How would we describe a perfect day? For some snuggling under the blanket sipping coffee with a book in hand is perfect day. For another walking with the loved one under rain is perfect. Well three years before I had given my unripe idea of perfect here. Do I still stick to it? More or less, yes. Though I feel Christmas all year the New Year is already old and festivities are over.
Let’s come back to idea of perfect day, last year on second January I had a perfect day. My friends and sister by complex relation had a great day exploring a bird sanctuary with no birds in it. I have a collection of perfect days in my life. Some happen when I just sit in some rickety diner and help a pretty girl find direction. Other happened when I get in old lanes to find some hidden curio shop under mango trees.
My year began with home cooked food and company of internet. Not perfect beginning for a perfectionist like me, than we all know the joke, each year will be same as other. Its perspective that matters in life, we keep chanting. The first perfect day of the New Year happened on twelfth of this month and my faith in the magical religion of Paulo Coelho sustains. One moment I finish reading Adultery and next day I am sitting in my university seminar hall listening to aboriginal poets imported from Australia.
Here I am sitting comfortable on the leather chair and trying to decode the heavily accented English of Lionel Fogarty. A dark, tall and broad man with a witty smile on his face was presenting his poems to us. Honestly I had never heard about him or his fellow poet Ali Cobby before. While Ali got possessed reading her poems of loss and journey to find her identity, Fogarty presented the criticism of culture religion and economy. We audience on other hand got split between clapping and chanting Sadhu Sadhu..
Poetry has never charmed my heart much, I was never gifted with the sensitivity of understanding or decoding sonnets and ballads. If I can relate to poems, they generally come from Browning, Frank O’hara, Eunice de’ Souza, Papia Ghosal and my recent found treasure Allen Ginsberg. While I heard Ali Cobby I could sense Eunice in her. But in Fogarty I felt a blend of Wole Soyinka and Ginsberg. But this interpretation comes from my limited love for poetry.
But as soon as I am done being mesmerised by the poets I am sitting behind my brilliant friend on his Royal Enfield. It’s an open secret I have a shameless crush on his chariot. I could not resist the temptation to let my hair feel the air flowing through them. Riding on the red soil we created our miniature motor cycle diary. Except for exploring the continent we were in search of a ceramic shop to collect a package. It always wondered me how our idea of geography gets curtailed by tall buildings standing in front of a lane.
Riding through the interconnected red roads we were finally inside the glass house of a ceramic artist. My first reaction was I was standing in a black and white panel cut out from Manga which surprisingly was coloured. Except for the blue and white ceramic creation it was a play of brown and black. At moments like this I feel time stop and my brain circulating various thought processes at same time. With our package in hand we were back on our red road and I felt Murakamied!
Now Murakamied is the term to define my personal state of mind when I feel surrealistic. Since I have read the writer so many times, now a day’s I often at morning ask myself “Where am I?” like Watanabe from Norwegian Wood. On my ride I was Murakamied, though I kept talking with my friend who decided to take a detour to amaze me. I absorbed the lusty green on the dry red and I felt like treading on the fine line separating the real and unreal. The crowded town ran parallel with the red road which separated the calm nature from the town. With many twist and turns and new roads we were back on the dark road.
Fast forward into fifteen minutes and I am peeping into the nest of one of the most curious minds I have ever had the pleasure to befriend. I am talking about the owner of the Enfield. I was happy his house was not part of the overzealous exploration of colours and poking the periphery of architecture like the fellow buildings nearby. The house surprisingly fit my imagination of how his home would have been.
We were back to seminar hall to listen to Rabindra poetry and enjoy live performance of baul singers, whom I was searching two months back desperately. The curly haired woman in yellow saree, holding her ektara was not performing but communicating with Coelho calls Soul of the World. Her performances ended too soon as our guest poets had to catch a train.
Since my brilliant friend happens to run Tinpahar I tagged along with him on his quest to speak to the guest poet. Hence back on his bike we were on our way to railway station to talk to the poets. Mostly my friend spoke I was grinning as again I was Murakamied into Coelho world.
Both Lionel Fogarty and Ali Cobby were genuinely friendly and had lot to offer us in half an hour. Not only witty Fogarty turned out to love bikes he was generous with his fan service as my friend received his autographed copy of his poetry anthology. Ali Cobby showed her childlike nature as she bought herself a plastic parrot balloon. After bidding them goodbye when I reached home and crept under the blanket with a big grin. I was fulfilled.
In a day I had experienced the magic of poetry, learned about Indian Indigenous voices, I stumbled into a workshop of an artist and I felt time expanding and contracting bewildering my senses, I had both missed my friends and thanked them for sleeping the day off. Why won’t I call such a day perfect?
P.S- I still feel Murakamied!
thanking you to bear with me