Express

I think the only time we’re really alive, is when we’re running out of breath, gasping for something heavenly, gasping for the whiff of something old and foggy; something that connects you to that old cottage amidst the coconut plantation, where you spent your summers with your grandfather, until one day when you didn’t, and every day after that was just wishing that summer had never ended; and just like that you see your whole life whooshing past you, while you’re gasping to relive it.

It doesn’t matter if you close your eyes or don’t. You see it all anyway, in that one moment, in that tiny fraction of a second – you see your trail of memories like you’re standing at the station and a train runs past you, and your eyes trick you, so you can’t tell whether the train is still and the platform is moving or if it’s really the other way around. Maybe you don’t want to know. Maybe you want to be illusioned for the rest of your life; for if there’s a train, it has to have a destination. But you’d rather you spend your lazy afternoons in the verandah with your granddad not having to care where things will go from there.

You never liked winters. So you moved to the city, for it’s barely ever cold there. And on days when it rains, you sit across the oven at the pizzeria, hoping summer lasts forever, forever forever.

everything beyond this raging moment,
everything after the train leaves the station
is a long line of summery afternoons on the charpai
painting the half burnt cinders on a cigarette butt
an eternity of poetic madness,
burning in the ecstasy of unconsolidated warmth and reminiscence

All images © 2018 Sanjukta Bhowal

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