Saturday, 13 June 2009

what is beauty, saith my sufferings, then?

In 2007 there was an evening. An evening when I went to the Burning Ghat for the first time and saw my favourite jethu in the world turn into dust and ashes. I wanted to uncork champagne and spray it wildly for the hour that ticked by. The pungent smell of death vis-à-vis bubbles.

Could I ever quote Eliot again? Are we those who suffer the ecstasy of animals? Did I know what I was thinking? What do people think when it is sunset? Or was it early morning? Nevertheless, desolation. Like some cheerful fairy whose wings were cut off. Tinkerbell! Tinkerbell? A futile sort of emptiness and imagined music. The breeze was blowing most hard, that day in 2007. My father was crying, was that it? The strange but not jarring music?

Eloquence is often a misguided act. Literature is a sham. Coherence is a con-man. Articulation is a hoax. Dupe me not, stranger- and I shall regard thee all the more. Where is thy sickle, o fickle god of retribution? I only see the moon. It cannot be.

And then, ~The End~

Postscript- What is beauty, saith my sufferings, then?
If all the pens that ever poets held
Had fed the feeling of their masters' thoughts,
And every sweetness that inspir'd their hearts,
Their minds, and muses on admired themes;
If all the heavenly quintessence they still
From their immortal flowers of poesy,
Wherein, as in a mirror, we perceive
The highest reaches of a human wit;
If these had made one poem's period,
And all combin'd in beauty's worthiness,
Yet should their hover in their restless heads
One thought, one grace, one wonder, at the least,
Which into words no virtue can digest.
(from Marlowe's Tamburlaine)

11 comments:

Nimo said...

Ahona you may have noticed I normally do not leave opinion in my comments.

I comment to appreciate or I do not comment and I keep my comments short.

Today will be different.

I read this and the last post. And thought I should forward my point of view - not opinion.

Previous post -

A decade back, I served in Somalia under a UN Charter for a year. I know suffering. But the only way is forward - for them & for you.

Some who think deeper take it more personally. They have to struggle harder to come to terms with what they could do and harder still for what they couldn't.

This post -

Death is the only absolute certainty.

However the smell is not always pungent. Your mention of smell reminded me of something I once wrote. I wish you to never smell death other than the pungent smell of incense, flowers, grief & that... 'that' I cant describe.

True that false is eloquence, coherence & articulation when faced with death.

But should we allow the absolute certainty to stifle the uncertainties of life?

Lastly it is a beautiful post. You & literature deserve each other.


This comment is way too voluble so I shall delete it after you've read it. I know you don't like that so my apology beforehand.

ahona said...

Please do not delete this comment. I need it. I shall treasure it. Thank you.

Secondly, we have raised more than 60 thousand rupees in cash and kind and hope to do more. This Wednesday we are going to the Sunderbans.

Nimo said...

Okay I wont.

I dint offer any contribution as I'm not sure if I can send it across from here. But I would like to.

ahona said...

Of course you can. Major contributions have all been through money transfer from far-off places. The contributors are people who barely know us. But they trust us.I don't quite know why.

AUROBOROS banerjee said...

its insanely difficult to think of death as a beginning, yet it is all that the human instinct taught us to do eons. we die a thousand deaths each day, but the Lazarus' pit brings them back for the world to see and maybe share a private public smirk at our sadness. it does not allow us to covet and treasure our private little deaths in a desolate corner. emotion holds no place in the Darwinian hierarchy. dreams and occasional unexplained flying-off-the-rockers are contraband to the cold world of certainty. In reality, mortal remains are repatriated back to the loving confines of the mind, because a person cares not for grand funerals and rites, as long as he does not end up floating in ganga beside bits of carcass, scrotch brite, dishwashing foam and muck.

ahona said...

The Ganges. Unwholesome, and so holy. I too would (one day) like to mingle with its dirty waters and drift down down- into that vast unchanging indifferent sea.

AUROBOROS banerjee said...

you think our immediate environ is the dirty ganges, and the utopia that we deserve lies beyond, in the indifferent open sea, where gallons of mud are still overwhelmed by the fearsome vastness of brine ? boy, i sure dont want to be present there when hopes die frugal deaths...

Nimo said...

Email me transfer details.

Elendil said...

I was 13 when on a similar evening I had to take my father's ashes in my hand, in an earthen cup covered with mud, and wash it into the river. I was too blank to think such poetic things. And be glad you've never actually had to smell human remains first hand.

ahona said...

Listen Prayag, I know that he was not my father, nor a blood relative. I know I was 18 and not 13. But I loved him as I would love a father and a friend. So do not think that we are having a competition here; as to who has been affected more when it comes to Death and His Friends.

He meant a lot to me.

ahona said...

I have not been able to read literature as I would like to, since. I mean I have stopped reading for pleasure.Almost.I can't explain and there is no need to explain it to you.