Literature

41Ol95Jl9TL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_    “It was never about winning or losing, it was never about fighting for something, it was never about whose land it was, it was only about an ideology that became stale on its way. I was not reborn again after I died the night I helped to kill….I was sleeping when both my mothers died,….when I held my old and sobbing nurse in my arms, her brown wrinkled skin smelled of a smoky charcoal fire, the one that warms the milk and cooks the rice.“ “ Now the leaf floats on the water. Rain falls on it but it cannot stop its journey. Carried away by the current, the leaf sometimes bobs and sometimes floats sideways, but it continues on, moving. Jhorna follows it as she stumbles along the muddy bank, her feet slipping on the smooth and cold mud. Then, there are tipsy little boats tied next to each other, each bobbing against the other, their long slim prows pointing to the river and she cannot go any further. She watches her leaf bounce up and down in the current until she cannot see it anymore. “I am the keeper of leave-taking“ Three generations. Three voices. River Dolphins follows the story of a family in India living through the end of the British Raj and its aftermath. The life of each generation is touched, shadowed, shaped by the larger historical forces in play. But rather than charting a chronological history, this novella weaves together individual scenes and moments of intense perception from the lives of Mohan, the fair skinned son of an Indian estate owner; his daughter Jhorna; and his granddaughter, the “I” figure of the novella. She fulfills the Indian dream of a foreign education and leaves home with a pocket full of memories.

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Some poetry excerpts:

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My muse      2013

She stands at my door,

dripping green water –

a white water-lily

entangled in her matted hair.

Her eyes burn like

red-green fire,

flames leap up

to turn to rainbow dust

in the thin night air.

And she smells,

Oh–

She smells of the black soil

of dense forests

and the crests of foamy waves

of wild seas.

She smells of the slimy algae

of dark pools

and the smooth back

of singing humpbacks.

She waits.

Patiently.

For me

to call

her

in.

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Singing     2016

It was the rain that

sang to the blood,

its own secret melody dancing , swirling.

Every crimson drop

caught the rhythm of the water

as it slid from the roof to the window sill.

Dark, dark red, mysterious and nourishing

I felt the redness-

hot and frothing

like warm, comforting chai.

I smelled the dank odour-

deep and sensuous

like moist, fertile soil.

And the rain pounded,

relentless, beguiling, sighing and breathing.

before you stood at my door.

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The fire       2004

The sky caught fire that morning

I could taste the cold.

The air was crisp and I sliced it

into pieces

and ate them

one by one.

And the flames in the sky beyond the hill

danced to touch the blueness-

that lapis lazuli blueness.

A buzzard circled above me,

sailing, like fish in water.

For this moment, this frozen perfection-

I blew on the light snow

and they changed into butterflies of spring.

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Remember to be whole         2012

My body is flung between places

flesh stretch from here to faraway

and beyond.

My blood has turned to sea water

torqouise and foaming

where it hits the skin.

My hair, entangled like roots in a rainforest

it seeks water below the ground

tired and thirsty.

Gather them together.

Collect the pieces- the hair, the flesh, the blood.

Remember.

Be whole.

Again.

 

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