‘Conch’ – a haibun performed by Ranjan Kamath

So gleeful to premier this.

Any collaborative fission (however small) makes for joy.
Here my haibun ‘Conch’ is read by Ranjan Kamath, who has been a listener and observer of all things moving…and still.
He marries three decades of experience as a performance arts practitioner and independent film maker to exploit the power and potential of the story.

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Conch (unpublished haibun but translated into Marathi)

Once oysters are nowhere to be found, he searches for shunks. 130 Indian rupees an hour for diving. He spends hours, over years, under the glittering blue of coral. The last two minutes of holding his bubbles – as time expands – he follows the path of mollusks.

Digging the seabed to the echoes trapped in the chambers of conch shells. Last gasps of lovers, or the singles that drowned from waterfall-selfies. The suicides holding the murmur of marine life. The ocean… their last simpers.

Drawing out bodies, their hands intertwined, he earns extra notes from the government. Their mouths always in surprise, eyes desolate like empty oysters, water snapshotting their stark breath.

Water graves that unite the logic of logging off, in a soundless lap of a new language. The diver himself going deaf from staying too long underwater, hearing all those secrets.

the echo of fjords –
in the bedroom of marriages
white bangles

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