Saturday, November 19, 2016

Reduce your resistance slowly...

... make it zero.

The year is 2013 and I'm waiting at the Örs vezér tere bus-stand for the 276E. The 44 or the 45 would do too, but they have three stops and I'm looking at reaching my room faster. A brown girl dragging a Spar plastic bag full of groceries, and without galoshes in this weather is commonplace, but my monthly pass has expired and I don't get my stipend until the 3rd so I absolutely have to avoid the ticket-lady. The 276E is definitely faster... the November chill cuts through my cotton shoes.

Who wears cotton in this weather, S asks me later. I smile, and get back to Einaudi and writing. Later it rains furiously.

November 2014 I'm in and around Bandipora, and we've just passed the Wular, when I realise that I have the wrong shoes on. Useless, cotton shoes. But they lasted me during the floods - how can I question their tenacity?

Parzana Begum* has come all the way from Srinagar to return the money I had given her. In September, I had withdrawn cash from an almost-floating atm near Bemina bypass. Bemina is no more, Parzana tells me. The flood has washed away our homes, she says - but do you want to interview me? I am not a half-widow but I can be, if you want.

I don't accept the money. I interview her anyway, I tell her real story is important to me - she does not have to be a half-widow. Later I call VS and cry. What am I even doing here, I ask her.

If the science of qualitative analysis is keeping score, Parzana was not a part of the sample population.

November 2005 is about subtext, subtext, subtext. The curling of my hair at my clavicles, the alcove where I spent many months tasting an unfamiliar tongue would begin at this November, the finality of cleavages, N's left-handed letters where grammatical mnemonics died.

I took to Sylvia Plath - je suis, je suis, je suis. N was an ephemeral Ted Hughes, I discovered many moons later.
My jagged, complicated edges have smoothed out, Novembers are no longer maudlin, and my poetry has dwindled...
November 2016 is like no other. My calves are stretched out, my hamstrings tight, this is a Friday - it's a high intensity spin. Deafening music, cadence, and synchronised forgetting. I'm asked to do sprints, but I'm running with resistance. Every November is flashing before my eyes...

Suddenly my flywheel is adjusted.
It's time for recovery, says V. Recovery, he cheers... breathe in, breathe out. Hydrate...

Reduce your resistance slowly, make it zero. 

(P.S. - I threw away my grubby cotton shoes in January, 2016)


  1. Welcome back to writing :) I like how you give away snapshots from the past, not chronologically,erratically almost.And I like how you don't seem to give away a lot in what you write at the same time saying enough.

    Keep writing Deya :)

  2. Just porlam eta. In office, its a blessing as you can imagine! :*