We are a family of collectors. We have diverse interests and collect many things- perfume bottles, magazines from the soviet union, yellow pages for cities that don’t exist anymore. Even seeds. In the summer we often catch fireflies and lost flowers. The flies are pinned up in memories, the flowers in books- so many of them. All for a personal library that began decades ago. Yellow books that’ll never be used, no one can write over flowers and perfumed paper.
So much for memories I guess, but you won’t me writing on those pages either.
Trail after trail
The joy of ironing
Your own mind
Wake at a wrong bus station.
The price of
Sweet summer sleep
Back in the day I’d stare at the apartments that surrounded the hill where I lived. They were like towers made of bird cages and every now and then you’d get a glimpse of a life, of someone lost in thought or just looking out wondering at the world.
I knew no routines, no faces or characters. They were just flashes of entire lives. Sometimes you’d see fights, sometimes there was only the blue of their TV screens.Where those smokers on their balcony with eyes glued to skylines nostalgic or thoughtful? Did they know what I knew or feel what I felt? What languages did they speak? Where were they from and where would they go?
Most of who I saw were teenagers, the people who I wondered about the most. I wonder if those people on their phones where about to change their lives at any minute with words that took them away from their spaces and across the world. I wondered if that girl with the poster would tear it down in a few years. What would change if you could hear them or smell them? Or worse, if you knew them.
I felt a strange nostalgia, I’m not sure if it was real or imagined. The kind I only felt about some vague memories of old anime shows- a wolf wondering why humans look at the sky when they can’t fly, a girl who is suddenly taken out of her world and petty anxieties to be left in an apocalyptic ones, a angel who lost his wings and a man trying to figure out how long it is before he dies because he is isolated from technology.
During the regular load shedding I’d look at the apartments from the grass on our hill now and then switch between watching the stars and the shadows of gas lamps. I wondered what they did with their free time; where they like me and candle light? If they looked I looked back. Once we even had a light fight- I and someone else would flicker or torches in turn. We stopped after an hour and I asked myself what they would remember.
I remember it clearly, Mangalore dreams and Mangalore rains, with people on their balcony’s sniffing the air, wetting their feet or just enjoying the rain. The bird cages drenched in Monsoon.
Red and green when bearing fruit
Yellow during the flowing season
Many wild guests on that hill
And in my memory always the same.
I remember facing my cup and not noticing dusk
I rose to watch the moon in flowing stream
The birds are close and people far as leaves litter the brook’s silver.