Sunday, September 6, 2009

Untitled- A collage of distortions.

“You will listen to me.”

Her voice was echoing along the deserted corridor. The windows that were supposed to let the outside breeze come into these dingy caverns were bolted shut many years ago. The damp reverberations of her voice are all that I have to keep me warm. I am staring into the emptiness of everything. I really have little else to do but to listen. And I listen.

“You will listen to me.”

I am not entirely unaware of what she is saying. Me and her, she and I- we have a similar sense of humour. She is speaking of Irom Sharmila and the blood splattered streets of Manipur. She is waving her hands frantically- trying to point at the place where there had been voices. The rumble of a passing jeep, a flash of light and the screech of braking tyres. She smells death and laughs and her body shrivels in cold sweat as a peculiar silence is restored to the night. But she is still laughing- telling me to look at the walls- the blood splattered walls. How do I tell her that I can’t? Is it now that I must tell her of my blindness? I see the shadows dancing on the wall making patterns too hideous for the eyes. But she only sees red.

“You will listen to me.”

I cannot listen to her. I cannot. She is speaking of too many things and I am speaking of nothing. I am a mirror reflecting her voice and she is a mirror reflecting my silence. We are entangled in a web of lies and deceit and they are coming to take me away as I know I have sinned. There can be no forgiveness for me; I know. And I know that they are coming.

“You will listen to me.”

Her voice is growing fainter by the second. She is drifting away into that numbness that comes with the fever of amnesia in which the horrors of all genocides are but a smile painted on a counterfeit Mona Lisa. Her voice carries no distinct words. A sublime emotion of pain is all that she conveys in her song about love and death. Words are becoming harder to find, and still harder to put with other words which are of course just that much harder to find.

“You will listen to me.”

I am perhaps only just waking from a nightmare. But mornings never come without conditions and contracts –without promises of good behaviour and nutritious diets. I wish only to wake up and find her someday. She is waving her hands frantically and pointing at the place where there had been voices. But then again, she only ever sees red.







D├ęcollage, in art, is the opposite of collage; instead of an image being built up of all or parts of existing images, it is created by cutting, tearing away or otherwise removing, pieces of an original image. [Wikipedia]