do not disturb

how do you leave a city once you’ve given it your heart?

.

maybe dilli is nothing but a city, and maybe the sound of a metro pulling out of a station isn’t supposed to make you fall in love each time you listen to it. maybe we’re supposed to keep walking into — and out of — identities, never wearing the same mask in another place (not because we can’t, but because some lives only belong to certain streets and can only thrive in the unremitting sunshine of a certain gaze). maybe i’ll come back later, as i always have. maybe my life will go on existing here, haunting all the points in space and time that will lie outside my body’s reach. maybe this is what i want. maybe the new place will be just as magical, just as heartbreakingly beautiful. maybe my heart longs to run to new places to have itself torn up there anew.

.

even the promise of a new love could never make leaving dilli easier. some things never change.

some others do. i’m going to pack and squeeze dilli into my favourite songs and words, force all of it inside and keep pressing until it all explodes into numerous shreds of skin and bone and muscle and blood: spreading everywhere, spreading so far in a spray of ineluctable bloody mist that i’ll never be able to escape it. and then, finally, everywhere and everywhen will be dilli and i will never have to leave again.

gotta anchor all the magic i’ve ever collected to every inch of this city.

do not disturb.

images #2

it’s raining. i’m reading things i don’t remember writing: stories, poems, anecdotes.

.

i remember so little of the past.

the more i try to recall memories, the more they retreat into the unknown. each time i try to reconstruct one, i add something from the present to it. i now have different versions of each, and no way of telling what really happened.

even recollection is an act of defamiliarisation.

.

redesigned memories are falling around me, simultaneously pushing me away from and bringing me closer to other points in time.

water never precipitates alone.

images #1

the temperature outside is 25 degrees celsius.

my earliest memory, except i was 11 then. i remember things from when i was younger, but i have displaced my light cone in my mind (despite the laws of physics) and now zero coincides with Bombay.

.

doors will open on the right. please mind the gap.

dilli is all the years of my life compressed into the present moment, all the points in space and time that define me confined to a place marked ‘here and now’;

and now, rising up from the tangled mass of memories belonging to other places and other lives, the faint shadow of a familiar voice:

.

as long as the words are coming, don’t stop.

never again.