Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Moment Becomes A Memory

What are these two little boys thinking about? Seven-thirty on a hot and dusty Monday morning and there they are perched on a cycle-cart, gazing at someone - their father? their uncle? an inebriated neighbor? - sprawled on the charpoy in front of them.

Are they waiting for him to wake up and pedal them home for breakfast? Are they resting, in a pause between one piece of mischief and the next? Is their mother just off-camera, buying atta or negotiating the price of onions?

So much of life in India is public and active. There are endless scenes like this one - people sleeping, arguing, bathing, cooking, building, or, like these boys, dreaming and contemplating - to me, mostly just a blur on the road as the car hurtles past; to them, the all and all with me mostly just as distant a flash of someone else's life passing by on the periphery of their vision.

What a treat it is when the car slows down enough to allow a fleeting moment to become a memory: a little glimpse of life which is noted, remarked upon and stored for a possible future revelation.


kavita said...

wonderfully said.. have often felt the same..the richness..the beauty..the oneness of it all

Entropy said...

Beautifully Expressed..

Have you ever read Ruth Prawer Jhabvala ?

Jo Chopra McGowan said...

Thanks, Kavita. I know in your work this must happen all the time!

Ajay, yes, I have read Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. I love her work. Which one are you thinking of?

Entropy said...

Almost all her books, beautifully captures the vignette and enchanting irony of Indian life..

Jo Chopra McGowan said...

I love her introduction (once published in a Delhi based newspaper as a long essay) to An Experience of India.