Listening to Marvin Gaye is sanity in a Sumatra squall.
If I scroll through the news, all I read is a death lament
And fifty five ways on how the world is going to end
Before the next para tells me about wine-tasting in South Bend.
(Editing, like the hour after 3 a.m., has lost all meaning)
This, the absurdity of our collective vanity,
Is our echo hall.
Marvin runs endlessly on the phone and asks the question
From back then, when he filled my car as it took every bend.
My friend, I long to be at that cafe, too, at the same time
If only to see the water cling to the glass before sliding off
Onto the grass between the wall and the sidewalk like I am
Holding on to your voice to tell me it’s not over,
Not yet, not now, not at all.
In memory of Angshuman Chakravarty, Xaverian, friend.
Note-The reference to Hastings is the area near the Royal Calcutta Turf Club, not far from where the old stables of the RCTC still exist, close to the Hooghly River.
A. left us. A sudden update through social media
None of that artless, naive hysteria of the ages.
He went, he left, the cause docketed and tucked
In a folder inside our bulging brains, to be plucked
By an iron claw looking for human souvenirs, one day.
One day perhaps, but not yet anyway.
I remember wintry evenings, quizzes, Pet Shop Boys, Carpenters,
Life, Sliced. Or A Brief Tale At The Bus Stop.
My stick sits limply between my fingers, unlit,
While the world drips from the newspaper
Damp on the synthetic seat, wet from the wait
For the bus which passes every five minutes
Over the road where once there were streams,
From before there was a city named for lions,
That came down from low hills, now grassy verges.
Standing just outside the shelter is a nice notion,
Being the broadminded sort, I don’t mind the water
Splashing on my bald head-
It takes away fractions of the ache splitting my…
It’s damp these days and the undergrowth lush, green,
Overflowing, sharp to the eye against a black sky,
Seems to whisper Conrad and Maugham and you are forced
To refocus on every step in front of you on early evening runs,
Below the slow streak of pale commuter trains to Gombak
And Jurong and the frenetic zones of business further ahead,
While giving Little Guilin a wide berth which is a shame-
But then again, there is only so much to see with your back
To the glass, a constraint none of us have as we pick up speed
A couple of weeks ago, Soma and I set out to write collaborative essays to present an alternative view on art and design. This is the second piece in the series.
Soma: The watercolour above depicts three women friends heading out after catching a movie. A woman is not obliged to go back home after seeing a film, though of course she might. She could, equally, decide to go for a drink or shopping with her friends. These are self-confident, independent people. They take their own decisions.
Kaustuv: The place of women in contemporary art work is an important part…
Collaborators-Soma Pradhan and Kaustuv Ghosh
Kaustuv: Soma and I work collaboratively out of the domestic space we share. Our small apartment suffices for the two of us and having spent a long time working from home, both of us have developed a rhythm that accommodates each other. We discuss subjects, perspective, colour. She critiques my writing. We show each other our drafts. The difference is that writing for me is a part-time pursuit while painting for her is a full-time profession.
As things go, we have learned to be in this together. I have come to understand over the years…