19.5 C
New Delhi
Friday 6 December 2019
Palimpsest
Array

Palimpsest

Fancy people know this word
And detectives —
It means a rewritten page bearing traces
Like
Life itself — breathing in, breathing out!
Always rewriting itself on the same page
You, in yourself, and in the mirror —
On your selfie
Till it’s time to tear it up or go up in smoke
Erase,

Except
For the impression you leave behind
The older other time, day, words, images, memories, meanings,
Written over
Once, twice, more
Countless times…
Till the history
It shows
Clearly in
Your face, your eyes, your voice —
The slope of your shoulders
Your gait
All those rewrites —
Truth in motion, the thriftiness of survival with a few lines drawn in as evidence —
Always breathing in breathing out
Under perpetual reconstruction
You can put up a shingle,
And so many tiresome people do!

But
Not what you thought it would be at first
Not at all, not really —
Changes, changing, changed
Same edifice, renovated, distressed, maybe missing bricks,
A definitely mutating owner
Everything turning like a carousel
Including the speed& scenery —
What you can see of it
Love, hate, betrayal, trust, success, failure, truth
Lies —
Beauty, endurance,
Age.

This one creeps up and sits on your shoulders
And the realisation that this building is never going to get done and ready
It isn’t meant to be
And what it means is unclear
Except for a palimpsest —
You can have a tracing of the last version for no charge at all
But
The one before it and before that has been subsumed
With maybe a bit missed
By the eraser —
Earlier palimpsest,
To remind you yesterday was only the last in line,
Of so many —
And sometimes
So very few
Moments
Erased before you could take it all in
Snatched away, gone to impatience
Snuffed!
Palimpsest —
A tongue word for your tongue and palate
For fancy people—
And detectives.

Detectives who pick up blank sheets from silent tables
And use a pencil to trace
Meaning
From the gone sheet above
Assuming, always assuming —
Competing with magic ink
That can come to life once, just once, with heat
But never be secretagain
But all this was before computers.

Detectives look for palimpsests on destroyed hard drives now
Picked out of garbage bins
In bits
Mangled, burnt, but yet capable of yielding secrets
Life, secrets, loot
Is not that easy to erase
Guilt, regret, happiness, inspiration
It’s all grist
To the detective
And fancy people who know words like palimpsest
and
What it means to a scroll, a leaf, papyrus
A pad, a sheet, or even a table napkin
Written upon
For the record.

Palimsests are truly for fancy people
— And detectives.

Subscribe to our newsletter

You will get all our latest news and articles via email when you subscribe

The email despatches will be non-commercial in nature
Disputes, if any, subject to jurisdiction in New Delhi
Gautam Mukherjee
Gautam Mukherjeehttp://ghatotkachseriesthree.blogspot.com/
Commentator on political and economic affairs
Previous articleBenaras: Long-Lost Poem
Next articleThoughts by the Sea

Leave a Reply

Opinion

Trump Drives Democrats And Media Crazy

America can never be the same again, even after Trump leaves the White House,” say many, and you can read that anywhere

Balasaheb Thackeray’s Legacy Up For Grabs

The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena has failed to live up to the ideals of Balasaheb, leaving a void that the BJP alone can fill

How BJP Pulled Off Maha Coup With Nobody Watching

As Devendra Fadnavis desisted from contradicting Uddhav Thackeray everyday, the media attention moved from the BJP to its noisy rivals

Anil Ambani: From Status Of Tycoon To Insolvency

Study the career of Anil Ambani, and you will get a classic case of decisions you ought not take as a businessman and time you better utilise

तवलीन सिंह, यह कैसा स्वाभिमान?

‘जिस मोदी सरकार का पांच साल सपोर्ट किया उसी ने मेरे बेटे को देश निकाला दे दिया,’ तवलीन सिंह ने लिखा। क्या आपने किसी क़ीमत के बदले समर्थन किया?
- Advertisement -

Elsewhere

Sajjanar, Telangana’s ‘encounter’ pro, hails from Karnataka

His father is a native of the Asuti village of Ron taluka in the Gadag district, but Vishwanath C Sajjanar was born and brought up in Hubballi

Ajit Pawar exonerated under whose instructions?

Did ACB exonerate Ajit Pawar knowing that the regime would change on 28 November or they were clearing his name with Devendra Fadnavis's knowledge?

Family of raped, murdered vet hails Telangana Police

Not only the family of the veterinarian raped and murdered on 27 November but also those of the accused wanted them dead as soon as possible

Did Sajjanar plan the ‘encounter’ of rapists-killers?

In 2008, police in Warangal had similarly killed 3 students accused of an acid attack in an 'encounter' when Sajjanar used to be the area SP

Nirav declared 2nd fugitive economic offender

Nirav Modi, fighting his extradition case in England, was further remanded, unable to convince the court he wouldn't intimidate witnesses

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you

For fearless journalism

%d bloggers like this:
Skip to toolbar