Let it whisper my tale from afar
It could be that fallen star.
O, won't you mix in some tar.
I'll look at it - as a melody cut to a bar.
Pixies dance, while fairies weep On the boulevard of insatiable dreams... Magic and wonder is free to reap... Enchantment sets ye free...
Last night I slept. I really did. It just came. I just dropped and woke up with a slobered mouth. I still smelt of body shop, my nightcream. I didn't feel the morning warmth yet and I could hear music from the I-pod I forgot to turn off when I fell unconscious. I had slipped into coma. I could fell an inkling of the winter chill - more one running down my spine as I struggled to peel myself all too quickly away from the bed. Head Rush, it must have been. I missed the Azaan and I had a blank mind. I didn't remember my dream from last night. I had no reference point to begin my story of the day. For a while, I couldn't even remember my name. And then it hit. A wave of pure emotion. Those tears just came. The flood within rushed on a crack of thunder. I laughed and I cried. The sound mixed. I made music and I grieved. It's been a year and ironically it's been a little over 24 hours again since the last attack. I'm finally growing a lover's heart.
“I probably need new sheets,” I thought to myself
“Yup! That’s it. Fresh off the Laundromat.”
“White light too,” I switched on nervously.
“The orange is making things a bit too yellow.”
“Maybe it’s the settled dust,” I reached out for a rag.
“It’s taken over my senses. My mind is registering dirt.”
“I’ve got it. It’s the floor,” I frowned in inspection.
“The broom will whisk those monsters from under the bed.”
“The curtains, the curtains,” I tore at the filth swaying heavily in the breeze.
“It’s always these drapes that breed and hold the demons.”
“These clothes,” I looked down and gnawed at my skin
“The sweat, the grime is polluting my body.”
“I need Valium,” I thought to myself
“Yup! That’s it. Fresh off the shelf. For a new whole me.”
"I need love," I cried to myself silently
"I can't kill this entropy."
Three candles are lit with a spark
Each one does fade away the dark.
Each one shows us the way
Each one turning dark nights into day.
The first one gave me a smile
She said, "I’m going out in a while."
I say, "when you die where do you go?"
She said, "I’m going to fall with the snow."
The next one looked into me
She said, "where do you wanna be?"
I said, "I wanna fall with the snow.
But where do you wanna go?"
She said, "I’m gonna fly like a dove,
Through this world to search for my love."
Last one dances while dies.
She says, "when the turn comes you will fly."
I say, "what if I fly the wrong way?
I’ll need you to turn night into day."
She said, "I'm gonna shine with the stars,
So Ill always be where you are."
We’re joined with the soul of the world
Found in every boy and every girl
Ever tree, every sea, every hill
And in all of the men we kill.
Every bud, every bug, every stream
In all of the sins we redeem
Its in all of the songs we sing
Its found in everything.
This circle bleeds without an edge
As sanity deprived of thought
These fingers grasp a shifting ledge
Of melting frost
Of one blank page without a plot
This drifting orb of silence dwells
As a finger brushed ‘cross lips
Froth of enmity laps darkened swells
Of broken truths
The blank page folds and rips
These nails of darkened earth reside
Blind as mountains’ sight that’s felt
Resigned that autumn’s leaves confide
Of memory thawed
This page lies smote by snow’s first melt
Creaking leather aches, recalls
Bones of dusty corpse of earth
In shrouded cloud, a roiling pall
Of burning love
The page there smolders in broken hearth
When read again, one line remains
A line, no thought, and only pain.
Shuffle! on the sunday afternoon and the seemingly spirited shred of the violin streamed through the weekend workstation. Remnants from last night and I suddenly smiled. It was the same song, with the same guitar riff that lead into the same mellifluous voice reciting the same verse. 'Mysore se Ayee.' It was Raghu Dixit's playful barritone and I was ready to dance again, without ghungroos even.
If music be therapy and new age yoga have found its perfect guinea pig - then I offer my testimonial. I have healed. Twenty four hours, in the grasp of music and I am finally beginning to hear my heart skip a beat again. My skin is awash with tenacity and my mind has goosebumps. Muddled up senses - just perfect. Too many verses from too many moments and too many lines are coming together. My mind is writing disjointed poetry and my heart is watching them jump on a scale. I am writing again.
And it all happened with a morning meeting with a former popstar who is singing again. "If life be art," she said, "then I am living it." The settled gleam in her eyes and the certain smile made me believe. I smiled back and for a moment, hours later in the local back home post a plate of Reshmi kebabs and sweet lime gorged on on the side of the historical cricket pitch, the line held me in a pandemonic trance. A volte-face. Like I was somehow carrying the legacy of the heroes and heroes that will be. My mind had begun to hum a raw melody and my fingers instinctively formed chords. The afternoon humid flush on my cheeks made for an excellent cover-up.
In a city of cubbyholes, carcasses of plastic, colourful horadings and cultural cosmos crowding roads - to hold onto a muse is the toughest thing to do. Every corner inspires and every sound grabs attention. In this matrix of images, a lucid interval doesn't exist long enough to take it all in. But my melody in the tropical heat did find its harmony. And it happened at the Channel V Concert for Change. Three new bands will committ their original sins and four artists will hone their stage. And it began. First with a baul-grunge band from good ole' Kolkatta. Cassini's Division and their interpretation of fun. With Reverse Polarity who gave masquerade madness a whole new carnivale of meaning with their deep throated guttural angst and their incindiary-notice-my-anguish heavy metal squeals from the lead, the bass and the drums. And later with a humble fade out by simplistic genuity by Faridkot when they sang to you.
But the best dwindled between the many. The Raghu Dixit Project. The songs gave me my harmony. The sarangi, the guitar, the bass, the drums, the ghungroos and the voice - and I believed. The men smiled, wore their lungis and drove in a wave of emotion. They felt each note and sang into the sunset. The Helium globe dipped and Raghu sang folk, sufi, qawwali. There wasn't a face in the crowd that wasn't looking up, not an arm that didn't rise, not a voice that didn't sing along. He conducted. We perfromed.
For someone who visits concert halls, campus grounds, open-air-arenas and festivals with a raised eyebrow, through the worst and the best of all - I wouldn't call it the moment for it wasn't. It wasn't mind-numbing and it wasn't the brilliant sound that would hold you in a trance. Rather it was the familiar sound of an instinctual learning, a deja vu from within. Even though the thousands were only a few hundred, music had been made. Art had become life. My heart was ready to skip a beat.
... And it did.
Trapeze artists show perfect composure. At the height of their long, graceful, winding fall – they dive with passion, compassion and with purpose. Each stride in the air and leap into the unknown is piqued with the pride of trust in the anticipated abysmal nothingness. Yet there is the faith. The knowing smile, the calm eyes, upturned chin showing and the proudly arched back and the nodding head that revels in the knowing - there is a safety net at the bottom.
Days come and go. the shadow of the sun dial chases out the daylight. At the end of even an imperfect day - perfection seeks its head out. Abstinence from regularity is just a wild call away from reality. Wish for some randomness and it truly does seek you. That is something I learnt this year when 26 became more than a step ahead of the quarter mile. I run the main league now and sooner than later, my days might be getting outnumbered already. A-process-too-complicated-to-explain is no longer a guise I can hide behind anymore. Answers are supposed to be coming clearer now. The heart be more in sync with the mind. The knee is supposed to be in place and not wander away and well courage needs to be Dutch now.
It's the year of big realisations. I need to get a grab on the trapeze and fall knowing there is a safety net. If only I could see it...
a long laundromat hour, an old fade, a familiar slide of time;
soap in boxes, machines of it; a
sign begs, "Keep this place clean."
outside, the bars are so wetly lit
in their silent huddled storefronts;
buses pass by in the rain with
their peculiar leviathan sound noising the night.
electricity hums along wires
strung above the street, fine web of wire.
i wait to be inhabited. smoothing laundry,
feeding the tumbling with coins,
buses swim along the street, sighing those metal sighs.
there isn't a thing i do today
that does not have your name written, sounded into it;
sounds like something maybe looking for air,
breaching above the wetness,
maybe calling a name out into that dark, folding sky.
I let out a sigh, or wait a name;
how many washes more to wash you away
It's the need to be truly rhetoric.
To fall and rise
and let fate despise.
To be inebriated
and constantly sedated
self-obsessed traumas completely unrelated
yet simple verse finds a meter unprepared
words Id rather keep in than share
for with each sigh, a wound lies to the wind bare.
Keeping the glow, the hue all in
they say it will ride me through the sin.