They told me the poets consumed themselves.
They consumed themselves and the ash is what was pressed into books,
Pages after pages of the revolutionary canon.
A boy told me ash is a disinfectant. Ash is also a painkiller.
I think of the burning coals that sit in my head and the deafening silence on my tongue
The dead poets and their sterilised words.
The art without the artist.
The world, the world is too much with us.
I had an argument with my classmate on the metro yesterday. Rocking in the unsteady litany of the underground carriage, we pondered on our childhood storylines- my imagination dotted with fantasies of every colour, and hers with the canonical classics in their brown jackets.
We argued over whether it was fair to thump a Charles Dickens on a twelve year old instead of Dragon Rider
She spoke about the need for realities and the dangers of ignorance in children, and I spoke of the need to believe in the unreal, to settle in the bitterness of reality.
She argued her imagination was not restricted by exposure to The tale of Two Cities even before she knew what a revolution was.
I wondered at my childhood, filled with wars yes, rebellions yes, but only the ones with lions, witches and wardrobes.
In the end, I realised why we could not see eye to eye.
I was struggling to be the catcher in the rye.
I was struggling to save innocence.
Right then ofcourse, she picked up The lord of the flies as an example of the uselessness of innocence, and I realised some arguments cannot be won.
Sometimes, we are fighting against the very nature of the human affinity for self-destruction, or self-preservation. The line blurs.
To translate a dinnertime conversation.
Mother: There is a general program outside the house tomorrow, the speakers will be blaring all day.
Me: Can I not get one weekend of peace?
Mother, quoting Tagore : Why do you look for peace, where indeed is peace? The very core of the world is unrest, and the beena(An indian musical string instrument) can only sound music through unrest.
Me: Have you ever heard a beena played offtune?
My life is an offtune beena
Father(With a desparaging sigh): How can you say something so morbid. It is like saying I enjoy going to the cemetery.
The silence in my head startles me, sometimes.
Maybe I am unnecessarily pessimistic.
I carry the silence in my head like a heavy suitcase though.
Can I have a happy pill?