Almost Infinities

This is a part of the series of posts about Rabindrasangeets that have influenced me, I am not even a speck of what the bard was, but, I try…

 

I believe I feel like a river joining the sea whenever I encounter you in my thoughts. You are impenetrable yet, inevitable, and our paths are always going to collide. You are the burst of divine greens before my untimely death, and yet, I seek you out for there is little purpose to me without you.
Yet, we are meant to be separate. My thoughts, my fishes do not mingle with yours, and in the small parts in spaces where we can pretend that we are lovers, you remind me so harshly that it is never to be. Your tornados, your typhoons, ravage me and my lands. I overflow with emotions, I let the banks drown out the pain that you cause whenever you are on a whim.
For I miss the summers, the calm when you are going to sit and drink in your own image, speaking of words that I do not comprehend. You would breathe so deeply in thoughts that would make me feel so insufficient, and yet, fulfilled. We are meeting uninterrupted, and happiness reigns.
I wish that it would be so always.
Yet, inevitably the seasons of the negatives blows over us. You push me back with force, I fume and rage. White froth, cold rage and the deaths.
I am stubborn, but, you fail to move too.
The third glass of whiskey makes you want to sleep it off, and make me want to go on and make love; make love till the sunset takes us into her arms like another who has had enough. You are ever an adult though, always a “No” waits, and I break. A piece of my bank becomes sand, a piece of tress falls into my way, I block myself.
This prevents me from wanting more, for I do deserve less.
However, I do not complain much. It is the endless nights when the Baul plays his mad music in the heart of mine, and your shores are alighted with campfires of newlyweds; you still welcome me to your arms. I dry off, and drench myself in tears we mingle. Then, the replies stream into an insignificant memory upon my person, and like the ever flowing water, it also floats away, and I breathe a sigh of relief.
Perhaps, this is the nature of waiting for the inevitable. You save me from being inadequate when you prevent me from getting too close too soon. It is a cautionary tale, it is a truth. And it makes it ever so sweeter, because some days you open yourself. Our thoughts play along. Our books remain unopened and we sing songs that are the truth as a whole.
You refuse me so, and that is enlightenment, for my losses make me love you ever more. You do not let me flow into expectations that overwhelm, you do not let me become less, we are just alright, almost there, and no one asks whether we are there yet. And I cry through your blessings in a drunken night, I adorn your pictures with thorns, I rage and rage. Yet, when inevitability pushes us together, I know that it has come in the right time, in the right place. And our kiss doesn’t smell only of my lipstick, but, of happiness. Every time I dive into the saltiness of your beard, I fall more for you again.
I guess, this is why I await, even though I wish I could escape, for you feel like a chain that does not yield, for you yield rewards when it is a midsummer’s evening, and we both are too late.

 

This is inspired by the song “Ami Bahu Bashonaye”, you can listen to one of my favourite renditions below.

If not a mother, who am I?

I guess I am not much of an Indian

But, then I have never been enamored with the culture that has been trying to fit me into it

And apparently listening to Sitar tunes in the morning before I start my work was never enough

Neither was all the literature I amassed over the years

So, when my philosophy diverges so, and I wish to protest against someone

In the street, with a drunken heart that wishes for someone to listen to my screams

I guess, I forgo my right to my Indian-ness

I lose a part of me as a Bengali too

Because I dare critique the poets they hold so dear

Because I dare interpret them sexually, I dare to wear their devotion songs as my source of erotic

So, when I sing a tune or two, drunk again, this time in my sexuality

Standing before my lover, the one I sacrifice myself to, I am allowed to recite Rumi

But, the intelligent “public” doesn’t want Rabindranath soiled thus

And me in my brassiere become an icon for the wasted youth, the worst delinquent

My mother doesn’t consider me either

Because her “good boy” husband chosen for me, chose to leave me alone

When I was just beginning to grow around the belly

I guess I am still not Indian enough to turn to other cheek to the demands he made on me

But, these do not hurt, I have been shunned by those closest to me before

I have been told by a serious friend that he is leaving me because I could not love him back

I knew I was hurting him then, but, my little heart had been broken by another man just before

Years after, when I messaged him, he just smiled, I was just another “Read” message in his profile

It is not that I look for love either

I look for something that resembles, I look for something that makes me feel the same

Sometimes it is trysts with unknown men, some days it is music, some days it’s my daughter

Who has grown so much, and does not complain when I entertain

This motley of non-serious friends I have made

I am not a person

At least not until I am married

Or so my landlord says, when she comes a knocking every first day

Thankfully, they do live far away, and I can still bring in some of my friends

Yet, the comments she makes, makes me cry so much

So much so that my teenage child takes over when I get out that day

I guess it is my fault too that way, I never learnt not to be unruly, and was never taught anything against

I have lost all rights as a human too, in the process

It is easier to rationalize to myself

That the stares are inevitable no matter what comes by

But, it becomes harder when you say the same to your 6 year old child

Because mommy does not cover up because of the stares, which she can rationalize by evolution

But, a theory is not enough satiation for the hole created by the women who tell her their life stories

I try to keep her away, and keep myself in check for the longest stretches of time

But, you need love too, and that’s when I indulge

I think she learnt a few curse words from me these last few weeks, and that hurts me

Hurts me more than this guy who was the nicest man in the bar, starts slapping me, and I have to chase him out

And my 6 year old looks on, at her mother’s nudity, she probably knows I am not much of a woman too

Oh, did I tell you? I am not a woman

I am fear, I am strength, the internet fables speak of me as a hero

And forget to tell them of what a fucked up person I became

I guess, the fact that my daughter knew how to recite the English alphabet first is more important

But, is success measured in that alone?

I know how she would suffer if any day she wishes to have her passport

I know my mother would tell her to stay for longer periods of time because she fears I will…

I am a mother still

I scold her when it is too late at night

I only bring men in when my friend in need has told me she has gone to sleep

I don’t drink as much

And cigarettes I smoke only two

I want to her to respect my nakedness but, I hide it so that she does not fall prey to someone else

I am a mother still

I fear for her when it is late at night and my cab is late in arriving

And I miss two of her poetry recitals because office kept me so busy

When she tells me, chastises me for being myself is when I am afraid the most

I am hardly an Indian, slightly a Bengali, not at all a woman, barely a person, so except a mother, what could I be?

 

 

 

The Ones we Love

It is easy to cheer for the side which appeals to your basest of senses. It has always been the easier route. The side that eggs you onto this fictional battle of Good vs Evil, projecting themselves as the messiahs that shall be our redemption, the side that tells you that all they will be doing are for the greater good of the community. It is easy to believe those sides, because that is what the stories tell us about.

We have all awaited our Supermen, and perhaps somewhere, only recently we have given up on the All-Good, All-Seeing messiah, only to settle for anyone who promises to take away all our problems. It is simple. We like our icons unblemished, and only when they are parts of of histories do we start circulating pictures, news, all about the blemishes they carried back then. However, as they rise, we close our eyes and let them come into the foray with an undefeated love in our heart. I think it stems from our need to believe in something greater than ourselves, something far more purer, that we try and ignore transgression after transgression, well, until it finally stings.

Heck, we put in apologies from our own side as we go along.

I know he is stupid some times.”, “I know he is not always perfect.”…

Yet, somewhere in all those excuses there is a “But”. As if the good things somehow make the bad things disappear. We rejoice when the other party showcases transgressions too. We build them as arguments after arguments if our icon fails to achieve great feats. Our excuse simply becomes, that because they had failed to, our icon simply does not need to achieve that; as if the failure of someone we hate is a proper justification for the failure of a person we love.

The problem is, personally I understand. It is hard. If someone walks up to me and says my best friend molested someone, I would not believe them either. However, it is never going to stop at that is it? We need to question ourselves. We are allowed to remain sceptical, but, can we, without seeing any evidence simply, decline the claim? Should our love an praise for somebody be so strong that we nullify the existence of another is order to avoid getting paint on the image of our loved ones in our mind? Is it a proper way?

Yet, we keep mum. For the human mind seeks consistency from the people we have erected as our idols, as our icons. We keep mum because we trust that these are only “small” faults. And yet, as the faults become monumental, we make our memories more and more volatile to suit our heart’s needs, until we have sacrificed our logic at the heart of an icon. We conveniently shut our ears, our eyes, to the arguments, we make heartfelt declarations of our love, we abuse anyone who decides to fight with our opinions. We smile and let it grow like it is the only way to do it.

So, when a leader proclaims, “Can those girls be molested? You have to be worthy to be molested”, we turn a blind eye to that too. For us, they are simply some “problematic” elements, “idiots” who would not matter, “Angry little boys” reacting to false charges. And that’s how it begins…

I shudder to think about how it will end.

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