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.
MAKING MELANCHOLY SING by Ipshita Sur
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
the dead red leaves,
you ask me
to do this
a child inside
find out I can
these wings grow
around the dead
an obvious abductee
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
fall .This tinkering
plunge of loud
what makes me so
in the midst of such
I reply in some
There’s another way
they tell me, leaving
a room with no
they don’t want me
you can see
someday. So they tiptoe
red drops, another
height they never
could brave someday
why I never grew to
I never learned about
hiding behind a silent altar
Here I am now
to take them away
around the dead
to some plastic
SISYPHUS by Sumyrah Khan
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
for an answer - unreceived
AN INTERPRETATION OF WORDS IN WINTER WINTER by Doyel Chawla
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
TALK TO SHASHWAT ABOUT THE VIDEO
We'd love to know more about your inspiration for creating Winter Winter.
Follow Shashwat Bulusu
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.