gathering the heavens with every beat of their wings. They peered through the night remaining on course as we laughed, glad that our journey was hugged firmly by gravity’s tow.

May 3, 2012 § 8 Comments

He was known to most of the neighbourhood. Familiar and principally calm, he wandered through our worlds, and although incapable of politely asking him to leave, we chose to be welcoming. That was until he found the well.

Situated in the garden of one of the households, the occupants soon found their grass trampled on, flowerbeds revamped, and themselves having to share water with Boltu. About 6 feet high, Boltu is a lone male gaur that traverses parts of our little town caught between forest lands. With a distinguished chip on his left horn and his preference for solitude, he is easy to place. And yet, amidst familiarity, he stood afraid. Fear of bright lights, rocks being thrown, the paramount booing and chasing by those who bought his land left him as cornered and scared as the perpetrators of these acts, leaving all scrounging for a solution between equally worried stakeholders.

And as May pierces through our days and resident unions are formed, we hope and pray that our own struggles are in tandem with his.

January 26, 2012 § 2 Comments

And so we break in the shadow of a 1936 tree, hoping to salvage a moment of yesteryear and slink into a dream of before.

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