Sunday, April 22, 2007

Persistence


















Munnar and Thekkady

These pictures are from a trip I did back in February. I traveled across the entire district of Idukki in Kerala. I did the beautiful hill station of Munnar, the Eravikulum National Park, the remote villages of Nedumkandam and Ramakalamettu, the Periyar Wildlife Reserve, parts of Thekkady.
It's been a while since I did the trip but surprisingly my memory of the people and places hasn't blurred with time. I still remember the friendly local with the bushy moustache who sat next to me in bus. He didn't speak a word of English but explained everything through sign langauge. I remember the boatride on Periyar river at the crack of dawn. I remember the spicy fish curry I had for lunch and the look on the face of the hapless french lady whom I mistook for the watchman and asked for a matchbox. I remember the mountain goat that stood in front of me and refused to acknowledge my presence and the tea gardens that from a distance look like comfortable green carpets.
I might go back again someday. I have heard the Kurunji, which blooms every 13 years, is a sight to behold.

Persistence

As I chased my shadow in the darkness,
I slipped and fell through the elevator door,
And I have lived here ever since.
Everything stays the same in here,
As we go up and down the tower.
At an arbitrary floor we stop for a while,
To let summer flies inside.
They are welcome to stay,
Hum to the tune of the disenchanted fan,
That breathes out a wind of monotony,
In a black and white persistence.

Beside me is a board of buttons,
Like happy faces that smile at each other.
Each one speaks a different dialect,
Of a foreign language,
But I am sure they say the same thing.
Above the board the speaker coughs and sputters,
The same song over and over again.
Even when I question the speaker I get,
The same words, the same sounds,
Through dayish night or nightish day.

The light shines with a bored brightness,
And if you stare at it for hours,
Shapes lose their shape,
And sizes lose their size.
The floor plunges to an abysmal depth,
And the ceiling jumps to an unimaginable height.
It is then that I hear the knock on the door,
Of the stranger waiting outside.
Within the elevator, I exist,
Locked and trapped in measured space.
He always waits outside.

10 comments:

Vasu said...

"It is then that I hear the knock on the door,
Of the stranger waiting outside.
Within the elevator, I exist,
Locked and trapped in measured space.
He always waits outside."

I love it! I love it! (Can I say that once more?)

I LOVE IT :-)

So Kafkaesque!

Have you ever dared to let that stranger in?

Tell me if you ever did.

How do we know said...

wow! you so decided to post again?!

The pics are all lovely, as usual :-)

[eric] said...

Hey! You are back! And on an elephant!

I like the tenth photo with the trees. It reminds me of an approach to a grand estate that existed a few centuries ago, where now, only the trees survive.

Tell me no more of enchanted days said...

this is so much like a poem i wrote years back..the stranger, the elevator..the same words..freaky..just that in my case the stranger was God...duno if it makes any sense..if u read it, u wld...

Wriju said...

Vasu:
I guess it is a bit Kafkaesque because of the hint of despair in it. I thought it wasn't good at all as I am writing after such a long hiatus. I am so glad you liked it :)

How:
Yes I finally found time ;) You know all about it.

Eric:
Elephant back seemed more appropriate for my grand come back.
That's from a tea garden actually. There might have been an idyllic tea estate house somewhere in the background.

No More:
I must have inherited some of your DNA (don't ask how as it is a P2C2E). That would prove all your theories :)

Tell me no more of enchanted days said...

no, she's just lost..quarter life crisis :) what is a P2C2E???
btw, when's the erotica coming up?

Wriju said...

A Process too Complicated to Explain (P2C2E) ;)
Courtesy Salman Rushdie...

Priyankari said...

Absolutely great one!

Your poems have such an energy and strength in them that they seem to stab in the face...love them for this...
The same for this one too...the despair hits...

Lovely pics too!

Shakhi said...

I wish I had travelled as much as you have....Today I just checked out your travellougues....in too blue a mood today to read anything serious..will check your poems and other posts tomorrow...that's a promise I have made to myself...:-)

Wriju said...

Priyankari:
You make me feel like I just won the oscar :)
Thank you so much, but seriously I doubt if I am even half as good as that.

Shakhi:
You have no idea how much backlog I have. All the places I still need to write about!
Yes I am very passionate about traveling :)