The past few weeks have made me think about causality, and more importantly, the continuity of time. I have been spending sweaty and unsettling nights by the corner of my bed with my feet almost touching the picture above it that I painted in the summer of last year, when the colours looked brighter, and my paintbrush flew seamlessly, albeit distortedly, but pleasantly nevertheless. I do not consider myself aware enough to discuss philosophy. I would rather want to talk in metaphors and similes about a time that is softly draining our emotional balance into an overused and dented aluminium canister, that usually stood by the soiled dishes, that held the final remains of a pale green, once turquoise dishwashing soap in a bourgeois Indian household. The lights at my home, should I sit down to immerse in the mossy eeries of my thought train, have begun to diffuse across the room like a sand dune that was birthed by wind to subdue a mere stone, like a ghost that had no bodily form and that plunged over a sleeping child in one wave. This veils my vision and suffocates my intuition as the pungent smell from a leather bag store inadvertently enters the already stuffed-to-the-zipper handbags with crumpled newspaper. But doesn’t all that suffocation scream “NEW!” nevertheless?
It is not like I did not try. I have opened my windows at all times, I have only worn skirts and pyjamas, I have sung and meditated and painted and written and read and laughed and watched and thought. I had, to say the least, slouched over an old plastic chair and tried to reach out to that version of myself that was slightly less wilted, but I wondered if I should let that be, since the unpicked daisies from a lone tree in my backyard mirrored my sagging chin and drooping eyelids. The spark of a dreadful summer begins to dawn on my temples as I step out 5 meters from the main doors to fill my lungs with air. Was it clean? I do not know. Was it fresh? The scent of sap from the trees around me lingered, so I must be breathing what they have exhaled. Must be fresh. At this point, I make a prayer. Atleast I can still breathe well if I wanted to. Atleast I do not have to travel thousands of kilometres by foot to make a daily wage (and not be able to, indefinitely), or fight for a loosely tied packet of pale tamarind rice from stranger hands and faces emerging masked from grey vans with cameras shuttering at my destitute like a teenage male wasp prying over an ant hole to prove itself to its male counterparts. Atleast I was privileged enough to feel thankful for being loved and loved enough to miss someone dear.
The homeliness of an afternoon ray of light across the silver mesh and the brown windows that wind and rainwater over the years have bloated them to the extent that they never fully close, as though symbolising the constant need for an interaction of the inside of the house with its immediate outside, brings me to wishfully think of the countless medical personnel that could not have this mundane luxury right now. It makes me think about the world and what it has come to, what feels the sudden pullover at a tall grass field for a whiff of the dew at sunrise but eventually too pulled into the maze so as to never be able to get out, what feels like a majestic eagle just before scooping up a snake has travelled back in time and dropped off at its nest as a trembling eaglet and is vulnerable to getting gobbled up by the snake at any moment. The quickest retreat to this seems to be a snap back from a nightmare, a reflex from an electric shock, or snipping a stitch on my dress made too dense to show the flowing frill.
There is a pair of wall hangings that are rightfully hung to the either side of the door, and every time the wind sways them ever so slightly, there are a million reflections and all those images, I capture with the clasp of my palms, for those were my world at home. That was the travel I could afford. Those were the worlds that were clean and just, and they hung at the very door to the room I slept in.