Wednesday, February 21, 2007

'pressed memory.

No, I'm not afraid that you'll forget me.
If there's a thing that makes me shiver
Then it's a thought that came to me
In a pitch-black dream at the wee-hour:

"You'll remember me
As a cold snow-flower
Which didn't pay heed
to your respectful declaration.
And then...
you'll keep a warm sister of mine
in your diary
as a remembrance
of my stubbornness
(You called it 'dignity' once
...or did I?)
And of your patient maturity."

I would have liked to think
that I feel pity for the flower you plucked.
But I know you didn't -
one warm breezy day
during your afternoon walk
it landed on your head, gently, unasked.

So all I am sad about
Is that I would have liked
My memory in your thought
Not to be so two-dimensional!

11 Comments:

Blogger Monsieur K said...

Very interesting stuff.
is it the "पत्थरदिल" person who becomes the "cold snow flower" in the next one?
my intelligence fails me to grasp the meaning of the last line. what do you mean by the memory being two-dimensional?

~ketan

Thursday, February 22, 2007 12:49:00 AM  
Blogger Gayatri said...

Thanks Ketan. :)

Both the poems do indeed relate to each other in the sense that they depict the states of mind of a cold beloved - the typical 'बेदर्दी बालम' of urdu poetry. The पत्थरदिल बावरी, though, is in a different philosophical state of mind than the person in " 'pressed memory".

(2-D-ness of the memory links to the pressed flower kept in the lover's diary.)
What I meant by a two-dimensional memory was this:
Such a memory would be like a still picture/painting i.e. a "flat" one. It is recorded from only one viewpoint. In a deeper sense, a 2-D memory is factual/objective whereas a memory in a higher dimension would also include the feelings and become subjective (open for different interpretations).

Thursday, February 22, 2007 3:52:00 AM  
Blogger Monsieur K said...

Hi Gayatri,

Thanks a lot for the explanation. I read both the poems again, and I have to admit this - hats off to you! The way you have captured the emotions, especially in your last lines is really very heart wrenching.

यह बात कुछ और है कि
कल की कहानियाँ आज सच नहीं होती
ना हि आज की कहानियाँ कल सच होंगी,

पर पत्थर पिघलते थे
और पिघलते हैं
कभी बाहर से... कभी अंदर से!

Woww! Simply amazing!

And you have already explained the gist of the last lines in the english one. What can a mere mortal like me comment on that?

Keep writing.
~Ketan

Thursday, February 22, 2007 9:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well i didn't really interpreted the lines the way you have explained here, which is beautiful indeed but even without it, this piece would have been complete for me and equally beautiful.

- saksham

Thursday, February 22, 2007 2:41:00 PM  
Blogger Sumedha said...

Too good Gayatri!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007 11:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2-D memory चा concept आवडला.

Would it be the impression pressed upon without giving heed to the reasoning or the thought-process that is behind the behaviour?

Would it be the absence of understanding and the presence of self-importance? Or would it be the defeat accepted for giving up so early and so easily?

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 7:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

been here.

-Jugnoo.

Thursday, March 01, 2007 2:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way, was that an answer to the "Eternal Embrace".

Thursday, March 01, 2007 2:39:00 PM  
Blogger Gayatri said...

Thanky for the responses, all! :)

Saksham, I want to hear your interpretation! I'm bound to believe that it will provide me with yet another insight as usual.

Anon, all the three of your interpretations of 2-D memory could be true..(or not!) Just shows how subjective a poem itself is :)
Doesn't it happen that the fine nuances of an incident, so fresh in your mind just after it has taken place, slowly fade away from your memory? You are sitting in the school grounds for a guest lecture, the April afternoon sun shining strong on your back, you pick up little stones and start aiming at your unsuspecting friends nearby. Suddenly you sense the steps of the much feared P.T. teacher approaching you..your petrified look meets here eyes..only to see a kind, wrinkled smile in them! "Don't worry..the speech's going to get over soon" they seem to say. You relax. Even through the suspicion that the PT teacher just wanted to avoid a show in front of the esteemed guest, you remember the moment..the shape of the last pebble..the boy for whom it was intended..the perfume and the swish of the teacher's saree as she receded back to her place - for days afterwards. Then the liveliness of the memory fades away as time goes by..more rumours of the teacher's tyranny spread along. After a few years, her memory in your thoughts becomes 2-D, _even_ when you haven't 'forgotten' the one incident where you suspected her to be kindhearted.

At least as far as this poem is concerned, I didn't have in mind the 'absence of understanding', the 'defeat-acceptance' or the 'attention to the thought process (behind the cold snow-flower's behaviour)'. If anything, it was the attention to the thought process of the lover himself, the things he had thought and noted once, and will have forgotten later. (umm.. mentally I had intended the apostrophe to denote "(sup)pressed" memory, and also "(ex)pressed" memory. :D )

Thursday, March 01, 2007 3:56:00 PM  
Blogger Gayatri said...

Jugnoo, I had to go back and take a look at 'eternal embrace' again, to understand your comment. Which shows that this was not intended to be an answer to it.

And it could be, only that I'm not all of my poems you know. So I would be amused at the place where the cold flower gets saddened :D

Thursday, March 01, 2007 3:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Dalila said...

Thanks for writing this.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008 11:30:00 AM  

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