Ice/Heat SyndromeEncounter last, in the last Ice Age.We meet again, but oddly that age has not yet melted in you!Bound within an inner Antarcticayou forgot everything, the bright sunshine andflowers blooming in the ill-kept backyard.To-day, the fiery desert turns into ice!You talk into your cell-phone, lost to time-space continuumstuck up in a warp, reminiscent of an actor with Greek maskswhile I stir coffee politely, hoping to catch a sideways glance.The coffeehouse is crowded.The young!Boisterous!I am stuck in a freezing plainnear the window-table, gazing at the pavementkissed by a California-sun, this late afternoon.Or, is it Mumbai/Madrid.Places no longer matter.We are identical!An Icelander myself,I have never found so many ice-sculptures inthe post-modern city of IstanbulOr, the sandy town of the famed Timbuktu.How a creative mind wanders!Folks carry freezing plains in their souls,while toiling children carry—dancing splinters of the sunlightin their weary eyes and tiny handstheir laughter animating dead urban space.DeletedShould I delete it?asks J. Alfred Prufrochis Indian wife,on their short honeymoon nightit does not show you in good light,says the lordthe saree-draped delicate wife from South hall nods,J. Alfred Prufrock immediately trieshe—the famous literary person measuring life in coffee spoons and debates eternally and wearsmasks and perfumes— finally presses the buttonand deletes— all the recorded romance and cold passion of their earlier pre-marital life in themulti-cultural Britainit is so easy nowthe balding Prufrock in his hoarse voice—this descendant of Hamlet still wandering for us, in the un-weeded dark Denmarkthat was a version of old Shakespearean England—to delete faded memories and used folks with a flick of a tiny button,in the anti-septic, napkin-dependent, pizza-chomping, bargain-hunting,mall-hopping, mad contemporary timesthat have no patience left for the eternal Q: To be or not to be.@ Sunil Sharma
Mumbai-based, Sunil Sharma, a college principal, is also widely-published Indian critic, poet, literary interviewer, editor, translator, essayist and fiction writer. He has already published 14 books: four collections of poetry, two of short fiction, one novel, one a critical study of the novel and co-edited six anthologies on prose, poetry and criticism. His six short stories and the novel Minotaur were recently prescribed for the undergraduate classes under the Post-colonial Studies, Clayton University, Georgia, USA. He is a recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets’ inaugural Poet of the Year award—2012. Recently his poems were published in the UN project: Happiness: The Delight-Tree. He edits online journal Episteme: www.episteme.net.in/
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