Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Coded messages

It seemed to me that folk ditties, jokes, epithets, vulgar expressions, profanities and the like, and even everyday words - are mediums for transmission of precious wisdom, like coded messages to future generations. Such messages are hidden in expressions that are sure to be in common currency, heard by and embedded in the minds of nearly everyone, so that some time someone, somewhere may also reach through to and grasp the inner meaning.

But for that matter, everything in the wide universe around us – can appear exalted, sacred, serendipitous, present specifically to create such a perception, so as to again enable renewal …

I did consider including with my poems a personal commentary, sharing the experiences underlying them, unraveling the allusions, the tales from Indian epics and mythology, and the mischievous play with words and languages, the symbols, expressions and hidden meanings. But on further reflection it seemed that this would only serve to limit readers’ own possible experience. Like with a Zen koan, meanings of riddles arise in one’s own consciousness, are understood in a uniquely personal, self-defining way.

While the expression is in English, the underlying experience is fundamentally Indian – Bengali, Hindusthani, Tamil, Malayali; Sanskritic, Buddhist, Muslim; brahmin, and folk. English is here sought to be used specifically to express the Indian. Again, while symbols that speak to us are culturally specific, they are also part of the symbolic universe that lies within the collective sub-consciousness of humanity at large. Like the friendship of ancient trees, like the overlapping canopies of huge trees in a forest – there is a passage between the mythologies, the cognitive and linguistic universe of different peoples. After all the human family is one.


Anonymous said...

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I am a film student. After a year long stay in this city, I have started loving it. Its monsoon is beautiful...with Kadam phool in full bloom on our campus!

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