18 May 2009



There is a photograph of you that stares back at me on the screen. Your mouth agape, and I am unable to detect if it is wonder or mischief, or even vertigo, as you are clinging on to the railings; you are falling, that is. But while I am undecided, you are staring back at me, conscious of the shutter. I've grown to learn in the past year that the look on your face is one that you use both impishly and when you are bewildered. You must have been only nine, but your menu of expressions have already been etched and imprinted. Where did you learn this from, I wonder? My eyes meet yours and above them I see hair that is pulled back by what I thought to be initially as a blue hairband. It was a water-bottle strap you slung on your head, the bottle hanging slightly obscured behind your hips, leading me to your exposed zipper. You are trying hard to keep your footing - a stark contrast to my own stationary poses in my childhood photographs - and you do it with ease and pleasure, though in your eyes, euphoria are often instant flashes. I recognize the background: it's the airport, a place for arrivals and departures, where in our country families spend their weekends dining and observing hoards of travelers take off in Boeings and Airbuses. Did your father take this picture, I wonder? He must have, for how else would he know that this is indelibly you, and will continue to be - trying everyday to be back in balance, checking off items on to-do-lists and rationalizing utility in everything, even words. But I am guessing he also knew that memory was fallible and he was always ahead of you in time. It is persistent and relentless till cessation. But what I wanted to tell you was that, it is never an end, like that instant of your life that had been exposed and reflected, caught, as a photograph; it is perhaps more accurately but a pause, a break before the next instant, the next ephemeral moment, which we often mistake for as a lifetime.


D woke up at 5/18/2009 01:31:00 AM [comment]

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