LazyEye, Telegraph Calcutta

Jab bhi yeh dil udaas hota hai

Oh, but you must. It cannot be any other way. Do you ever feel? You must. A twinge. A pinch. A tug. Chalo, a bug. No? It must bite, all that you’ve done, or get done. If to nothing else, to your face. All that rubbing and polishing, and plucking and trimming, and threading and injecting. Waxing too? Perhaps.
No wonder you wax so eloquent, those are the days you wax most, we know, wax, wax, wax till it turns eloquent, all that waxing. You’re the incomparably waxed and eloquent one. The world knows. And so proud we are for that. We have a waxed one that walked out of the museums and turned real. The rest are merely happy to be waxed at establishments of dim repute, Madam type, you know.

Tell us what you feel when you feel. Do you feel the bristle of your tangled beard, now that the tangles have given to gravity and begun to reach lower and lower, unbridled like the unruly tendrils of monsoon? Do you feel their tickling? Do you go all tickly-tickly? Do you? You can feel? Hmmm. Really? Chehre pe daarhi phail rahi hai, hajaam nai hai. Kaisa laga? Tickly-tickly?

Possibly. You must feel when you speak of puppies, hai na? Especially when you speak of them going under? No? Possibly. You must have felt something when you left. You know, when you left, you said so yourself. Left places. Left things. Left people. What do you feel for what you left? Or things that leave you? Like you know, through orifices. Not tears, we know you are a strong fella. But other things, through other orifices. Do you feel them leaving, going the way of your beard, pulled by gravity? Do you feel it when you want things to leave you and they don’t? Put it all in a story someday, a comic book would be an even better idea. A comic book of forlorn things about the forsaken. If you are able to someday bring yourself to feel something about them, that is. We know you are a busy man, where is the time for feeling in your line of work? You must do the job, unfeelingly, because there is no time to feel. You perhaps can’t feel the weight of all those men and machinery that have crossed over and occupied many many square inches of what we called our own. No time. Best to believe no one came, there’s nobody there. What, after all, can you do if you feel there’s somebody there? Nothing. Best not to feel. Waste of time. Chini. Then chinti will follow Chini. Inevitably. Then chinti will begin to crawl all over. Like an invasion of inviolable spaces. Like it wants to make you feel something. Creeping. Crawling. Best not to get there. Best to imagine there is no Chini and no chinti. Please don’t feel, they are all over but as long as you do not feel anything we shall all be fine.

Achchha, tell me something, do you feel people when you feel them? As in, pardon my Sanskrit, when you hug them? We know it hasn’t been possible to do that in a while — the hugging and the rest of it because of this Karo-na diktat — but when you did it, did you feel? What did you feel? Who was the best to feel? What was the best to feel. Who made you feel the best? Just asking, without a hashtag, because I do not want to embarrass you by trending these questions, you know what I mean. I am a considerate person, you must grant me that. So. What did you feel?

Okay, let me try to put this another way: How did it feel to be felt? Which one was the best feeling? Where? As in, ahem, please do not get me wrong, what I meant was where was it felt best, at home or abroad? You do travel, or used to. What does it feel like? To have been felt in so many places? You must miss it. You may want to tell us. Some forlorn day when you miss how feelings felt.  

Jab bhi yeh dil udaas hota hai
Jaane kaun aas-paas hota hai
Oh for all the times I have had
You may be sad, but I am so glad.

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