Poetry: Memory in 324 Words by Adil Hasan


Memory in 324 Words

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Adil Hasan was born in 1971 in Shillong, north-east India and has made Bangalore his home for the past eighteen years. He is a visual artist and freelance writer, having previously worked in the banking industry. Escape The Dark, an exhibition of his digital art was held in 2014. He is presently working on a mixed media project titled Great Industrial Dreams which pairs artwork with speculative prose and poetry. 

 

Memory in 324 Words

 

There is in my hometown the university which has an administrative office that is publicly known and identified with the building it is housed in and named after a metal accessory worn only by equestrian animals, in the shape of a curve which is in the centre of the hilly town, in the old colonial headquarters at the centre of town inhabited by the state government and the central government offices in buildings of differing architectural styles, some with sloping grey tin roofs built in the provincial style with clumps of white moss and stray sparrows perched on perpendicular chimneys billowing smoke in the frosty mornings, large kettles of tea steaming over wood fires at the base, others ramshackle remnants of the pre-independence era, except for the Vice-Chancellor’s Secretariat set apart from the equine structure in new cream or some would say apple-white distemper, a four-storied concrete structure diametrically opposite the Water Resources and Renewable Energy Department building that has a viewing gallery at the top on the terrace with large glass windows the height of large men, though I have never seen any man or women at that height from the view afforded to me from the road leading down but through which I have often viewed bits of white cloud sailing from one window to the next till they move out into the universalising frame of blue sky, I having gone on then from multiple visions of bulbous clouds at age sixteen to paint my impression of the building in diluted water-colours with camel hair brushes in an oversized drawing book against nothing but the blue sky, with the digits of the numerals between 0 and 99 in various sizes and orientations penciled in subtly above a sandy outcrop and a red 1930s Bentley lying abandoned and driverless with the soft top rolled back to reveal upholstered seats still plush and leathery but the bonnet gone spotty black-brown and rusty with advancing age.