I was stark with fear, and wandering. Open-mouthed in pain and hunger. Where the roads ended and the signs gave out I saw the endless end of all things. The ocean was a desert. And the illumination struck me down, smote and stilled the feet. There would be no footprints now, but sloughing winds. What shadows remained grew into the dust and sand. Waiting so long for rain or nothingness, those pores became long, grained bark and furrow. Arms blackened, feet bleached, soon the sand will rub and soothe away all memory of waiting. Perhaps something shall rise as dust and dune and mountain again. And then fade, and rise, ceaselessly. How do shadows become serene?
Monthly Archives: October 2015
Mother, I will build for you a ceremony of words.
Intonations, as I gather the brick-dust fallen from the heads of those burnt men and women filing tearless in the heat. They were building the bricks some of us will use to build our ‘havans.’ And I will chant under my breath as I run to gather the threads fallen loose from the dyed fabrics and the dyed hands of those who make our celebratory garments. I will, Mother, pant alongside the cattle being driven to market, waiting for the celebratory feast. I will walk with the farmer who dons his drums and feathers and travels to the city to make coins for his fickle harvest. I will heave and shout with the dark energetic boys on lorries who run the neighborhood shows, a few days to focalize youthful energy and rage. I will watch the crowds and the carnival, their emotions and their doubts sharpened by display. I will watch those who religiously abstain from such topsy turvy opiate festivals.
And I will etch with a little stick the altar I want to make for ‘you,’ the bricks of my lists, the chants of my queries. For nothing else makes sense of this senseless earth, its thrashing lives, its vast solitude in the cosmos. Without an accounting, this mind-hull of heaven is Nothing.
Three links. Yours to read, juxtapose, ponder.
My view: the pie (India’s distributable resources) is not endless, people. Let’s also talk about how to grow it in size while we decide how to fight over how to divide it up.
A South Asia without borders is also a region without a single entity to provide subsidized healthcare, aid to victims of natural disasters, incentive to industry and technology, and the privileges of reservations.
A call to divide India up still further. (Other bits of supposedly “impeccable logic” from Pakistan and JNU. ) Please set these against this call for 100 % caste-based reservations in India.
Who gets what land? What industry? How is the reservation system to be enforced if regional majorities impose their own rule in each state? Will we resettle minorities to areas where they are majorities? I wish these learned people who write such articles and propose such policy changes would consider the massive upheaval, conflict and resentment they are instigating.
Above all, how is the logic of more power to regions compatible with centrally decided logics of affirmative actions? Should India convert to a loose semi-autonomous coalition? As before the British Raj? Shall we wait for another ‘settler colonial’?