Thursday, May 14, 2015

A Leaf-Shaped Hole

The ground was matted with dried rubber-tree leaves. As she neared the gates, Navomi picked up one; she was always amazed by the intricate pattern on a single dry  leaf – a gauzy map of infinitesimal roads, bifurcating, multiplying – a delicate trellis of carefully-woven exasperation.  She wondered if it was the ghost of a poem insculptured by a forgotten poet centuries ago. 

When a rubber tree leaf is completely dry, the skin flakes away to reveal its pellucid skeleton, a convoluted configuration of veins. She marveled at that fragile equilibrium which was holding the whole structure intact instead of crumbling to dust.  It was like that part of her which distilled, then smoldered and years later decomposed into an embittered abstraction.  She sighed un-selfconsciously letting the leaf float down from her fingers. There was no one watching - no Fr. Mulligan with his compassionate, slightly supercilious grin or a simpering Kochu Maria with a smirk pleated under her sycophantic smile - Navomi was free to be her own shattered self.
Her lower lip trembled, her jaws hurt. Uncomprehendingly, she had broken the love laws that dictated "who should be loved, and how. And how much." 

A filigreed elegy, a sublimated fossil of a damaged soul sailed down - earth-smelling, eye-like and so startlingly weightless.

 A leaf-shaped hole in the universe brimmed silently with bitterness.

Image: Google Images

 {An extract from a fan fiction I’d written based on the characters created by one of my favourite living authors - Arundathi Roy}


Image: Google Images

Saturday, May 9, 2015

For a Young Dreamer

Dear You,
1. Love. Love makes everything ok. Find the real thing, the seemingly impossible thing, the near-nonexistent thing – and then, love.
2. Discern and understand, in splinters and scatters, the hidden wholeness of all things.
3. Savour those little moments when you feel perfect contentedness, a perfect harmony, a magnificent connectedness with the whole.
4. Relish slowness. Live an unhurried, cultured life brimming with ideas. Reading, writing, dreaming, watching the world glide by while you sip tea and introspect.
5. Be absurdly pure, intrinsically beautiful and loftily and determinedly idealistic.
6. When you read, feel verses in the lungs, in the knuckles, in the arch of the feet.
7. Take time to sit in ignored corners – old stair bends, mildewed window-sills, forgotten parks, an inconspicuous café in a street corner.
8. It is ok to dream away a day, or spend it on Tumblr. Really.
9. Be yourself. Absolutely, elementally and staunchly yourself.
10. Get involved exuberantly in things you love. Lose sleep. Skip meals. Flout societal conventions and expectations. Obsess.
11. Read more poems. Dwell, delve and delight in the very vein of poetry.
12. Exist in your own timelessness.
13. Embrace your inner brokenness and its essential fullness.
14. Bloom where you are planted.
15. Sit beside a warbling stream purling away under the sleepy stars. Feel the pebbles, the water flowing between your toes.
16. Don’t limit your curiosity. Ever.
17. Embrace the universe.
18. Explore every cadence of your mind.
19. Study yourself every day. Hack away the inessential.
20. Take long walks. Feel the throb of a city in your muscles, in the ache of your feet, in the sear of your soars.
21. Read Nabokov. Taste the delicately convoluted trellises of unusual syllables.
22. Don’t let anyone con you into following banal conventions.
23. If you love your own company, you’ll never be bored. Don’t let anything intrude upon your precious solitude.
24. Hear music in your marrows. Listen to post rock. Transform.
25. Look beyond the reality of the world around you. When you look up, imagine wings unfurling in the unperturbed evening air.
26. Love sunsets, sunrises, the whole drama of dawn and dusk. Become one with the changing sky - an infused, swirling purple. A piece of cloudy twilight.
27. Simplify the eating experience. Discover the subtle tang in a grape, the bright headiness in a slice of papaya.
28. Understand that this is a precious dawn between two infinities off dusk.
29. Spend a day in a forest; soak up the stirrings and stillness. Talk to a shy fern.
30. Apologize without hesitation, but know if someone is taking advantage of you. If you have to grovel endlessly or listen to ceaseless tirades then move on. Life is too short.
31. Memorize a whole tree - every inch of the bark, every shade of the petals, every whisper of the leaves and fold it away among the pages of remembrance.
32. Go to a second-hand book store. Simply sit there and inhale. If you are allergic to dust, look at photographs of books on Pinterest.
33. Become a river – gently carve into the landscape and nourish the woods you pass by. Listen to the throbs and pulses of the aquatic lives. Sparkle in the sun, dream under the frosty skies and eventually become one with the ocean.
34. Live deeply in this distracted world. Become the renaissance.
35. Catch and treasure the molecules of extraordinary in the ordinary. Store them up to be recollected, drop by tender drop, years later.
36. Watch a nest being built, twig by twig.
37. Have dreams as large as mountains and as brittle as old flowers.
38. When you write, let untamed verses grow from your pores and evaporate. Write at least a page a day.
39. Be like the windows of a mountain cabin – charming, quiet and present. The perceptive lodger shall open you and breathe in the undulating landscapes.
40. Saudade.
41. Expand beyond the prison of your body and embrace this immense mystery.
42. There will always be critics. Just sail by. You are a sheer sphere in this world of foggy circles.
43. Become a tantalizing nuance, the degree of difference between blue and blue.
44. Collect bits of nature - fill your space with pebbles, interesting twigs, fronds, shells.
45. Be like a melting flake. Live in a state of infra-lucidity, peer at the world through the limpid depths of a rain drop.
46. Become marcescent - be exposed to life’s assaults and marvels and abrade away until you become a translucent abstraction, a distilled verse. No walls. No filters.
47. Listen. Listen with every fiber of your body. You will hear a mushroom swelling, a butterfly sighing, a tea leaf unfolding. Trip on that.
48. Leave behind the windows you created for others to open and see.
49. Accept the innate substance of life.
50. Wither with grace.
                                               - Jeena Mary Chacko

Image: Pinterest