Monday, March 02, 2020

Ramesh Gandhi, 1936-2020


I am Nancy Gandhi, Ramesh Gandhi's wife. On 22 February Ramesh, who had been suffering from heart disease for the last five years, was finally unable to draw even one more breath. At the end, he slipped away silently in the afternoon, asleep. He died at home, as he wished, and he was cremated the same night without any rituals, which was also his wish.

A couple of weeks earlier, before he lost the ability to speak, his sister-in-law, Charu, had asked him, "Bhai, are you dreaming?" and he said, "I have so many stars to count."

His primary interest was in metaphysics, but he had many talents. He was a poet, a beautiful photographer. He was human, flawed, wise. He was quick-witted, funny, depressed. He had seen enough of the world, he was ready to leave.

I will close with a statement which he wrote about himself, many years ago:

"I look at the world. I look, distancing myself, so that somehow in that looking I might see the world as a microcosm of the universe, and thus identify myself with the universe and see my being, fragile, defective, transient, incomplete and fore-doomed, in relation to it. But no matter how far my mind and perception soar, the ultimate limit of physical detachment remains the length of the umbilical cord which ties me to a life, environment, conditions, of which I am no longer a part, and with which I have no pending business. What am I doing then? Why am I not releasing myself from the life-sustaining bond which at the same time strangles me, binding me to environmental attitudes which are alien to me, and situations with which I cannot cope."

Friday, February 07, 2020


my journey
into time
backward through my mind
took me to
forests of clouds
which became dark
and rained
on the weeds that
indolently swayed
in the luxuriant green breeze

and as it became dusk
I heard my mother
calling out for me
from afar
before I could hurl
the last pebble in the pond
and frightening a frog away
unknowingly made ripples of music
I did not wait to comprehend

the complicated maze
clears into the transparent innocence of
my childhood
and as I think
of all the wisdom
of disillusions acquired
I recognise the unsullied past
of languid time
before I travelled into
the future of dehumanised present

and I close my weary eyes
to run back again into
the one time of my dissolute days
which I can relive without remorse:

through the dense trees
and marshy clearings
and shrill cries of excitement
of playful mischief
and endless capacity
to marvel and wonder
at every small search
and discovery

then I hear myself
calling out for me
in helpless wish
if not to be able to
retrieve my loss
to retain at least
the desire and ability for

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Pristine Allure

In an environment of sludge, sewage, stale moth-eaten remnants of vegetables, insects, a variety of decaying substances, where even an old, unidentifiable piece of paper also stinks... one can go on and on...
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