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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Shorts 3

This edition of Shorts contains two cue words from readers and one of my own. More cues for writing about are, as always, invited.

The third cue is the one I gave myself. The contributors behind the first two, in order of appearance, are:

  • Bishal, an undergraduate student at CMI, a year my senior. He is also a rare male among my fellow Carmelites -- an alumnus of one of the few co-educational Carmel schools in the country. His focus of study lies in Mathematics, and he edits an online English-Assamese Science/Maths magazine called Gonit Sora. In leisure, Bishal is spotted obsessing over superheroes, movies, the occasional anime, and beautiful women.
  • Arijit, the Head Boy of Hem Sheela in the term succeeding Nihal's and mine. A Xaverian and student of Commerce, Arijit has a keen taste for oratory and politics, especially political satire. He enjoys non-fiction literature, and is a steady source of world news for anyone who cares to ask. When not sending John Oliver videos and Onion articles to anyone who is online, Arijit is known to drool over Bengali, Punjabi and Mughal cuisine.
To all my readers, as always, I request feedback about my attempts.

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Petrichor

There is beauty to the nameless. Also, there is freedom in the lack of warmth and care and love. Sometimes, I think that to be free means to be cold and icy forever. The day you didn't listen to your mother who was worried that you would get a cold -- were you not free? Did you not live that day? Did you not sail boats, did you not hide your tears in the rain, did you not let the water seep through your smile and into your guilty gullet -- rainwater should not be drunk... acid rain... death...? Who cares? Wouldn't you die, if it meant you felt? Would you not leave, if it meant you loved? Would you not cry for a year to feel pure joy for but a day? Are standards so important that we must restrict the beautiful and define the transcendental?
I know three languages, and I could name you in only one -- and so you were home, heart, freedom, memory, soul. But then they had to go and find your English name. They had to define you in the language of slavery and classism and officialdom. They had to internationalise you, make you universal, viral across the internet as another 'relatable' post. And the moment they did that, you were no longer mine.
Yes, the word we use is perfect music -- but did we have to define what we meant, petrichor? Did we have to become public property, shared information, dictionary entry, spelling-bee question? Tell me, petrichor, were we not better without a name?

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Rahul Gandhi

Isn't he cuddly?
He is fair (them Italian genes, daadi-gasm!), light-eyed, dimply and a subtle demagogue -- perfect for Prime Minister. So why did he lose?
The answer lies in what we look for in our teddy bears -- do we want a runty teddy that makes squishy noises, or a big furry one that makes gurgly ones? We want our teddies like we want our demagogues -- unashamed in what they do, which is hug and befriend everyone, in every country, at all times. We don't mind if a teddy is a bit old and torn and scary, we still like the bigger teddy. We like confident teddies who are not timid to shoo away the green-white monster under our beds. We like teddies who can coo to the dollies and gollies of other lands and bring us many, many sweets (while calling them by their first names) -- and, most importantly, we want a teddy that is ours. We want our teddy unbeholden to their own Bearclans, and we want them to have bellies big enough to hide two-thirds of HoneyLand's cubs underneath. We want them to save moo-moos and hide Barbies away from bad things -- and RaGa Bear can't do any of this! He can only smile at ladybears and tell us that things will be okay! The janta no longer maafs their teddies for being squishy! We want gurgle, we want muscle, we want prickle, we want Mudi!
Sorry RaGa, but Mudi Bear is our chief. Isn't he bearfect? *glomp*

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Stone

Moulded beautifully in flow after flow, in a place where no man dares venture, there lives a solitary wall of stone. Millions of years ago it was soft tissue, throbbing with life, until weight and heat and time turned it hard, dark and, most importantly, potent. As a mass of living cells, the stone would never have lit the fires that it now could. It would never have conjured warmth and spark and war from nothing, like it did now. In losing the flow of life through its body, the stone gained the veneration that is due to the powerful.
As flesh that it was, it lived. As stone that it is, it is loved.

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