Sunday, May 4, 2014

April




















Cassia javanica, the pale pink and white gentleness offsetting the harshness of our summers, the delicate blossoms covering the branches like ornaments on a wrist.

The sprinklers are on in the park, gently pushing down the bright red whirl of the gulmohar flowers against dry fallen leaves, crimson against brown.

The searing heat burning away all the flimsy layers of protection built up over the self, to justify continuation, waking up in the morning, facing an uncaring world. April, the cruellest month*. Aprils, that punctuate our downward spirals.

*    *     *     *    *     *

“But who will catch the catcher in the rye?” That was his last message, she said, before he walked into the sea.

“A current under sea
Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell
He passed the stages of his age and youth
Entering the whirlpool.”**

*    *     *     *    *     *

The frangipani turns headier in the heat, all its moisture drained out to retain only the concentrated essence of its fragrance. 

The crucifixion re-enacted every summer, the devout waiting for the end of His suffering and the glory of His rebirth. The lingering evening heat spreads the fragrance of the frangipani over them, when they come out of the church. A reminder that summer, at least, will resurrect every year.

*    *     *     *    *     *

Reciprocity, the most difficult thing of all, he said. To still be sure of one’s existence, in a world that does not reciprocate, when the mirror reflects nothing.

I have often longed to lay my head on the shoulder of the stranger next to me on the tube, he said, just to feel accepted in the circle of the living. There are days my eyes fill up looking down into my book, because the need is so strong. When I was a child, a kind woman once allowed me to put my head on her lap and sleep, while the long-distance bus hurtled through the darkness, and my family ignored me. I search for her on the tube, all over the world.

"...The desert is not remote in southern tropics,
The desert is not only around the corner,
The desert is squeezed in the tube-train next to you,
The desert is in the heart of your brother."***

..................................................................................................................................................

*  The Burial of the Dead. From 'The Wasteland', T.S.Eliot
** ​Part IV: Death by Water. From 'The Wasteland', T.S.Eliot
*** Choruses from 'The Rock', T.S.Eliot          

1 comment:

Kabir Bavikatte said...

Wow, I read this with tears in my eyes. Exquisite writing. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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