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  The wall
  Vol II : issue 4

  Jean-Luc Nancy
  Arun Kolatkar
  Victor Rangel-Ribeiro
  New writing
  Only in Print

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Oil on canvas by

Ananda Roy

Every journey must begin with an introduction. A single, sharp snapshot given to a smiling stranger that can instantly touch their lives like nothing else. Or leave them cold, because physics is infernal and does not understand why souls must fuse before friendships are born. Introductions are everything and this journey ó yes, you and I ó needs to begin with one.

For those of you who know me, make time to find your diary notes and go rip, rip, rip. It is sad how everything that was certitude is now turned on its head. For those of you who have never known me, this is going to be easier than touch football. I am just your voice. I am the child with no future, that hot man you never kissed, the little girl with snipped daisies in her frock, that Ďití girl on Fifth Avenue you never brushed against, the mother you let die.

I am just your voice that has now found a channel. I will haunt you like I did yesterday. I will capture your mind because I am the prince of grey. I will tear tiny ripples in your heart because it is the only way you will let the blue drip to the ground, where all sins are forgiven. I will live to dream again. Ignore me if you will, because this voice makes no excuse for snivelling idiots afraid to breathe deep. Tie me up and throw away the key, if you hate finding an opinion so different from your own that you turn purple with rage.

I am just a voice.

I speak your language, I drink your tea, I hear what youíre saying when circumstance leads you down its path but your heart, still beating, is going the other way. I stay quiet most times because in silence, I discover my meaning. And then, when the time is right, I savage you with the truth.

I do it because you are a survivor. With your mottled teeth and crumpled nose, you have triumphed over the worst disease to envelop mankind: apathy. You care about yourself first, because you know how desperately you are in need of repair. You care about family and friends, because they carry the seed of your brilliance when you cannot see the light anymore. You care about this earth, because it permits your excursions into the unknown with nothing more than an occasional harrumph.

When you stop caring, I come back. My voice grows louder, even shrill, like a thousand banshees bleating to a forgotten Gaelic chant. I make no apologies then. I simply dissolve the membrane of your wellbeing with short stabs, drawing no blood. I corrupt your platitudes, I stir your pot, I shriek when I dance on your grave till you are ready to care again.

I know you donít love me as much as I love you. It doesnít really bother me because my heart is an ocean of lips, bitten, raw. I know you want to turn the page on my chapters once and for all, lest I shout from the rooftops of the world. I know you are in a rush today, just like yesterday, eager to put a wide distance between us thatís easily multiplied by the hour. And yet I come back to celebrate your survival, to exude your genius till it drips from my tongue so that a million other voices might find their own.

I have not been sent here by your mother. So donít expect advice from the lap of wisdom because I only know the truth. I have no interest in your bright pyramid scheme to get rich quick or your daily commute from Back to Beyond or your balding lifescape. I donít understand why grown men must seize days with fists over stone. I care less for silly experiments that give intelligent women the right to be bitter. I cringe when I see children weep because soon enough, their little motors die down. I yawp when you stop breathing because in you is my own wish to survive. These are my weaknesses.

I am your voice and this is my introduction. If youíre stone cold, turn around and walk away to your picture-perfect world. But if you are still smiling, do come back and ask softly for my life.


Ananda Roy holds down a corporate job in Bombay. Interestingly, it consists of
examining people to see what makes them tick