May 25, 2012

Photo-essay: What Lies Around the Corner

Walks are my panacea, period. Not being a particularly active sort, a daily stroll during the night is a necessity though, as and when possible. Walks declutter my mind, allow me to brain-storm, and are truly the best way for me to take a time-out. Even now, when current summer temperatures mean that it will still be 40 degrees Celsius at 9pm, I cannot compromise upon my walks: they are those invaluable islands of me-time that I need to be marooned upon. 

Even though I usually stick to a routine walk-path, I still find that every time I walk past this particular corner, there is a new surprise awaiting me; it is as if the corner deliberately invokes surprise, as if to compel me to walk towards, rather than past, it. And, surprises, they are: a marmalade cat looking up at the  ripe, brassy full moon in wonderment, as if it has glimpsed something quite unlike it before. A bougainvillea bush, sprouting from the burnt biscuit-hued sand, a welcome oasis-island of fuschia. A miniature township of cardboard boxes and scraps. I cannot help but pause, my eyes darting here and there, reluctant to leave behind these nuggets of extraordinary and return to the quotidian.

Today, I find this: a ship, ship-wrecked, unmoored and dislocated. It sits like a king in the tree-dappled shade, adamant to retain its hauteur even though its courtiers and menials have long dispersed and disappeared. Having been discarded and abandoned, it attempts to forge a new kingdom nonetheless, intent on attracting a new band of followers.

This is its present reality, though. What lies ahead for it? It sits there, the cracked wall giving it company, watching the world walk past it without as much as giving it a glance. Even if they do, for onlookers such as myself, it is nothing more than a whimsical oddity to be briefly examined and wondered about. And then...the next step beckons, tantalisingly laden with discovery of new sights and worlds. Once the corner has been eventually turned, who remembers what lies behind?

Yet, it still fills the air with its presence, adamant in its longing to be noticed and listened to. And yes, perhaps, one day, someone will want to hear its story. And it is this hope that sustains its illusions, its bid to become a whole, rather than a bit player, in the scheme of things.

Every time I walk around the corner, I hear its plaintive siren call...will I succumb one day? Who knows?

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