Images of the present past

This time it is not a travelogue, exactly.

(c) margieparikh

(c) margieparikh

The past, man-made is not dry. It is vivid and longs to tell you its tale if you wish to pause and hear.

Question is, will you sit down and hear what the past has to say?

Question is, will you sit down and hear what the past has to say?

It is scattered all around you. Like in this switchboard that makes you wonder why the king never touched some switches. It propels you into his world of light, liking, and command. The reality of its despair is the fact on the rocks of which one small peg of your imagination clinks in the glass of a moment.

Past: a perfect blend of fact and imagination

Past: a perfect blend of fact and imagination

These are the moments that introduce me to the past that is still present. Sometimes tarnished,

Is there any gilt for the tarnished past?

Is there any gilt for the tarnished past?

Sometimes patchy,

Can you patch up with the past always?

Can you patch up with the past always?

sometimes aimless,

(c) margieparikh

(c) margieparikh

Sometimes motionless,

Do wheels always suggest movement?

Do wheels always suggest movement?

In great despair and need for repair,

(c) margieparikh

(c) margieparikh

Imprisoning its visitors: antagonists and sympathizers alike, showing its cracks to some and colors to some,

(c) margieparikh

(c) margieparikh

Gripping everyone firmly alike,

(c) margieparikh

(c) margieparikh

At distance,

(c) margieparikh

(c) margieparikh

Showing window to the window to the door,

(c) margieparikh

(c) margieparikh

Always sprouting from the dry, tough places,

(c) margieparikh

(c) margieparikh

Coloring everyone, yet remaining free of even a dot of color itself,

(c) margieparikh

(c) margieparikh

 

… just like a room filled with memories of someone who is no longer there.

(c) margieparikh

(c) margieparikh

…making do with whatever is handy and drawing comfort

(c) margieparikh

(c) margieparikh

The truth is, it is past. The hope is, it is not completely gone. Yet. The wish is, to put it either this way or the other. The pain is, it will never happen that way.

(c) margieparikh

(c) margieparikh

Until then, each encounter fills a bit of one’s heart with longing. Longing to extend my hand and enter it, touch it, fill it, live it.

(c) margieparikh

(c) margieparikh

It touches me so, because perhaps I am also a past that is still present.

(c) margieparikh

(c) margieparikh

How do you see it?

 

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9 thoughts on “Images of the present past

  1. Santanu Roy says:

    Excellent write up !

    Like

  2. Subhash Yadav says:

    A mysterious picture poem. The text and visuals are richly interwoven.
    It brings to mind, Nida Fazli,

    “Pattharon mein bhi zubaan hoti hai, dil hote hain,
    Apne ghar ke dar-o-deewar sazaa kar dekho

    Vo sitara hai, chamakne do, yun hi aankhon mein,
    kya zaroori hai, use jism bana kar dekho

    It also brought alive a past discussion with Nirmal Verma, my favourite author, in which he said,
    ” Our entire existence, the sun rays, trees and plants, animals, buildings, is not a dumb existence. They are always speaking to us, trying to communicate with us, waiting for our silence, so that they can speak to us. But we do not have the patience to listen to them. One of the major curses of our times is that we speak so much, but have lost the patience to listen to them.”

    Marcel Proust in his novel, Remembrance of things past has to say something very similar to your poem ,

    “I feel that there is much to be said for the Celtic belief that the souls of those whom we have lost are held captive in some inferior being, in an animal, in a plant, in some inanimate object, and so effectively lost to us until the day (which to many never comes) when we happen to pass by the tree or to obtain possession of the object which forms their prison. Then they start and tremble, they call us by our name, and as soon as we have recognised their voice the spell is broken. We have delivered them: they have overcome death and return to share our life.

    And so it is with our own past. It is a labour in vain to attempt to recapture it: all the efforts of our intellect must prove futile. The past is hidden somewhere outside the realm, beyond the reach of intellect, in some material object (in the sensation which that material object will give us) which we do not suspect. And as for that object, it depends on chance whether we come upon it or not before we ourselves must die.

    Like

    • Subhash, Subhash! Much as I love your writing, I cannot but help feel that this beauty, this depth, this flow and this Vani is too alive, too rich in meaning and too deep in meaning, too real in import for a comments section of someone’s blog!
      You MUST, MUST, MUSt write!!!

      Few other things bring joy in life at my stage than finding someone with resonance. Of belief. Yes, I, too, feel past living and speaking. Being connected to it is not being left behind or backward-looking. With some training, the pride of having glorious past can and should be overcome and then past comes and chats.

      Like

      • Subhash Yadav says:

        Thanks a lot M’am for your kind and encouraging words. My comments are mostly quotes, most of which I have read and experienced in the past. They come alive because of your writing.
        Writing something of my own, demands a solitude which I am unable to find in my daily life. I am not blaming my daily life, I am myself to be blamed for that. It is moments like these, in this case,reading words from your blog which brings forth and sort of links up these traces from my past readings.
        However I also feel that one should begin somewhere. Nirmalji used to say that for all other arts you need lot of equipments – painting, music, sculpture. Only for writing you need nothing – only yourself.
        At present am tied up with my PhD. It is a strange paradox – the ideal of our culture is to finally be free from all ‘Titles’. The spiritual journey is a journey of dropping all our titles and here I am chasing a ‘Title’ so that it may help me to be free of all titles.

        Like

        • Well, may your paths be Shubha!
          Virginia Woolf also said that to an audience once. But yes, it is not the equipment that writes. It is the mind that moves it that should be free too do it. Incidentally, this blog of mine is a by-product of my doctoral journey. There came a phase when the pistons of thee mind started pumping full blast, day and night, and the heart went racing, and I started writing. I will wait patiently for the day when you start yours.
          Wishing you all the luck and all else you need.

          Like

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