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0.4 Expressions 
Monotony of loss


Every month, Mysticeti features a visual or sonic prompt and invites readers to share words inspired by it. 

In October 2021, we wrote thoughts inspired by Winter Winter by Shashwat Bulusu ~

SHADOW by Vinita Agrawal

In the cold of your shadow

I feel the spasms of an ebbing life


the slow evaporation 

of marrow from bones, 



from the joints of togetherness.


Yesterday's grains lie bare and husked

winnowed in the winds, scattered like paper dots


My body presses upon your shadow

measures its grey length with sighs


It folds and unfolds upon itself

an origami creasing of existence


This shadow doesn't shorten at noon 

nor does it lengthen at dusk


It grows in circles 

like ripples of water 


when hit by a stone

when shaken to the core. 


The silhouettes of the bed

still fresh as dew drops on a sleek leaf.

My feet crouching, too let loose. 

It's morning! It's morning again. 


The morning accompanies the sunny glow

a new beginning - as said.

To me, it's the same. 

The sane dissent into same. 


My life's not seasonal, it's Antarctic winter -

where beams don't peak

and melancholy sings.


Memory fondles my mind

to a lane not usually taken

where a little miss runs on the snow.

She enjoys her small steps 

as she plows her way 

and lets the flakes touch her rosy cheeks.


Where is that little miss?

Miss, you are missed.

Now when you are gone

or might be trapped in a treasure box

on an island, the city won't guide to.

The city, its office, 

with tall buildings and high expectations.


Just then, my alarm rings again

and I get out of bed with guilt.

I buried that little miss

And the comfy sun will never touch me again


It's always dark Antarctic winter here.

LUMINESQUE by Sujash Purna

tinkering rainclouds               

the dead red leaves,               

you ask me                             


dramatic pull                          

language nobody                    

only birds                               

to do this                                

a child inside                         


find out I can                         

cuts someday                         

these wings grow                   

around the dead                     

fall from                                 

knew I                                    


like Persephone                     

an obvious abductee              

asks me                                  

be like his wife                      

asks me why                          

death when I needed              

in the midst of            

asking to be let go                  


You see, my Love,                 

make our wings                     

our fingers tiptoe                   

drying red                              

fall .This tinkering                 

only mourns                           

plunge of loud            

tiptoe around

another fall

what makes me so

in the midst of such

I reply in some

speaks but

There’s another way

they tell me, leaving

a room with no

they don’t want me

see these

you can see

someday. So they tiptoe

red drops, another

height they never

could brave someday

I become

my father

why I never grew to

my mother

I never learned about

hiding behind a silent altar

praying hands

Here I am now

to take them away

our cuts


around the dead

for another


to some plastic

plaintive sounds.

SISYPHUS by Sumyrah Khan

Stammering repetition.

An involuntary mistake made


LOOP by Amarabati Bhattacharyya

i've been living

the exact same day for many many years

as if i’m stuck in an absurdist time loop

opening my eyes to 2pm sunlight 

i begin with a fight 

i must i must change my life

ending with one solitary compromise 

tomorrow again i'll try


i've been suffering

with as they say 

extreme existential dread

i'm only twenty plus three 

but the pointlessness of life absorbs me

and i am entirely aware

before you struggle to remind me 

that besides me all of humanity 

toils endlessly  

for an answer - unreceived


Winter Winter: your facade to hide the autumn that went by

Why I love: a thought you can never find answers to

Maybe time I wasn't done: an everlasting feeling

Wonder how love we're waiting for: you hoped once

This day: your scream that hasn't been let out yet

& as this slow oboe goes about its odyssey in this porcelain Winterland: you go back to the fall to find answers

You twist: realisation confuses you

You rise: for once you think there is hope again

You fall: you are falling again

Winter winter is a long haul: you let out the scream



We'd love to know more about your inspiration for creating Winter Winter.
Follow Shashwat Bulusu
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Winter Winter, in full honesty, doesn't have an inspiration. I was working on something else, and it got to feel like such a drag that I chose to play some music for a break. In fact, I was reading something while I was playing the parts of the song. The song feels like a doodle. Initially, it started with the soft and somewhat "pristine" pianos, and it felt too clean and nice for my liking. I felt aggression and thought that the song needed it too, to break the monotony of "Nice" sounds. Almost breaking a loop for a moment of release and going back into it just like the break I took when I wrote the song. The name "Winter Winter" was initially a placeholder, but I guess it stuck by. Maybe the notes on the piano resemble the snowfall.

When we were working on the video, my only brief to Saloni (my friend and a dancer) was to naturally respond to the song in movement. Everything in the process of writing the song was natural, so our thought was to just respond to the music as opposed to plan things out. It came together just as we wanted it to.


Tell us more about the making of the video. 


The video was initially a no-go, but with a little push from Lucy (my manager), I decided to give it one honest attempt. This was that attempt. In the past, I would animate for at most a day, and that too for fun. This was the first time it needed me to be patient and disciplined for a good and constant three months. I'd painted about 90 frames in total for the section featuring Saloni. The text came in later, again to break the "Nice-ness" of the hand-painted section. I just went wild with all the fonts I'd use routinely. With the hand-painted section, I attempted to go for cooler colours to make it work with the idea of Winters.


What do the symbols and doodles in the video mean to you? 


The whole section with the text and the symbols was introduced to make the video depict the aggression in the vocals and also to emphasise the words being said. I have always loved and have been fascinated by glyphs. This was my opportunity to go wild with them. I used certain repetitive symbols as motifs and punctuations in the video. 


Your favourite tracks (by you).


Most of my favourite tracks by me are ones that I haven't ever released. They're like personal pieces.


 Emotions and themes you like making music about.


 I like writing stories in general, and whatever direction the story or the narration goes in forms the theme and emotion of the songs I write. I am trying to avoid existentialism in my music. That's one emotion I know I want to stay away from.

About Mysticeti's friends:

Shashwat Bulusu is a singer-songwriter, producer and visual artist from the pocket city Baroda. Since 2011, he has been steadily releasing an often dizzying array of musical narratives in both Hindi and English. 

Vinita Agarwal is an award winning poet, editor, translator and curator. She has authored four books of poetry, and is the joint recipient of the Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize 2018 among other literary honors and awards. 

Sujash Purna was born in Bangladesh and currently lives in Springfield, Missouri. He is an assistant poetry editor to the Moon City Review and his first book of poems, Biriyani, came out from Ohio's Poet's Haven Author Series in 2018.

Sumyrah Afreen Khan is an International Law student from Dublin who recently published her first poetry collection Let Alone Hope. She is an activist for Muslim women rights and writes for Harvard University's Led By Foundation that works for empowering Muslim women.


Amarabati Bhattacharyya is a journalist and writer. She is a Media Studies major and is currently pursuing her Masters in International Relations. In her free time, she loves re-reading Kafka's Metamorphosis, and writing poems in her diary.

Doyel Chawla writes with the intent to make readers realise the innate strength words carry in them.  

Iphita Sur is an aspiring writer from Calcutta.

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