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Tuesday June 28, 2022

Two Women & One Chat Window

textile art boishali biswas

1

The songs are hard to remember but the wind blowing through the ‘Keya’ bushes are still fresh in their minds. The blooming plants are white and prickly. Their fragrance is heavy and heady. 

The wind soaking in with the flowery smell, rippled the still muddy water of ‘Boner Pukur’ (‘Ponds in the Woods’, a literary translation misfit in describing the grandeur of the place).

The ripples of the draft are pleasantly the mirror images of those on the water. They are like the initial untamed pencil lines which they drew on white sheets, line after line on sheets after sheets to grip the swaying hands. But then if the hands don’t sway how does one capture the tremors of a quake or the moody ripples of waves?

Shibh da’s (Sibaprasad Kar Chaudhuri) design classes were like asking the storm to tame and waterfalls to be quiet. 

ঢেউগুলো যে আমায় নিয়ে
করে কেবল খেলা।
ঝড়কে আমি করব মিতে,
ডরব না তার ভ্রূকুটিতে;
দাও ছেড়ে দাও ওগো, আমি
তুফান পেলে বাঁচি,

I am but a plaything
To those waves
I will befriend the storm 
And look into its eyes
Untie my moorings 
I will live the tempest

They sat together! Two women of Santiniketan, a university which is more green than grey, and is as close to soil as the sky. They chatted, quietly. Here, in these virtual boxes, words make rippling dots before appearing. It is known as typing! The moving dots mock their futile attempts to draw straight lines all through the morning till late afternoon.

The chill is still mild in the air, but the bite is deep.

The rustling leaves of the fall keep the air busy. Bloody red and ripe orange they hustle and bustle and fly everywhere.

The same draft ripples through the birch, weaves through the maple carrying along with them bits of the hearth. There’s fire everywhere. The colour of flames tries to create a fake sense of warmth. They gather on the driveway all through the afternoon and swish goes the rake scratching on the hard concrete tirelessly collecting them in delicate piles only to be tossed around by the wicked winds. Just like the chores of our lives, relentlessly stacked in precarious piles waiting to be messed up. The white marks on the parking lot of George Mason are hidden under the soft white flurries. Bitter marks of the tyres shamelessly scarring the land. The early morning pair of lonely footmarks on the pristine white looked surreal as if the first woman had just walked by on the moon. In this University, one late fall, they unlearned the theory of colour by Mr Luiguard who looked surreal himself with his smooth cheeks suddenly dipping into a dimple. He had dark grey eyes and while looking at them it was easy for them to believe that grey being neither light nor darkness, is the closest to truth.

 

Well, I have been here before

Sat on a floor
In a grey grey mood
Where I stay up all night
And all that I write
Is a grey grey tune

Is it Damien Rice’s voice or Luigurd’s eyes…they both don’t know but we know that songs are sometimes hard to remember but the wind flowing through the maples remain fresh in minds for a really long time.

3

The wind blew the old songs with it and the leaves came along with the tune. The winds of two lands have distinct smells.  Each of them is felt differently. One is moist carrying the sound of rain which has stopped earlier at night and is still sitting on the leaves of the Water Lily about to roll quietly into the pond. The other has a chill of a blizzard about to hit late at night with the line of birch standing tall in prayers. 

But they both blew by the window bringing along with them the songs of two lands for two women, one of whom who sits quietly next to the window and weaves the stories in her loom and the other, in the little nook, tries to write down whatever the loom whispers back to her.

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