Madras and Silence
April 2, 2018 § 2 Comments
The only way to embrace a warm comfort in Madras is to turn down the air conditioning to 20 and wrap yourself in a blanket. The city burns you- the heat get under your skin, seeping deeper and deeper till it possesses you in full, a hyperparasite which makes you forget yourself. You are sticky with sweat, and feel like a bamboo broom coming undone- strewn all around, every part wondering what’s left of it.
The nights are more tolerable. You could stand a lonely vigil to the waves and hear them crash, wave after wave, clinical, mechanical, yet somehow wonderfully musical. You can feel the breeze blow, and feel the sands shift between your toes. There’s a vast nothingness ahead, dotted with distant lights that seek a port to deposit their loads- customed and contraband. It all seems wonderful, but the memory of the day lingers, and you know it will dawn like those flights which seem like a speck in the distance and then suddenly appear like a falling star and land at 25 at MAA.
There’s hope, like looking down the runway, looking at the city from a 100 feet, a 1000, till suddenly all that’s left are tiny matchbox like houses and panting lakes which may soon lie to rest under a tombstone of matchboxes, lit like a fireflies hoping to attract someone, not in hope, but as creatures do, to push life forward, till we all crash, drown, or are eaten away by those singing waves who keep time as if there’s a god with watch.
There is silence. It lives within, you under a warm blanket, or walking down the shore. There’s chaos, and there’s war, and you wonder how we got here, bloody long way from silly little invisible things suddenly deciding to stick together. You can’t breathe the air, you cannot drink the water, unless you are ready to pay them. You pollute anyway, and your mind is a beast being fed, in need, in want, in things it doesn’t quite get, but is suddenly addicted to- there’s coffee to savour, and sugary highs to suddenly believe that anything is possible. You don’t get life, you don’t know why, you yearn for things, you want love.
You want this walk not to be lonely, but then remember that within you are just alone, with or without, for you cannot hold on to love. It belongs to no one, not to the sands being eaten away, not to the sands that are stolen and sold to line the pockets of men in white and white, not to the sands you will be scattered when long gone, not even to you, not to those whom you love. This silence, it is you, for if there is none else, it can only be you.
There’s the pain, it nags you, it eats you, it become a part of you. At times you may stab a toe, and it hurts a little less. You grow to know it like a limb, just below your heart, at times grasping it, as if it can crush you, mince you, grind you to make cutlets for a 4 o’ clock snack.
I am cynical. I am happy. I am sad. I am whatever. It doesn’t matter. That’s all there’s to life. And then you can imagine.
We cannot measure our skies, we don’t know our histories, but we peer into the past in hope of find something. We probe, we poke, we dream. We breathe, and in our breaths carry the urge to know, more and more. We scratch the sands, turn the earth inside out. We stare at the worst of ourselves and still believe there is more.
We can write, we can make those scratches mean something and ring in our heads and sudden we know more. And we write more. We can sing, and suddenly there were no wars, no deaths and no greed. We crave this, this nothingness, this silence to grow. Yet we don’t.
There are as many gods as we want to believe, but no god needs to believe in us for us to be.
I am my silence, and I walk alone.