Visitations of the past in dreams
and visits to the past in daydreams –
most mornings idly bear witness
to these and other shelved imaginings.

Lying down,
this vast land from an eleventh storey window,
low clouds encircling a nearby mountain,
or grey birds taking flight,
fill no absence.
Only the shell of the ceiling remains
to greet four walls.

Unbound on that ceiling,
that which is imagined
asks so suddenly to be:
shoulders, arms, and torsos,
which warm shadows of touch
might fasten
to other living fragments.

Hours pass by with their audible seconds
and the many,
measured rhythms of the body,
breathe and pulse with liquid repetition.
But a body never armoured against its longing,
wasp stings,
or any earthly prickling
must learn to also forsake such dispatches.

Retrieved and invited
they would light up –
like paper lanterns above a timid flame –
hollowly flutter and then ascend,
like the great night receiving them
and the solemn dawn they will not see.

One cannot humour them
and paint life into inanimate companions,
moved by nothing
but the will of fire
and the mind unknown to itself.

Film as Weapon: A study of Mrinal Sen’s Calcutta 71

My first original post on our collective blog

Unhappy is the land without heroes!

“I wanted to interpret the restlessness, the turbulence of the period that is 1971 and what it is due to. I wanted to have a genesis. The anger has not suddenly fallen out of anywhere. It must have a beginning and an end. I wanted to try to find this genesis and in the process redefine our history. And in my mind this is extremely political. I found a continuing link in the film—a young man of 20, uncorrupted. He has lived this age of 20 for the last 1000 years or more. He has been passing through death and squalor and poverty. And for the past 1000 years or more he has bridged despair and frustration. For him the history of India is a continuous history not of synthesis but of poverty and exploitation…I took three or four stories of poverty: grinding, ruthless, unrelenting poverty, poverty that is not…

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This place is so very deserted. There’s an emptiness here I only notice after I return from trips back home. Square miles of emptiness. Endless rows of trees and an unobstructed view of the sky. A city where everyone recedes into invisibility.


Someone hauls in her garments like slippery elusive fish from the washing line on a terrace seven thousand miles away. The night draws closer. The first stars and the yellow gas lights blink and flicker into existence. In the dark my cousin muses that a kitten’s cry sounds like the wail of a hungry infant.


The wisdom of rocks. The wisdom of matter. The wisdom of the changing form. The morphology of knowledge. The fluid traversal and then solidification of consciousness.