My Inability to Stir

On Frankaffe, Sushrut Munje shares how writing is an intense, deeply emotional activity, like taming the storm within. Anushka Gupta, meanwhile, stirs well.
courtesy: Andrea Castro

Having always viewed life as a single canvas, it gets confusing when colors wash off and there’s a new painting on the same canvas the next day. Then there are traces, some stubborn which refuse to fit in, and stand out, quite like Howard Roark’s architecture against the sky. I live with those, they are a part of me after all, part of the new painting of a new day.

What is wonderful is that the new canvas does not allow me to live the old paintings the way they were. Because there is no photograph, no record of how life was back then. Only a memory. Perceived through my poetry, perhaps, and the songs associated with the sunsets. There is only a vague memory which fills my heart with emotion and then there’s a new day and a new painting that awaits.

What sets me writing

It is the tumultuous movement of the ocean within. Thoughts rise up, and go down and lash about. Memories come flooding, I remember the touch and spoken words and how the wind caressed our naked souls on a cloudy evening. It’s the desire to translate the feeling which makes me lose sleep after the longest of days, and the thrill of making you experience the ecstasy of a written word, perceived in your own wild way, when the way I hold you might not be enough.

I write without a plan, on a distinct high, fueled by an intensity akin to a solitary flight into the unknown. A word feels like a flap of my mighty wing, with an empty sky below and above me, inky blue blackness. Through mountains of rain clouds I fly, such is the pleasure of a flight, such is the thirst of a final lightening strike which I yearn for, that I’d live a thousand lives in that fatal moment.

Such is, the blinding joy.

What are my words

Pure structure, on paper, written as I deem it fit. Not asking you to listen to my tone, the gentle scratch of my pen lies abandoned, so does my warm gaze which might cast a quick look on how your hair falls over the shoulder, and how you tuck it away over your wee pink ears. You don’t see any of it. What you do see, is a sentence, read by your own mind, the way it wants to. Intended to melt a mountain. Seeking permission, to hold your mind the way I would, in person.

A polite invitation, to a conversation. I won’t know how to dance, my poetry does. I cannot memorize the steps of a tango, but my poetry helps me remember the way I felt on breathing in your earthy musk and you giggled. Oh how you giggled and looked me straight in the eye.

What is writing in espressos and stirs

Anushka writes about the things which move her, the gentle clinking of a spoon against the sides of your favorite mug on a cold winter morning, as you stir some hot cocoa. Before knowing her well, I had not noticed that the sun shines so bright. I had not known the texture of the sea waves, neither have I had the patience to sit and breathe in the world around. My words have been an espresso, hers have been one with a dollop of cream and sugar.

My inability to stir stems from a trait to move on from things which do not stick around. What I ought to realize is that sugar does not dissolve at a first go, and it takes patience to make your drink sweeter. It’s a thin line to toe, for once the drink has been sipped, the mug needs to be washed clean. It’s tempting to hold on to it, once you get into the stirring habit. The warmth never really leaves it.

You never realize that the drink isn’t making the mug warm anymore, it’s your loving hands.

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