28 December 2006

The subsea dragon

We never think about subsea cables
Until we are left with only 1% internet access for 2 days and still counting.

We never think about Skype or phone card alternatives
Until it takes 8 tries to get 1 decent Paris-Shanghai phone call.
(And that is after abandoning Skype.)

We never think about Taiwan
(or Tibet or Myanmar or East Timor for that matter)
Until the subsea dragon lashes out in protest.

23 December 2006

At the turn of the next corner: 上海弄堂



I love Shanghai at the turn of the corner

Most of the time, I like Shanghai.
(On a few occasions, I hate it.)
But some days, I really just fall in love with this city.
Days like this, when I stumble upon an exhibition,
in my favourite building on the Bund.
Art, vibrancy, Absolut Lomo.
Shanghai with a surprise at the turn of the corner -
That's my Shanghai.

19 December 2006

This night of 20th December

This night of 20th December, the gazelle felt a little three-legged.

Returning to her savannah, a "Welcome back home!" greeted her in cheerful melancholy.

She staggered a little, finally able to stagger in the solitude of her own savannah after a whole day of striding. Out in the wild, striding was the only honourable way to walk, even if you are three-legged.

The gazelle staggered a few more steps towards the white haystack. But she forgot what she should have remembered before collapsing into it - the lingering scent of the lion in the haystack. (This gazelle has an incredible memory of smell. Smells for her are like the taste of madeleines for Proust.)

The scent that floated towards her was both comforting and debilitating at the same time. She could not even stagger anymore now. She burrowed her head into the softness of the haystack for a long time.

At long last, the gazelle got up and looked around. The savannah was lingering with the lion's presence. She decided to graze on some fresh grass. The nightingales decided to sang.

It was the lion's Bach in the solitude of the night.

03 December 2006

Five degrees Celsius

Five degrees Celsius
Naked ears cold
Woollen neck warm.

Sunlight streaming through the leaves
Water dripping in the distance
I take each step,

The calf muscle awakes,
Then sets in motion:
Right –
Heel, arch, toes
Left –
Heel, arch, toes.

I stop in front of the cockroach
Shape barely discernible
Now a cold empty shell.
I close my eyes in prayer:
One day
We shall be Buddhas together.

The meditation bell chimes
The cold air reverberates
Three birds flutter through the sky.

One deep breath
Two gentle smiles.