It was a game. And we were kids. Average height two and a half feet. Wide-eyed and energy-surplussed. In a game of hide-and-seek. Trying to get lost in an enchanted forest. Actually, a park. A green photosynthetic world—palms with grey trunks, potted ferns and sweet nectar bud shrubs pruned and shaped—in concentric circles around a raised cement pond with fish relief walls. On the pond surface floated lotuses, pink with oxygen and good health. Supplied from a colony of sticky green slime. We’d often see bubbles on the pond surface and mistake them for fish. But the pond was green and fishless.

The innermost of the concentric circles was ours. We were the tiniest of the enchanted forest kids. The circles were divided according to age. The biggest kids took the outermost. The innermost was ours, the tiniest.

We were playing a game of ‘Ice Spice’. Funnily, it made sense in an exotic, rhyming sort of way. The Ice Spice Girl was our leader. Curly-haired and dimple-chinned, she was magic and beauty personified. A childhood hero in economy pack. We would follow her to the ends of the earth. Or ends we thought were ends.

Ice Spice Girl told us of the Teeth Counter Bird. If the Teeth Counter Bird counted all your teeth you’d die, she said. The bird, although a tiny, unremarkable, black-and-white sparrow type, was for us a fearless angel of death. So mouths were squeezed shut whenever the Teeth Counter Bird flew past us.

One of the qualifications of rulership was the fact that Ice Spice Girl knew things we'd never even dream of. She knew of the best hiding places and the best stories. She would always be the last one to be found. She also never got to be the ‘den’, the seeker in the game.

That day, as always, Ice Spice Girl found a place no one could have guessed. It was a game but Ice Spice Girl was bold and adventurous.

Among her many stories was one where she used to be a fish. And we believed her. Ice Spice Girl could be anything she wanted. If she said that the Teeth Counter Bird was her aunt, we’d believe her.

The day was losing its shine and Ice Spice Girl was still not found. We looked up her old hiding places but found them empty. Lost and disappointed we went to her house, a sort of collective statement of defeat. But she was neither there at home.

A search party of parents came out looking for her. Ice Spice Girl, where are you? Ice Spice Girl, come out. Ice Spice Girl, the game is over. Ice Spice Girl, it’s not funny. Ice Spice Girl, come on. Ice Spice Girl, enough is enough.

It was late evening when they found Ice Spice Girl. Floating on the pond, next to the pink lotuses. Like the fish that she once used to be.
Sometimes I wonder whether the Net has turned us all into gods. Of some sort. Or the other.

Or maybe just one: the ginormous, nosey, ubiquitous and hugely popular Ganesha. Or... The Auspicious One. The Starter. The Blesser. The Scribe. The Recorder. The Narrator. The Intoxicator.

I think we have all become Ganeshas. Navigating this pixelated, There-Yet-Not-Quite-There nano-cosmos. Of speed and virtuality. An avatar of Maya. Navigating this Mayaland on a plastic mouse. Slowly, as the Latin saying goes, making haste.

The mouse has also made us lazy. Sitters. Key-pushers. Scribes. Narrators. Gormandizers (love that word!). Fast foodists. Not movers and doers. Or used-to-be strugglers, hard-workers of the pre-comp era.

We're Ganeshas, appearing to friends and followers as different things.

In different avatars.

Email and Chat ID-iots, bloggers, vloggers, sploggers, websites hosts, bylines, pictures, voices and spammers. Different things. To different people.

But ultimately, gods of the mouse.
Suchintan, meaning (I guess) Good Thinking, is builidng a house. With rust-coloured bricks. And a glistening, unrusted imagination. His house is like an ancient myth. A foundation. And layers and layers of untrammelled thought hovering above it. Visible only to those with a glistening, unrusted imagination. To the rest it is just a foundation. A maze of bricks.

Will you live in it? I ask Suchintan. No, he says, wondering whether I am slow, or pretending to be. It's for the ants, he says after a minute's silence. The ants are already there, holed up in one of the bricks he's got. They are crawling all over his hand. He gives his hand a shake. And his would-be tenants (or beneficiaries) hit the ground. Like rain.

Where is the door? I ask him to test the strength of his imagination. Here, he points to a gap between the bricks.The door is a gap. For the ants, I think, a gap will do. And windows? There, he says placing a random finger next to the door. By now he is convinced that I AM slow and not pretending. So he takes to answering questions he can see coming.

My best friend makes very good houses, he says. He can build them like this... a soundless click of forefinger and thumb. And a rolling of eyes. His house, meanwhile, is growing. Brick by brick. Hand-picked from a nearby stack by his tiny bricklayer hands.

I don't play with the 'dirty boys', he says suddenly, animated. Who are these dirty boys? He gives me names. Names that don't sound particularly dirty. And why are they dirty? Oh, because they are very bad. They beat us up. Hmm. Spoil our houses. Hmm. Tease the girls. More hmm. I am katti with the 'dirty boys'.

Those shoes, he's finished with the house and is now pointing at my feet, my dad also has them. They're his. Stolen by me, when he was sleeping. Uh-oh, they're not. He laughs catching a hint of the ridiculous in my claim.

A woman's voice calls out for Suchintan. It's time to leave the house of myth and imagination and come home. To mommy. To lunch. A cozy bed. And homework.

I have one last question. Can you read what's written on the bricks. Yes, he nods. Bee. Bee. Cee. They're from TV, no?

Yes. BBC Bricks? True.

They're bricks from TV. He laughs and starts walking home, leaving behind a play house only he and a few slow others can see.

Nefertiti and Akhenaten were horsing around in the water. Nefertiti would nip Akhenaten on the side and run for her life. Akhenaten would then go after her, chasing her through the weeds and the green-glass stones, trying in the melee to lose her so that finding her would be fun.

Nefertiti was much more beautiful than her famous bust. In fact she was gold and silver, like the earth-bound sun, the silver grinning from behind the gold. Just like that. In glorious confusion.

Nefertiti and Akhenaten hadn't yet started their religion. Or probably had. In another parallel universe. But even in the water, in the fishbowl, they showed signs of a religious passion. A passion for the Sun.

They would wake up early and look out through the water and the bowl and the window, at the sun. Like hungry pilgrims. Two pairs of fisheyes waiting for the sun to show up and warm their water and their lives.

I could see Nefertiti was dying to be reborn. Reborn as the Queen of Egypt. Akhenaten let out laughter bubbles, perhaps feeling funny at the thought of changing shape and destiny. Becoming pharoah, a king in a world created by aliens who later became gods, then kings and then ordinary men. Then finally fish.

Nefertiti and Akhenaten had just been told about their new life. Nefertiti was visibly pleased. Smiling tiny smile bubbles under water. When she couldn't wait no longer, she started going round and round the bowl, trying to gather momentum and strength.

The next morning Akhenaten was found floating on the top of the bowl. Very cold and very dead. Nefertiti was still going round and round, trying furiously to hasten her entry into the other world. Another time.

Around noon Nefertiti too was up, floating on the water as only dead fishes can. By afternoon, both Nefertiti and Akhenaten had begun to give off a foul odour.

They had clearly had enough of the fishbowl.

So with my index finger and thumb I fished out Nefertiti and Akhenaten from the bowl and laid them to rest in a shallow grave under a female papaya tree. And through the roots of the female papaya tree both Nefertiti and Akhenaten entered the underworld, where after a brief interregnum, their souls were freed. In Egypt. As King and Queen. As children of a new Sun god.
Meanwhile, their bodies became papayas, the inside of which was gold and silver, the exact colour of my goldfish whose lives changed the moment I called them Nefertiti and Akhenaten.
Audacity. A city with balls. A city of towering ambitions. Like Babylon. Bab-illi. The gateway to the gods. A city reaching out to the heavens with its sky-scraping ziggurats. A city of mighty kings and courtiers. A city built on power. A city like New York. And its goddess, standing erect and towering. Mocking at the God-fearing with her crown of horns. Her torch and book. Audacity is the statue, Liberty, the provider of licence and unnecessary freedoms. Like Babylon, the whore of the Old Testament.

Audacity is also Majaal. A something done in opposition to qualification, experience, standing or better judgement.

Majaal! The muse of warriors and adventurerers. It's that 'CAN DO BETTER' demiurge sitting on the shoulder like a screeching monkey. It's the tingling in the gut before an unrehearsed strike. Majaal is the mind's whip. Angry. Hungry. Seething, almost. It's a 'WILL SHOW YOU' throbbing ache in the temples. The arched eyebrow. The famished smile. That knowing, in the core, that success is an act of WILL. Nothing else.

It's that Devil-may-care toss of hair. The fierce squeezing of the eyelids. Majaal is blind. Like Arjun aiming his maxed out bow at the fish, seeing nothing else but the fish staring back.

But where is this city, Audacity? She's not really a place, a city. In fact she's Nature's wild child that each of us battles each day to live… and let live.
The city slept today.
The traffic was lazy.
The streets deserted.
Offices were shut.

It was the holiday after the holiday. The city was spent.

There were pictures. Sketches of the bombers. On TV. The sketches were computer-generated. They were vague, generic. Bandana-ed. It could be anyone.

But progress was made. The Blast Probe is going some where! A good sign.

Shahrukh Khan turned 40 today. Was there all over on TV. There was also a docu on his life.

We also watched the 'joint' funeral of two missing kids. A boy and a girl. Both around three or four.
Both torn to shreds in the blast. Unrecognisable from the debris! So bad, that a DNA test was required.

The parents wept silently, having decided on a 'joint' funeral. Both families were present in full strength. Participating in a rite of passage. The Farewell. Adios. Goodbye.

It was all done silently.

Silently the Sun sank into the horizon.

Another night!



Bottom Ad [Post Page]



About Me

As an art practitioner I work in a variety of mediums, what you see here are glimpses of my many creative projects. If you like or feel strongly something here please don't forget to comment



Slider Widget


Follow by Email

Powered by Blogger.



(Tab Widget 4)

Featured Posts

Total Pageviews

Search This Blog

Blog Archive



Stay Connected

Recent Posts

Recent Posts

Random Posts

Recent Posts

Watch, see and read my work in different mediums




Main Ad

My Instagram