• the thought fox

Landscape with rice fields and running child - Ajinkya

Yesterday a friend ended a text message with the words “time warp”. My response to him was this poem. I do not know how his words spawned this image - this very particular imagination of a rural tableaux and all the feelings that it invoked. In retrospect I could trace the nature of time (an experience that this lockdown has definitely altered), and of nostalgia. of that saturated landscape painting which hangs in living rooms with showcases and faded purple walls. of the violin refrain from Ghatak’s Nagrik. I know that painting, I know what it represents to a child who had come to the city, and shed the village like snakeskin. a child whose tulu was different because it was blended with marathi.

I had seen that painting come alive, and played in its impressionistic swathes. This is my ooru (my village), with children running home from school before the sun sinks, wet paddy fields in the rain, the kachcha mud road with million footsteps folded into them, telling stories of toil, frolic and weariness. and somewhere there is also the tale of the iron dust in the air of another village in Chattisgarh, Rajhara mines. and the tired miners, and the reference to Van Gogh’s landscapes in the title (I cannot hide that allusion because those flaming blades of grass have embedded themselves in my mind’s eye). It’s quite overwhelming actually, how so many different imaginations can come together in a few words. That is how I experienced it - Forgive me. I could not stop myself from sharing it with you!

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