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Long Drive

For reading while listening- In this experimentation, we play with ambient sounds and the subjective experience it can produce. Hence, the piece could be engaged with in different ways: listen first then read, listen and read, don't listen but read, listen after reading and other possible combinations you could muster up.

00:00 / 06:35



Adventures begin much before the adventure itself. 


There is a buzz in the house. Your excitement is radiating from your body as you toss and turn in bed. Will you get the window seat tomorrow or will your brother snatch it away from you? You strategise the placement of your bags in your head and calculate the exact steps to outwit your brother. You recall the number of chips packets and biscuits you convinced your mother to buy and remember to double check them tomorrow morning.


 You try dreaming of the next morning, the anxious thrill of leaving the house and running down the steps, laughing and racing towards the car. With seatbelts clicked in place and your mother murmuring a silent prayer under her breath, your body is pumped for gazing out the window for the rest of the day. You imagine the cool breeze filling the car, mingling with the warm paranthas your mother made for the road, rolled up in Nani's achaar. You imagine the fights over the music controller in the car, the constant "are we there yet" and the battle for the AC vent. Raindrops grazing past your window and landing on your face, your smile reaching your eyes. 


And the engine revs to life.


An AirWick Air Conditioning. Drooping eyelids from exhausting excited excess.  Narrowing roads narrowed by Metro Rail Corporations. Film-like reality reeling out the window. Smoke-like dust. Dusty smoke. Smog. Long wavelengths of red lights. IT Towers and NH Numbers. Milestones of whose progress?


Windows down like vacuum releasing. Battling with the wind. Embracing it. Palm, coconut, paddy fields reeling like rectangles on film, in a constant loop. Cud-chewing cows on grasslands and  teething babies in laps. Noisy caws and pink lotuses blushing in swamps. Irrigation ponds and greasy film on top.


Occasional sight of wheels reeling against the now smooth tar. Bikers biking as if in a video game and also sounding the part.


Lay's, Halidram's and Cadbury filled snacking. Sifting through songs and changing playlists. 


A glimpse at the rear view mirror. And George Ezra singing Shotgun in background.  Sun playing hide and seek with thickly canopied paths. Shape-shifting clouds prancing and lazing around like our neighbours' cats. 


Another glimpse at the rear view mirror, feeling like a someone.


1320 hours

7 hours into the vacation and more than half of the homemade delicacies are gone. The driver's seat sitter is in constant argument with the diagonal seat holder over the white noise of car AC and colourful noise of 80s retro bollywood music.


1340 hours

The diagonal seat holder emerges victorious and also spots a perfect roadside eatery from a car moving at speed of 85 km/hours on smooth asphalt. The decision is respected and a stop is made.


1405 hours

After 15 minutes of sincere brainstorming and portion negotiation, the lunch is served on a slightly tattered cot. Extra ghee on rotis, extra lemon juice on raw onions, extra spices in dal, extra cube of paneer in a certain winner's plate. The outdoor dining experience is exquisite with a slim layer of dust settling on the food with every passing second. But devil may care. It's a scorching hot afternoon with provisions for a lazy table fan by the generous dhaba owner uncle. What comes as a relief is a convoy of trucks lining at the entrance of the dhaba, holding the heat waves and of course a glass bottle of pepsi. 


1445 hours

Smiling wide and at the brink after a rare meal, the family secretly counts its blessings looking at the happy faces and with a palm full of saunf, pocketing the handwritten bill. Time to leave this rare rurality behind and get in the city car to make a town vacation. The journey continues.


“Neeli neeli si khamoshiyaan

Na kahin hai zameen

Na kahin aasmaan

Sarsaraati huyi tehniyaan, pattiyaan

Keh rahi hain ki bas ek tum ho yahaan”


You, are Imraan.

With your rolled-up window for a canvas,

speckled with transparent ink. 


You, are his father.

Painting Horses™ by Hussain 

As you sift through pages 

of the color wheel.


Seaweed green hills

outlined with teal green clouds.

Parrot green fields

Dotted with lime green crops. 


Your tired eyes, 

with a mind of its own, 

Add spottings of vibgyor. 


A cryptic code; 

you give in. 

Now swimming 

in hues you can’t describe to anyone but yourself. 


A Sushmita Sen Scarlet, 

for the traffic lights.

A Kareena Kapoor Pink,

for your yapping sister.


A Starry Night

against Yves Klein Blue.

Your mouth slightly agape,



A Sudden Nudge

“Your Name”

“A Bark”

You’re home.

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