Distance breeds discontent. My own objectivity keeps me from feeling too much. The effort of seeing all makes the head feel as if it will burst outwards, like Dali’s painting. The masters of peace say that one should immerse oneself in the moment. Believers immerse themselves in the Ganges, thinking it will wash away their sins, a baptismal absolution unto a new life within this one on earth. Immersion, natal waters. It was true that absorption in the moment brought peace, transcendence even. Blessed was he
who had found his work. The scientist, the explorer, the devotee, all knew it.
The child, too. Be as the child, said the Way, be one with the purpose. My father knew it, his singleness of mind the knife-edge of peace in his middle-aged achievements. He said I had it too when I was young. I remember utter fascination under the moment, a depth-dive into words; I understood Through the Looking Glass. I still get it sometimes now, in moments when I live or remember poetry, or when an
enthusiastic acquaintance asks me if I can ‘see’ the story I read. Or when one or the other person asks me of my mother’s exact past illness, or what rural India needs in the way of technological miracles using human power. Then I realize how self-absorbed I have been. A long-legged fly upon the stream.
Discontent breeds desire. So now I wish to find again a purpose to discipline a dissipated life. I choose my mauled culture, wishing to make it the dress-shorn Draupadi. But she will have none of it. Headstrong, she always was, that nation, that culture, and pliant as a woman. Thus she fell to the invaders, and thus she resisted mutely, in the antarmahals of her collective psyches. I am too far away, and I am not Krishna. Rasa will not be our game, lila will.