ProFree

ProFree

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Address


-Not midnight yet
For every line I walk 5 steps!
-Not landing yet
For every line I walk to the window!
-Not looking yet
He was pricked!

Will you look from the window under the dark dome of my past?
Will you look from the window across the ocean that cuts through my heart?
-I may land at night!
He may land at the first night of the thousand and one nights!
He may land amidst my 5 steps...
He may land in the hidden curve
He may land where he wished he dreamt
He may land not knowing yet...

She whispered: He was pricked!

Look!
Across the ocean that cuts through my heart,
Look!
I shall breath through your eyes!
I shall drink the mirage of the ocean that cuts through your eyes!
And then you ask,
If for every breath I walk 5 steps
If I have a hidden curve

-Not midnight yet!
-Not landing yet!
-Not looking yet!
Take my eyes across the ocean that cuts,
Take 5 steps,
Look through the window,
And drop me there!



Brookline
February 4-9, 2014
Proshot Kalami

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Proshot: la`l-e badakhsh

Proshot: la`l-e badakhsh




The Ghosts of the Old Clothes

This is a poem dedicated to Rilo and Uli





I heard your image,
when you were sewing.
You heard my eyes,
 when you showered me with a needle,
and a thread,
and a hand,
down my spine.

+ + +
I heard your image,
when the petticoat
was pink,
and the skin,
and… uh!

+ + +
You heard me shower in the waves of your fabriques!
The futon touched my spine,
1900!
You showered me in your needle,
I heard your image!

+ + +
You stripped them off;
the arms,
the breasts,
and a drop of sweat!
You opened the bend,
the fold!
And the curve above the hip,
where I dreamt of your hand
and the needle…
A black thread!

+ + +
You stripped to see the lips.
I heard,
When the dream landed in the curve above the hip,
I followed your fingers where my spine bends.
I followed the thread at night,
And you sewed!
I heard your image,
round the back of my neck!
“Breathe!”
And you never saw that bend of the hip!
And you never touched that shallow turn!

+ + +
Lay your head
Like the tip of your fingers.
Hold my needle,
in that shallow bend of the hip,
where you never saw

+ + +
Your fingers saw the skin of the back of my neck
and the curve,
when you dismembered me
with your needle
and the thread!

+ + +
The rest is a void!



Proshot Kalami
September 13, 2012, Charlottenburg, Berlin

The Ghosts of the Old Clothes



Proshot: la`l-e badakhsh

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Poem for Aleksandar the Great

A Poem for Aleksandar the Great
Or
What Happened In Berliner Philharmoniker




This is the place I know
And this is the place I know him from
And this is the place that the Gods came down to once.


They came down again that night
And they told me to look and
I was not looking
and they told me to watch and I was not watching

Look!
   And I didn't look

Watch!
   And I didn't watch

That's the place I know him from
That's the place
I know him
"Why do you think I'm going there?"

That's the place...
Watch!
And I raised my head

Look!
And I looked
And there were hands that were moving
There were many hands that were moving

There   was    a    hand
that   was   playing

And the nerves became strings
And the strings became stretched
And the stretched nerves of the strings were played beneath the fingertips, Look!

And I looked
Up
And I saw the fingertips
And I was being played beneath the fingertips
And I looked
And I watched
And there were the eyes
There were the faces

But one looked
And one played

And my nerves were being played beneath the fingertips
And I was being stretched beneath the fingertips
upon the strings
and the strings were playing me
while the fingertips were touching

The Gods came down again
They took my head
And they turned it around
And there I saw
The fingers
And the hands
And the strings
And those eyes

"Why do you think I'm going there?"



Proshot Kalami
Berlin
19th December 2012

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Footfalls Echo In the Memory



Footfalls Echo In the Memory
 (Poem No.3 of 3 poems dedicated to Paul Delvaux – and TS Eliot)

- "Never let him out of sight"
- "Never let him"

Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened*1

-       "Never let him out"

The sight was blind when April loomed large
The sight was largely blind

- "She never did, you know!"

Time past and time future
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end,*2

The sight was blind when he struck
The sight was gold when he went blind

- "She never let him, she never did!"

May, saw the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo*3
April was blind
And unconscious was an important part of the modern art
And the dead was breathing
And she held it tight
And she pushed it hard
And she stretched it far

- "Never let him out of sight"

May, saw that women come and go
Down the passage we did not take
What might have been? She never let,

April struck the blind.


Proshot Kalami
25 May 2012
Tate Modern, London

*1 & *2 Four Quartet, TS Eliot
*3 The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, TS Eliot

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

ساعت ۶

 اتاق

من هنوز نمی فهمم که امروز ا ز کجا شروع شد که خواب ماندم
من هنوز نمی فهمم که ساعت ۶ از کجا شروع شد که در های تو در تو
تق --  مثل تتق های تن تن 
تتق --  مثل فکر هایی که در کودکی می شد خواندشان 
تق  --  مثل صفحه هایی که پر بود از 

از کجا شروع شد که من خواب  ماندم
آفتاب میان چنبره ی درد هایم ساعت ۶ را شرمنده می کرد 
-- دلم شور می زند! 
و داشتم خلیل می شدم
و گفت این تمامن تجربه ی خودت  است به همان سبک "اقرا به اسمه"  
و گفت این هیچ ارتباطی به چگونگی آنکه من هم هنوز نمی دانم ندارد 
و گفت: "بخوان!" 
"به اسمه ربک"
و من فقط "آشم وهو" را می شناختم از لا به لای شعاع های خورشید ساعت ۶ 
و من فقط "ایشتا استم" را از لا به لای ساعت ۶ "به اسمه" ی خورشید
گفت: این تماما تجربه ی خودت است به سبکی که نمی دانست 

من هنوز نمی فهمم از کجا شروع شد که خواب ماندم
میان چنبره دلم و پنجه های پیچیده ام 
من هنوز نمی فهمم آیا فردا که ساعت ۶ "آشم وهو" را تق بزند از کجا های تو در تو شروع کنم
و فکر کردم به خلیل شدنم! 

* * * 

کتابخانه 

بابک گفت: "آمده ام" اما سه سال دیر مثل همان روزی که دیر رسیده بودم
"همیشه دیر می رسم" را چاپ کردم! 
بابک ام چاپ نکرد، فقط گفت" " تو کجایی؟"

چشمهایم را بستم که آفتاب رنگ پریده خجالت نکشد در لحظه ی دست یابی اش 
چشمهایم را بستم
و گفت" "تو کجایی؟"
و گفت: "این تمامن تجربه ی خودت؟"
و گفت: " پس اون دختره؟"
و گفت: "بخوان!"

چشمهایم را بستم که آفتاب شرمنده ی دست یابی اش نشود

گفت: "این گذشت من است!" 
گفت: "بخوان!"
من فقط چشمهایم را بستم و فکر کردم به چاپ کردن "همیشه دیر می رسم". 

* * * 
هتل 

من هنوز نمی فهمم از کجا شروع شد که چاپ کردم 
گفت: "انسان خاصی مثل تو" میان چنبره ی درد هایم که آفتاب میزد 
گفت: "..."  . 
الن گفت: "  what an idiot!   "
و من فکر کردم به چاپ کردن حماقتی که مبادا کثیفم کند!   .  
و من فکر کردم به "وهشتم استی" که مبادا!   . 
و من فکر کردم به آدوریان و ابراهیم  خلیل 
و من فکر کردم در سوختنم بیرون آمدنی است که چپش می کنم
رستم گفت: "وهیشتای آشم" وقتی من "به اسمه" . 
رستم گفت: "what an idiot !  "    .

من فکر کردم از کجا شروع شد که من خواب ماندم 

آفتاب میان چنبره ی درد هایم ساعت ۶ را شرمنده می کرد 
میان دلم و پنجه های پیچیده ام آفتاب خلیلم می کرد 
و من فکر کردم به "انسان خاصی مثل تو"!    . 
what an idiot !



Proshot Kalami
Paddington (London) /Reading/British Library (London)
14 June 2012 - 28 June 2012







Saturday, July 07, 2012

سالها پیش زنی


سالها بود که زنی ماهی کوچکی داشت
و دستهایش هم سبز می شد 
و گلبرگ هم به ناخنهایش می چسباند 
سالها پیش بود که زنی
"فاتح شدم" را به زنان دیگر سبز کرد وقتی ناخنهایش سرخ می شد
"فاتح شدم" در یک کوچه ی باریک به دستهای سبزش می چسبید
"فاتح شدم" من در یک شهر گشاد از گیس هایم می آویخت 


سالها بعد اما، 
زنی بود که ماهی کوچک نداشت و گلبرگ هم نمی چسباند،
فقط می ترسید! 
"باید نمک بخورد!" 


سالها بعد زنی بود که دستهایش سبز نمی شد 
و شاخه هایش را مردی با اره به سبکی کند و سنگین...
شاخه هایش را مردی با اره ...
شاخه هایش را اره 
و نمی توانست شعرعاشقانه بخواند 


 سالها پیش بود که یک سربالایی سخت گوشه هایم را مورب کرد 
مورب ماند 
سالها پیش بود که یک بدخشانی عجیب غریبم کرد 
قریب ماند 
سالها پیش بود می بایست ربوده می شدم در یک شب مهتاب به سبک  قصه هایی که تمام نمی شوند 
مثل "گبه" 
سالها پیش بود ...


سالها بعد زنی بود که باید نمک می خورد! 
و ماهیتابه از دستش می افتاد
و گاهی کارتهای تاروی اینترنتش با هم قاطی می شد 
سالها بعد زنی بود که در صفحه های اینترنتی ربوده می شد
ربوده شد!
مثل قصه هایی که هرگز تمام نمی شوند:
"انسان موجودی است که هر لحظه نابود می شود و در نابودی اش بوی گندی می آید"
مثل بویی که از زنی می آید که تازه زاییدنش را یاد می آورد! 
سالها پیش بود که زنی که قرار بود بزاید فقط درد کشید!
ماهی نداشت
فاتح نشد
سبز هم نشد 
و هیچ حس رمانتیکی هم در هیچکدام از رگهایش رد نشد 
مورب ماند
به بدخشان فکر نکرد
و قریب ماند 
ربوده هم نشد 


ماهیتابه اش مدام می افتاد...
نمک خورد! 
و چون هنوز نمی توانست شعر عاشقانه بخواند،
قریب ماند 

Proshot Kalami
July 3rd, 2012
Berlin


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ulay



" A Poem To Marina Abramović "


I stop when you stare, 
I stare when you breathe,
I breathe when you pause, 
I pause when you think,
I think when you cry, 
I cry when you sit... 
Hold my hand.
The rest is a shoulder!



Proshot Kalami
Berlin 
19 Feb 2012

Sunday, June 17, 2012

My Father’s blue eyes brushed me on May 31st


My Father’s blue eyes brushed me on May 31st



Two steps forwards,
Priglasheniye*
My father’s eyes walked by me


This is an invitation to a private beheading:


Two steps forward,
One turn around his eye (na kazn')
It was only the 12th of the month
When my father’s eye walked by me on the 31st of St Pancras.
And he was beheaded
At two steps forward
and one turn around!

This was an invitation!


He raised his head, blue, through St Pancras,
With my beheaded eyes!
Two steps forward
One turn around,
And Priglasheniye, he rounded me!
Not surrounded me
On the 12th of the month.

The invitation of my blue eyed father
Walked by me, beheaded…
His Talit Katan
Two steps forward
His blue eyes, one turn around!

This was an invitation.


Will my father’s eyes ever know
On the 31st of the month I was privately beheaded
In the public mass of the London’s St Pancras?


My father raised his beheaded eyes,
And brushed me blue, by his talit, along
my beheaded steps
on the 31st of May
at St Pancras,
at that timely time
with his blue eyes, dead!


This was an invitation to my private beheading.


-----------------

1 June 2012
London, St Pancras
Proshot Kalami


* Приглашение на казнь, Priglasheniye na kazn' -- Invitation to a Beheading by Vladimir Nabokov

Friday, June 01, 2012

سخت ترین درد های دنیا

سخت ترین درد های دنیا



فرود می آمدم در لحظه ی بمباران تهران
فرود می آمدم
سخت ترین درد های دنیا را می آمدم
          "وسخت ترین درد های دنیا نازل شد"
          "و گفت بخوان!"
و خواندم "سخت ترین درد های دنیا فرود آمد" را در لحظه ی بمباران تهران

-- زبانم را نمی فهمید!  ---
-- نگاه کرد! ---

و زبانم را که نمی فهمید، سخت ترین درد های دنیا فرود آمد
مثل بمباران تهران
لباس خواب راه راه آبی دور گلو گاهم چمبره می زد
لباس خواب آبی
میان نیمه شب لندن می افتادم در میان بمباران تهران
میان نیمه شب لندن
لباس خواب راه راهم

-- فقط نگاه کرد وقتی قلبم با را راه پیراهنم به پیانو میزد ---
-- فقط نگاه کرد وقتی پیانو میزد ---
-- و فکر کردم فقط چند سال از چند سالگی ام گذشته است ---
                                                          --همین! ---
-- فکر کردم فقط چند سال! ---

غروب لندن زشت
گفت هرگز نمی توانی مرا به درد برسانی
چشمهایش را بست و گفت: "درد"    -
غروب لندن زشت

لباس راه راهم به پیانو میزد
می افتادم می زد
از چشم که می افتادم می زد
قلبم وسط چشمم پیراهن راه راهم را می زد

-- نگاه کرد! ---
-- نمی توانی! ---
-- نگاه کرد! ---

من هنوز می افتادم در میان بمباران تهران

-- نگاه کرد! ---
-- نمی توانی! ---

سخت ترین درد های دنیا را بمباران کردم
دو صفحه ی سفید
باز دوباره نوشتم:         -
-- نمی توانی! ----
(شاید اگر یک گربه داشتم کم تر درد می گرفت )      -
 سخت ترین درد های دنیا نازل شد

It is not a pretty story

و سخت ترین درد های دنیا نازل شد
It is not a pretty story

پیراهن راه راهم همچنان در بمباران تهران پیانو میزد
سفید می زد
به سفیدی "این دو صفحه ی خالی را چه کنم؟" می زد
نگاه کرد!     -
وقتی زبانم را نمی فهمید سخت ترین درد های دنیا را نیمه شب لندن نازل کرد


لندن
۱۴ ماه می، ۲۰۱۲
پروشات کلامی
 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Kite

(Poem No.2 of 3 poems dedicated to Paul Delvaux's la Vénus endormie)


You looked, I saw
You saw, I became
You became, I touched
You touched, I bloomed

You were touching
You were touching the bloom
You were touching the string of the bloom

I pulled, you pined
I pined, you turned

The rest is a kite
You never held! 


Proshot Kalami
26 May 2012
Tate Modern
London

Footfalls Echo In the Memory


Footfalls Echo In the Memory

(Poem No.3 of 3 poems dedicated to Paul Delvaux --and TS Eliot)

"Never let him out of sight"
"Never let him"

Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened*1

"Never let him out"
The sight was blind when April loomed large
The sight was largly blind
"She never did, you know!"

Time past and time future
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end,*2

The sight was blind when he struck 
The sight was gold when he went blind
"She never let him, she never did!"

women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo*3

April was blind
And unconscious was an importatn part of the modern art
And the dead was breathing
And she held it tight
And she pushed it hard
And she stretched it far
"Never let him out of sight"

May, saw that women come and go
Down the passage we did not take
What might have been? She never let
April struck the blind.

Proshot Kalami
25 May 2012
Tate Modern
London

*1 & *2 Four Quartet, TS Eliot
*3 The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, TS Eliot

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Dialogue

تقدیم به کریستل وایلر، یوهاننس مرگنر و کلاوس-پیتر کونیک
 
Dialogue

بدنهای چرخان متصل
بدنهای چرخان دستهای متصل
بدنهای چرخان چشمهای بسته، متصل
و بدنهایی که جدا می شوند در هر اتصال جداییشان از چشمهایی که نگاه نمی کردند
--نگاه نمی کردند
--نگاه نمی کردند
--نگاه نمی کردند

+ + +

این شعر قرار بود هایکو بشوت! نشد!
به اتصال بدنهای چرخان، هایکو ی این شعر نشد
این تنها دواتی بود به اتصال که یکی نشود
--نشد
این دعوتی بود که شیللیر می کرد به اتصالی که یکی نشود   
این هایکو نبود!

+ + +

بدنهای چرخان متصل
بدنهای چرخان دستهای متصل
-- یکی نشود!
نشود یکی بشوند آن وقت شیللر شرمنده می شود از این کلام متصل
" ------" *۱
و بدنهایی که جدا میشدند در هر اتصال جداییشان از چشمهایی که نگاه نمی کردند
 نگاه نمی کردند
 نگاه نمی کردند
این دواتی بود برای جستجوی اتصال
شیللر آیا پرسید از این جستجوی اتصال؟
شیللر شرمنده اتصال!

+ + +

پوستهای چرخان متصل
پوستهای لرزان چرخان متصل
این دعوتی بود برای گرفتن
این دعوتی بود برای بخشیدن
این دعوتی بود از هایکویی که هیچ وقت نشد، نمی شود!
این دعوتی بود از درونی که چرخان نمی شود زیر پوست لرزان
این دعوتی بود که شیللر خوابش را نمی دید__ مثل هایکوی من!__
این چرخشی بود ورای لرزش درون
این چرخشی بود ورای لرزش پوستی که هرگز فکر نمیکرد نشود!
--نشد!
ورای درونهای چرخان متصل
ورای پوستهای چرخان متصل
ورای اتصال همه ی اینها یی که تمانی می کنندم که نگاه کن
نگاه کن
--نگاه نمی کنم!
--شیللر ول کن!--
--ول نمی کند!
تازه فهمیدم تمام این ها زیر سر جنون افلاطون*۲ بود
-- اروس
-- دیونیزوس
گفتم ورای درونهای چرخان متصل
گفتم برو ورای متصل
گفتم برو!

-- شیللر! -- برو! --

آنجا که ورای پوستهای متصل ناگهان جونونهای افلاطونی
به سبک شعر های سهراب سپهری--ناگهان!
(یادت نرود -- "ناگهان")
آنجا که ورای پوستهای چرخان متصل
آنجا چهار جنون
آنجا افلاطون متصل
ورای بدنهای چرخان متصل
آنجا دعوتی است برای یافتن سر جدا مانده ی من که هایکو دعوتش نکرد
-- شیللر دعوتش نکرد
--افلاطون اما به جنون بدنهای متصل...



پروشات کلامی
۲۸ فوریه ۲۰۱۲
برلن

 *۱ نقل قول از شیللر " او (زن) نیمه می کشیدش، او (مرد) نیمه می افتاد"
*۲ نگاه کنید به دیالوگو افلاطون، کتاب فدئوس، بخش جنون الهی که اشاره می کند به ۴ عنصری که ضامن جنون هنرمند و خلاقیت هنری هستند







Monday, January 16, 2012

خواب می دیدم

خواب می دیدم
 
 

 
حافظ که زلف سخن شانه می زد
خواب می دیدم
جعبه می دیدم:     -- اتاق
                       -- زنگ
                       -- پیچ راه پله
در نقاب، رخ اندیشه می دیدم
" از پیچ راه پله که بالا آمدی یادت هست؟ "
اول و آخر، اسم تو می دیدم
"یادت هست پیچش چشمهایت به خم کمرم که پله پله پله ..."
نفس می دیدم
" یادت هست پیچشم را به چشمهایت"
پیچ پیچ پله می دیدم
نقاب رخ اندیشه گشوده
خواب می دیدم که پس پشت پرده های پر رنگ
دلم پر پر می زد
خوابم پر پر می زد
چشمم به پلک چشمهایت پر می زد
نقاب می زد،
اندیشه می زد
پشت در می زد
پس خم کمرم،
                   -- می زد!
و من سر زلف پیچ پیچم ...
خواب می دیدم
همیشه اسم تو بود
اسم تو خواب می دیدم
اسم تو خواب
و جعبه سحر آمیز اول و آخر حرفم ، جعبه اول می دیدم
آخر تو می دیدم
حرف می دیدم
و دست خطی که می شناختم از لحظه ی اصابت گلهای کمرنگ لاله
و خطی که می شناختم از لحظه ی اتاق سرد نارس ها
و خطی که می شناختم از لحظه ی پشت در
و خطی که می شناختم از
" تو پیچ پیچ زلفم را می پیچاندی!"
خواب می دیدم!
بس که اسم تو را خواب می دیدم اسم تو را می خواب تو را اسم می دیدم
و خط تو را بس می دیدم
نگاه کردی! : اسم تو را می خوابیدم!
مثل سر بالایی شادی که می لرزیدم، می دیدم
نگاه کردی
بو کردم -- نپرسیدم!
نگاه کردی!
بس که اول و آخر اسم می خواندم
حرف خواب می دیدم!
و نفسهام بوی تو را، می دیدم!
خواب نفسهای تو می داد، را خواب می دیدم
و نفس های تو را می بردم
بوی خواب می دادم!
پس پلکهای پر پرم...
____ + _____ + _____ + _____
باران می آمد
کسی به پله ها نگاه نکرد
 باد می آمد
کسی به پلکهای پر از پله های پر پیچ نگاه نکرد!
____ + _____ + ____ + _____
حافظ از اندیشه نقاب برداشت!
نگاهم کردی!
بوی نفسم را می دیدم
گفتی بر می گردی که پیراهنت را بر دری از پیشم و من اول و آخرت نام می کردم!
گفتی شب،
گفتی وقتی پله ها تا سر زلفت می پیچند
گفتی همچنان پر پر بزنم به آرزوی پله هایی که پر پیچ از پس خمشان پیدا می شوی!
"پیدا می شوی؟"
گفتم: " ..."
و اول و آخر نفسم را هاه می کردم
خواب می دیدم!
____ + _____ + _____ + _____
و آن شب با حلقه ی انگشترت
            با جعبه ای که نوشته هایش را از زمان اصابت گلهای لاله پر پر می کردم
            با پیراهنت که پیش رویم پیچم می داد به سان پله های شبانه
بدون تأخیر پرواز کردم!
خواب می دیدم!
از پس رخ اندیشه نقاب می دیدم
پس خوابم، زلف اندیشه می دیدم
____ + _____ + ______ + _____
باران می آمد
پله ها پیچ نداشت
کمرم خم پیچ پله پنهان نداشت
و نمی توانستم بگویم: "خواب می دیدم!"
پنحم اما پرسیدم از اندیشه "..."
سر زلفش را کجا حافظ بگشاد که پیچ پیچش پس خم پله پیچیدم؟
پنهان اما پرسیدم ...
____ + _____ + _____ + ______
خواب می دیدم


۲۳ فوریه ۲۰۱۱
پروشات کلامی

 
 
 "کس چو حافظ نگشاد از رخ اندیشه نقاب/ تا سر زلف سخن را به قلم شانه زدند"



Tuesday, May 24, 2011

گفتم

گفتم


گفتم همه چیز
گفتم آن دختر ها
گفتم کوچه ها
گفتم میان تاکسی، اتوبوس، و آن مار مارپیچ سیاه که با خاطره هایم پیچ نمی خورد، اما...
 آن هم!
گفتم: ---------- 
، این بار صفحه ی تلفن چرخید
+ + + 
حلقه ی چشمم چرخید و شماره ای را نگرفتم
این بار گفتم: ---------
گفت هفت روز هست که خیابان ها مثل دو سال پیش 
... این بار انگشتها یم برای شمردن اینهمه خاطره ی نیست کم آمد اما 
 آن هم!  
 گفتم: راه می روی، آن هم !
گفتم با چرخشی که در خاطره هایم نیست، بدون سیم، اما آن هم! 
... گفتم: لیلا، سعید، و باقی آنچه که صدایم دیگر در نمی آید که از وسط این صفحه ی چرخان
! گفت: ۱۰۰ سال پیش دلم سوخت!
 یادش رفت, 
 گفت! 
+ + +
... گفتم آن دختر های رنگی با ابرو هایی که اخم نمی شوند 
-- این بار خاطره ی پر چروک دختر های سیاه و سفیدم را شماره نمی گیرم. 
 این بار گفت چه رنگ های بی خط و چینی, 
 گفتم: آن هم! 
 گفت: پیر شدند، همه پیر شدند! 
-- و انگشتهایم برای شمارش خاطره های نیستم پیچ می خورند
 گفتم اما آن هم!  
گفت آن دختر زیبای فامیل که چشمهایش مثل پری رویا هایم بود
آن دختر دیگر فامیل که چشمهایش مثل مخمل لباس عروسکم بود
 گفتم نیستن آن را هم، این بار، آن هم!  
گفت همان دو سال پیش!
+ + + 
 و من تا کلاس اول، زنگ آخر، و ماشین میان میدان احتشامیه را هم ...
صندلی عقب، و صدای سیب نیم شده، میان خاطره های نیستم ام!
+ + + 
انگشت کم آوردم! 


پروشات کلامی
آدینه ۲۱ ماه مه دو هزار و یازده میلادی 
انگلستان 
Proshot Kalalmi 
Loughborough Uni, 20 May 2011 Friday... 

Monday, March 21, 2011

How I Did Not Die in Delhi


How I Did Not Die in Delhi
Or
The Art of Writing a Menu
 Part III
You want to trade in your freedom of choice? This is the best place for you to get trained on that. You may very well achieve this relatively challenging goal! It is really amazing that as soon as you assert a simple and ordinary desire, demand, or any wish of yours in any shape or form, all sorts of barriers and road blocks appear from all sorts of places and people: starting from the door man, the cleaners, the taxi driver to people you may happen to be involved with directly or indirectly. At times a passerby who does not know you, has no idea what and who you are, where you are coming from and exactly what the purpose of your entire existence might be, will take up the responsibility of deciding what you should need!  If one day you decide to happily eat some bread and drink a cup of tea, your neighbours, the taxi driver that you have hired, the guy who cleans the room, the guard who stands by the door, the waiter, the chef, all and all will tell you that you should not have bread with tea! What blasphemy, only bread?! It cannot happen! That is all? How could you? You will tell them of course that all you need is that light cup of tea and a simple piece of bread with absolutely no addition. They will argue with you that first of all that is not enough for a person like you—in my case, I am sure my horizontally well-endowed physique may deceive them into making such a judgement. But I have noticed that this sort of caring attitude is often given to everybody without any discrimination—that, it is not good to have too much tea and that on an empty stomach, hey Raam Raam! These extremely caring people who want to do the work of your brain for you and relieve you from the burden of thinking and deciding for yourself will indeed give you all the reasons under the sky why you should not have that simple piece of bread with that cup of tea—that by now is completely cold! It is not that “I” do not enjoy eating various types of food and indulge in culinary variety! Quite the contrary! In fact, the most exciting parts of my life are, one way or the other, related to food. But for some reason I do not quite enjoy the constant burning sensation that begins from the tip of my tongue, runs through my stomach and intestine, all the way to the finish line of the digestive system. There have been many long and seemingly endless hours of night that I have had to spend in the bathroom of our room at JNIAS, all alone with our toilet seat (that was half broken in such a way that you would have the feeling that you are sliding off of the seat, until we decided to pay our dear Pundit geek a handsome 1500 rupees, out of our own pocket, to buy a new seat and allow our digestive system to deal with slightly less excitement, the burning apart!) and just do “OO, AA” as and when the army of semi digested spices and chillies passed through alleys of my entrails! It all started with a packet of pre-cooked Saag Paneer! Back in Berkeley, I used to get these Saag Paneer packs from our one and only Trader Joe’s, heat them up and have them with either bread or rice. I was a happy gal with just that! In a nostalgic moment, during one of my trips to the local super market, I decided to get some Saag Paneer (which I did), whistling and happy. The pack was immediately opened upon arrival at home, put in the micro, heated up enough, put on the table with some slices of brown bread and some lovely yogurt. The first bite of bread and Saag that went down my throat left such a deep impression that suddenly the Trader Joe’s memory part of my past was wiped out in a jiffy! In fact, even now, I have to think really hard to remember the feeling of gastronomic satisfaction, since all of that now is replaced by the painful residue of internal blisters and burns! Sadly and after sincere negotiation with my intestines—in particular— and many trial and error sessions—my digestive system and I tried Chinese (which has nothing to do with Chinese food you may know), different types of vegetarian Mughlai kababs, Punjabi dishes, Italian (do not recommend it to any one, even my enemies!), South Indian (although I must say, I give my life, forget about my intestines, for their Sambar and no matter how many hours I have to sit on that sliding seat in that miserable bathroom in JNIAS, I would sit and go through 5 bowls of Sambar in no time with absolutely no remorse or regret), even Japanese—I decided to give up on my gastronomic greed and become a Sadhu in the belly part of my life—kicking and screaming! Those who know me, can understand what an enormous sacrificial task it must have been for me! Hence the parable of the bread and the tea!
Back to the practice of giving up your freedom of choice: You THINK that by insisting and repeating your wish they have understood you finally—this process may take any time between 45 minutes to half a day, depending on who is in your company and what sort of relationship you have with those people; the closer they are to you—or the closer they feel they are to you, although you may have just met them and may have no intention to meet them ever again—the longer the process. It is quite probable, in fact possible that 30 minutes—this is an absolute optimistic estimate of time, at times even a fantasy, since time here works on a different scale. In fact I have noticed that 2 minutes can often take about 30 to 45 minutes. So you may want to readjust your idea of time!—later, a dish of chicken surfaces on your table. Then you will tell them—as I have done many times—that you are a humble vegetarian and are not necessarily quite pleased by the sight of this dead bird on your table and cannot digest this heavy and oily and greasy and thick spicy stew in which the poor bird is drowned, any way! You may even be brave enough to say that you hate that dish—which is very impolite! Then, may gods help you, because that whole army who opposed your simple demand of just a piece of bread, will reprimand you because you failed to let them know that you just want a piece of bread! How could you be, you will be told, so negligent towards yourself while misleading others! As a vegetarian you should know better that you must inform people, who by the way just want to be helpful and serve you, what your wishes and desires are!!!
This is how I decided to get my own food and eat it as and when I want, as opposed to ordering it! Then I discovered frozen bread at this super market chain that sells its product at prices higher than even Tesco—but you have no other option basically and must submit yourself to whatever they offer you at any price they have stamped there! So there you have it. This is the cost of “relative” freedom of choice you may earn at the end.  And this is how the frozen Paratha entered my life and became my major food source for the better part of the 5 months (out of the 6 long months). This Paratha I am talking about is an interesting phenomenon. You have to take it out of the packet while it is still frozen and heat it on a frying pan. Mind you, if you use bare hands you need to wash the oil—coming out of the bread—off of your fingers for some time with a strong soap under warm water to make sure anything you touch would not slip out of your hand and fingers! The instruction on the sealed package says use oil to fry it. Of course, I never do, in fact, after the bread is done, I usually make egg white omelette in the already greasy and oily pan. I know it is not scientifically right, but I think by now I have established this fact that basically 6 months ago I kissed science and health awareness and those sort of things, good bye! It was a long, painful and rather tolling separation session, but we came to this realistic understanding that we cannot be together while I am in Delhi. So it was best, we thought, to say good bye while we still had good memories of each other and could look back and remember the past with a smile! You know… very understanding! Then I had to think creatively about the most fun part of my life; eating! After submitting to eat only canned spinach and canned string beans—among all the varieties of green vegetables—and Nestlé yogurt and sliced cheese from Amul—an Indian dairy company—my luxurious menu here, for the better part of the past 6 months ended up looking like this:
·      Cheese Slice (the lowest quality you can imagine) on Bread,
·      Bread and Yogurt,
·      Canned Spinach on Bread
·      Egg white on Bread
·      Bread with Diet Coke (and those of you who know me, you know that I really dislike soda drinks),
·      Bread with Vegetable Broth (that I usually do not use due to its highest amount of sodium and additives and preservatives),
·      Bread with Potato,
·      Bread with Paneer (that almost always will give me a lot of stomach pain due to overdose of spices in the preparation).
And finally:
·      Bread on Bread
As long as I followed this voluptuous menu, I was the happiest because I knew that I do not have to pay for whatever I had later by the currency of the Loo or over worked nervous system for transmitting too many pain and burn signals to the brain, hence causing many many many LONG sleepless nights. In all those long sleepless nights, I had two very close and dear friends who never left my side. One was my German bottle of Underberg—this thing is really German, I did my research and could not find any single connection to India, unlike Swan Lake and Faust who both are fake cultural products—and the other our old and famous Nabat Daagh—crystal sugar dissolved in hot water, the Persian magical remedy that can cure almost any problem, from stomach ache, diarrhoea, headache all the way to depression and nervous breakdown—and I swear by it and no one, absolutely no one can say anything negative about this magnificent remedy. Just a few drops of Underberg in a can of diet Coke or a large mug of Nabat-Daagh would sooth my poor tummy to a great extend. We did spend a lot of time together, come to think of it, Underberg and I. In fact, right now that I am typing, sitting on the bed in room 103 of JNIAS, there is a glass of Nabat-Daagh with Underberg by my side and every single sip from it, brings back a sparkle of life to my eyes…

Sitting in a Café in Calcutta, Bitching about Delhi!


This Much Support!
OR
Sitting in a Café in Calcutta, Bitching about Delhi!
parts I& II

My stay in Delhi during the last 6 months of 2010 (and the most unfortunate 15 young days in 2011) is coloured by—perhaps I should use the word mar rather than colour, since I really want to bitch about it in this missive—so many different variables, diverse, unexpected, disastrous and at times quite disgusting varieties that it took me exactly 6 LONG months to digest the whole experience in such a way that I finally find myself capable of writing about it!  In the innocent animal terminology for this, I suppose I would be chewing the cud or regurgitating, you choose the word option that sounds more pleasant to your, umm, ears!
Another reason to maintain my silence about this has been the fact that if I write what the reality of my stay here has been like, then it may, I have explicitly been told, contribute to the negative sentiment that my be out there against this country! Well, while that is not and has never been my intention I cannot be but honest—and at times with a pinch of irony and a bit of laugh to make the whole situation bearable—in reflecting on what I went through and felt. There is an urge in me to write and share but at the same time there is a force that has so far ever so successfully stopped me from writing all these funny, sad, splendid and at times simply ordinary moments…
I am going through a Tintin-esque moment actually—if such a term exists at all (if it doesn’t, well, now it does)! Which shoulder to turn my head to and which voice to listen to??? I am sure you remember the famous Miloo/Snowy, Tintin’s dog who always had a hard time choosing between his two inner voices of good and evil, represented by an angelic conscience-dog and a red devil-dog hovering over his two shoulders! I feel exactly like that poor creature at the moment and am not sure which voice to listen to. There should have been a third conscience dog, a naughty one, to whom I could have listened all the time, with no guilt or remorse! 
Anyway, almost at the end of the 6-month fellowship and I am still here to tell the story! Triumphant and alive, and (surprisingly still) breathing against all odds—or rather against all those polluting agents floating in the troposphere of Delhi—and towards the last few hours of this ominous fellowship, I have also braved my pen—well in this case the keyboard!—to boot!
I have to give the credit for such inspiration to the place that invited me in the first place and awarded me the honour of this blessed fellowship! I have to praise the level of support I have received here as a fellow! Did I tell you what forced my hand to sign this contract with Mephisto (had no clue that the guy lived in Delhi!). Up until July of 2010, my belief was that Mephisto was a German fellow who got on Faust’s nerves and the rest is a long and boring morality play! Umm, I digress. Do forgive me, I should have started with this initial and vital piece of information, rather than rambling on about insignificant issues, such as the level of pain and my frail and disturbed digestive system and so on and so forth! My absent-mindedness is all due to the habits I have picked up through osmosis from this ever-nourishing environment. One of the very first lessons I learnt was: if you (dare to) wish to carry a conversation, you always start from the middle, and in such a way that no one knows what exactly you are talking about. This will make it easier for others to butt in at any point, and that too with absolutely irrelevant incursions. Because, they do it any way, so why bother to carry on having a coherent conversation. You see, the logic works perfectly! Anyway. We were talking about my contract and how the German play was actually an Indian one and it was I who didn’t know! 
It all started about a year and a half ago when I felt the absolute need to get focused and finish my book and start on an important line of research that had turned into a nagging demand in the subconscious of my academic life and my income level! So, I looked heaven and high to see where I can find a supportive fellowship that would accommodate my rather humble needs for a short period of time, i.e., a 3 to 6 month residency and/or fellowship. Found one that could work for me in terms of time schedule and familial planning, rather smoothly. My husband was supposed to be in Delhi during his sabbatical in the second half of 2010 and the fellowship I found could complement that and allow me to be in Delhi—whence the familial planning –thus providing me with an ideal time/situation to finish my work. That is how my relationship with JNIAS—even typing these letters sends a shiver down my spine, which actually is in pain because of months of sitting at a chair that is more of a high chair and a desk that is more a coffee table! Back to JNIAS. This acronym is a short form for the much larger of Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Advance Study—another misleading factor here is that there was no mention of Germanic legends, plays or even Faust himself! They are very advanced in their system of support which most of the times boils down to systematic effort in stopping any research and study from being conducted in any form or shape with relative ease. I must give it to them and be fair to their advanced-ness! 
Where were we? Oh yes, so I got it… the fellowship that is! I was happy, my husband was happy, my Head of the Department in the UK was happy, my CV was happy and I kept thinking about the next REF (Research Excellence Framework—ok, you are not supposed to know every acronym that is out there, are you?! Just to give you a clue, in the UK this acronym decides what my rank and salary would be like in the next 4 years based on my level of success in begging for money and selling myself as a scholar, researcher, educator, and artist! Whatever…) and those few extra pounds (not of flesh, but sterling!) that would be deposited into my slim bank account. That account is the only slim element in my life at this time and unlike other fashionable slim things, I am not at all proud of it and tend not to discuss it in public! However, if it was my waistline—alas it isn’t—I would have written pages upon pages about it. Sigh….
So just before our departure there was a sense of jubilation at the department, because I had received two fellowships—I shall not be talking about the second one here. That is a whole different story that concerns me and my husband, who happens to be a colleague at the department. I know, quite convenient you may say, but I say, you know, there would be less spice to the element of gossip, which is one of the fundamental ingredients of academic life! Things can get really boring!—and my colleagues were telling me that I will come back with finished projects, that I need not worry about marking and other sundry admin duties. I felt for a few days like an enviable celebrity, thinking Delhi, the capital, is full of computer and cyber geeks, which means we will have high quality internet connectivity and all sorts of digital access at the top notch university of India, JNU! I should have guessed that Indian geeks are all living outside India or are mainly born to Indian parents who have already left India and therefore only look Indian—perhaps that was the reason why nothing, almost absolutely, quite certainly nothing really worked the way they should have! In fact, the person who, after 2 weeks of wonderment, helped us with our computer issues was this Pundit jee (whose real job, you expect, would be to sit down all day long and recite from the Hindu scriptures for the salvation of others... but again, wrong!) who apparently did not have any formal education, and most definitely not in networking and/or in the realm of the word wide web. So, we ended up with a Pundit-geek who guessed and consulted the universe and the stars for fixing our electronic and cyber issues. Not bad to start with, eh?
Way before such illuminations were thrust upon me, back in the UK, I was still in preparation mode.  To make myself adequately compatible with what I thought (ever so naïvely, now that I am thinking…) their level would be, I undertook a massive preparatory project: digitising almost all my references and bibliography, scanning them into neat e-files in my India folder, some times working all night long…. It took me a good part of 15 days to finish all the scanning those endless pages in a tiny scanning room we have at our university, cramming them into a slim CD. I was so ready to hit the ground and write!
Not privy to all this, we landed in a pre-Commonwealth Games New Delhi—we will get to the subject of Commenwealth Games later on—and were brought to the JNIAS building and our two rooms. Here, I need some visuals to help you understand the depth of our experience. You need to somehow see exactly what the expressions on our faces were like, upon entering the rooms and exploring them! Since there are no visuals here to support my confessions, I have to assist your imagination and wistfully hope that you are blessed with an overactive one! Suppose that you hate the taste of sour lemon in your mouth—I realise, that might be a bit challenging for some of you out there. I for one love anything sour, so such a task would be strictly against my constitution. But for the sake of writing and creation and arts and… oh, whatever…, just imagine, ok? Good. Imagine that someone suddenly without your knowledge has shoved the better half of a large lemon into your mouth and is squeezing it firmly, so that you get all the sour juice on top of the bitter taste of the zest. Ok, now go and take a look at your face in the mirror. I hope the result is a completely squished face with all sorts of lines cracking from around the eyes, mouth and cheeks. The face should be so pressed that your facial muscles start to hurt. That is exactly how we looked like and felt at that revealing moment of discovery in our JNIAS rooms. 
The room that they had prepared for a 6-month long residency of a single (more than often a western foreigner) scholar consisted of a large and big bed with two pillows—the pillow, generally a very individual item, at JNIAS is a collective one—in the truest sense of the word). It was through an intimate, nocturnal experience that we found out that we are not exactly alone in that bed. In fact we, along with our fellow crawling pillow-mates were enjoying a historical palimpsest of marks left by other occupant over years, if not decades. One thing that has remained a mystery to this day is the fact that how come there were urine stains on the pillows that were mainly used by fellow adults! As far as I could remember, it has always been, or at least till that illuminating moment of discovery, that babies would pee on things like pillows and cushions; a joyous infantile experience that I am sure we all have witnessed or even, perhaps, contributed to! Since we really cherish our privacy, and as much as we would like to be sociable, we came to this realisation that having historical palimpsests on our pillows was a bit too much for us! Hence, the immediate and urgent purchase of 4 new, soft and shining and, of course, non-palimpsestic (!) pillows with no history or traumatic past attached to (or living in them) was on order. Finally, with our nocturnal privacy and comfort restored, we expected to enjoy a better quality of our now modern life! 
Historical values seemed to be cherished deeply at JNIAS. There was this odd-shaped desk on which sat a computer belonging to the middle-ages, covered with 5 millimetres of dust. It usually took the computer about 30 to 45 minutes to wake up and run and then opening any internet page (if you were lucky to have any success in getting online at all, that is) would normally take anywhere between 10 minutes to 1 hour. Downloading was of course a function that we tried to forget and only talk about occasionally, as a matter of nostalgic yearning. Some folders where in Russian, some German and few in French, dregs and traces of previous fellows who once upon a time visited and had stayed in those hallowed precincts. This, of course, I am sure you realise, strongly supported our theory of “history fetish” at this blessed place. Soon we decided to give up on our computers and donated them to our Pundit geek, who in turn dumped the poor machines in a storage room with a broken window, facing the forest… nonetheless carefully tagged and I wonder at times if they will be resuscitated at some future date!
Among other furniture pieces that stood waiting for us in our room were a flimsy coffee table, two chairs and a two-seater, with living things in their cushions (no surprise given how their cousin pillows were!)—this last piece of information was a later discovery that of course required a few hours of sitting and the exposure of the warmth of our backsides to the cushions. After discovering bite marks and all sorts of rashes on our thighs and bottoms did we come to this realisation that we were, indeed, blessed with roommates, and that too, carnivorous ones! This notion of the collective within our living environment is an important factor that most of us have forgotten to consider! I mean, what is wrong with sharing with others and enjoying the company of others around you 24/7? While I can see the virtue in that, somehow I fail to see the virtue in sharing my blood with some blood-sucking insects who do not have the courtesy of coming out to at least say HI to those of us who are visiting their country! You know what I mean? What is happening to our world? I must tell you that I have little tolerance for any form of impolite behaviour and since these little creatures rubbed me the wrong way, I went ahead and purchased many carcinogenic insect sprays and attacked the cushions with 4 cans. I think I picked up some of the content of the cans myself—the value of sharing I was talking about—while feeding my new roommates. After refusing to sit on any surface that is not either rock or covered with layers of newspaper, I realised that we need to buy some throws which apparently are softer than rock and do a better job than newspapers in posing a barrier between the stings and our helpless, innocent posteriors—at least the white throws we later bought did not leave the mark of newspaper headlined on the back of my trousers!
Oh, how I love my throws! I bought them from this dangerous place called Fabindia! The way it works is very much the way the Swan Lake works. This is yet another point that I did not know! All my life, even when I was a student of classical music at the conservatory since the age of 5, I was told that Swan Lake has its roots in Germanic or, as some believe, in Slavic legends. I had no clue that it was actually an Indian fabrication by no other than Fabindia! I’ll tell you why—when you go to a Fabindia store, a well-dressed and smiling doorman opens the door for you. Immediately, you feel special. Right at the door there are many displays of some majestic silk material with legendary prints on them that you would probably make you doubt if you are actually at the right place! Then you remember that you have to calm yourself down and buy something that you can put between yourself and your blood-sucking roommates. So you start to roam about. In no time, you will completely forget why you were there and want to posses almost every single item they have on display and, of course, they have more than millions of beautiful objects of desire to lure you and take you farther away from your one and only requisite, that simple cotton throw! From handmade silk purses to rugged jute or cotton bags, from table sets and bedcovers, from scents and essential oils to cutlery and furniture, all and all are set there to tempt you with their colours, prints, shapes, shades and fragrance. Somehow, an agent of the evil sorcerer has handed you a shopping basket before you knew it—you almost want to own even that over-used shopping basket, it is that cute—and in no time the basket is full of all that you really do not need. Since some items have some price tags and some don’t, and all have MRP or IRP written on them—acronyms that will take you about 2 months to figure out—and you do not carry a calculator to convert those small, tiny, almost invisible numbers to Pounds or Dollars, you are doomed to remain in total oblivion—little do you know that the price of each item that you have chosen requires droplets of blood from your slim and anaemic bank account which is fated to shrink into size ZERO, an ideal shape, but quite unhealthy in more than philosophical terms—until that Tintin-esque moment arrives and you realise that there is a white angelic dog on one of your shoulders who is persistently reminding you: “You were only looking for a throw…” etc., etc. But the shopping bag they have given you is already heavy and one other assistant of the evil sorcerer in sales representative disguise comes and gets it from you to take it to the payment counter for you. The guy behind the cash machine tells you that he will keep your items for you. They are yours! Another representative takes you to where the throws are and you find your breathtakingly beautiful sheer throws with off white prints on them. You touch them and they feel you. Ah, what bliss! In that moment of joy and ecstasy, suddenly another sales rep of the evil sorcerer comes to give you the total of you purchase! That is the moment of devastation when you realise that you have gone (way) over your budget and you must abandon your one and only sheer throw. You have been tricked by Odile’s magic and now you must abandon Odette! But how can you?! 
I told you, didn’t I! This is all a Swan Lake-ean conspiracy and I call it utter, sheer deception of my throbbing heart! Since I knew the plot, although completely shaken by this revelation—that Swan Lake, like Faust has its origins in India—I was able to put myself together and ask the boy—with a broken heart—to cancel the first order. And then bravely, took the 4 throws I so ardently loved, paid for them and came out. We have been together ever since! This place, this trap that is infested with all sorts of luring items—that are so beautiful, so beautiful and I so badly want them all—is called Fabindia, the cradle of Swan Lake! But since my throws and I have a very understanding relationship, after talking things over and after some time, we agreed that I can (and I did) visit Fabindia quite frequently and ended up possessing some of its finest items. In fact, I got many of their items for my friends and relatives as well. They are all now infected by the Swan Lake-ean fever of Fabindia!
We almost bought a bookshelf from Fabindia, for there was no trace of a single rack of a bookshelf in our rooms at JNIAS. Upon this latest discovery, I was suddenly overjoyed to remember those long hours spent in scanning all those documents. There was a TV set in our rooms with a cable box, which refused to work in the first few weeks—crying for their caretaker, our Pundit geek. The sound level of the TV was either terribly low—so low that you had to attach at least one of your ears to the side speaker and forget about viewing any image—or made you sit back and try to guess and lip-read the Hindi-speaking person on the screen. Oh, and there was another smaller desk in the room with a chair. The chair was bigger than the leg space of the desk and there was no way according to any law of physics that you—or any other creature on planet earth—could squeeze the chair in. So, in order to use the chair and the desk together, you would need to be sitting on the chair and extend your whole upper body towards the desk in order to reach the edge of the surface of the table. Go figure….
At the beginning we did not talk about these things to each other. I was thinking that I am a snob and should not complain, after all there are people living on this planet who have achieved splendid heights with 10% of what was available to us. This was while my husband would think that he should not complain or he would be judged as someone who has forgotten his origin and has turned to a snob, marrying a foreigner! But one day, I think, after not being able to go online for 7 days we started to crack! How did we live before this lovely seductive, lucrative, sexy, smooth and supper speedy phenomenon called high-speed internet connection came into being?