The village

The village sat in the fields looking to the sea. A ribbon of road passed its hill that had a hole that looked as if it might spew smoke and fire. But it was a knowledge hole, by monks of men with a few orange fires that smoked to the skies in deep-throat chants, in flowing orange robes that tempted away wealth in refuge of the Wise. But they are now broken stones, their fires dust.

The village sat on the sands of river in summer. Its boats pretended to sail in the wind on dry bed the river refusing to touch their bottoms in love. The river bed had black charcoal spots on its brown sand where men burned , in logs and ashes, orange once. Monsoon brought floating carcasses of cattle ,string cots of men in far off villages ,felled trees.

The village floated water pitchers of shining metal on the swirling waters that smelled the mountains. They drank its waters filtered with the indup seed and ate rice and onions, buttermilk on mustaches.

In winter bears came down from the mountains looking for lush sugar cane that waved in the breeze. The village slept on the fields ready with their sticks and shouts that rent the night air, echoing in the hills. The nights were so dark that bears turned bushes.

Our elephant-God

Our flowers and leaves and fruit are here in silver-white plates of morning fragrance ,from burning incenses, flames of camphor. Our waters stream between lips and palms. Our flowers shall be flung at his framed picture.

Come face to face with the elephant head that laughs on a rounded stomach of sweets ,the head of a trunk from a severed north on a child’s torso standing guard on mother’s bath.

The father is egotistical of a divine drum dance ,he that dances in snow hills of a blue poison throat that cannot wait to see wife bathing in cave, he that smears his body with our common death-wish.

His prankster son has to eat in his stomach. Pock-marked moon laughs at his bloated stuff. We all love him the way he pats his stomach when he will pace up and down on our roof after a heavy meal of rice cakes and jaggery.

( Ganesha, the elephant-god visits us every year in September)

Pomegranates and Alzheimer’s

She dropped a pomegranate in our palms, so we would get no attack of Alzheimer’s. We need to consult a geriatric specialist, on our habit lately to forget everything.

A pomegranate has its red bloody teeth. Sink yours in teeth against white gums,teeth against teeth, gums against gums ,so you get to the root of the truth canal.

The fruit was born rich and royal in Iran, now a bush widely grown in backyards,to help us stay safe against the Alzheimer’s, who have habit of forgetting everything.

But to get to the root of the truth canal, we forget where mom hid her shadows after many fruits had sunk in her teeth. She had this habit of forgetting everything.

Perfect God

We had dreamed of a formless God and finally arrived at an approximate God. A wooden God from the deepest jungles of Orissa is now secure in a stone temple we had made him when we were our ancestors.

We had made a god without arms and feet but with lidless saucer eyes with which he watched us all night, when we were dreaming of him, our heads turned to the stone wall.

We love him so much for the beauty of his form but he is still an approximate god .Some times we wonder if we can abolish form in order to arrive at a perfect God.

Dying of excess life

Making a note was a priority when life appeared to be slipping away. It  is as though I am not ready and  it  may slip away in  an unrecorded moment.

As it happened, life slipped away indeed this evening.  Because of an excess life, redundancy in cells. Dying of excess life, as it were. Cancer. Robert Frost’s  three words summed up life: it  goes on. This lady is now collecting frost in the cellar :  her death goes on,  till tomorrow when she embraces fire.  In the meantime life goes on. The music goes on in the street temples of the elephant-God, the music of her death and our life.

We too shall die, when our turn comes.Like her we may die of excess life .Or of excess death.

Granite

These days I surround myself with granite. The beauty of the granite keeps me awake, like the dark night behind the trees. Soft and silky. The more you work on it ,the softer it becomes.

There is now granite against my sky. Abutting my trees. Granite is now my piece of the mountains. It sings my dreams of the mountains and plays my mountain tunes.

Granite is our stone, blue – black like Krishna, that provokes strong feelings, hard on fingers but soft and silky in its core, in hues like rain. It is like little Krishna’s belly, filled with flute music by a river of gentle ripples flowing from trees.

There is rain and wind in it, as in moonless sky.Feel it , play on it and sing mountain tunes. The more you work on it the silkier it becomes.