The last thing I could remember was fuzzy and didn’t make much sense anyway. I was new to this place, to these people, to their way of wandering slowly at twilight with hands clasped behind backs. I could remember certain things but was unable to differentiate between memories of events that had happened and dreams of events that hadn’t – do dreams happen? As I grew older, I had been increasingly unable to tell certain vivid dreams from vivid memories. Did you do that or did I dream it? I found myself asking from time to time. Because that would be a great thing to do.
Now I was swimming, back-flipping over and over, clouds above cycling into amber waters below, candies and death and old skeletal shape-shifting formulations, over and over. Now I was lying prone – a bed, a big bed in a small room, with dark forms huddled around me in a circle, between us a ring of candles flickering and snapping, an old woman throwing powder into the flames, a young girl with black eyes like mirrors, reflecting back the image of a dying man.
Ah-huh, ah-huh, a fatherly figure bent low over my face, looming worriedly, holding a small piece of crinkled paper. Ah-huh, ah-huh, he made an eating motion, pushing the disc towards my mouth. Something was engraved on it, I could just make out in the dim light: Wel-come. I ate it and I have been right ever since.
This is part of a series of Himal’s commentary on artwork by Ahmed Suveyb, a self-taught artist based in Male. Acrylic on canvas, 30x40 in.
Afghanistan: Irreconcilable with democracy
India: Not yet Azad
Romila Thapar addresses invitees at the
Southasian relaunch of Himal Southasian,
IIC, New Delhi, January 2013.
China, Southasia and India
On May 19 2013, newly appointed Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived in New Delhi for a series of meetings with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The visit is Keqiang's first outside of China since assuming power in March.
From our archive:
Purna Basnet discusses Chinese engagement in Nepal vis-a-vis security issues in Tibet and broader geo-strategic plans in Southasia (April 2011).
Fatima Chowdury relates the story of Calcutta's Indian Chinese community through the lens of political and economic upheavals in Southasia and China (May 2009).
Simon Long notes the importance of the Sino-Indian relationship for the rest of Southasia (September 2006).
J.N Dixit ruminates on the strategic concerns of the 'Middle Kingdom' in the wake of India's 1998 nuclear tests (June 1998).