Wichita (IV) : The Lake Speaks


The subdued lake brought in an equanimity I have been craving for so long. I walked through the trail drenching in greens and yellows as the approaching fall colour kissed my dishevelled hair and all  could wish for was to submit to the soft cold moistened with warm sunlight, like the coy beloved of an unfinished erotica. The sanguine pine tree smiled as I ran like a careless child, my trails of thought following me with words waiting to be inked. The strangeness which conquered me last year had now crept into the lanes of Tilottama and the familiar lake came to me, like a lover, finally free from the tiresome days of waiting and presented to me a certain unfamiliarity in the familiar world, new colours which quenched my pensive heart and after long days of agony, finally tore open the poetry in me.

The tranquillity covers the nucleus of chaos as the smoke of the jet planes paint stories on the blue sky, stories which are preserved in the blue of the lake as Wichita, with its tag of ‘ The Air Capital of the World’ remains listless, its energy, preserved in creation, in the life of the people. In my inept words, the more I try to paint the creative source, the more I fall back, retreating to poetic mercy as the blithe sunflowers add a new note to the existing melody. It is perhaps why, the lake, today decided to speak as my lazy troll found me in the presence of an elderly lady who accosted me with,

‘A pleasant day for a walk, isn’t it?’

Our penchant for nature and the pleasant weather offered us a few minutes and within her, I discovered the loneliness of the lake once again, a certain loneliness which drags wandering souls towards the nature trail where the lake rules like a nymph, mysterious yet connected to our hearts. In the probity of the lady’s words, I lost a me which could have been only mine and found a part of her, which will stay with me, forever, like the lake, which, today, I realized had a human voice too, apart from all the natural vibes I have been given for so long. The lady spoke of her life, we talked a lot about weather and a part of me narrated her about the beauty of the campus of my Jadavpur University, embedded with the rains and humidity of Tilottama, so different, yet so similar when it comes to finding solitude. In the words of sharing, I felt attached to the world that exists on the other side of the globe, the enigma of the 180 degree meridian, still putting me to sleep when the pine tree decides to freak me out by an eerie silence. In our conversations, she talked of my beloved lake, as I readily shared my love, without being the possessive and the protective beloved as she shared bits and pieces of her life in our East Hampton Estates, her love for the third floor; she talked about her children and her candour freed me from all the inhibitions of my Visa and perhaps tied another knot   as I felt nothing different from the people who live here in the East Hampton Estates.

I sense the growing attachment, a bonding which will grow deep and flow into Arkansas, and perhaps melt into the snow, someday. The sun smiles happily as the night, like the caring mother sings a lullaby in some distant land where two little feather beings wonder where I have been while the ducks here look at me from a distance, with curiosity and Kepler comes to me swimming with poetic fins and Dido-Brahe still try to get identify us in the same way, me, an ex stranger tried to adapt myself to the ecological beauty of the lake. The strangeness is now a memory, a fossil of my journey and an epic of my unfinished erotica.


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