By Mohith M Varma
Touching the sand, endure though, let her not fade into light, imperceptibly white. Moments drifting towards wetness, distant drawing into itself where words echo, forever floating, and breathing here. Listen to the breath, like peel reed off the lake, slowly snuggling inside the woolen thread spiraling the wooden spindle. There lies, hidden under the wheel, words, some transpired, some unfelt, in this wasteland.
There is a noise, always from the past, dwelling umbilically suspended, uncrying in comfort and growing deeper into her, away from here, far away from us. Surreal it may seem but there still it kicks, closer, pinna spread over her skin, fragile like dust, the past reverberates, unspoken yet felt.
It all began after the split ended, ocean letting way for the unison of ground, unwept ground. Wonder was the religion then, people fell and rose just like they always did and among them this farmer let it happen with a seed, it flourished into a pomegranate tree once it rained and then silently drowned when the clouds descended into a storm. Again, when the clouds disappeared, like a circle the farmer planted a seed and there rose, not a tree, instead a fruit from earth’s insides. No one to share with, in the tormented farm, the farmer crushed the fruit with all his might and lo, the fruit spiked open with flecks and thorns, darting to all possible corners of the farm. Then for the next one and eight spindles around the sun, the poor farmer tilled the soil off pines and needles; his land cleared. Waiting, inside the circle of thorns, after the hurt, until his last breath, the farmer cried to the land locked inside the circle, our beloved farmer whose tears gave us the salt of the ocean here where we live, in this desert.
Perhaps it was always the lake that spoke, incessantly, to us, to the shore and dirt, to the peaks abound, even to them. Water has the strength to endure silence, deep inside her that calmness, succumbing breathlessness is what that makes her shapelessly potent. When frozen during the winters, still remains her tumult, rage never swelling outside unlike the womb. Inside us it is blackness and white fusing, brilliance plunging into her and there he lies, drained. This rustle, collapsed whispers are not heard inside the lake, although the noise dwells inside her too, she is what we have left anymore, morsel of her sour self, speaking to all of us. Tumbling are we under her, just sound, tumbling, voice not yet formed; here in this air flowing her tides, following, just the snore no voice. Listen to the roll, all these words, born in the tumult, composed of fluid potent, enduring, beyond sense, rolling, tumbling; we have already drowned, breathing sound inside that womb, no longer barren, rolling, tumbling, very much alive is her rage. Stirring the strains cold remains threads sunken underneath her skin, that rage born.
The fall, downstream
Looking for the words that preserve a sense of flow, a rhythm like music to language which slowly transpires the sound in our breath and become symbolic of the spoken thoughts, is a challenging process and transforming the said thoughts into a different soundscape is to be composed delicately, with finesse. Often there is a period of disharmony in the sonata until one diverts far away from the initial composition while for some interpreters reciting the notes precisely in a different script turns out to be rudimentarily perfect, devoid of syntax yet musical like the voice of a stream. However untangling the entangled threads of thoughts and giving a direction to the sparkling stream seems to be a harsh descend, downstream, towards fall and there in the fall, plunging into the hole in the ground.
Bordering are the Himalayas, majestic mountains that surround the people living in the cold desert. People’s beliefs here are rooted in myths and superstitions of how they came to inherit the reclaimed land from the farmer. Fundamentally the experience of letting the notion of dependence on the infertile land permeate one’s senses and belief system is much important than the absence of logic underlying such a cruel living on a grey surface. Language transpiring that sensation of immersion with a touch of mysticism initiated this narrative. Devoid of markers, like a stream, there is a ceaseless flow rushing at the centerpiece of the description of the farmer’s plight that incidentally have transpired generations and thought processes based on this notion of ethereal existence of lives tied to the mundane sand of the desert is where the void exists where all the noise of attempts gets emptied, its accepting.
The origin of language is unfalteringly tied to the birth of a new life in a society where sand is regarded as a building block, so they shift the focus to the lake and claim it to be the leftover of the ocean that was reclaimed as birth, at such a harsh place, leftovers of life itself that is destined to perish into the sand that gradually is getting reclaimed by the expanding lake where once again noises from heaven and sky flock to capture the unrealized beauty of the blue pristine lake nestled amidst dusty white-capped mountains in a place freed from the conflicts of science, in pure bliss.
An ode to end the sadness endured by the souls trapped in fur, let the landscape laid out, snore its breath into the night-
Seeing the entire landscape breathe like in sleep: the cold winds snoring, the nectar of the lake, in tranquility, relating the buoyant verses drenched in sheer poetry to the shore, the night sky sleeping- calm and composed- even during the eclipse, the holy mountains pretending to be asleep, their breath brims with the inactiveness of sleep, but in reality awake like the great sages, meditating; for a moment he felt the grave pangs of breathlessness. He succumbs, his pale knees stammers when they touch the sunken sand, ash of the remains. He looks towards south where once the forest existed and discovers the fire has died down, he closes his eyes and then there’s blindness.