Bags are Packed – Part 1 – Verses Inked

Bags are Packed – Part 1

Brogue – On the Road – Verses Inked

Verses Inked© logo
prose

 

bags-are-packed

Dear Qi,

Last night I booked myself on the cheapest one way flight to finding myself, yet again. I’m a week away from taking off and my stomach is simmering.

I fondly rerun the balmy evenings post a hard day’s labor, spent at the same hole-in-the-wall, the same ceramic cups filled with watery black coffee. It was our conversations in the glow of the setting sun that made each cup that much more sweet. You said you could read my mind, from my caffeine cravings to my need to wander. You encouraged me to make music, seek answers, travel far and wide in search of what always lay within. That my hostile environment was a projection of my inner insecurities. That the world was safe and beautiful for those who had the eyes for it.

I haven’t travelled without a plan in six years now and caution is a baggage age has conveniently dumped on me. You were all of fifty when you set out to conquer uncharted territories in a language which could never be your own. I’ll create my own words, my own rhythm, with the love you taught me, the faith you invested in me and the music you nurtured my pride with.

I’m off to the wilderness, the solitary seas, the unmanned mountain. I’m beginning to get there, in becoming a better person, finding peace within, discovering my purpose. Like you always said, “If you can’t do it your way then chalo Pakistan.”

First stop en route Neverland- Delhi!

Infinitely soul sister,

PC

-Priyanka Charan-

Artist: Szakter Judit, Hungary
ART- „Look”

Painting- Wallboard sheet, acrylic
size: A3

Raftaar

It was a standard morning on a roman countryside. It was just another day in the life of a six year old Gladiator.Alejandro. It was after the days since the Colosseum had shut down. There was not much elements of interests in the day to day life of people, except, what except. There are no exceptions. We all do drugs. Yes drugs, the only form of recreation unless prescribed, which was for the gladiators, specifically were. There was LSD also known as acid, drops, blots, papers, grain, pixel, sniff, wuff, wurr, specially prescribed for those competing to be among the fastest. Now a particular requirement during experience of LSD was the smoking of hasish, as Anderso would say. The thing with LSD was that it was in plenty, available in nature, only need be tapped by the overbold of conscience. Hashish on the other hand was a product of the industrious, scythed by the contemptuous for the utter fulfillment of the life.

It was to be a tight rope race between the two gladiators where each would mount their rides, either on a green vespa, or a grey one. The prize of the race was to be a brick of the finest hashish, that would had been skinned out of the strongest of the stallions.

And so the legend goes, even among the followers of the usurpers. Alejandro, dressed in his hound armour, Anderso, bald as ever. Their vespas, tripping on their own throttle, their own anxieties, gyrating like the swirls of hookah, or at least that was what Anderso was pretending to be doing.  As for Alejandro, it was a matter of life and death. He had popped mushrooms thirty grams of sand ago. It had taken him a complete ninety grams of sand to gather all his score. He was in need of the herb, as bad whisky is in need of water. Anderso, the pretender in the mean while was quietly chewing on a gram from the hash that was to be the prize.

-88-

[ n♠te: This perhaps is an extract from a larger piece in progress, perhaps just a piece to spike the imagination of the reader.] [ PARENTAL DISCRETION NEEDED ]

raftaar
Artwork by: Rollen Lasrado

The Ghost of the Lampost

1 o’ clock, 2 o’ clock, 3 o’clock, 4 o’clock, 5 o’ clock, 6 o’ clock, 7 o’ clock, 8 o’ clock, 9 o’ clock, 10 o clock, 11 o’ clock, 12 o’ clock, midnight ….Ghost in the graveyard…and the children would play and scurry around chasing each other underneath the lamp post. It was to be evening on account of which a group of over excited insects had assembled around dancing particles of dust  which were now visible under the tungsten radiance of the  lamppost. The children were in fact involved in the  mentioned  sport during the better part of the evening when the sun would cast  it’s long slanting rays across the face of the earth disinfecting ever another creek or a corner which the direct rays could not reach.  Now that the moon was visible and a cool breeze could be felt upon the skin as the light faded into subtle shades of gray filtered by the dense layers of atmosphere.  The children chose to call it a day against their better judgement. As some traced their way back home while others sat around the light chit chatting and gossiping and discussing daily chores and home work and school and parents and siblings amongst more friends and their stories. All under the watchful observation of the ghost of the lamp post.

The ghost of the lamppost, a dilemma in existence, like a left over from a long sumptuous meal, a mere reflection of its previous taste.  Maybe once a part of a bigger idea that long lay like a redundant thought that had somehow gone out of fashion and has ever since skipped creation. No form, no purpose, no destiny, no future, no memories of past or intentions of the present could the soul comprehend or proclaim to possess initially.  Like a trickle of water it held on to the glass even when it was empty and instead of getting wiped or washed, it got absorbed by the cruel surface.  All that could be described of it presently was a conglomeration of ideas that vibrated in perfect harmony to each other.  An independent force that neither transmitted nor dissipated and the shear absence of mass.

By the time the entity came to realise of its existence and abilities it had long forgotten its past. The only reflections that lingered on were of a huge rush of similar kinds. As if all of them were getting late for an appointment. Expressionless, emotionless yet they pushed along as each one tried to make their way forward.  Literally a mass departure of souls that had escaped the pangs of mortality and were on their way to face their greater destiny.  The cause of death most probably an epidemic  or a calamity. And their in the hullaballoo the namesake cum protagonist of our story gets lost and even looses consciousness. if we could only  estimate the spirit to possess a conscience till it discovers itself under the glow of the lamppost.  Internally consisting of two perfectly similar vibrations that completely cancelled out each other.   The ghost, aimless directionless and discretion less as it lay, incapable of perceiving its surroundings then discovered motion. It’s capability to travel through space even though adorned it was with no mass whatsoever.

Having journeyed through space and civilizations, galaxies and groceries, black holes and bedrooms. The vast nothingness and the little everythingness round and around again and again, inconspicuous, incognito, undetectable in its completeness  the ghost had thus settled upon the lamppost. Explanations went as such. Although the ghost had no recollection of its previous life the spirit was overcome by a great sense of belonging under the warm rays of the yellow light that as if covered the surroundings under a yellow blanket. Everything looked of the colour. Like a moment of brilliance the ghost was struck with great nostalgia as memories of yellow vision came floating like an ephemeral fume and decomposed itself somewhere in the vicinity of the soul. Maybe even got absorbed into it. Although through its various journeys, the soul had started developing a perception of other energies that varied from the turbulent surface of a star to the delicate folds of a woman, between the two it could not distinguish. Although it was able to pass through any vibration unhindered owing to the perfect equilibrium that existed within itself, yet no sense of discretion or judgement had the spirit developed.

The missing sense as if bubbled onto the surface under the sombre luminance of the tungsten light emitted by the tall standing lamp post. Memories of the yellow death that had slowly set upon the body of which the wandering soul once was a mere part strengthen the soul in the same way the heart , the lungs , kidneys and the sense organs did while it was still a resident of the body. The vital nourishments the soul required for its sustenance, once again was it able to derive. Only this time from an external source.  The intensity of the light became an object of expression for the soul, and the erect metallic body a safe hovel. Through varying brightness’s of the light as if the spirit was able to express its own feelings in terms of strength. The structure was the proof of strength itself.

Brightly would the lamp be seen glowing at times compared to the surrounding lights or else glowing ever so dimly that it looked out of order. And spark would it all of a sudden up astonishing every other passerby.” Voltage fluctuations”,” earthing problems” they would mutter as they went by ignorant of the electrician behind the show. “Wow that looks like a magic lamp” would say one among a group of youthful passerines and the light glowed ever so brightly as if acknowledging the compliments. It was only through perception of the vibration the soul would interact with the society as no cognition it had of language, speech  or any knowledge for that matter. But unlike before it was now able to distinguish between the harsh taunts of the unlearned to the witty remarks of the unlearned still and accordingly was it able to respond.

As a part of city maintenance activity that had been commissioned by the government all the bulbs were to be replaced by cheaper imported substitutes. A city municipal worker was assigned the duty to bring about the task at different localities. The person thus assigned for the particular locality went about doing his job as instructed till he was almost electrocuted at the haunted pole. The remaining poles were left un attended as the issue turned out to be of trivial importance to the society and the chosen pole been haunted was not yet established till a further funding by the government saw the uprooting of all the existing poles and replacement through installation of once again imported but this time complete poles and not just bulbs. Not only was it impossible for the men to dig into the soil surrounding the structure but they also complained of sudden electric shocks on touching the metallic frame. The spirit apparently had firmer control over its capacities and intended no harm. Thus a hue and a cry was raised about and thus now the officially haunted and the one next to poles, owing to the hardness of the ground, were left unattended. The fate of the neighbour was not to be similar as that of the occupant. The neighbour could not afford a replacement of bulb as they were no longer available in the market, whilst the ghost inhabited pillar glowed ever on bright and gay without ever needing a replacement of bulbs or any maintenance what so ever. More proud than before, now having the responsibility to enlighten a larger area due to the blacking out of  the adjacent pole.  And haunted it was, the fact was established. Thus as all the other street lights in the city were of a more whitish luminance as if exhaling out of bubbling lime, this one lamp post in some obscured corner surrounded by residential habitats held onto its pale yellow illumination provided by the resistance of beaten, coiled tungsten. . The very source of the wandering soul’s new found life.

Nourishing upon the yellow ambience the only thread of connection between the soul and the concept of existence.  The spirit embodied the lamppost as generations passed and new people moved into the localities and people on the whole started getting less supernaturally inclined. During the heavy monsoons when the moisture laden breath of the earth infused the surface with vegetation as long drawn climbers with heart shaped heavily veined leaves would wrap around the entire post like an oriental ornament to the extent of been a garment. Along the horizontal more twining branches would drop down and could be seen hanging midway in the air like fashionable laces along the sleeve. The grass was unkempt and thick around the base only periodically manicured by some voluntarily visiting herbivore or the unknown trampling of a jovial foot. Then the winter came as the vegetation would sustain itself yet the once turgid leaves would have now wilted and the abundance receded. Then would come the prolonged summer that encapsulates autumn and spring. A tug of war would be raged between the soil and atmosphere as moisture would drastically disappear from the surface. Still would be the withered, now brown branches be seen swinging to the breeze as during the months it would slowly turn black and blow away with the wind itself.

Thus  Due to its aesthetic charm and seclusion from traffic the place became a particular hangout for kids during the evenings , for an occasional loner or a chirping couple later still, and a rare drunkard or two at times late into the night. Not forgotten were the stray goat, or a lonely cow, once even a raging bull that tried what the municipal pile drivers equipping their drivers could not achieve. To displace the post, from its foundation and above. Came one sultry afternoon the starved, uncastrated, nomad bull  intending to vent it’s frustrations on the body of the post. Head long he charged ramming a part of his right horn and the adjacent skull into the hollow metallic structure as sound played it’s tricks upon the tube . No doubt a considerable  dent was made on the frame that was visible to the naked eye but never again was the animal seen wandering around the post nor such incidences had been recorded thus. Peaceful was the general demeanour of the locality.

The spirit all by itself gained more control over its intentions and actions, all owing to the sense of perception that the pale light of the post had rendered active. The perception of vibrations. Although inactive would be the spirit during the day when the sun was out but during the nights the ghost of the lamp post would play it’s tricks of fluctuating voltages upon the indifferent passerby’s, dogs been a subject of special interest. Ever so slyly would the bulb flicker when a group or even at times a solitary dog would pass by. Drawing their attention, forcing them to bark in ecstasy, or howl in retreat or at times jump in aggravation. And stark would be the light piercing into the eyes of the creature. Then slowly would it fade out of prominence as one among the group or the lone traveller all by itself would stamp it’s authority , relieve itself and thus move ahead in life.

Bookmarked

Dear Calvin

Eve was a myth created out of Adam’s rib. Just the way I exist as an extension of you, when you scribbled me to life on a singularly routine and lonely night. Your ink pulses in my veins, your nib defines the boundaries of my body and behaviour. My mind is the blank page you pierce to life with the spaces between your words. I have become your written, edited, erased and rephrased, the manifestation of your longing. Then, you slyly slip a bookmark in, leaving me interrupted. Until you pick up that pen, my existence runs in a loop.

Ink me back to you.

Ruby

-video-

Priyanka Charan

13754601_921665457956779_8044517504790973689_n
Paste and Graphite Pencil on Paper, by Nikola Jankovich

Worth Words

A splash of cold water and you look up, the dishevel locks, distinct tan and above all those myopic red eyes, takes you some where in time. A place where the serene red perfectly blended with the sand, sun, stone and surf. A place where all you cared for was the strong wind that blew off your head gear each time you tried to put it on. Indifferent of the rocky terrain cutting into your footwear and your insolated back you walk the scratchy road tread by few. Even as the wind gathers speed the familiar pungent aroma in the air ruffles your senses. The heavy bag slung across your shoulder stacked with mortal belongings makes you feel lighter. The last few steady steps and you enter the scenic stretch of land flanked by water and the majestic mountains. To your right, perched in a crude valley is the angelic sweet water lake and to your left the never ending Arabian sea. They called it paradise and now you know why.

After a dip in the languid green you bask in the sun’s glory as your numb senses soak in the sights and sounds of the place. A distant urchin selling indigenous handicrafts fails to catch your attention. The heavy lunch at Smokey’s and the long ride there after makes you want to slip away. The past few hours starts taking its toll. The beauty starts eluding you and the blisters on your feet start hurting. Every thing turns into a mere reflection of the heaven you were once in as if myopia was having his revenge. Another splash of cold and you realize that you were getting late for class.

Burning eyes give way to a heavy head and your stone laden feet refuse to budge. You decide to treat yourself to an early morning dose of caffeine. A little boy clad in a loin cloth and barely touching your waist clears off the empty glasses. You almost missed him again as the new billboard across the street catches your attention. “A lot can happen over coffee”, it read. You shift gears and start walking towards college with a new spring in your steps, but your mind is in a dilemma as thoughts of the boy selling his produce hits you like torrential rains. The flickering smile and pleading eyes that actually never existed paint your imagination black and white. You walk past a grey dog sitting beside a grey wall under a grey sky.

The circle of life starts again, pages of your high school poetry book comes flashing before your eyes. Passages by a certain notorious William Wordsworth that you struggled to comprehend all of a sudden starts making sense. The heavens start pouring down as if in lament for the child on the beach and a million more for whom things like literature, Wordsworth and poetry were a distant dream. Maybe even a crazy nightmare because that will take them away from the cozy comforts of poverty. A few blocks down lives the billionaire who flies light and brews strong and he could spend a fortune making castles of sand. A few blocks up lives the boy who is being brewed into a lifeless mass like the coffee beans in the pot.

The rain gathers speed and direction as you take shelter under a green tree. A blue bus with “India Shining” painted in red goes past you.

Maybe this was nature’s holy plan

Maybe after all you should not at all lament

Because this is what “Man has made of man”

-88-

The harsh Harmonica

 

Crossroads and Friends:

There are those crossroads that we end up at, where there are no two ways of going about things. You know you cannot lose your way around for you have known each stone. You probably were better off someplace else, yet here you are at the moment, right where you should not have been, pondering if that what does not kill you, does it really makes you stronger? A question perhaps best left to the better judgement of the conscience of the self. By the way it was Nietzsche who said these lines before the joker made it his own.

th

Is that not what harshness is. An all too familiar crossroad from your hometown, where you once got beat, and you keep visiting it like you got an alkaline score to make man.  If you could only side step the longitudes of time, there would be someone waiting for you there. Yet for the sake of the beloved planet we move on ahead, with only hope to meet again. Uncalled for yet, necessary, offending and hilarious at the same time, avertible yet forever cherished. That would perhaps be all the authorship could make of harshness before we move onto the harmonica.

Groove in to the Harmonica:

 

 

img_20161029_091947_processed
“Gonna change my way of thinking, make my self a different set of rules. Gonna put my good foot forward and stop being influenced by fools.”-Bob Dylan

 

Onto the harmonica, the French harp, the mouth organ, on to the free reed,  aerophone that it is. Perhaps what distinguishes the great romancers from the lugubrious lovers, that which draws from the hollows, and soars above the skyline of sound arrangements. This which sings when the flimsy reeds, its heart and lungs like the sails of a vessel dance to their own tacking, in this case tone, at the breath and blow of the performer. That which rubs not just the lip of ja performer, but even the deepest recesses of the soul of those who care to listen. The faithful companion to the one man band. The prodigal folly of the venturer, what but the vocation of the virtuoso. The gasp of air which holds the melody through, when there is no verse to be sung, or a chorus to be emphasised upon, or hook to be dearly hung onto, or any other form of lead to be strung out.  Be it service to the Jazz, or personification of the blues, reviving the flamboyance of the swing of the 30’s, or the drone of the bebop of the 40’s, or the soul and gospel of the 50’s. there always was to be found the compositional vibratos, and the harmonies of the harmonica, with their bends, beginnings and endings, which kept on breathing in the spirit of the decades gone on by, as rolled over the pages of Beethoven digging on those rhythm and blues. That would be the harmonica my friend, what virtuoso John Popper would say as, ‘delicious but not digestible.’

The Great Harmonica Romancers:
magic-dick
Something surely goes amiss without at least a modest mention of some of the humble mongers, who got the trade to the stature it is at, as of the day. The masters at their war. The missionaries of their order, the soldiers incognita with their hollow, innocent shoulders, all of them, of the precepts of the pride beholders. Simply speaking the great harmonica romancers.  Without been specially, or temporally too data basic about it, we shall infer upon the ramblings by touching on the names and the notions of a few of those harmonica romancers, about whom an average reader may already know.

Now obviously there is the Bob Dylan. The prominent personage with his rhythms and harmonica stand, sticking out close to the microphone, like a swarm of bees working on a hive. There is the Neil Young of old, overtly confused as to which of his pockets holds which piece of what tuning. There is Mick Jagger, as there is Brexit, there is as well at the harmonica, Eddie Vader at his contemplative best, as there is Steven Tyler, feeling the tone of the instrument, through the chords of his voice. Then there are the purists as well, at least a couple among whom, who simply could not do without a mention. John Popper, with his line of Fender Harmonica, whom the reader may remember from earlier in the publication.  There is also the much lauded lord of the licking stick, to his listener, known as Magic Dick.

For a calling somewhat commonplace, and an expression stirringly rustic, to the extent of been inclement. Many maestros and mediocre alike would have had their time with the instrument, and would have their body of work and extent of imitation to speak of. So has the universe many mysteries untold.

 

88