While drawing deep breaths and struggling for space on the London Underground today – my mind wandered to Anant and Kavya. The sort of monkeys that some stories are, they cling to your limbs and tug at your hair. I must feed these monkeys. I must remember them. Stories and monkeys both swing from trees and like eating bananas.
I started writing about Anant and Kavya about a year back. I didn’t create them. One of them was named after a poem (Kavya) and the other after infinity (Anant). They leaped on all the surfaces I touched. This river of small stories can be read in five parts -
Kadai. Story. Rant. Lie. Remembrance. Fiction. Memory.
Kadai is Tamizh for ‘story’. But can also signify ramble to some minds and perceptions. The infinite fragments of experience come together in holy tumble, and pile together in an order that seems random to some. Like the number 1729. One soul’s vision is another soul’s mad raaga.
Mentally, I am envisioning some music. Not just hearing it, but watching it float out of violins and sit on my neck as it pulls each hair straight to give me a stadium full of goosebumps. Anant and Kavya entered my mind as I struggled to make my peace with so many cities.
Anant is beginning to feel a little like Mohammed Bin Tughluq. This move to Bombay is like the move to Daulatabad. It holds meaning only for him. To everyone else, it is a pointless exercise.
To help the various identities into the collusion. They are not by themselves cryptic characters. They’re simple people – but in their contexts, the heaviness of responses always suggested a cryptic connection between the two of them. From them came Ananya, who was born out of the collusion.
Ananya lives in a house of wafer walls. Thin, perhaps more so because of their appearance. Ananya is always reminded of her aunt when she looks at the walls. There are some people in the world, who have voices and faces of thin people. The faces and voices by themselves are not thin, but seem to belong to thin people. The walls are like that, they belong to thin-ness. As though thin-ness was a religion, or worse still, a television show.
Because Kavya is someone he will meet soon. And the infinite must meet the poem. Because a poem needs timelessness, and infinity needs an anchor. Though the egg kissed currency note is far more sublime, we will need someone as Punjabi and as coarse and as vulnerable as Kishore for the inevitable to happen.
Remembering them is a bit like recalling gestures of old friends. You sometimes forget a part of their force, but you remember them – limb by limb – laughter by sunlight – frozen in frames, in the middle of gestures. Or that unshakeable image of finding them behind the staircase during a game of hide and seek.
Or maybe I am running out of ideas and am recycling some old junk.