Little things bother me
like hot pink walls
in subway cars.
Macy’s big shoes
allover sale wallpaper
plastered head to toe
in Grand Central,
and your fruit stand.
I’m sorry to have to tell you,
but it’s the last time
I’m gonna buy your fruit; I mean,
I want to support you
No walls or floor or store to speak of,
just a shitty umbrella over
a failing pyramid
of milk crates
with the fading logo
of a has-been bank;
it’s my kind of commerce
but let’s face it
your oranges are rotten
your persimmons never ripe
And then there’s Felix
who has to stand there
stuffed inside a sandwich board ” Please can you help me with some spare change I am raising money to buy myself hands “
Stuck on the platform of the one train,
just to beg for the Pity;
I mean generosity of strangers,
to buy himself limbs,
(to work for a living?)
Oh and let me guess
now we’re pretending
to be civilized,
putting a European tone
in the subway.
You have got to be kidding.
I still can’t hear a thing.
We going way back to 2009, Febuary when this track hits the box office. Composed of Regular resounding chords, more overlapping, like the ringing of echoes, crosfeeding the silence, which otherwise would have all been the verses, an honest bargain, verses resplendent as the spring itself. Warm sun and beer, somehow managed to avoid the grease stains, camouflaged under self assumed glamour, like life is a monkey chasing business, for the ace at shooting the sling.
There is perhaps even an uptempo, bass heavy version to the song, gratefully justifying the depth that is contained in the lyrics, which by all means, in no small measure manifest the title. False flags. The way perhaps even nature demonstrates itself. The calm before the storm. The harvest after the drought, like an enduring autumn, like the grease stains in spring. The way it was always, strike, spark and you know when a wish comes true. The way how mankind adapts and evolves,contradicting and misinforming itself.
The complete piece perhaps better understood whilst given a quick glance over, rather than listened to as a piece of audio with musical accompaniments. Yet there is no harm that a bit of looping could do to the song, or the listener.
The video to the original, slower version to the song, with great elaborations demonstrates from the lighting of a flame with an aristocratic cigarette lighter, to the passing of the flame onto the wick of a molotov cocktail. A good part of the entire composition constitutes of the conclusion where the chords and the notes play out their predestined, fading, simmering symphony. While the video plays out the hurling motion of that piece of creation of chemistry and patience. Botteled fuel,soaked, lit, momentary motives fulfilled. An emblematic vision the whole arrangements A sight of the human expression of violent rage, plated with soothing ambient sounds. The video to the uptempo version to the song at its best artfully depicts the exploits of the band through the ages.Of which it dates back to the year 1988. Hailing from Bristol, England is Massive Attack and what they got for you is trip hop.
If you could retrieve my brain, presently nestled in some guarded orifice, you’d see how befuddled and convoluted it is. I’ve been using my anticipatory days, from the booking date till the final take off, to meet people who matter. People who wouldn’t question my actions to the point of collapse because they never understood my lack of reasons anyway. I’m trying to swim through the barrage of travel advice- from pre-booking to places NOT to visit to ‘substances’ to stay away from to cafes that matter to how much to carry and what not to eat, more dont’s than do’s. What if I don’t want to plan? What if I want the mountain to be my mentor? These winding roads have been treaded too trivially and often for a traveller seeking the uninhabited and undiluted. Hence, the hesitation to succumb to popular perspective.
My mind’s eye aches with the wonder of an infant, to see every step, served up on a platter, a first of its kind. I don’t want to lose my wonder in anticipation, in following dotted lines. I don’t want to miss the minutest detail in the changing landscape in the wait for a wanton station. I want to feed my lungs deeply and hungrily with the scents and sounds of every passing second, that soothe my aching imagination with the balm of the unexpected. I want the bump at every interval of the road to throw me off my conditioned comfort and rattle and awaken me, still in awe of the unknown.
I know you understand me Qi, my inability to articulate my eagerness to wander, my agnosticism towards the burden of premeditated travel, my need for firing all my senses to life. I know that once I step out there will be no voice but my own to push me forth and pull me back. For you and for anyone who reads this, be with me, if not in mind, if not in body, then at least in spirit. I promise to experience every instance and celebrate it as a noteworthy passage of time. Perhaps together we may accomplish the spellbinding experiences to be printed on paper, as an indelible mark upon history.
Besides a shoulder bag full of clothing, a handbag stuffed with my gadgets and necessities (may seem slightly indulgent to you but I’m a woman), I’m carrying my 38″ Granada with me. This little leviathan shall accompany me under the star-kissed or moonless skies when I’m celebrating my solitude. I finally fly to Delhi tomorrow morning. I don’t know how long I’ll be there and with whom, but I’ll keep on writing here, as we together slide down this fine tapestry of adventure, even if so many seas apart.
Do you remember that day when we waltzed down the village market nibbling on chocolate? There was a hailstorm in the forest that night as we shivered in the shade of a concrete lined tree. We stood staring for hours, our memories jogging back to that disconcerting amble down the familiar dirt track hidden in the lap of the mountain. You stood there in all your elaborations, tattered trousers with the seams giving way, browning at the edges after the sweat and toil in the dump yard where we planted fond saplings.
They broke through toxic lines of waste germinating with the hope of new life. You sucked deeply at the end of your local ‘bidi’ and remarked, “I’ve been working in this village for over a month now. The locals sometimes look at me in amusement, sometimes with familiarity. Some eyes welcome me quietly while others question my presence.” No matter how much you tried to fit in you always stood out, with your grey brown dreadlocks, your white tan that is our coffee brown one.
What you didn’t know was you were as much a stranger to this place as I was. You felt the need to keep your guard, wander with watchful eyes as curiosity singed your skin with sterile stares. I have always felt like a foreigner in my own country because I’m a woman. Maybe that’s why you haven’t yet been enamored with stories of female solo travellers singing praises alone of our hospitality.
Yesterday I called up a dear friend to tell her of my unplanned travel. She was livid and mortified at once as she warned me against spending too much time in the capital. “But you’re a woman! From Mumbai. You don’t understand how terrible the situation there is. I smiled, where is my neighbourhood then? Where do I belong if not on this planet. This poor ecstatic girl was unaware of how she sounded like a verbatim quote from some moronic media report, if not from experience.
I feel loved, cared for listening to her worry for my well being. I’m blessed that way you see. I’ve had the comforting cocoon of your wisdom equally matched by friends in Delhi who are at daggers drawn to keep me in the warmth of their hearth and their heart. I don’t even know how long I’ll look around in the ill reputed city that was once home to me in my formative three years. Maybe my feet won’t stop within the limits of this cemented skyline and I’ll gallop to the mountains immediately. Maybe I’ll stay, just to test waters, to sense how much this city can hate a free spirit trapped in a woman’s body. I don’t wish to accomplish anything at the risk of my safety, I just want to find one more place to call my own. A place where I won’t need a chaperone in broad daylight, where I don’t feel violated for being the person my parents cradled into this world, where I can walk like a man without ever looking over my shoulder or plugging the noise out with my cell phone. Maybe I will find home here to long for once I’m tired from trudging the hills. Be happy for me, my dear Qi, I know Delhi will be kind.
once upon a branch tethered to a brook
drifted upstream, heart nestled overlooked
on the rapids, with floating debris
Pummelled, polished as ever he could be
The ground beneath his feet
sprouted sage in the temperate heat
and blossomed the finest for all to treasure
and snapped each time, beyond mistrust measured
He ran from his shadow with the mirror of his scars
He prisoned his emotions encage without bars
Pride and pain engraved upon his banner
and words and emotions and virtuous manners
Yet he lost what he had, his affection as a gift
for no droplet could seep the old bark adrift
Washed from his fruit he wilted on a shore
The forests sang an ode to a tree that was before