COVER BY AARTI
From the Editor
I saw an unusual flashmob in Paris, after a year of being either inside or home by six in the evening. 'On veut continuer à danser encore', they sang. The dances were uncoordinated, the crowd around them was ridiculously small and the voices barely audible over the sounds of trains nearby. It wasn’t about being perfectly in sync, it was about letting it out. As if our minds got too big for the rest of our bodies. When we leap about, when we jump, throw our head back and flail our arms around, it’s because we’re too small to contain it.
In this issue, we release all that we cannot contain, through words, colours, visuals and music. Daily steps are traced, some careful and some loud, and mundane things are turned into a dance. The desire to feel whole again is woven through all these stories—let it give birth to a rhythm inside your head.
This issue is our very own flashmob, as we stop in the middle of the crowd and let movement take us where it will.
INTERVIEWED BY NIKITA BISWAL
We wanted to slice ourselves in equal halves / for ghosts that possessed our pasts, / who never apologized —
We almost believed it would last. The summer was drawling on, the flies crackled in those long evenings, but we knew we were seeing our friends for these final times. There was a sense that somewhere on the other side of this, we would run into each other again and talk like different people.
It starts with you. With a body. With a body like all other bodies: water and dirt and light shaped into the image of God. With a body like Matti’s body, which was large and clay-coloured and, like any other body, had lungs to smoke with, and hands that could hold a drum, and two legs that carried him for half a century, caving only slightly after Maduro’s second win, when Matti looked at the bucket he’d pissed in and saw blood.
AINHOA SANTOS GOICOECHEA
It was some hours past midnight and the struggle to stay awake finally stopped. The little boy’s eyes snapped open as the stirrings of a tune wafted into the room. He stood up and gingerly tiptoed towards the window, where he leaned out to listen.
I dance while you sleep, dad / The souls of my feet / graze your back like irons, / with an ampish fire.
The very foot he raised / to dance the dance / in the little hall of Tillai – it claimed me as a slave. Appar, the seventh-century Saivaite saint and Tamil poet, wrote thus of Shiva’s dance. The lord in the form of a dancer - Nataraja with his four arms and raised left foot represents the source of all movements within the cosmos.
When I first ask my mother for dance lessons, I imagine ballet. I imagine a teacher, strict and iron-backed, hair up in a tight bun, an unforgiving matronly sort. I imagine myself twirling and spinning, an arch in my back, a precise point to my toes.