Debashish Banerji

Consciousness • Art History • Writing




Current Projects






WRITING > CREATIVE > Prana, Kratu, Jazz II


Straight black jacket and black dervish cap
Knit eyebrows, the steady quizzical eyes
The veteran of the wind discipline winding
Lazy, straight or lightning swift at will.
Flanking behind the two younger sibling cats
Bend ornamental traceries, or subdue
The demon of sound, held down to willed obedience.
Beside him the magician of the finger drums
Patterns out the geometric landscape.

In Mughal times or earlier still in Sultanate
Amir Khusrau or Tansen sat in court
Surrounded by connoisseurs with bolsters, waterpipes, spittoons,
Negotiating the tasty dialog of Turkey, Persia, Hindustan.
Ecstatic sufis, clapping Dervishes, breath working yogis
Came together in the synaesthetic language
The wind moved yearning, melancholy and sweet
Or rattled like bursting thunder drums
When the gods respond with drenching rain.

In the beginning was the unimagined golden gong,
The unstruck sound, the seven selfborn cognitions
The magic box of numbers, space, time,
Wind of separation and joining, the photon’s spark
Water essence of taste, fragrant dust,
And causeless Delight which turned itself into longing.
From these for the delight of the Rasika
The gods took form, appeared, disappeared,
Captured by the adepts of the Hindu science of sound.

Springtime is when the interned daughter escapes.
Horns articulate the celestial kokila’s entreaties
In triplicate, the veteran cat and his sons
Relish the burgeoning creepers, the burning blossoms,
The south wind fragrant blows,
The drums madden like passionate stomping elephants
Their ringing skins overpowering temporal measures
And Krishna appears intoxicating the gopis.

The scene shifts and the cats are now cool hipsters,
Experts at the improvised moment.
Cats in the audience sitting in front constitute with them
The easy language of heaven-born perfection.
Drums and horns and the 99 inflections of wah-wahs,
Toba-tobas and kya baat hais weave the synergy
Of spontaneous collective co-creation. The grizzled leader
Conducts the nuanced journey sensitive to each,
Discovering integration with his minimal phrases.

Jazz is the hybrid celebration of the post-human.



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