Telegraph Calcutta

When Scream Is What’s Sacred


Bear with me. I am still here. Weeks and weeks and counting. This has become a habit. But you’ll have to pardon me. I am prone to habit. To what inhabits.

I am a mere chaiwala. I am not inoculated against general malaise. Especially a malaise so prevalent. I am a person of folly. I have my foibles. Even if you shouldn’t believe so. What does it matter what you believe? Things are what they are. Continue reading “When Scream Is What’s Sacred”

Telegraph Calcutta

Calling Out for You, the People


Four weeks it has now been that I have been going, twooting like an owl in this space as if it had become mine to twoot-twoot as I wished. Four weeks, the space in which an entire month is considered gone. Or has it been five? Who cares? I am not among the counting ones, what’s gone is gone, what lies in counting what’s gone?

How much time that’s now gone, fallen into that abyss most folks call history and keep rolling over out of preference and prejudice, this layer on top, no that layer on top, this layer to the dustbin, this new layer in lieu of it. All this shoving and shelving of what history is no longer required or convenient, all this showcasing of history that requires to be superimposed. Like history were some wok of tossed noodles. Continue reading “Calling Out for You, the People”

Telegraph Calcutta

When It’s Time It is Time


I move and I stay still. I go from one place to another place, and watch the one place become another place from the place I have gone to, and nothing that I see from one place or another changes. I am at a distance. I am of distances. I have become of distances. I know of differences when close, but those differences I have come away from. It is those differences I have come away from. I like differences; they are what make one and another, and one from another, and they are what make things things of variety and vibrancy. I like differences. But I do not like differences when they are inflicted differences. Differences that wound and defile and define in the vocabulary of bigotry. You are this and I am this. I am right because I am this and you are wrong because you are that. You are wrong. You cannot go there. You are not to be allowed this. You may not wish or want this. You may not have this or even seek to have this. You are wrong. You do not belong here. You are not who you might have been. You are not who should be. You are not Us. You are You and for that reason you are now allowed. Anything. Anything. Kuchh bhi. Whatever. Continue reading “When It’s Time It is Time”

Telegraph Calcutta

Long Shadows


The smallest geographies can often conjure large, often lingering, patterns of politics. A crossroads in Sarajevo. A beer hall in Munich. A palace called Winter. A harbour called Pearl. A line called Radcliffe. A prison house called Robben Island. An absent wall abutting Mexico. A somnolent township on the banks of the Sarayu. Or, on recent witness, a tiny pocket of south-west London called Southall. It used to be a precinct of émigré Indians; in a few ways it still is, though in many ways it no longer is. Southall is a swiftly changing plot, those changes being currently speeded by an ambitious cross-rail project that will drastically shrink the distance between London’s western and eastern suburbs and bring the centre of town cheek by jowl with its stretched-out peripheries. Southall is a small geography rippling with the patterns of a politics far away and at once uncomfortably close. Continue reading “Long Shadows”

Telegraph Calcutta

So time Flies and Then it Also crawls


Where’s to go? Where’s to even go? Or even be? Where’s to even be. Every place is another from anoth- er place. You are one place and there’s another. You go another and that one place has turned another. It’s what it is with places and going. It’s you who turn a tear, between one place and another, a line, jagged or curled or even straight, between one place and another. That’s who you become: a mark like a tear, or even a cut, running whole between one place and another. Continue reading “So time Flies and Then it Also crawls”