Shadow and Silence, a photo essay by Basudhara Roy

There are two basic impulses – the urgency to fill and the necessity to expunge. The act of writing demands both.

The first step is to excavate space in the soul to gestate the need for writing. Nothing of worth can be created unneeded.

I am drawn, therefore, to identify spaces in the congestion of the world as a prelude to creating space in the tumult within.

Shadows enamour me. This other life of things unknown to themselves. The flattening of dimensions into magic. The spillage of the opaque. The intervention of light.

The conversation between books and plants is critical. They belong to the same family — same heartwood, same sap, same desire to root in fond soil.

It is essential to me that they co-habit, teach words silence and vice-versa.

For writing to happen, silence has to dawn. But physical silence is rare and to simulate it, the consciousness of the mind as insular space must be heightened.

It comes through practice – this dismissal of the world at will or of finding a niche within it.

The mind is the page, the thoughts are targets, the words, bullets. The effect, if rightly obtained, should be complete fireworks.

Silence is to word what shadow is to object. To arrive at both, one has to travel beyond what is visible and known.

Writing involves this essential traversal, every sincere writer a dazzled sojourner who neither arrives nor returns.

Photo by Tom Barrett on Unsplash

Basudhara Roy

Basudhara Roy teaches English at Karim City College, Kolhan University, Chaibasa. Looking forward to her fourth collection of poems, she writes to urgently test/taste words on her tongue, pulse, moods, agitation, abstraction and satire. Her recent poetry is featured in Chandrabhaga, The Punch Magazine, Yearbook of Indian Poetry in English, Helter Skelter Anthology of New Writing, and RIC Journal among others. When she is not overthinking, she reviews and sporadically curates and translates poetry from Jamshedpur, Jharkhand.