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This report is taken from PN Review 261, Volume 48 Number 1, September - October 2021.

Sound Sutra
A Decade of Resonances
i.m. Colin Robinson
Vahni Capildeo
1. An irresistible invitation is not what you may expect late at night during a working week in a pandemic. However, an irresistible invitation is what arrived. The poet Carrie Etter, sharing her draft novel-in-verse, Exit Kassandra, matter-of-factly mentioned: ‘It reads aloud in 50 minutes.’ Accordingly, I have been reading it aloud; but it took me three days, with intermissions. Why?

2. Midsummer has passed, and August approaches. August has resonance. Do not begin anything in the month that corresponds to August this year, I once was advised, because in this season Lord Vishnu is asleep, and you need the creative play of his energy. I imagined his whirling conch shell stilled, and Sesh Naag, the great serpent who serves as his throne, a peaceful heap of coils, slumbering on a blue ocean out of time, also stilled. The rhythm of sleep-breathing and the colour blue permeate ‘August’ ever since.

3. Thinking with anniversaries is human. Noting and reflecting on true anniversaries, the ones that call for a new or personal calendar, is hardly encouraged. Don’t be morbid; don’t cling! Why? Is it that people with the sense of weaving a whole cloth of life may be less amenable to being draped in a flag? We are more governable if we can be kept reactive in the instant, and useful for the task at hand. Replace milestones with official ceremonies, better yet with a squabble over commemoration. Clap and forget; click and collect. Interviewed by Alice Hiller, Shivanee Ramlochan says: “I came to understand this as my duty ...

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