After I had got up this morning I remembered a scrap of dream in which I wanted to be with my people, the dream people who bore a distant semblance to the childhood creatures who had populated my universe . A world view about grown men from the puny height of a kid. From a diagonal view of an adult’s face from a child’s. My goodness, why do I get mixed up in my mind about realities and dreams?
Between the two trees ,there prevailed a silence. I sliced through it affectionately.I even patted the tree appreciatively as it stood watching the other tree silently. Again I cut through the silence at the other end , between the other two trees, where prevailed the cry of a cricket the other day. The cricket decided to take a holiday .How do I recognize these trees without the cricket shouting the hell out of their roots?
But the trees recognized me and I could feel it in their eyes. In the way they kept silent. They are my people, the way they appeared in my dream as creatures with faces diagonally linked to my kid face. Their eye contact still operated from an adult’s eye to a kid’s eye. They are my own people from dreams
It is midnight and thunder, a ghost walking night , time a prince asks to be or not to be. Who is there ?shouts the sentry in Elsinore.
A woman walks alone,her fear rhythms different from a male walker’s. Everyone’s fear is read into midnight , a book woman reads differently on estrogen. A man walks differently on his testes and consequently the world’s violence strikes him differently .
Fat man was the second of world’s droppings.The first one was a little boy ,who was thunder and lightning, on little men and women.
My own fat man comes into my sleep and dreams and I am caught in fear rhythms .Fat man is now caught into his airy nothing , up there ,on the happy hours of the heavenly hard rock.
Fat man drops, he being the killer of mocking birds.My God, what have we done,says the pilot.
The lake shimmers in the distance ,its brown sands sprouting a rain-less herd of sheep. Sheep root into its skin , their tongues touching the insides of its dry mouth.There is a shimmer of water in the distance touched by a sun low in the sky. Near the bread-knife of the water streak lies a white van like a loaf of bread, with painted figures of humans crawling around it.The humans are ants going about their no particular business.The van is presiding their destinies as their ant-nest.
You cannot go there, says the cop in a police jeep.The camera cries.It recoils in protest against the policeman’s refusal. No lake pictures, no horizons heaving.
The lake is now a dark old man tending his sheep. His eyes look at the camera’s eye and there is instant recognition. His sheep is on way to their home.They are tiny smudges of black and brown paint on the canvas. The old man is a portrait framed in his sky. His ebony skin is a dark silhouette against an indifferent sky.He is indifferent from me, a mere object in a dark corner of my camera. So close to my rear view mirror. When I capture his black body on my visible sky I capture myself as well. In the rear-view mirror objects look closer than they are. He is no different to me. We are of the same space .
With distance of time ,what had looked white would turn gray by growing years ,our wading in knee-deep muddy rain waters in the streets by white walls missing in places, the men who tucked white garments in their waists, the coins that felt round and deep to tiny fingers in pockets, the rivers dancing round heads of mountains.
The walls stretched interminably to a white sky hiding bush and snakes in them gently rising,feet shuffling to rustling sounds of dry leaves.
Squirrels had built bridges for man-gods and earned three dark stripes on their backs. Strange birds sang in the sky deaths of lives.
With more distance of time our eyes slowly fell and the body hurried past closing our spaces. The distances are now small, the skyline close.
This morning new leaves sprouted in light green on the roadside trees . Actually I have just noticed them.All tamala trees went light and green in unison across the street. Not counting the round dark green leaves of another tree in between. A light green parrot cried from an arboreal presence not seen, not felt. The cuckoo is frantically jabbing its needle in a summer morning’s silence but no luck. There is not even a shred of a cloud in the sky. Its rain calls went nowhere. The crow has renewed its call to our relatives from the parapet wall of our balcony as its tail went up and down. The red fruit on the tall tree that stank to the heavens are nowhere now and their smells are gone.
But there is hope.I have found out tiny mangoes already formed from powdery flowers.I even found a kidney-shaped mango on the road.
The days have to be hot from now on. How else will mangoes mature and turn succulent fruit by May?
What if I am a transient creature, a bird of passage ? So is everybody else, everything else.
Sometimes we sit on the steps to tie our shoe-laces and smell the jasmine creeper on a wall. We go down steps one by one.
We shall see a shaving mirror In third floor with no man in it and the bacca bucci shoes box its inside shoes gone walking.
Lift dozes off between floors its inside fan forgot its circles two years ago on a dark night. Lift mosquitoes make our buzz like the headlines in the news lying before a sleeping door.
Milk bags lie on the first floor for coffee inside a kitchen. The concerned door bears a lock. Coffee drinker is in a kitchen a few thousand miles away.
As in the darkness of the staircase ,we cannot untie our knots. But we sure tie our shoelaces, ready to take necessary steps.
The news came in the morning. A young man who had on the previous night pointed the stars to his daughter found himself turned into one .Forty four was no time for turning a star. Look at the Mars, burning brightly, he had said to a wide-eyed daughter. In the morning he was found absolutely blue. The heart stopped at approximately 3 A.M. trying to gauge the depths of an astral sky.
Did he die in sleep? Was he in a dream he never woke up to recount?